Cuntlovin’ Guide To the Universe: Cunt Mall-O-Rama

The National Mayor’s Convention convened in Madison, Wisconsin, this year to discuss how corporations and civic localities can better “cooperate.” They’ve even invented a new word for “cooperation” on this scale: “glocalization.”

It is fucking imperative that people figure out ways to shop locally. I’ve heard all the arguments that Target is cheaper and Wal-Mart has such intensely time-saving one-stop shopping, and all I can tell you is that we have to learn completely different consumer habits and belief systems.

My mother recently told me that around four years ago, a lady showed up at her front door and asked if there were any flowers that she could pick. Her name was Maria and she made bouquets from people’s yards and sold them. My mother—who thinks people who hoard their flowers miss the entire point of gardening—told her she was welcome to pick whatever. Since then, every June and December, Maria has harvested some of the flowers in my mom’s garden. A few days later, a gift of food or candles—or even small flower bouquets—appears on my mom’s front porch.

By recontextualizing a plentiful resource, Maria is able to create an income. By not being materialistically attached to the flowers she grows, my mother receives love-filled gifts from an almost total stranger.

This is an example of thinking differently about economics.

Here is another:

A few months ago, I realized I didn’t know what happened to my coffee table. I had one once, but I lost it, or gave it away, so I needed another. There are many creative ways of procuring a coffee table, from running into Starbucks and grabbing one (their employees are forbidden to give chase), to spending an entire weekend garage sale-ing, to building one out of found objects. I opted for a tactic I use when holiday shopping: I pick one store whose owners I like and want to support, and I buy everything there. A thrift store in my neighborhood that specializes in furniture is owned by a husband, wife and baby. The wife and baby run the front and the husband refinishes furniture in the back. I like them. I stalked this thrift store for two months before I found a coffee table. The one I found was gorgeous and much less expensive than one from a corporate furniture outlet. Furthermore, 100 percent of the profits went to a struggling family.

And I can hear many an American shopper say, “You waited two months for a coffee table?” To which I would answer: “What kind of delusional force is ruling your heart that inspires you to think that two months is a long time to wait for some fucking decorative material good that does not involve life or death?”

When applied to holiday shopping, the “focus on one store” tactic is quite the stress reducer as well. I have one toy/book store for my nephews, and I pick a new business/product for adults every year.

There are thousands of consumer beliefs that we uphold which make no sense whatsoever, and serve no one but huge, uncaring corporations.

Shopping locally does not mean spending more money. Local businesses are much more inclined to barter time and goods, but this involves communication and dialogue. Being a responsible consumer is letting go of the idea that money talks.

Money doesn’t talk, people do.

Subversive Cross Stitch

[A reader brought this site to our attention. We couldn’t resist adding it when we saw the “Truthiness” pattern… — The Webmistresses.]

Bad Mimi

Products that express the power and beauty of the vagina.

thehumanbean.com

The Human Bean’s motto is “Putting human values before profit values.” They are fine purveyors of Café Chiapas Zapatista coffee, fairly traded, transitional organic, shade-grown coffee “for the autonomous indigenous communities of Chiapas, Mexico.” This also happens to be the best coffee I have ever had. The coffee is nine dollars a pound, which is pretty steep. However, if you are holiday shopping, spending nine dollars on each of your coffee-drinking friends and family is not so much, is it? Also, the coffee is sold for $6.20 a pound for ten pounds. If you got together with a few of your friends and bought a bulk quantity of coffee, you’d be paying less than most whole bean coffees in the grocery store. The site also has a great history of the Zapatista movement and links to many other organizations.

simpletreats.com

Featuring the best brownies I have ever tasted on god’s good earth. They also sell (and ship!) cookies and other treats. All vegan, all the time. Simple Treats will be publishing a cookbook soon, too. (866) 33-VEGAN.

