Happy Buy Nothing Day

Happy Buy Nothing Day…. Or as we call it in the Maynard-Lao household, Buy Nothing but a Chick-fil-A Sandwich and a Movie Ticket Day.

Seriously, however far along the anti-Black Friday continuum you are, here’s hoping you have a wonderful day, not being trampled with your family.

[See also Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping.]

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  1. Ken
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Do they have Chick-Fil-A in Michigan?

  2. Robert
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Ken, there is only one in the entire state. It’s up in Rochester, in the northern suburbs of Detroit. The other one which is anywhere near Ypsilanti is down in Toledo.

    I am guessing that Mark spends his Thanksgiving holidays down south somewheres.

  3. Posted November 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    When I taught adult ed, I used to give the students extra credit for participating in Buy Nothing Day and writing a paper about it. I’m sure some bullshitted it, but some really got into it & were just delighted by the idea.

    I’ve always wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A (kind of a sad goal, actually) and now I know where one exists in MI! Thanks Robert!

  4. Robert
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome, TeacherPatti. The Chick-Fil-A that’s closest to Ypsilanti is actually the one in the Franklin Park Mall on Monroe Street on Toledo’s northwest side. That’s about 44 miles away.

    The one up near Rochester is on the Oakland University campus I believe. That’s probably somewhere around 50 miles from Ypsilanti.

  5. Ken
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Just don’t go to Chick-Fil-A on Sunday…they are not open!

  6. Peter Larson
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    So this is a holiday created by well educated, well off citizens of well to do countries that can afford to make choices about how they spend their money, because, well, they can afford it.

    Aside from the stupidity of the premise, I am sure that these people at AdBusters are more than happy to take advantage of having electricity, cars, hospitals that can take care of them when they are sick, schools, roads and all of the other things that are made possible by, you guess it, consumers and a consumer based economy.

  7. Posted November 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I like that this has become more of a thread about Chick-fil-A than about consumerism.

    And, Pete, I think you might be reading a little more into this than I’d intended. I didn’t mean it as an indictment of our country so much as a reminder that rampant consumerism has its down side. I personally like the idea that we spend one day a year (at least) thinking about how much we consume and what the costs of doing so are.

  8. Oliva
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    The way the sign used to be, probably still is, makes it look kind of like “Chick-A-Fil,” or so people (such as one of my sister’s) have thought. Which comes to mind once in a while and makes me chuckle (and miss NC).

    I once got a Harriet Tubman story for kids “brought to you by Chick-Fil-A,” got it at a secondhand store. It was SO good. Made me cry every time . . . the part where it says, “Seems old Bo had loosened the spokes on the wheels of Mr. [Bad Guy’s] wagon . . .” (Bo was the “house slave” and very mean to Harriet and loyal to the master–until that night, when he helped her out hugely by sabotaging the master’s wagon so she had time to get her parents away.) I would love to find that tape.

  9. Posted November 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I wish we had a Chick-Fil-A in Portland.

  10. anonymous
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Oliva, you got me curious, so I had to go find it online:

    Harriet Tubman (Chick-fil-A) (Great Americans) [AUDIOBOOK] (Audio Cassette)
    ~ Namkung (Editor)


  11. Robert
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I feel terrible for you, Emee. Your closest Chick-Fil-A is probably the one in Bellingham, Washington. That’s about a 4 hour drive for you.

    I have a friend who was in the Air Force and stationed in Minot, North Dakota who used to drive 200 miles round-trip to Bismark just to go through the Taco Bell drive-thru there.

  12. Peter Larson
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Mark, I just can’t help but think what total bullshit this is. Instead of “Buy Nothing Day”, how about “Buy Something Worthwhile Day” or “Buy Local Day”. To stop consuming completely is to fuck someone else, since the goods you are consuming are somebody’s bread and butter. The minute profits start to slip, a poor person loses a job and a kid doesn’t get fed. This kind of thinking is not only annoying, but shortsighted.

    This is as annoying as “The Compact” from a few years ago, which was basically an experiment by wealthy dot commers in the SF Bay area to stockpile money for a year by not buying anything. I’m sure that some mom and pop market or store would have loved to have had their business.

