John Lennon’s Trivial To-Do List Up for Auction, and Why Patagonia Tells its Customers ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’

Melissa Knowles
November 29, 2011

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How much are the stars just like us? Apparently quite a bit, right down to our to-do lists. Beatles legend John Lennon's handwritten to-do list is going up for auction at a starting bid of $3,000. The list, written for Lennon's personal assistant Fred Seaman, is being sold by auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll. It lists details for meeting the "HBO Guy," and household chores that include picking up marmalade, getting a book back from a friend, and repairing a hook on the bathroom door. Some might describe the list as mundane and not noteworthy. But the New York-based auction house says the list provides "an amazing look into the everyday-ness of rock 'n' roll's most important icons." The list is being shared all over the Internet, and people on Twitter are saying the auction is scraping the bottom of the barrel and calling the list another "trivial Beatles artifact." This isn't the first piece of memorabilia from the late Beatle that the auction house has sold. Lennon's talisman necklace secured $528,000, and earlier this month one of Lennon's teeth sold for $32,000. The to-do list is dated May 22, but the year is unknown. The 31st anniversary of Lennon's death is December 8. If you want to get your hands on the list or other rock 'n' roll memorabilia, the auction begins November 30 and ends December 9.

Cyber Monday pulled in a record-breaking $1.2 billion in sales this year. However, one company was not interested in being a part of the trend. Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia bought a full-page ad in the New York Times on Black Friday and used its weekly e-mail to tell customers, "Don't buy this jacket." The ad further states that "We're now using the resources of one-and-a-half planets on our one and only planet." In an effort to raise environmental awareness as well as boost participation in its "Common Threads Initiative," which aims to "reduce [our] environmental footprint," the company is asking customers to "buy less and reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else." Patagonia is hoping that the long-term effects of its reverse psychology will boost sales. The company is encouraging consumers to reduce, repair, and reuse items even before deciding to recycle. The response on social media has been overwhelming positive. People on Facebook and Twitter are calling the tactic powerful and brave, and they're applauding Patagonia for "doing the right thing." Should this initiative be praised as good public relations even if sales suffer? The Trending Now team spoke with company spokesperson, Jen Rapp, and she said, "yes." Rapp told Trending Now that they are aware they would lose sales, but the "customers who resonate with [their] ethos become loyal customers over the long term."