Autonomedia

This is where to find the Sheroes calendar. It costs an astounding five dollars. That means fifty bucks and you got birthday gifts for all your friends for the entire year. The calendar has a different woman for each day of every month and a short bio about how she fought for her people—whoever “her people” may be—all over the world and throughout history. I have learned so much from this calendar. I keep it by the phone and read it instead of getting annoyed while I am on hold and would otherwise be subject to a “samba” version of “Born to Be Wild.” Autonomedia also has an impressive stable of books that they publish and distribute.

thelunapress.com

The most wonderful lunar calendar in the English-speaking world.

craftswomen.com

This is the hub for many of the women who sell stuff at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. Here, you can purchase many handmade or locally created products. Look for Maat Dompim, Magic Mountain Mama’s Spices, Amoja ThreeRivers’ insightful book Cultural Etiquette and Amy Wang’s exceptionally beautiful clocks made from recycled/discarded items. You can find clothes, quilts, jewelry, candles, pottery, soaps, sandals and all kinds of other stuff. Many of the women are open to bartering time, goods or services.

buyolympia.com

Multicolored vegan pleather purses, wallets and belts designed by you and made by Queen Bee. Calendars and art by the amazing Nikki McClure and many other artists, musicians and activists in Olympia. This site is a template for connecting artists and responsible consumers in every town.

Sublime Stitching

Hand embroidered goods by Jenny Hart in Austin, TX. You can have your portrait stitched! Sublime Stitching, P.O. Box 8345, Austin, TX 78713.

Sparkle Craft

Hand made home decor, journals, purses, belts, guitar straps, accessories, potty room stuff and consignment shop. Tina Lockwood, P.O. Box 163961, Austin, TX 78716-3961.

Naughty Secretary Club

An online zine and jewelry store, also Austin-based. (Sublime Stitching, Sparkle Craft and Naughty Secretary Club comprise a little craft mafia collective called Hand Made House —another economic model worth emulating.)

Double Dare Ya

Working with artists to further their message and work, including literature, music, crafts—distributing through communities by independent retailers and online. 325 W 45th Street #602, New York, NY 10036.

chicanastuff.com

A tiendita and networking resource for Chicanas and women of color, offering zines, chapbooks, spoken word CDs, artwork and artesanías.

piscescatalog.com

This is the “home of do-it-yourself creativity,” with handmade items made mostly by teens and young women, but some grandmas, too. The catalog is run by Kerith Henderson, who is one enterprising and hilarious person. Evidently a Pisces, she sells clothes, undies, housewares (“Silly Bunny” and “Funky Owl” nightlights for $3.50, and “Witchy Little Special Jars”) and more. The site has a rad selection of items, and a link over topisces-soap.bigstep.com, where you can find dirt-scented garden soap with real gardens sticking out of them (must see), crispy-dill-pickle-shaped (and -scented) soap, and beautiful cunt soaps (only she calls them “kitty” soaps).

Media Action Alliance

Stickers to stick on stuff that pisses us off. Call or send for catalog. P.O. Box 391, Circle Pines, MN 55014-0391, (612) 434-4343.

Mamarama

Hello!!!!!! Handmade baby gear and hip gear for mamas-to-be and proud already-mamas. More than an online store, the site links to other great mama sites and stores. 3528 Emerald Street, Suite 5, Torrance, CA 90503, (310) 793-0696.

She Shoots, She Scores!

Featuring the “Bud the Silver Naked Trucker” sticker, one woman’s clever response to the naked girl on the back of semi-truck mud flaps. Rachel Bachman, 2611 NW Upshur Street #207, Portland, OR 97210, (503) 243-7988.

One Angry Girl Designs

“Taking over the world, one shirt at a time.” One Angry Girl also sells bumper stickers (“I Blame the Media,” and “Fuck Your Fascist Beauty Standards”) as well as Rachel Bachman’s “Bud the Silver Naked Trucker” stuff. P.O. Box 745, Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

Co-op America

“Practical steps for using your consumer and investor power for social change.” Co-op America publishes the National Green Pages; their programs include Green Business, Boycott Action News, Become Woodwise, Invest Responsibly, and End Sweatshops. Buy stuff at the Green Pages Store. 1612 K Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006, (800) 58-GREEN, (202) 872-5307.

responsibleshopper.org

Learn more about the companies behind the products. Compare companies and investigate industries. Search by brand, product or company name. You can also contact companies through this site. Brought to us by Co-op America and Working Assets.

Social Investment Forum

For those of you with money to invest: do it right. Socially responsible investing.

diysearch.com

Do-it-yourself info on everything under the sun. Buy, barter, sell, post your product.

 

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