The Carnivalesque Rebellion Issue

Euphoric Looting

Hooliganism or sophisticated image attack?
Protestor smashing a corporate storefront

Perhaps the greatest attack on the image of consumerism happens in these frenzied moments when a tsunami of euphoric looting bursts through the windows of megacorporate stores. In a blitz, property is communized – and all take freely what each desires. Local, independent and mom-and-pop stores are conspicuously spared in these times of calculated plundering because what is happening here is an intentional strategy of expropriating the expropriators, of overthrowing the law of scarcity with the creed of surplus and, as Sotirios Bahtsetzis observes, of “rendering visible the emptiness and random replaceability of consumerist goods.” It is on this last point, that acts of looting become like sophisticated image attacks. Elated pillagers present the megacorporations with a lose-lose conundrum: either stand by while pictures of their ransacked stores show the world how they are despised; or renovate their premises, restock their shelves, pretend as if nothing happened and admit to the farce of consumerism by demonstrating that consumer goods are worthless because they are not unique, because they may be identically replaced with ease.


What can we do to pull off sophisticated image attacks this Carnivalesque Rebellion Nov. 22–28?


Micah White

44 comments on the article “Euphoric Looting”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 44

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Mirza

This is a funny picture. There is one guy breaking the window, another guy standing there, and half a dozen photographers taking a picture of the looter.

Mirza

This is a funny picture. There is one guy breaking the window, another guy standing there, and half a dozen photographers taking a picture of the looter.

Dominic

this image has been taken out of context as it is depicting the anti-education cuts protesters of 10/11/10 in london (11/10/10 for anyone who's american). i was rather hoping adbusters would report on the fantastic reactions from young people across the UK since the day this image comes from, but instead people only seem to care about what's happening in france; we're proving the naysayers wrong over here. i was rather disillusioned with mass protest until this demonstration — i was part of the group that started a sit-down outside parliament in order to stop as many students as possible just walking straight back home (or to the high street) rather than waking up to the reason they were there.

whilst adbusters does everything it can to publicise its week of 'carnivalesque rebellion,' rebellion is already taking place and they choose to ignore it in their posts (haven't read much of the big ideas of 2011 yet, maybe i'll be pleasantly surprised).

today, 24/11, was 'day X' — a national day of action in which at least fifteen universities saw occupations, including mine (portsmouth). the centre of everywhere was inevitably london again, where thousands flocked once again to engage in a revolt that to my knowledge carried on well into this evening. once again, police vans were conquered and students everywhere showed the nation that the biased media coverage labeling those like in the above picture as criminals is merely part of a suppressive witch hunt on behalf of the media for the government, not a factual depiction of a mindless minority intent on violence for violence's sake (that's what britain has the EDL for). the revolution is coming, and adbusters appears to be a week or two behind.

Dominic

this image has been taken out of context as it is depicting the anti-education cuts protesters of 10/11/10 in london (11/10/10 for anyone who's american). i was rather hoping adbusters would report on the fantastic reactions from young people across the UK since the day this image comes from, but instead people only seem to care about what's happening in france; we're proving the naysayers wrong over here. i was rather disillusioned with mass protest until this demonstration — i was part of the group that started a sit-down outside parliament in order to stop as many students as possible just walking straight back home (or to the high street) rather than waking up to the reason they were there.

whilst adbusters does everything it can to publicise its week of 'carnivalesque rebellion,' rebellion is already taking place and they choose to ignore it in their posts (haven't read much of the big ideas of 2011 yet, maybe i'll be pleasantly surprised).

today, 24/11, was 'day X' — a national day of action in which at least fifteen universities saw occupations, including mine (portsmouth). the centre of everywhere was inevitably london again, where thousands flocked once again to engage in a revolt that to my knowledge carried on well into this evening. once again, police vans were conquered and students everywhere showed the nation that the biased media coverage labeling those like in the above picture as criminals is merely part of a suppressive witch hunt on behalf of the media for the government, not a factual depiction of a mindless minority intent on violence for violence's sake (that's what britain has the EDL for). the revolution is coming, and adbusters appears to be a week or two behind.

Anonymous

No revolution. Your rich will simply hire more security and police to beat you down harder, and protect their wealth from you slaves.

Anonymous

No revolution. Your rich will simply hire more security and police to beat you down harder, and protect their wealth from you slaves.

Zasta

Micah, please edit this article. You should know that this picture was taken from the student protest on the tenth of November, as one user has commented below. It was a spontaneous act of vandalism against the institutional violence that the Conservative government has inflicted on the UK.

The description of euphoria is correct though. At the protest on Wednesday (24th Nov) I was one of about a thousand who were kettled (held illegally by the police in an area outside in the cold, without food or water or toilet facilities, in order to lower morale and prevent us from joining other groups of protestors) for eight hours. Kids as young as twelve, the majority 15-17 year olds. They were proud, angry and fearless. I've never seen so many young people at a demo, fighting because they know that what they're being told to swallow is a lie.

Cuts to education at every level, from nursery to university, cuts to health, fuel allowance for the elderly, mobility allowance for the disabled, libraries and swimming pools to close, and debt of thousands upon thousands of pounds.

The politiks, from the labour, lib dem and conservative parties, who all represent right wing neo liberalism, have succeeded in radicalising a whole generation. The fight is just beginning, but the mood is electric.

-Nick

Zasta

Micah, please edit this article. You should know that this picture was taken from the student protest on the tenth of November, as one user has commented below. It was a spontaneous act of vandalism against the institutional violence that the Conservative government has inflicted on the UK.

The description of euphoria is correct though. At the protest on Wednesday (24th Nov) I was one of about a thousand who were kettled (held illegally by the police in an area outside in the cold, without food or water or toilet facilities, in order to lower morale and prevent us from joining other groups of protestors) for eight hours. Kids as young as twelve, the majority 15-17 year olds. They were proud, angry and fearless. I've never seen so many young people at a demo, fighting because they know that what they're being told to swallow is a lie.

Cuts to education at every level, from nursery to university, cuts to health, fuel allowance for the elderly, mobility allowance for the disabled, libraries and swimming pools to close, and debt of thousands upon thousands of pounds.

The politiks, from the labour, lib dem and conservative parties, who all represent right wing neo liberalism, have succeeded in radicalising a whole generation. The fight is just beginning, but the mood is electric.

-Nick

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