  13. Ken
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I have a Chick-fil-A about three miles from my house but I have never been a huge fan. When I do get dragged along, I usually get a spicy chicken wrap sandwich which is considered just plain wrong by Chick-fil-A purists.

    The founder of Chick-fil-A is Truett Cathy
    and he is regionally famous for being so rich. He is also very religious and that is the reason that Chick-fil-A’s aren’t open on Sunday. Sometimes the toy that comes with the kids meal is a bible story but you can trade it in for an ice cream cone if that ain’t your thing!

    The funniest one that I remember was the Alice in Wonderland story that came in the kids meal. In it, the Queen would yell, “Imprison him!” instead of “Off with his head!”

  14. Oliva
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear anonymous,
    Thank you! You are so good!

    For me the two best parts are the ol’ Bo part I mentioned and then simply the “brought to you by Chick-Fil-A.”

  15. Oliva
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Robert, you are a Chick-Fil-A location expert, among all the other things. There’s a tall, blonde woman at Pita Pita (along Washtenaw in beautiful Ypsilanti, isn’t it?) who grew up in So. California, and she misses Jack in the Box restaurants, said she was going to drive to Indiana or something just to get to one. Not even sure she’s still there–hope so, she’s a very nice woman. But maybe you know about locations of Jack in the Boxes too and can stop in and give her the good news?

  16. Posted November 29, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    hey peter- I hear ya! we are fortunate to have the ‘luxury’ of making the choice not to buy anything, but/and the premise of the holiday is to counteract the over-the-top spending culture of ‘black friday’.

    Not so much a ‘fuck you I can do what I want with my money’ as a message to those who are mindlessly consuming crazy sales to spur the christmasconsumer season…

    it’s a worthwhile cause, and like most good things, can get lost in bougie translation.

  17. Robert
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Oliva, I think the lady at Pita Pita would have to drive over 500 miles away to either the Saint Louis, MO area or the Nashville, TN area in order to find the nearest Jack-In-The-Box. There are many clustered around each of those cities, but I can not locate any closer. Should I be the one to go break the news to her? Maybe so. It will probably be easier for her to hear it from a complete stranger. Also, I could get a chicken shawarma while I’m there.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I guess I really don’t see what’s wrong with Christmas shopping. Mostly, regardless of buying things, people get Christmas right. They spend it with their families, eat food and watch football. Who cares if they spend money on scented candles and TVs? Somebody gets a job out of it. Stop the spending, stop the paychecks, stop the feeding of kids. Let it be known, that I hate WalMart, too. Meijer is ok with me. WalMart, not so much.

    “Buy Nothing Day” is more Puritanical nonsense from the left that says that everything that the typical American does is wrong, from eating meat to Christmas shopping to watching sports to going to see Hollywood movies. While eating large quantities of meat is bad for the environment and bad for health in general, all of these things, in and of themselves do not constitute crimes of individuals.

    I think that the greater crime is trying to impose one sort of thinking on a number of individuals and wonder what the difference is between these bozos at AdBusters and Jerry Falwell. Both seek to impose a moralist agenda on what they believe to be a corrupt and flawed America through the constant dissemination of standards that are impossible to reach, unrealistic and, given enough political power would lead to a state which regulates every facet of our lives, from masturbating in the bathroom to eating a Big Mac.

    “Buy Nothing Day” seeks to stick it to corporate America by stagnating the economy and turning people into mizers. Even “Buy Local Day”, while slightly more noble, ignores that fact that even a McDonalds can be a locally owned franchise. In the end “Buy Local Day” means “Buy from someone our group approves of day”, which smacks of ingroup, cliquish nonsense.

    Sorry, I just hate this shit. It’s a personal gripe so please forgive my ranting.

  19. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed your rant, Peter.

    A few people in the world would never use guilt, peer pressure, false accusations, fraud, or force to gain and wield power over other people to make them suffer. But many would. It just makes them feel better about themselves because they suck.

  20. The Knower
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    You know who else likes Chick-fil-a.


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