Burning brands…

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

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Alan Moore quotes from an email he received from Neil Boorman:

On 26.08.06 I am going to gather every branded possession of mine into a warehouse, douse them with petrol and burn the lot…

Until recently, I thought I knew who Neil Boorman was. I felt sure how the outside world regarded me because I had spent a fair amount of time engineering an image. I found the best way to understand and articulate ‘me’ was through the owning and displaying of things made by brands. They provided a source of comfort, a reassurance of my own self worth, they project my identity to others around me…

The reality however is only just becoming clear; with every new emblem of identity I add to my collection, I lose a piece of myself to the brands. They cannot reciprocate the love I give. They cannot transport me to the places I’m promised exist. I am not, nor will I ever be remotely similar to the people that appear in their ads. It is a lie, a lie I have believed in for too long.

How’s that for a piece of performance art? When you read Neil’s blog, he turns out to a little less iconoclastic than you might think:

The fact is that branded consumerism sustains competition in the marketplace. With no competition, there is no impulse for manufacturers to producer better products with greater value for money. Brands are wealth creators; they provide employment across the globe, and ultimately they make our lives infinitely more comfortable. So I have been keen to avoid the No Logo supporters’ calls to ‘bring it all down’. Yes, I am burning all my own branded possessions, and I will be attempting to live my new life brand-free, but the book is really an experiment to see if it is actually possible to disconnect from branded consumerism.

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