Friday, March 08, 2013

Two rants and a statement

I love Joe Quinnan's rant on change: Books, I think, are dead. You cannot fight the zeitgeist and you cannot fight corporations. The genius of corporations is that they force you to make decisions about how you will live your life and then beguile you into thinking that it was all your choice. Compact discs are not superior to vinyl. E-readers are not superior to books. Lite beer is not the great leap forward. A society that replaces seven-tier wedding cakes with lo-fat cupcakes is a society that deserves to be put to the sword. But you can’t fight City Hall. I also believe that everything that happens to you as you grow older makes it easier to die, because the world you once lived in, and presumably loved, is gone. 

Some of it is hyperbole, but there's an element of truth in it all.  Corporations - but even more so, governments - have a great tendency to change things for the sake of change, and certainly without consultation.  And how much battling can you do in life, especially when the things being changed aren't really hugely important in eternal terms? 

And here's another delightful rant: Charlie Brooker writing an article in which he claims he's going to strangle everyone on the planet...
And for the sake of transparency, in case the powers-that-be are reading: this is categorically not a joke. I am 100% serious. Even though I don't know who you are or where you live, I am going to strangle you, your family, your pets, your friends, your imaginary friends, and any lifelike human dummies with haunted stares and wipe-clean vinyl orifices you've got knocking around, perhaps in a secret compartment under the stairs. The only people who might escape my wrath are the staff and passengers at Sheffield's Robin Hood airport, because they've been granted immunity by the state.

I love that phrase: lifelike human dummies with haunted stares and wipe-clean vinyl orifices.  It's a beautiful piece of writing, even if it's nonsense. 

Which brings me to cheap vinyl banners, which are described by their makers as built to stand up to the elements, though they do wear with time.  Isn't there something slightly awry about that statement?  Obviously we want them to stand up to the elements, but in spite of being cheap, we also want them to last forever.  That's the way consumers think about material goods: cheap, and permanent.  Unfortunately, manufacturers tend to think cheap, and replaceable after a very short period, like two years at the outside.  Otherwise we might be out of business.

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