Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shopping Zombies: Real and Imagined

I had a dreaded task today: Going to the shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving. However, I was looking for exclusive news for the podcast, not price bargains on some poison-painted trinkets made in China.

I received a hot news tip via e-mail that some activist Shopping Zombies would be down at the mall about 2 p.m. I try to avoid the mall as much as possible, especially during the Christmas season, which now seems to extend from Fourth of July through New Year's Eve. This news tip, however, was good reason to leave the comfy confines of the hearth. I was not disappointed.

I found about 14 Shopping Zombies at the mall entrance. You can see my pictures at this link to Flickr:

It's a joy when good performance art meets public policy. This piece of “street theater” in the halls of Meridian Mall was quite clever in recognizing “Buy Nothing Day.” I found the action successful when I got to a point where I actually could not distinguish the Shopping Zombies from the hoards of real shopping zombies. It was obvious the mall security could not distinguish between the fake and real zombies either because the activists wound all the way through most of the mall – leafleting about the sweatshop products sold at Old Navy, GAP, Walt Disney, and other places – until they happened upon a single security guard at the food court.

The mall management probably scheduled the poor security guard for a whiz test when he squawked a report over the radio that some zombies were in the food court. So what else is new on the day after Thanksgiving?

The gig was up. The 14 Shopping Zombies were peacefully escorted out of the mall, leaving still hundreds more behind.

The final outcome:

Money Spent at the Mall: $0

Looks on Peoples’ Faces: Priceless

-- Rico Thomas Rico
Postscript from the Zombies: "This jerk (security guard) ended up calling the cops caus we didn't walk fast enough. They ended up pulling over one car and harassing them. No charges though. We then proceeded to Wal-Mart and that action lasted all of 3 minutes!"

1 comment:

Javier said...

!!! Is there anyway i can become involved in the next up and coming action like this? this something i been looking for, let me know if you can get me in contact with the group that organized this demonstration.

This Week's Jukebox: Song Book II