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Timelapse YouTube Video of the 4th of July Fireworks in Washington, DC
|| 7/5/2009 || 7:11 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Every 4th of July for the last 5 years I’ve watched the massive firework display on the National Mall from a rooftop in the Washington, DC area. This year I finally decided to see the display from my rooftop and make a video of it. The music is the Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa and performed by the United States Marine Band. One of my favorite aspects of being on a rooftop in DC on the 4th of July is watching everyone shoot their own fireworks. You can see them exploding in every direction!

Before the fireworks, I attended my friend’s second annual “Jerk Off” BBQ competition in Rock Creek Park. And to continue my other 4th of July tradition, I rode around the city with my Adbusters Corporate flag attached to a large flagpole attached to my backpack. Like in the years past, people would still applaud when they see it, most not knowing there was a subtle protest waving before their eyes. Next to being on rooftop, waving this flag is my second favorite 4th of July tradition…



YouTube Video of Saint Louis Buy Nothing Day 2002 by Aaron Michaels
|| 12/20/2008 || 2:55 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video of Saint Louis Buy Nothing Day 2002 by Aaron Michaels || ||

Earlier this week I decided to add this archived video to the repository known as YouTube. I’ve had it for 6 years now and decided to finally upload the video because I could not find anywhere else on-line. I still feel the message that we were delivering then is the same as now: don’t go into debt buying presents for others during the holiday season and if you must give presents, try making them first.

The article that was published in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch regarding this demonstration was the first time my name appeared in newspapers. The story behind this video goes like this….

On October 2nd, 2002 I created a Yahoo Group dedicated to the planning of Buy Nothing Day in Saint Louis. After a few planning meetings and e-mail discussions, the members of group decided to create giant credit cards that we’d drag around the malls in the Saint Louis area. We also produced & handed out fliers with suggestions on how to avoid going into debt during the holiday season.

This video by Aaron Michaels highlights the news coverage we generated and documents the message we were advocating. The first part is a music video featuring a modified Christmas carol sung by Sara Lucas spliced with footage from the news & us dragging the cards and handing out fliers. The second part of the video features news clips & interviews with participants highlighting why chose to demonstrate. I show up around 4:35 into the video.


I haven’t gone out of the way to purchase gifts for my family this year. Its nice that we’ve stopped doing the gifts for nearly 10 years now. I am going to Colorado next week to visit some of my family and I feel my presence will be the best gift I can give to rarely-seen family. Interestingly, I think yesterday’s commissioned map follows closely with this video’s messaging because the client was asking me to make her a gift. It wasn’t like client decided to hitup Walmart for the gift that millions of others might get, rather she went for something that’s truly one of kind.


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Hipster : The Dead End of Western Civilization By Douglas Haddow
|| 7/28/2008 || 2:48 pm || 8 Comments Rendered || ||

This entry has depreciated, please click here to read the official article on the Adbusters website.

Below is the feature article of Adbuster’s Magazine Issue #79, which should hit newsstands either today or tomorrow. As a subscriber to the magazine, I received my copy in the mail last Thursday and after reading the entire issue I decided to spend an hour Friday afternoon transcribing the feature article for this blog entry.

Normally I don’t waste my time transcribing articles, but I have a strong feeling that this article will not be published on their website in its entirety and I feel that by sharing it here I’m able to direct more people to the magazine’s website than would otherwise visit. I don’t think Adbusters will take too much issue to my reprinting of their article, but if they do I’ll remove it from my website. I’ve already been their anti-advertisement lackey before and probably helped sell dozens of their corporate flags when I was featured in the Sunday Style section of the Washington Post on the 4th of July, 2004.

What I enjoyed most about this article is that it hits close to home. Depending on what clothes I might be wearing I could easily be considered a hipster under the definition outlined in the article below. However, what’s lacking in the demographic the author outlines are those that bridge the gap between socially aware and unaware. As in, can someone stand for something, but not have it thrown in the face of the unaware? On my behalf, I can say that I’m fully aware of what style I am supporting just as I am aware of what corporations I am not supporting in my clothing, music, and transportation choices (I have two bicycles; neither of which are fixed-gear). Aren’t culture jammers supposed to be wolves in sheep’s clothing that can blend in, but stand out when the time arises?

