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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Blog 51. Fool Britannia...

Having had a fun Love Libraries evening with the good folk of Leamington Spa who braved the awful weather on Friday – I found myself on Saturday with thankfully little to do. Fully detoxified from TV, it can be mind boggling, strangely fascinating and disturbingly compelling to spend a few hours just gawping at the box (flat screen!).

The tone of most advertisements is a frenzied hysteria of images which, for the disconnected, often makes it difficult to work out what is being promoted.

In the 80’s it was keep-up-with-the-Joneses. The 90s urged us to get-stuff-or-be-out-of step. The 00s went for the jugular; surely-you’re-not-the-CHUMP-who-hasn’t-yet-got-this? But the current crop of commercials with orgasmic glitz, subtly undermining stereotyping, guilt-tripping and norm-bending surely gives sane folk headaches. On the one hand they’ve become even more aggressive but they also assume an astonishing level of gullibility. In this second decade of the 21st Century, the ad men seem to feel they can rely on a slavish desire to fit in while playing to each person’s delusion that they are distinctive. In a nut shell they are selling mass uniqueness to the unaware, unquestioning, rabidly acquisitive, insecure, consumer.

It’s hard not to be grudgingly impressed by the way marketing companies have persuaded the populous that it is normal to change sofas almost as regularly as their pants (and in general change stuff long before its worn out) – so that you can show your individuality through your choice of mass produced furniture. Really?

Do people believe that picking one lump of metal on wheels over another will distinguish them and/or render them blissful and admired as they watch TV drivers manoeuvre through  a pastel toned Utopia of clean gleaming streets? Invariably they are in a car that ‘reflects their individual personality’. That’ll be why they all look basically the same then.

And do people not fall about their living rooms when they see cute, healthy, bright, engaged, non-obese, funkily co-ordinated children looking adoringly up at their pretty mothers while they are fed chocolaty processed cereals for breakfast?

Are people who look as if they still have taste buds fooled by brown dust with boiled water just because the actors who drink it on the telly smirk madly and roll their eyes? Don’t they realise someone out of camera shot is massaging their feet or they’ve just been told that if they hold it down they will get some real coffee when the shot is over?

Who believes that breaking the bank to take your kids to some nightmare plastic theme park packed with folk who have too little imagination to plan a proper holiday and pay to stand in queues is fun?. Much better than a hose-pipe and paddling pool in the garden I suppose. How ignorant we were in the 70s. Who really believes it will stop their daughter turning into a teenager? Disney is NOT a cure for hormones.

Gambling will not make you happy or sociable or a fun person with the occasional large pot of dosh to throw around; it will do THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

Spending money on branded pop foods will not make your kids love you.

Buying a particular phone or app or any gizmo gadget will NOT morph you into David Beckham.

Your house is so dirty that it stinks! Does anyone really think that plugging in chemicals that heat up to smother the unpleasant natural odours with unpleasant unnatural odours is the answer? 

Dogs don’t need gourmet food.

Play clothes don’t need to be surgically clean.

Women who coo over their cleaning products should be locked up.

Personal Injury lawyers don’t give a shit about you and sometimes accidents are your own fault.

Pull-ups are just NAPPIES and children that big shouldn’t be wearing them.

Supermarkets do not save you money. They encourage you to waste food.

Even if it is with the aid of pet insurance, spending £6000 on vet bills for a pet is obscene.

No amount of makeup will make you look like THOSE women. They aren’t ‘real’.

Just how stupid do they think people are?


Next week possibly the hijab. The news that a woman is to be banned from veiling her face in court because people need to see reactive facial expressions is fascinating. I presume they will also be banning Botox, facelifts and face-fillers?



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