Girl gets revolutionary note in package instead of iPod

A man bought an iPod from a Wal-Mart. It was a Christmas gift for his daughter. When she opened it, it didn't contain an iPod. It contained a note, set in ransom-letter type, that read:

"Reclaim your mind from the media's shackles. Read a book and resurect [sic] yourself. To claim your capitalistic garbage go to your nearest Apple store."

200712310844Jay Ellis, the girls father, returned the iPod to the Germantown, Md. Wal-Mart store where he purchased it. The store manger told him that another customer returned an iPod with a similar issue.



  1. yeah, ’cause if it’s a segment of the population that’s oiling the gears of the oppresive machine, it’s someone who wants to listen to a bunch of music on the go.

    I’m sorry, I’m a big proponent of culture jamming, and I think this was Onanistic and stupid of whomever did this.

  2. And what did these brave revolutionaries do with the ipods?

    This smells like a bunch of 12 year olds high off of Adbusters justifying their theft.

  3. #4, it wasn’t necessarily a theft; to me, it smells like some slactivist who is trying to reconcile their anticorporate rhetoric with their iPod lust, and figured out how to have their cake and eat it, too. So they get their hands on some shrinkwrap and smuggle the box back in the store, and make sure to listen to one Rage Against the Machine song every time they fire their new toy up. Everybody wins!

  4. i don’t understand the counter ipod culture. It’s a frigging mp3 player. it doesn’t have to be any more or less than a million other random dap’s or disc players, or cassette players.

    music is good. the ipod plays it. its just a tool. you’re a fool if you turn it into some kind of icon. you’re creating a fight that isn’t there.

    it seems every time theres something that a lot of people have, there develops a snooty counter movement of people up their own asses over the fact they don’t.

    A revolution of ideas is hard to pull off. especially when they’re wasting energy on fighting the subversive menace of little white music boxes.

  5. This resonates with a recent Ipod/wAlmart story about someone in a place called Sparta who bought one of these MP3 players as a “present for a ten-year-old girl” (his daughter, apparently) who allegedly found the device contained materials of a “pornographical” nature.

    According to the news story, the retailer offered to exchange the MP3 player for a new one but the Spartan decided he would like to hang onto it!,2933,318711,00.html

  6. Halloween Jack, how is what you described not theft? If you want to be a culture jamming activist, put the note in WITH the iPod, and load the iPod up with the entire Negativland back catalog. Or anti-corporate music that you made yourself. Or something else clever.

    Don’t gank the iPod and then chastise the purchaser for buying the exact same “capitalistic garbage” that you just stole.

  7. Wow. Not only is the iPod labeled “disruptive technology” it also has become the prime symbol of the “American Consumption-ist Society” It has become what the Twinky was in the 70s.

  8. Hiding petty crime behind a vague political agenda demeans people who actually engage in resistance and act for change.

    A while back the Artist Banksy bought 500 copies of Paris Hilton’s cd of “music”, remixed the music and added fantastic editorial content to the liner notes. He then returned them to the stores for people to buy.

    It was artistic and he didn’t have to steal to make his point. People who bought the cds (god knows who would) ended up with something of much greater artistic value, but also commercial, as copies of the cd started going for $500 and up on Ebay.

  9. @13: Which some poor guy then paid money for, for his kid, who got a big box of some petty little loser’s lame manifesto for Christmas.

    I guess that makes it all right then.

  10. you conformists. all using the same boring water, even paying for it. try adding an extra oxygen atom to your beverage and break the bonds of your oppression.

  11. this is what bums me out about the adbusters type movements. I dig a lot of what they’re saying, but then half the people involved are retarded zealots. I remember someone in SF had carved a swastika into the concrete of a sidewalk. I suggested calling the city to simply patch the sidewalk.

    I got blasted for relying on “the man” as if in their perfect utopias theres not going to be a such thing as municipal services that, you know, fix the roads.

  12. #18 (CptTim): I think it’s more that in San Francisco, expecting the government to actually fix something is tantamount to an act of faith.

  13. There’s something kind of wonderfully ironic about an anti-gadget/ipod/consumerism/whatever that orders the reader to “pick up a book”, but misspells “resurrect”.

    Oh for the days of well-read revolutionary manifestos.

    Or at least ones who had access to spell check.

  14. #s 8 and 14: It would be theft if the original purchaser/note writer returned the iPod-less box for a refund. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. We don’t know. It does seem likely that the girl’s dad got his money back or a new iPod when he returned the box, so no harm there.

  15. Halloween Jack, I get what you’re saying now. Yeah, if they didn’t return it for a refund, then it’s not theft. It’s still lame though.

    I hadn’t heard about the Banksy gag before. Sweet.

  16. I’m sure that the note’s author thought that, upon reading his message of liberation, the consumer would change his mind, abandon his corporate music oppression, and head over to the book section to…

    …what? Buy the latest Tom Clancy or Danielle Steele novel? The book industry might be less evil than the music industry, but they still gave the world The Da Vinci Code and the Left Behind series.

  17. goodness this really stuck a nerve. honestly, i think it’s funny and amusing. my guess is that if the folks who did this stole the ipods first, they smashed them. that’s what i would have done. fun! i hate ipods, though. i hate all consumer electronics, in fact. indeed capitalist garbage.

  18. “I never thought my life could be
    Anything but catastrophe
    But suddenly I begin to see
    A bit of good luck for me”

    Steve Jobs is going to be very lonely when he walks out of the factory and discovers that nobody got it.

  19. duh, it was an apple store geek “To claim your capitalistic garbage go to your nearest Apple store.” pissed off about losing commission to wal-mart.

  20. “i hate all consumer electronics, in fact. indeed capitalist garbage.”

    you’d be more convincing if you could put together a coherent thought. But yes, have fun with your home made DAP’s.

    (it doesn’t count if any component was produced by an electronics corp.)

  21. This is all kinds of awesome, as are the thoughtful comments on this thread.

    I, too, wish they had correctly spelled “resurrect.”

  22. If you had been anywhere near an Apple store during the holidays, you would know that for every commission lost, there were 3 more waiting for an available associate to help them. If they are even on commission.

    Eh, I think it was just a tactic to draw attention away from the fact that somehow, the store sold an empty box. Whether by theft or plant…myself, I go with theft, because those aren’t just left out in the open and surely a salesperson who handles those on a daily basis would notice the box felt a little light…?

  23. “i hate all consumer electronics, in fact. indeed capitalist garbage.”

    Did you knit your own web browser?

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