In this respect, the author makes little room for someone like myself to exist within the rubric of hipsterdom. Can one be stylish, but not hipster? Or can one be socially conscious while maintaining the decorum of that which the author loathes? The inherent irony is that many of the clothes the author points out are also clothing items that were not made in a sweatshop.

As a mashup of all demographics before it, how then will the future be defined by the absence of this mashup? Essentially, if hipsterdom is to die, then how can a new demographic be born anew without stealing some its tenets, much like all previous generations did before it? In that respect, the author attempts to answer this by stating we are at the end of the Western Civilization because we have no where to grow, move, or redefine ourselves. Yet the author doesn’t give much direction as to how we are to accomplish this.

I ask those rhetorical questions above because I generally agree with the author’s conclusions, yet as someone that straddles the demographic at hand, I don’t see the how the demographic will end or morph without some cataclysmic event that forces the delineation between those who have both substance and style and those that are simply posing for the camera blissfully unaware of their choices. Only time will tell…I hope you enjoy the read and if you do, go out and purchase the magazine yourself.





Hipster : The Dead End of Western Civilization
By Douglas Haddow for Adbusters Magazine, Issue #79


I’m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.

The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a jittery techno backbeat.

“So… is this a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me. She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee, non-prescription glasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.

“Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total hipsters!”

“Are you a hipster?”

“Fuck no,” she says laughing back the last of her glass before she hops off to the dance floor.

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Adbusters on CNN
|| 12/2/2004 || 12:16 am || Comments Off on Adbusters on CNN || ||

I have posted on the two social networking websites I belong to this link of Adbusters Magazine’s editor talking about Buy Nothing Day. As mentioned before, this was my 3rd year celebrating it, and to be honest, seeing this video makes my participation more poingent.

Afterall, I am proudly featured their website concerning a story about me that was published in the Washington Post on the 4th of July. :-)

Nonetheless, if you haven’t picked up the newest issue- PLEASE DO. It is by far the best written and most well constructed issue yet. I would love hear your thoughts on the issue- and no, I am sorry you cannot borrow it.

If anyting, just watch this video.



Washington Post: Red, White and Golden Arches: The Star-Spangled Banner Ad
|| 7/4/2004 || 5:23 pm || Comments Off on Washington Post: Red, White and Golden Arches: The Star-Spangled Banner Ad || ||

This photograph & article appeared on the front page of the Style section July 4th, 2004

Red, White and Golden Arches: The Star-Spangled Banner Ad

By Tommy Nguyen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 4, 2004; Page D01

As waves of stars and stripes flood the city’s Fourth of July celebrations, Nikolas Schiller knows that the subtle redesign of his American flag will appear only as a tiny ripple on the sea, if it isn’t swallowed up completely. Doesn’t matter, he says. Schiller plans to be on the Mall today, by himself, with his makeshift flagpole and his skinny, 5-foot-9 vegetarian frame planted firmly against the tide.

“When people see all these corporate symbols, it sparks conversation, and that’s the beauty of this flag,” says Schiller, 23, a recent graduate of George Washington University. He’s talking about the swoosh of Nike, the beast of burden of Camel, the great eye of CBS, and 27 other corporate logos that, in Schiller’s world, have replaced the stars on America’s great tapestry in more ways than one.

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Personal Account w/ Photos of J18 Protest
|| 1/19/2003 || 5:37 pm || Comments Off on Personal Account w/ Photos of J18 Protest || ||

## Digital Scrap from dc.indymedia.org ##

Date Added: October 22, 2005

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Think Before You Buy – products by Philip Morris
|| 12/13/2002 || 10:23 pm || Comments Off on Think Before You Buy – products by Philip Morris || ||

Think Before You Buy - products by Philip Morris - Graphic by Nikolas Schiller

decision

Think Before You Buy”
A comprehensive listing of every product made by Philip Morris(now Altria)

Basically this little product map says that its just about impossible to not indirectly support this tobacco company….

They’ll sell you the breathe mints to cover of the smell of the smoke, it all makes sense….



I am in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch!
|| 11/30/2002 || 12:13 am || Comments Off on I am in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch! || ||

Image Links to Flash Player

Nikolas Schiller, 22, of Ballwin, a student at George Washington University, said security officers inside the Galleria were not so accommodating when he tried to hand out “Buy Nothing Day” leaflets inside the mall.

He said he left when they threatened to have him arrested for trespassing.

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  • thank you,
    come again!