For Consumerism Week, I was going to write about Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping, an ongoing performance art project that encourages people to, yes, stop shopping. I figured I could also work in a reference to Whet Moser’s excellent Chicago magazine post on the history of Black Friday, not to mention my colleague Kate Schmidt’s imagining of other holiday-branded days. Then I realized that I don’t have much to add on any of those topics—so I started surfing the Web to find the most useless products in existence. (In other offices they’d probably call that “wasting time.” I call it “research.”)
Right off the bat, I came across a couple products that made me rethink my anticonsumerist attitude. Not that I want to buy them, but some things are just so ridiculous I’m happy they exist so that people can make fun of them, like pens marketed to women or Sex and the City 2. A single Huffington Post roundup introduced me to both the Tiddy Bear seat belt protector and the Kush support. The image on the Kush home page is pretty self-explanatory (and somewhat NSFW, unless you work in my office), but to understand why the Tiddy Bear is funny it helps to watch the infomercial, featuring a little stuffed bear snuggling into the model’s cleavage.