Culture / Humor · January 25, 2008

Bookstore culture wars

I didn’t realize there was actually a name for this sort of thing.

I don’t think anyone hasn’t heard about the box of rocks disguised as an Ipod scam that hit Target last October. And I’ve read stories about what I would call poor practical jokes where someone put a fake item on a store shelf in the hopes of seeing someone try to purchase it.

But “Shopdropping” as it’s called has become sort of a trend, enough that it’s reached the state of ridiculous. I guess I missed it as it was happening, but one of my friends sent me to an article in the NY Times, from which comes this tidbit:

At Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., religious groups have been hitting the magazines in the science section with fliers featuring Christian cartoons, while their adversaries have been moving Bibles from the religion section to the fantasy/science-fiction section.

Yes, I know what “Culture jamming” is – and in some forms I’m very sympathetic to it. I just didn’t realize it had grown to a point where it has it’s own jargon for the different forms.

As for fliers in books, there was a time a few years back in Fresno where every time I opened a library book describing the scam of Scientology, “dead agent” fliers from the local Scientology cult would fall out.

It’s been a while since I last checked one of these books out – for all I know, this is still the case.