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Joe Lombardi Prof.

Diamond Assignment #2 2/25/2012 Church of Life After Shopping The Church of Life After Shopping (CLAS) is a gathering of common minded people that challenge the current idea of consumerism. The group is lead by Reverend Billy who single handedly started the organization to make it what it has become today. Reverend Billy (RB) believes that the current market has become out of control and that the market needs to be constrained to reduce the rate at which consumers are marketed to. RB leads his group CLAS around the world to help raise awareness of what is happening to the world and show the effect that commercialism has had upon the world. The organizations current goals are to spread the word of anti-commercialism and to gain more followers to help create more awareness. With each event that CLAS conducts they raise more consciousness to the situation at hand and I believe that they have been able to partially change consumer culture because people are starting to become more aware of RBs ideas, a perfect example is the simple situation of our class even writing about CLAS. CLAS and the author of Culture Jam, Kalle Lasn are very similar in their beliefs. Lasn wrote, Now there was only mediacy life as mediated through other instruments, life as a media creation. The situationists used the term Kidnapped: The spectacle had Kidnapped our real lives, co-opting whatever authenticity we once had.(p.101) This quote very similarly portrays the same beliefs of CLAS in the sense that commercialism is targeting consumers in such manors that kidnaps consumers of the ability to escape from the advertisement. Largely Lasns article represents some the ideals that CLAS and Reverend Billy are trying to communicate to the world. The criticisms and critiques that Reverend Billy raises are closely related to many of the ideas we have read. A numerous amount of the ideas that we have viewed in the class have been about our culture and how they have changed throughout time. There are a countless amount of examples demonstrating Reverend Billys ideals throughout our readings about how commercialism is affecting Americas culture and the rest of the worlds culture. Many of the readings we have read throughout the class have exposed many ideas of consumerism being filled with subliminal messages trying to persuade the public to purchase more and more. Bob Garfields article, Go forth and Advertise highlights many ideas about what is wrong with the current way marketing and advertising is currently being produced. Garfields article defends the position of advertisers but brings to light many of the ugly truths about how commercialism is turning advertising into a weapon against consumers. A more

recent article that we have read in class, An Introduction to McDonaldization discussed the very real consequences that the main commercial companies are having on our culture. George Ritzer, the author of An Introduction of McDonalization defined McDonaldization as The process by which the principles of the fast food restaurants are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American Society as well as of the rest of the world.(p.7) Just as the previous quote stated by Lasn, Ritzers quote captures the ideas of which Reverend Billy is trying to reveal to the world. Ritzer is revealing the idea of McDonaldization to the world because it is effecting the way many markets are starting to do business. I believe that RBs ideas relate to Ritezers because he also believes that the worlds markets are becoming too saturated with these types of companies. The most vivid medium demonstrating CLAS ideas is the movie Fight Club. Fight Club perfectly captures how media has changed everything and everyone into a mold that is difficult to break. A lot people think that they cannot make a difference on their own therefore perpetuating the cycle that is currently going on but when you combine all of these papers together it seems that more and more people are starting to be able to see the same issues Reverend Billy does. Culture is a unique aspect to each specific place and with these problems growing larger and larger something has got to change in the near future. An example of what can be done is the article Culture Jam wrote by Kalle Lasn about what and how culture jamming is used. CLAS is not directly practicing a form of culture jamming rather than trying to make people more aware of what is going on in todays markets. Culture jamming seems to be more about critiquing marketing and advertising whereas Reverend Billy and The Church of Life Shopping are trying to make people more aware of what commercialization is doing to the culture. Culture jamming seems to be more about getting a fresh view of culture and to renew it from commercialisms effect on culture while CLAS is more about stopping the growth commercialism. Overall, both CLAS ideas and culture jamming are closely related in that they both want ideas like McDonaldization to be less widespread. The Church of Life After Shopping is ultimately trying to communicate the message that commercialism is having a negative consequence on our culture. They are trying help the community realize what is going on somewhat like what the idea of culture jamming is but in a more severe way.

Work Cited "About Us." Reverend Billy & The Church of Earthalujah! Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://www.revbilly.com/about-us>.

"Popular Culture Meets Psychology." Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/popular-culture-meets-psychology/200909/reverendbilly-and-the-church-life-after-shopping>.

Tyner, Kathleen. "Culture Jamming in Contemporary times." Continuum 9.2 (1996): 118-24. Print.