It is a design magazine, a shoe company, and the brainchild of one man: Kalle Lasn. Adbusters
has its office in Kitsilano, a rich Vancouver neighborhood built on occupied Indigenous territories, on land that was never ceded by the Coast Salish people. When we organized an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist convergence
against the 2010 Winter Olympics, Lasn was nowhere to be seen. After the G-20 in Toronto
the same year, they reprinted a photo of a burning cop car. That's about the extent of Adbusters' commitment to anti authoritarian struggles for radical social change.
Adbusters is also a meme machine, churning out alt advertising and their own version of "grassroots capitalism" -- their words, not ours. Because Lasn sowed the meme of Occupy Wall Street, he's been featured in the corporate media as a sort of grandfather of Occupy. Even while printing decontextualized riot porn, Adbusters sends out "tactical briefings" and re-prints the work of lovely souls such as Chris Black-Block-Is-Cancer-of-Occupy Hedges. These are people who feel that Obama betrayed them. Adbusters is not a movement magazine.
Kalle Lasn thinks that one of the big problems with Occupy is poor people. In a Vanity Fair
piece from February 2012, Lasn puts his politics on display:
"The original idealism had been compromised by these homeless people. We lost the narrative. It’s a bit like falling in love. You have these incredible first few weeks and then things change. It just felt like that first idealistic, magical phase was coming to a close. And not only that, but winter was approaching."
Lasn doesn't appear to understand the concept of a movement without leaders. He's banking on a summer of flash mobs where the kids look cool and there's no homeless people. This is not a movement magazine, this is fucking garbage. But wait, it gets better. Adbusters
is now calling for a revolution
"Burned out, out of money, out of ideas… seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments." Gah. Lasn and his Adbusters friends have all the things they criticize above, and more. And here they come again, from occupied Kitsilano telling the world that the future of Occupy is a bunch of freaking flash mobs.
We're here, but we're not listening. No demands. No governments. No cops. No compromise.
-Pre-Occupied Trouble Makers, Coast Salish Territory, (Vancouver) 2012.