Lets Go Everywhere


Sound advice from the Guardian
November 1, 2006, 7:33 am
Filed under: consumerism, freedom, Guardian, politics, protests

Buy baby buy

Life getting you down? You can always distract yourself by buying some swanky material goods

Charlie Brooker
Monday October 30, 2006
The Guardian

Damn the news, damn it to hell and back. It used to be so exciting: sieges and streakers and balaclavas and Fred West and all that. There were good guys and bad guys. It was cute. And quite funny. Not any more. Now no one’s in the right and we’re all going to die. It’s so depressing, the only sane course is to ignore it completely until it goes away.
That’s why we’re so hooked on distraction, which is available in more forms than you can shake a stick at (stick-shaking being just one example). TV provides distraction, as do sport, fashion, and coloured lists of Chantelle’s top 10 favourite cuddles.

The internet is an incredible distraction; the equivalent of one of those Pavlovian training machines that dispenses pine nuts to lab rats when they nudge the correct lever – except instead of nuts, the internet dispenses porn, chit-chat, 9/11 conspiracy theories, and YouTube footage of kittens falling over.

The greatest form of distraction, however, has to be the pursuit of swanky material goods. Nothing staves off that gnawing sense of dread quite like a spending spree. Maybe I won’t get my legs blown off by terrorists if I buy enough aspirational bullshit? That’s the spirit.

This being space year 2006, you no longer need to visit Harrods to experience the kind of opulent extravagance usually associated with billionaires and sultan’s daughters. A trip to Asda will suffice. Almost every product you can think of is available in a toffee-nosed aristocratic version, all the better to mesmerise yourself with.

Fancy some crisps? Don’t scoff bog-standard Walkers; indulge in some hand-cooked balsamic and sea salt Kettle Chips instead. You’ll still end up fat as a whale, but at least you’ll have taken the posh route.

Clothes a bit mucky? Forget ordinary washing powder. Use new “Crushed Silk and Jasmine” Bold 2-in-1. That’s right: crushed silk and jasmine. Make sure your butler programmes the spin cycle correctly when he’s using it.

Need a shave? Toss out your Bics and grab the Gillette Fusion, which single-handedly represents Consumer Product Event Horizon by combining “the comfort of five blades” (on the front) with “the precision of one” (on the back). The main cutting surface is about the size of a sheet of A4; so large you can’t get it under your nose without shearing off your top lip, which is why you need the blade on the back – it’s the only bit you can enjoy a reasonable shave with.

There’s also a battery-operated “Power Handle” option that makes the whole thing buzz like a wasp in an envelope – not to help you shave, but to offer yet more fleeting distraction from the UNREMITTING MISERY OF LIFE.

The Fusion Mk2, out next year, features 190 blades, a 30GB hard drive, a pine nut dispenser and a synthesized voice telling you everything’s OK, even though the mere existence of such a razor proves otherwise. I’ve pre-ordered mine already.

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1 Comment so far
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It is fascinating that as the West eagerly buys up more-bladed disposable razors, the price of steel goes up.

My dad used the old Gilette double-edged Diamond blades in his clamshell razor. I clearly recall him departing for work wearing snippets of toilet paper.

But then came the disposable razor (hallelujiah!). Then the Twin-Blade Disposable, which shaved closer, and more comfortably! Which is where I came into shaving.

But THREE blades were much better. Two caused irritation, said the supermodels touting the new cutting-edge (a-hem) technology.

Last week I saw a commercial that said “Three blades caused irritation, but now …” in praise of the Gillette Fusion … “now available in electric!” Not an electric razor/shaver, but containing an electric motor to make the five blades vibrate–presumably to avoid the irritation of shaving with five stationary blades.

Me, I’m finding it harder and harder to buy my simple twin-blade disposables–much less without that slimy “lubricating strip”. Maybe I should just buy a Fusion and shave with the single blade?

Comment by Metro




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