I first heard about Reverend Billy Talen and The Church of Stop Shopping through the UK show Disinformation, when they released the DVD in the States about two years after the show was canceled on the BBC. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him at first. Being neither a Christian, nor a anti-shopping person. While I do believe in God (in a sense) and anti-capitalism (in a broader sense), I saw where he fit in and thought little more than “this guy is neat”. Not enough to join his movement, because lets face it Monkees aren’t really joiners, despite resent reports to the contrary we prefer to be more independent. I agreed with his message, preaching against conglomerates, and the big chain stores that were taking over the country around the turn of the century. I agreed with the message of stop shopping there if you don’t like it, but I became a little disheartened when it became apparent very few people were listening. I feel however no matter if Rev. Billy and his crusade only reached a few people at each stop, then that was better than reaching none. I couldn’t necessarily get behind the religious angle, but I understood it as a necessary tool to reach people who most likely would other wise pay no attention to just another guy spouting the same ideas. He has toured the world (well some of it) exposing his message, but for the last few years he has focused on the so-called “world’s capital” New York City. Where as many see NYC as a example of whats to come everywhere-they obviously have not been to Tokyo which makes NYC look like a 19th century throw back. Never-the-less, Rev. Billy has been doggedly preaching through the 5 boroughs and fighting for things like saving Coney Island, which the last time I was there in 2002 was in pretty bad shape. I’ve been on his mailing list for a few years and quietly keeping up with the going-on’s of The Church of Stop Shopping. So when the Rev. through his hat in the ring for Mayor of New York I chuckled, knowing it would never happen, but funny thing is it started to pick up steam. Over the spring and summer, he has collected thousands of signatures, granted there are millions of people in NYC, having lived there I can tell you that a very small fraction of them actually vote. He has the backing of the Green Party, and while I still feel he is the longest of long shots, I would still encourage that anyone residing in any of the five boroughs take a listen to what the man is saying and at least consider pulling the lever or what-have-you, for the Rev. His platform is simple-“It is time for the neighborhoods to rise up and lead New York City, because cities are neighborhoods made of people, not subsidiaries made of money.” New YorkThere are but 10 weeks left until the election day and I will keep you posted on how well he does.