December 24, 2007

"What we do is try to inject a brief moment of wonder that helps wake them up from that rushed stupor. That’s the true holiday spirit, isn’t it?"

Shopdropping = planting some item of yours in with a store's merchandise.
Anti-consumerist artists slip replica products packaged with political messages onto shelves while religious proselytizers insert pamphlets between the pages of gay-and-lesbian readings at book stores.

Self-published authors sneak their works into the “new releases” section, while personal trainers put their business cards into weight-loss books, and aspiring professional photographers make homemade cards — their Web site address included, of course — and covertly plant them into stationery-store racks.
Does it amuse you? Do you admire the shopdroppers? Or are they more like vandals?
This week an arts group in Oakland, the Center for Tactical Magic, began shopdropping neatly folded stacks of homemade T-shirts into Wal-Mart and Target stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. The shirts feature radical images and slogans like one with the faces of Karl Marx, Che Guevara and Mikhail Bakunin, a Russian anarchist. It says, “Peace on Earth. After we overthrow capitalism.”

33 comments:

dmfoiemjsof said...

Do people who shop at walmart even know who Che Guevara is?

Ann Althouse said...

dmfoiemjsof said "Do people who shop at walmart even know who Che Guevara is?"

No. People who shop at WalMart are people who need to try to save money, therefore they are uneducated and stupid.

dmfoiemjsof said...

I think it depends where you are. Here in LA, walmart simply can't open a store anywhere where college-educated people live. Shopdroppers would be wasting their time at the Carson walmart closest to me. In Madison, of course, things are much different. There, you have Ph.D's working the cash registers.

Pogo said...

Shopdropping is dishonest in many ways. Unable to secure legimate exposure, they intrude. They're not injecting wonder, they're injecting themselves. That's not 'wonder'. That's not the spirit of the season. That's selfishness. It's immature, annoying, and obtrusive.

It's merely high-end grafitti.

“Peace on Earth. After we overthrow capitalism.”
The feminist writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulic provides a provocative analysis of
the debilitating effects of communism on the daily lives of women and the poor. “Every
mother in Bulgaria can point to where communism failed, from the failures of the planned economy (and consequent lack of food and milk), to the lack of apartments, childcare facilities, clothes, disposable diapers, or toilet paper. The banality of everyday life is where it has really failed, rather than the level of ideology.”
The failures are evident from newspaper headlines declaring “No Bread”, to the lack of sugar, meat, oil, coffee or flour, even decades after World War II. “After all these years, communism has not been able to produce a simple sanitary napkin, a bare necessity for women. So much for it’s economy and its so-called emancipation, too.” She asks, “What can one say except that it is humiliating?”

And weren't 100 million deaths enough for these dystopians?

George said...

Does this mean us capitalists should prank mail sanitary napkins to North Korean embassies? Or not. I'm confused.

Pogo said...

prank mail

Dunno. They average citizen has probably never seen one. Like the Russian nomenklatura however, the upper echelon NoKos, the ones more equal than others, buy them form us, unable to produce their own cheaply, if at all.

rhhardin said...

I put a few books in the college library in my time. Filling out the card catalog plausibly was the hard part. So many rules!

MadisonMan said...

There, you have Ph.D's working the cash registers.

Your pontificating would carry more weight without the apostrophe error.

When I buy a book, I don't want to read commentary slipped between the pages. I call what they're doing littering.

Susan said...

I have an herb farm and have put my card in herb books at the local library. Now I know I'm not alone and there's even a name for it and it's making me think, hum, next stop Books-A-Million.

Paul Snively said...

It's a brief moment of wonder, all right... wonder that any adult human being can actually be that asinine.

Meade said...

"...we [...] try to inject a brief moment of wonder..."

...by spamming up people's rushed stuporous inferior lives with our commercially nonviable elite anarcho-atheist-marxist artiness.

Makes you wonder for a brief moment, doesn't it? ...wonder how the NYTimes (originally, the Walmart of New York newspapers) could fall for our lame narcissistic zealotry.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Okay, I'll admit to being alittle confused.

I take a stack of t-shirts INTO Walmart that they then sell an dkeep the money.

Walmart makes cash on a t-shirt; I am out the cash I paid for the t-shirt; how does this help to over throw capitalism?

Pogo said...

how does this help to over throw capitalism?

When Lenin said that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with, he only got wrong who'd get hung.

bill said...

Does it amuse you? A little

Do you admire the shopdroppers? Not really. Nor do I think badly of them. Don't think much about them at all.

Or are they more like vandals? Only if actual products are harmed or disfigured in some way. Otherwise it's easy to ignore or chuckle at.

paul a'barge said...

Are not all of us who comment here essentially shopdroppers?

By the way, as a fervent capitalist, where do I go to get one of those "Peace on earth. After ..." T shirts. I think that's hilarious.

Meade said...

