Yesterday I had the opportunity to see Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, “What would Jesus Buy?” on Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping. Jim Wallis, one of my heroes in the faith, was in the film. I have been following Reverend Billy through his highlights in Sojourner’s magazine, and I have to say, this guy is amazing and the film did him and his team a great service. Here is a clip from his interview with Sojourner’s:
One of the statistics that stood out to me was that, for the first time since the great depression, the American average savings balance is a negative number. This is scary, since we are continuing to consume more than we produce and spend more that we make on a National level. What are the long term consequences of this kind of economic culture?
Interestingly, the other movie I watched recently was Gladiator. In that film, Commodus Aurelius began a campaign of the same nature. Tap into your reserves, make entertainment and consumption top priorities, and give the people everything that they want. It crippled the empire and was almost impossible to recover from. Coincidentally, he is remembered as a poor ruler, and possibly a little crazy. Rome did recover, but what about America? Where is the breaking point? Is it a reality that we have a finite amount of space for the increasing amounts of waste that we are creating? This Christmas we created a record by exceeding 5 tons of trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. ‘Twas the season, eh?
Maybe it isn’t the apocalypse. Maybe just the “Shopocalypse.”