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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Born on the Fourth of July

It's Alzheimer or assassins. That's all there is on the news these days.

If it's not some psychopathic Islamic group trying to out gross Attila the Hun, it's Dame Joan Bakewell talking about...I forget.

At this time of year it should be all tinsel, toothache and toys. When the Christian message is corrupted into a tsunami of corporate greed and consumer corruption.  And there's the ruble which is in truble...

At the weekend my wife was running a workshop at the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington. I went with her to help her out. I then walked along the Brompton Road and stopped off at Harrods.

I have no idea why Harrods is seen as the height of sophistication and glamour. It is gross, it is the high temple of consumerism and it stinks. Everyone there is desperate, desperate to buy, desperate to sell and with little idea of why they're there except to consume.

On the way home I bought 4 shirts from a shop in Jermyn Street. £90 for the four. That's how it works. The shirts were tagged at £79  each - in purchasing 4 I saved over £200. Really? I had no intention of buying those shirts when I walked along Piccadilly. In fact I was after some perfume, but I couldn't find it. So why didn't I just go home?

My consuming gene had been triggered and I had to buy something. There was the bait in the shirt shop and I was hooked.

Unrestrained  consumption. It'll be the death of us, but not before the death of  loads of other (now) living creatures that tentatively share this planet with us. 

Which brings me back to forgetfulness and assassins. For many, consumption fills a gap, we can't bear the emptiness, the aching lack of meaning to our lives. Over consuming fills (temporarily) that void. For radical Islamists, the gross indulgence and excessive consumption of many of their county men is an insult to the tenets of their Prophet. In the eyes of many the West's consumerism is the corrupting evil.

And as the rich get increasingly richer, taking a greater and greater share of the cake, not through genius, hard work or endeavour but through brute economic bullying: one's sympathies with a more austere regime grow.


mumasu said...

The most dificult thing for a human to achieve is balance we strive for e;ated happiness and fell deep despair, we need a middle road of calm.

Jack the Hat said...

Just the same down my local market. People splashing the cash on tat. Bah humbug

Anonymous said...

My husband loves Harrods. All those toys! Makes him feel a child again.

Anonymous said...

I assume that you bought four hairshirts?

Bojo said...

Gorgeous set of pins on La Bakewell. Also a very bright lady I hasten to add!

Steve said...

Raging consumerism is indeed gross but so is the unfair enforced austerity that many extremist groups want to enslave people with. People need to be able to choose their poison. That's probably about as fair as it's going to get.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I miss you a merry xmas. We look forward to your ramblings in 2015.

Barry Coidan said...

Dear M, couldn't agree more.

Dear JtH, couldn't agree more.

Dear A1, your husband has expensive tastes.

Dear A2, yes but I don't rabbit on about them.

Dear Bojo, your roving eye will be the death of you.

Dear Steve, a middle way of course.

Dear A1, thank you.

A very merry Christmas to all my readers and a prosperous 2015.