What Should I Do If Reverend Billy Is in My Store?

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9781565848245: What Should I Do If Reverend Billy Is in My Store?
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The Reverend Billy is a revivalist preacher who leads the Church of Stop Shopping, an anticonsumerist communion devoted to putting the odd into God. Created by the actor Bill Talen, the Reverend first appeared alongside the sidewalk preachers in New York’s Times Square during the Giuliani years, bringing his new post-religious theology to eager crowds. Now Reverend Billy has a cult following across the country and was recently featured in a profile in the New York Times Magazine.

In these pages we go inside the Disney Store on 42nd Street (“the high church of retail”) to witness staged dramas against consumerism that employ eight hundred Disney characters with their “reeling eyeballs and sky-cracking grins” as the mise-en-scène. We encounter the icon-twisting logic of credit card exorcism performed in front of astonished tourists and listen to a gospel choir made up of “recovered preachers’ kids” singing anti-Starbucks anthems at the cash register of the $5 latte. We watch as the defense of a community garden is turned into an Off-Broadway hit and join with the Reverend as he preaches love and peace to the crowds that gathered spontaneously in Union Square after the attacks of September 11.


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About the Author:

Bill Talen is an actor and activist who, as the Reverend Billy, has been feted and arrested in several countries. He lives and preaches in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

The title of this engaging manifesto/memoir is taken from a Starbucks memo (thoughtfully reprinted) instructing employees on how to deal with its protagonist and author, New York City's most visible anti-shopping provocateur, "Reverend Billy." The reverend is, after all, the sort of person who, accompanied by his "devotees," might interrupt the gentle slurping of Mocha Frappuccinos with an impromptu discussion and preach-in, and perhaps a hymn or two. Starbucks's advice boils down to "try and ignore him," but the good reverend makes such an undertaking difficult. Combining the situational flair of Abbie Hoffman with an evangelist's tireless zeal, Reverend Billy's efforts against mindless consumerism and corporate greed have adding the oxygen of publicity to the flames of a number of worthy causes, as well as reintroducing a much-needed sense of fun to Manhattan's somber and overregulated plazas. One of the keys to the success of Talen's creation is reflected in the book's good-natured tone. Unlike many recent political tomes both right and left, Talen's account of his alter ego's pilgrimage is evenhanded and reflective and remarkably free of the rancor that poisons so much public debate. Reverend Billy was not born overnight, and Talen is candid and un-self-righteous about the ethical and moral considerations that accompanied both his emergence and career. Talen never confuses the employee with the corporation or mere disruption with thoughtful protest, and the discipline and inventiveness of his crusade demonstrates that sometimes the absurdities of power are best undercut with absurdity, and greed with generosity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description The New Press, United States, 2003. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Reverend Billy is a revivalist preacher who leads the Church of Stop Shopping, an anticonsumerist communion devoted to putting the odd into God. Created by the actor Bill Talen, the Reverend first appeared alongside the sidewalk preachers in New York s Times Square during the Giuliani years, bringing his new post-religious theology to eager crowds. Now Reverend Billy has a cult following across the country and was recently featured in a profile in the New York Times Magazine. In these pages we go inside the Disney Store on 42nd Street ( the high church of retail ) to witness staged dramas against consumerism that employ eight hundred Disney characters with their reeling eyeballs and sky-cracking grins as the mise-en-scene. We encounter the icon-twisting logic of credit card exorcism performed in front of astonished tourists and listen to a gospel choir made up of recovered preachers kids singing anti-Starbucks anthems at the cash register of the $5 latte. We watch as the defense of a community garden is turned into an Off-Broadway hit and join with the Reverend as he preaches love and peace to the crowds that gathered spontaneously in Union Square after the attacks of September 11. Seller Inventory # NLF9781565848245

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