Image from Sabrina Artel's Facebook wall; illustration by Heather Carson.
As of last Sunday, Sullivan County has its own patron (matron?) saint: Sabrina Artel. She's the one-woman powerhouse behind Trailer Talk, a traveling radio show produced from Artel's 1965 Beeline camper trailer that's equal parts community media, democracy in action, and homemade brownies.
Artel was canonized last Sunday, along with corporate pranksters the Yes Men, in a rollicking ceremony by the Rev. Billy Talen and the Church of Earthalujah at New York City's Theater 80, which is home to Rev. Billy and his Stop Shopping Gospel Choir every Sunday night.
The Rev., who sports a bleach-blonde pompadour and delivers his sermons with televangelist bombast, is hilarious, but his gospel of anticonsumerism is serious business. A little more about the Church of Earthalujah, from their website:
We are a post religious church. We hold “services” wherever we can, in concert halls, theaters, churches, community centers, forests, fields, parking lots, mall atriums, and perhaps most importantly, inside stores, as close to the cash register as we can get, within spitting distance of the point of purchase.
We sing, we dance, we preach, sometimes we perform small “interventions”, invisible plays, acts of ritual resistance. We exorcise cash registers and remythologize the retail environment, we illuminate the Devil. We make media and send it out around the world. We get hassled by security guards and sometimes get arrested.
If you haven't come across the Reverend in your travels, we recommend you check out a 2007 documentary called "What Would Jesus Buy?" Here's the trailer:
And for more on Artel, check out her website, or you can hear her podcasts and read transcripts on Alternet. Here's her latest, a report on public comments to the Delaware River Basin Commission's planned gas drilling regulations.