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The Therapy Sessions
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Buy nothing year


For 24 hours, millions of people around the world do not participate -- in the doomsday economy, the marketing mind-games, and the frantic consumer-binge that's become our culture. We pause. We make a small choice not to shop. We shrink our footprint and gain some calm. Together we say to Exxon, Nike, Coke and the rest: enough is enough. And we help build this movement to rethink our unsustainable course."

What a great idea!

But why not "Buy Nothing" year?

That would show those greedy corporations! I can see it now:

LOCATION: Nike Corporate Headquarters,
Seattle, Washington

Nike CEO Montgomery Burns:
Smithers! We simply must figure out why our sales have gone down! What is about this year?

Smithers: I don't know sir. Your leadership has been excellent as usual.

(Both evil corporate types retire to the boardroom window, overlooking the exquisitely maintained fields and gardens of "Nike Fields.")

Mr. Burns: Smithers! See there! By the Rodin sculpture!

Smithers: The Javanese Hyacynth?

Mr. Burns: Not the damn shrub, you moron! One of those imported filthy Mexican groundskeepers is running around the fields, in full view of the executives!

Smithers: I'll have security seize him immediately, sir.

Mr. Burns: Have security bring him to me.

(Smithers calls security and the scraggily man is brought before them)

Mr. Burns (pointing at shirt): Are these what you call work clothes, mister?

Scraggily man: That's my "Fuck the WTO" shirt I got from Seattle, dude. And I don't work for you, you corporate pig!

Mr. Burns:Huh! A trespasser! On Nike Fields?

Scraggily man: I live there! In that sewer pipe! And you should know this: I'm bringing you to your knees! It's month number two of Buy Nothing Year! Month number two! And I'm only getting started. My pipe is very comfortable!

Mr. Burns: Only getting started? Doing what? Smithers! Explain!

Smithers: Well sir. Buy Nothing Year is an event started by some local ruffians. They pledge to buy nothing for one whole year, with the aim of bring the global capitalist machine down.

Mr. Burns: Buying nothing? I see: communists! Well you won't have any more luck than you had in 1989.

Smithers: Well sir, I'm afraid they are having some luck. Michael Moore has nearly shut McDonald's down, and you've seen the effect that Oprah and Rosie O'Donnell have had on Hostess.

Mr. Burns: But everyone needs shoes!

Scraggily man: Not corporate death shoes! Look! (thrusting foot toward Burns)

Mr. Burns: Gahd! What is on his feet?

Smithers: They appear to be shoes made from tree bark of some kind.

Scraggily man: Not tree bark! Hemp! I protested this place once! I told you shoes can be made from hemp, not petrochemicals and plastics sewn together by infirmed Vietnamese grandmothers earning pennies a day! I showed you! I showed you!

Mr. Burns: Yes, you showed me. Smithers have him charged with trespassing, and have the groundskeepers evict him from his pipe.

Scraggily man: You haven't heard the last of me! By August, you'll be begging me to call it off!

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