Sigh. Do you ever feel just totally disconnected from your fellow man? That you are just down-trodden and furrowed of brow, whilst everyone else floats along on a candy-floss cloud of simple pleasures?
I ask because we now have this curious phenomenon of supermarket Christmas adverts being “events.” Is this something that has been brought about by the “buzz” that social media can now bring about or is it simply that sites such as Facebook have simply exposed how utterly ridiculous mankind has become in this century? I will touch on the latter in another article, but a quick glimpse of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et al would suggest that yes indeed, these are now considered something of a modern art form.
My Facebook feed exploded last week as it lavished praise on Sainsbury’s effort and how it had won this years “Battle Of The Christmas Adverts”. Honestly, hand to God, it was as though it was the name in an Oscars envelope. All the while though, I wondered exactly how as general public we had come to this point where people eagerly await the adverts from each firm like teens in line for the next Twilight flick?
Approximately 90% of the Xmas adverts I have seen this year don’t even tell me what products the company is selling and at what price? It’s almost as though I am just expected to blindly walk into the store that I think spunked the most money up a wall to wow me with their advert, in the blind hope that represents how cheap Quality Street tins will be there.
One can only presume that there is the hope that if they don’t feature any actual food on their adverts, then the customer cannot be angry when they find that they have accidentally served Shergar’s head in place of a Turkey in some kind of grim reconstruction of The Godfather that involves little party hats and crackers.
Now, some may call me a cynical…nay….miserable bastard for having such a viewpoint, and of course they are right to an extent. However, look at it the other way. Maybe I’m just disappointed that Christmas has slowly been boiled down to this- a cartoon set to a fucking Keane cover, designed ultimately sell you vastly over priced products that Wonga will probably end up charging you 2876% to afford.
There is still so much good that can be reflected in humanity at Christmas, do we really need advertising executives essentially flogging us huge quantities of food to remind us that being kind to your fellow man is what is really important in this world?
To put it in perspective, I saw more outpouring of emotion about the madness of war and the sacrifice of soldiers who leave their families to serve their country after the end of the Sainsbury’s advert than I did on Remembrance Sunday. Do we actually need a visual representation of a soldier returning home rather than the memory of those who didn’t to remind us of the price of conflict?
All of it, heart-tugging and a Trojan horse to deliver the seed of coming to buy, buy, buy. Don’t fall for it. I have come to expect better of you, dear reader. Slowly but surely the public had become gloriously cynical and was making companies jump through hoops to get their custom as the recession bit.
Now this, as viewers salivate and coo over the kind images of bunnies and kids opening presents the oldest trick in the book has sucked them all back in. I want to believe that it’s all a big celebration of the magic of Christmas but come on, it’s not.
It’s yet more of the romance and beauty of life just being sold and dressed up in a cocktail frock to be prostituted for a quick bit of cash.
As I say, that may make me sound like a Scrooge, but who believes in the magic of Christmas more? Me, who would rather firms just sell me their cheap food at Christmas so that I have more money to buy the gift that puts a huge smile on someone’s face and lets them know I love them or the person who thinks it’s okay to turn selling products into It’s A Wonderful Life?
Bah, Humbug indeed.
Paul Featherstone is 31 years old and lives in Hull. Most people call him “Fev.” He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of football and music and uses the word “c*nt” far too much in everyday conversation. He spends a lot of his time blagging his way into celebrity parties. He is to be commended for once meeting Jo Whiley and refraining from beating her to death with a big stick. You can read more of his vitirolic comments on http://twitter.com/FevTheRevoff