"You must check out the newest from my favorite transcendent and down to earth preacher."--Laurie Anderson, artist, musician
The Earth Wants YOU is a motivational handbook, filled with inspired visions of a wild, creative, Earth-led cultural revolution. Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping offer up a heady mix of humor, insightful critique, passionate commitment, emotional catharsis, and example after example of vibrant direct action. Stop shopping and feel the love as you sign up for the struggle of our lives Earthalujah
Praise for The Earth Wants YOU:
"Singing instructions for joining the Earthalujah choir "--Jodie Evans, CODEPINK
"My Earthmojis are smiling for Reverend Billy And that's all the dirt you're gonna get from me. O;"--Justin Vivian Bond, trans-genre artist, Radical Faerie
"Mama Earth will shake us ALL off unless we shake shit UP and shut it DOWN "--Bertha Lewis, The Black Institute
"This is what makes social movements succeed--it's the big love-slog we have to go through to achieve change."--Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Men
"Join Rev and his merry band of activists as they imagine ways of arousing concern for the environment and racial justice."--Coco Fusco, creator of Eu Sou Um Consumidor
"When the singing activists hit the high notes in a bank lobby or a DARPA lab or the back aisle of a Walmart, they wipe away the veils hiding the madness of our corporate-controlled, consumer-crazed society."--Annie Leonard, director of Greenpeace USA
"Ssssh, listen . . . let the Church of Stop Shopping exorcise your fear, doubt and burnout, and join the Earthalujah Revolution "--Jess Worth, BP or not BP?
"This call to action is at once sobering and encouraging. We have fucked up really badly, but the ability to see it--is the first and hardest step toward fixing it."--Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
"Reverend Billy's ALL IN bodies and voices . . . not just clicks and posts, for this small village we call Earth. Preach On "--Obang Metho, Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia
"The Stop Shoppers packs a whoop."--Roberto Sifuentes, La Pocha Nostra
"In between satire and silence, there is a space of penetrating reckoning for all vibrations that flow counter to the balance of Nature. And from this dynamic and tricky space, the Honorable Reverend and his Holified Choir will shout, sing and sermonize a soul-bound love message of Truthalujah "--John Sims, The AfroDixie Remixes
"The Church of Stop Shopping is in the vanguard of a new movement that challenges this consumer society that is killing our planet."--Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero and Coal River Mountain Watch
"Billy, Savi and the choir have love and optimistic humor, and they don't give up on people."--David LaChapelle
"He seems to be writing while his actions are going on, like he can write while he's hand-cuffed."--Benny Zable, The Nimbin Environment Centre, NSW Australia
"The Earth Wants You takes readers deep inside the heart, mind and balls of the activist-artist. Reverend Billy rocks hard "--Annie Sprinkle, artist, ecosexual sexecologist
"He was a comic act. Now he's evolved into a man compulsively challenging the true extent of the right to protest."--Anohni, creator of the song "4 Degrees"
Reverend Billy and his choir of singing-activists are on the front lines of creative direct action, and here they offer up a distillation of the passion, the inspiration, and the hopes for love and survival that fuel their work. In a mix of essays, polemics, surrealist scenarios and news flashes from the frontlines, Reverend Billy answers the question, "What are we to do?" with a resounding chorus of "Take Action NOW "
About the Author
Bill Talen (born May 25, 1950) is a Dutch-American Calvinist Minnesota-born, Franconia College-educated actor who moved to New York City from San Francisco in the early 1990s, where he had originally created a character that was a hybrid of street preacher, arguably Elvis, and televangelist called Reverend Billy. This character was performed in various San Francisco alternative theater venues, where Talen had earned a considerable reputation as both a performer and a producer (Life On The Water theater, the Solo Mio Festival, Writers Who Act, etc.) In New York, Talen began appearing as Reverend Billy on street corners in Times Square, near the recently opened Disney Store. Times Square had just begun its transformation from a seedy but lively center of small-time and sometimes illicit commerceand also of New York theatreto a more gentrified and tourist-friendly venue for large companies like Disney and big-budget stage productions like "The Lion King." Whereas other street preachers chose Times Square because of its reputation for sin, Reverend Billy's sermons focused on the evils of consumerism and advertisingrepresented especially by Disney and Mickey Mouseand on what Talen saw as the loss of neighborhood spirit and cultural authenticity in Rudolph Giuliani's New York.
Talen's chief collaborator in developing the Reverend Billy character was the Reverend Sidney Lanier. A cousin of Tennessee Williams with an interest in avant-garde theater, Lanier was then the vicar of St. Clement's, an Episcopal church in Hell's Kitchen that doubled as a theatrical space, where Talen was working as house manager. Lanier encouraged Talen, who was suspicious of religious figures after rejecting the conservative Protestantism of his youth, to study radical theologians and performers; of these, Talen credits Elaine Pagels and Lenny Bruce as particularly strong influences. Though Talen does not call himself a Christian, he says that Reverend Billy is not a parody of a preacher, but a real preacher; he describes his church's spiritual message as "put the Odd back in God."
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is a non-profit organization that includes Talen, director Savitri Durkee (who is married to Talen), a 40-member choir, and the Not Buying It band."