Rev. Billy Talen discusses consumerism and activism at the Grand Salon

John Saringo-Rodriguez

Activism and consumerism were the focus at a lecture by Rev. Billy Talen, who was also promoting a book, at the USU Grand Salon Tuesday.

Talen said that protesting is reminiscent of the 60s, but can be boring. He said that his
eccentricity helped put his face in the media which has essentially
helped further his success as an activist.

“I am
eccentric, I am out of the center. So is the earth,” Talen said.

Talen and his “Church of Stop Shopping” are known for
protesting big corporations such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Disney and J.P.
Morgan Chase bank. He said that Chase bank gave $5 million to
anti-Occupy Wall Street (OWS) efforts. He joked that the money
from Chase bank could have helped pay for the pepper spray used on the

This is Talen’s third time at CSUN and some professors saw his
presence on campus as an opportunity to encourage their students to
attend his lecture.

Professor Wendy Yost teaches Entrepreneurialism
and attended the lecture with her students.

“I wanted to
give my students another way of thinking about business and consumerism
and Rev. Billy was both informative and entertaining,” Yost said.

Many who attended were very receptive to Talen’s message.

“Billy Talen’s lecture was thought provoking and he was a very
insightful and a charismatic speaker,” said Usman Khan, 20, a family and
consumer science major.

Talen said that instead of consuming unnecessarily, one
should realize that there are more pressing issues than current trends
such as gender rights and global warming.

“Consumerism is a
cancer and to combat consumerism you have to discover your own spirit of
who you are,” he said.

The lecture was organized by the University Student Union and Matadors For Equality.