"Are not all of us who comment here essentially shopdroppers? "

You mean, injecting brief moments of wonder?
As in, "For a moment, I briefly wondered just what the hell he meant by that stupid uneducated comment. Guess I'll have to smash the state and kill the lackey running dog Walmart price shoppers."

Revenant said...

Walmart makes cash on a t-shirt; I am out the cash I paid for the t-shirt; how does this help to over throw capitalism?

Well, they probably wouldn't be ABLE to sell you the shirt, probably, since it won't have a SKU number in their system and therefore won't have a price.

So they'll just end up taking up some shelf space until somebody notices and tosses them in the trash out back.

SteveR said...

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me..."

Beth said...

I second bill's comment of 10:27 am and add that this is a fad that will fade faster than the pet rock.

john said...

Paul,

Too self referential for me, headache time thinking about it. I need a Tylenol.

Beth, there is no way this is a fad that's going away. Too many think others should do their advertising for them, for free. Ask Susan.

And finally, TBS will start showing 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" at 8PM tonite. Isn't that great? We love it.

knoxwhirled said...

And weren't 100 million deaths enough for these dystopians?

I was never taught what life was *really* like under Communism, in any history classes. One of my religion professors spent a whole week on the question, "Was Jesus a Marxist?" The answer was "yes."

Anyway, I don't think the average person really has a clue how bad everyday life sucks under communism. A family of 4 is lucky to have a tiny apartment and you can't get basics that we take for granted like feminine hygiene products... it's really as incomprehensible as the death toll in a way.

Kirk Parker said...

Funny someone should mention pet rocks; while I think that shopdroppers are generally lame, at least these guys, perhaps the original shopdroppers, get bonus points for extreme humor.

jeff said...

"Do people who shop at walmart even know who Che Guevara is?" Probably. Why wouldn't they? I think the better question is does the person making the t-shirt know who he was. Available evidence says no.

Fen said...

I think the better question is...

...do "enlightened sophisticated" college-educated[?] people like dmfoiemjsof really know who Che Guevara is?

OR

...why do Leftists always immortalize marxist monsters who purge those who disagree with them?

Thank God for the Che merchandise. Lets me know in advance that the idiot sporting a Che shirt fantasizes about stringing me up.

jeff said...

"Lets me know in advance that the idiot sporting a Che shirt fantasizes about stringing me up."

I just assume whoever wears one is just an idiot. Either because they have no idea who is was, or if they do, surely they realize my side has most of the guns.

Fen said...

Anyway, I don't think the average person really has a clue how bad everyday life sucks under communism.

Imagine having to cannibalize all your furniture as firewood to survive the winter, because your Congress-critters diverted all the lumber stock to build their McMansions on the banks of the Potomac.

Walter said...

I shop at Walmart and I know who Che Guevara is, he was a fascist thung that worked for Castro.

Where is downtownlad? Che Guevara was a real gay killer [note, the word "homosexual" was replaced with gay to suit his delicate sensibilities]. If he thinks that the GOP is out to get gay people, just wait until another Che Guevara shows up and starts executing gay people as enemies of state .

For people too young to have lived though the whole mess with Che Guevara, I doubt most of them know him beyond a face that they have seen on a t-shirt. I expect that the younger crowd at Nordstrom's or any other high end department store does not know who Che Guevara is either.

Ann, I might have jumped to a conclusion here about dmfoiejsof. The story specifically called out that the shirts were left at Walmart. While there is a basis that Walmart shoppers are to you words "uneducated and stupid", as I expressed above, I don't think the average shopper knows who Che Guevara is (outside of having seen hime on a t-shirt). Therefore, the protest is in vain because Che Guevara is very character in the shame that is the Cuban issue.

Fen said...

While there is a basis that Walmart shoppers are to your words "uneducated and stupid"

That was meant as a sarcastic rejoinder to dmfoiemjsof's provincialist tribalist racist bigotry. She wasn't being serious.

Trooper York said...

A Che Guevara T-shirt is a "I'm down with Stupid" T-shirt without the lettering.

Mr. Forward said...

"...fade faster than the pet rock."

Keep them out of the sun and they won't fade. Next time read the manual.

dmfoiemjsof said...

"dmfoiemjsof's provincialist tribalist racist bigotry."

While we are cataloging all my stellar attributes, I'll just confess for the record that I'm also sexist, misogynist, hedonist, atheist and capitalist. And I can't spell or punctuate worth anything, and I tend to drink too much.

zzRon said...

See, now this is why I make it a point to check out the Althouse Blog. I learn something in almost every post and comment section. As a part time Walmart shopper, I was always under the impression that Che Guevara was that goophy looking stand up bass player in Ricky Ricardo's band. Hey, I was close....its a Cuban type thing... right?

jeff said...

"I'll just confess for the record that I'm also sexist, misogynist, hedonist, atheist and capitalist. And I can't spell or punctuate worth anything, and I tend to drink too much."

Huh, this is weird. Are you me? Or am I you? This will require some thinking. And a drink.