Friday, 25 November 2011

Put Your Coat On

When did this all start? You know? The whole wearing a coat to school is so not cool. Except this is never articulated under any circumstances. This is stoicism writ large. Do school children act as one brain? Somehow all knowing that they must return to their respective hives and refuse to done the mantel of conformity. “I’ve cracked it.” I thought as I walked my younger coat-wearing son down the hill to school – children don’t wear coats because they are not TV advertised at all hours. Come on M&S I mused; let’s have a cool coat advert for the parents of the kids. But then on returning I enviously espied a pair of addidas gazelles on the feet of an older kid. These are not remorselessly branded onto our eyeballs by the glowing screen in the corner so why do I want them so? Ahh well advertising is branding now isn’t it? Things don’t need to be on the telly to be advertised. I mean those evil product development geniuses embed the advertising into the product. The product is a slow release covet-me bomb. Puffa jackets almost became covetable but the halfhearted stance of the kids towards them was reflected in the simultaneous desire of all of them to wear them half way down their backs. Even my lad perfected this without rehearsal. I can imagine at his age I would have had to practice getting it to hang off me like that. Have marketing people simply become very expert at appealing to the need for children reaching social awareness (most people then) to be individual and non-conformist? Er big resounding yes I would say.
 I mean Steve Jobs is revered as a man who released all our collective dreams he gave us the means to express our deepest creative urges. Um how exactly? Well he led by example. He showed that if you have a dream you can live it through hard work and vision. Believing in your self. Oh yeah right. So the fact that the Internet is broken is nothing to do with the marketing folk realising that they now needed to make products aimed at people who need to express their individuality through their consumer choices? Have you been watching too much Adam Curtis? Admittedly I really want an I-pad 2 but I have already found out that they won’t run I-Web so that particular Jobs-facilitated dream must be put to bed. So are you saying we need to go back to the wax-coated codex format? This is an adequate way of sharing ideas that can change and be added to by those that come into contact with them. In some senses wikipedia is like this. It’s free to be modified by anybody. Imagine if the gospels were written as a wiki and then became thought of as Gospel truth well that is kind of what happened.
Ah I thought that we’d arrive at this point. The point where you say that we are free to inhabit a world of metaphor which is beyond the realm of either or. That is spirituality – except what we get served up as spirituality is a schematised ritual of an idea that someone half remembered  - writ large. Oh. I see. I think. 
Well back to the coats. I was actually pretty warm as I walked down the hill and thought you know what you’re making a big fuss over nothing. Your eldest son was right not to wear a coat. He just intuited that and you turned it into a big semiotic mess. Right. Told me.

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