Reverend Billy -- Monstrous Heidi Klum Looms Over Victoria’s Secret -- 06.07.06

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Shareholders invite us in and hold their breath

The showdown at the shareholders meeting of Victoria’s Secret (parent company: LimitedBrands, owned mostly by the Wexner family of Columbus, Ohio) was JUST GREAT!

ForestEthics is trying to stop the clear-cutting of virgin boreal forests on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, in Alberta, Canada. The semi-porn Victoria’s Secret catalogues are published at a rate of about a million copies a day. A MILLION A DAY. The junk mail gets only a 2% return – trees to trash fast.

We joined ForestEthics a year ago, and have intervened with the choir at Vicki locations across the country, as the Stop Shopping Church is touring. Why? This campaign goes with the work for sweatshop and coffee workers. You have to tie global warming to sweatshops – that’s the Devil. Victoria’s Secret products both cause global warming and nail young women to benches in front of sowing machines for ungodly hours.

The main “Stop Shopping” creed is: there’s a brain-movie we have to show ourselves when we buy something. IT’S TOO LATE NOT TO BE VISIONARIES. The vision starts with – “What is the labor and earth history of that product?” With Vicki’s fancy underwear we have double vision. We go to the forests and we go to the sweatshops. At the point that the two paths meet, in the marketing area around the point of purchase, we have the stages where we sing and preach. The construction sites of big boxes, the sidewalks in front of chains stores, the lanes between cars in traffic jams.

Here’s a Sci-Fi way of looking at it. The factual karma comes down two shipping lanes toward our grabby consumer hands. One is streaming toward us from the sweatshops and the other down from the clear-cuts. The two meet in the fluorescent muzak box where we wait for our crotchless teddy. Our consumption seems to mimic the double suffering behind the teddy. OUR PERSONALITIES SEEM TO BE SHEERED SMOOTH BY CHAIN-SAWS.

Finally, enough of us are dumbed down enough to elect George Bush twice, to bomb people at the edge of our markets, and drown polar bears in iceless seas. As the Rev sez, “Consumer society brings the hype: Mass suicide become just another product we buy.”

ForestEthics sent in five shareholders and dominated Wexner’s meeting on Saturday. Two of the actors were from Alberta, wearing wild animals and plants on their underwear, beneath their middle-class exteriors. Outside, about 50 of us pranced and chanted with huge Bread-and-Puppet style puppets, one a runway model, the other a great evergreen, called SPRUCE LEE. I thought up a god - Grizzly Goddess! And we prayed on Victoria’s front lawn.

Limited’s contract with the clear-cutting lumber company, International Paper is up in a few weeks. We hope they adopt buying rules that slow down the chain-saws. As for the sweatshops – VICKI, DON’T WEAR THAT FLUORESCENT BIKINI – THERE’S TOO MUCH PAIN IN IT.

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