Sometimes you’re 24 and scrolling past something with 97,000 notes for the sixth time on your dashboard today and growing slowly homicidal in the way where no one’s death is immediately imminent but where maybe one day you’ll be 45 and drive your children into a lake.
Note: Pancaklentine’s Day only occurs on the day between Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day. For the day between Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day, and the day when Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day occur simultaneously, please see Valencake Day and Vapanlencatineke’s Day respectively.
Just to continue the theme of writing about nothing of any importance, here are some questions I have about snow.
Does today’s snowfall justify taking pictures of other people’s houses or is that still unacceptable? I don’t want to, but I have seen other people do it and I was wondering.
Can I legitimately take a picture of a snow covered postbox and compare it to a snowglobe I made for my Grandad?
How am I supposed to check the water meter now?
What is it about snow, specifically, that makes people send pictures of snow they have seen into news stations?
What sort of disposable society do we live in, if people are panic buying because they don’t have several weeks worth of food and drink frozen and tinned, and industrial quantities of shower gel, toothpaste and laundry powder stored in case of apocalyptic weather/zombie conditions? Like I do?
If HMV has closed, Lance Armstrong has taken performance enhancing drugs, Tesco is selling horse meat burgers, and snow is causing some sort of meltdown (freezedown?) of human sentience, were the Mayans a couple of weeks off in their calculations, or is it wrong to assign some sort of cosmic significance to things that aren’t in the least bit surprising?
Should I currently be finishing off my PhD applications instead of writing this?
I know the answer to approximately one of these questions (it’s the last one).
A lot of people make New Year’s Resolutions. It usually involves giving up something you enjoy, such as smoking, sitting down all day, shovelling salted butter down your throat or murdering hitch-hikers. The thing about resolutions, though, is that they’re doomed to fail. It appears that the reason for these pledges, is to try and extend your lifespan a little so you can spend your extra decade or so hating yourself for enjoying yourself, then hating not enjoying yourself.
I made some crushingly simple New Year’s Resolutions last year, which I made no meaningful effort whatsoever to follow. As a result, I’m not really any better off, so I’ve reassessed the need to make an actual effort to improve my life and well-being, and come to the conclusion that there’s not an awful lot I can (be bothered) to do. This year, instead, I’ve made some resolutions for the rest of humankind to follow, to make my life considerably less awful. Since they’re resolutions, they’re bound to fail, but hey, it’s something to think about.
Stop putting Emeli Sande on everything. I appreciate that people like her and I have absolutely no problem with that, but I keep coming home and expecting to find her singing in my kitchen while the votes for what I should have for tea are being counted.
Fewer cupcake shops. Please. Combined with the “Keep Calm and…” apocalyptic uber franchise, it makes me want to commit genocide. I don’t really know where all this came from. At first, I didn’t really mind very heavily decorated fairy cakes that become too sickly to finish very quickly. I preferred them in a decorative capacity. But they’ve very, very quickly become the Emeli Sande of the culinary world. I’m living in hope that 2013 will be the year of edgy takeovers of failed cupcake businesses.
STOP QUOTING ELF on social networking sites. If you’re guilty of this, you’re guilty of killing Christmas, so fucking stop it.
Put Arrested Development on a regular TV channel so I don’t have to get a Netflix account.
Stop counting things in sleeps, you are not infants, this is unnecessary, and simultaneously infantile, very confusing, and broadly inaccurate. If you’ve ever made a joke about how many sleeps a narcoleptic or insomniac has until something then congratulations, you’re not funny, at all.
If you are making a new year’s resolution that’s not one of the above, kindly refrain from associating with me.
I have a lot of other, more productive things to be doing, but I’m sitting in front of the TV instead, switching between Bargain Hunt, E4 and the Crime Channel, writing this, when I actually have more pressing things to be writing. I’m telling myself it’s because I’m deathly ill and there’s no way I can attempt to translate the Russian State Archives when my eyes and nose feel like they’re trying to violently escape my face and this is currently blowing my mind, but I probably just have a cold. My mucus-filled hell has driven me to ramble some things about Christmas adverts, because I’m hell-bent on dragging you all down to my own wretched level. I probably love Christmas a lot more than your average human, proven by the fact that I started eating mince pies in October, and by my desperate need to prove that I love Christmas to anyone reading this. But that’s not the point. The point is that I resent Christmas being ruined by shit adverts.
I’ll gloss straight over breathy covers of classic songs, because this, unfortunately, is not a Christmas 2012 phenomenon, but a crisis of our age, predicted by the Maya, and written in the book of Revelation. John Lewis has tried to up its game this year. It’s moved on from a boy being really excited about a mysterious gift for his parents (it was probably a pipe bomb or a decomposing animal, the little prick), to a snowman proving either that the only way to a female of any kind’s heart is material goods; or that you can endear yourself to a woman with only gloves and a scarf. Literally warm her up . Thanks John Lewis! Problematically, too, the ad only presents us with a snapshot of the couple’s relationship, without raising uncomfortable questions about the possibility of a man-made entity developing sentience and the potential for love and hate; how warming up a snow-woman endears you to her instead of melting and killing her; or how exactly snow sex works.
Inexplicably, most Christmas ads this year appear to reflect and celebrate the misogynist and sweatshop-like conditions suffered by the stereotypical mum-at-Christmas. Apparently a vague gesture of recognition in a supermarket advert and your happiness/all round ungratefulness are enough reward for mum’s toil. And a petrol station bouquet from dad instead of actually helping her buy and wrap any presents. In supermarket land, women over 30 are servants who have to beg for scraps of the Christmas dinner they prepared; daughters and girlfriends are a terrifying army of product fiends, satisfied only by 3 for 2 deals on make up and bubble bath, while sons and boyfriends are dustbins for all food (even Iceland’s), and dads are saints, whose sole contribution of a bouquet is enough to make all the lethargic oblivion forgotten. Merry Christmas!
I’m fairly sure adverts are supposed to make you feel good about a brand, and make you want to shop there at Christmas because they have cheap and probably (before any lawyers get involved) steroid filled poultry, not engender a deep and resonating sense of guilt about letting mum shoulder the burden at Christmas. I might make some onion gravy this year (but I’m not buying any turkey for anyone, fuck you Morrison’s).
Honourable mentions, though, go to the Iceland advert, purely for its fitting use of Pure Imagination, as that’s exactly the strategy that was employed in the invention of its luminous, demented experiments they consistently pass off as Christmas dinner. And to Lidl for their Christmas magazine which they ingeniously titled “A Lidl Bit of Magic”. Wonderful.