So this is Christmas, and what have you done? No, really, what have you done, hypothetical audience? Anyway, now that’s out the way, I thought I’d use the last blog of 2014 to talk about Christmas Songs, or more specifically Christmas Pop Song, since I don’t want to get into the tangled mess that is carols. Yes, every year from around about halfway through November until about Early January every publicly tuned audio system up to and including radio stations in the UK are saturated with pop songs that came out at, are about or even just loosely associate with the festival of Christmas. There is literally no escape, no matter how hard you try, so best hope you enjoy that kind of crap. I, as you can probably predict from the tone here, don’t (with a few caveats) and thought I’d go into why.
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This Friday just gone the forces of the great crass-consumerism monoculture struck yet another blow against common sense and caused chaos on the streets of Great Britain. I am, dear hypothetical audience, of course talking about the inexplicable export and subsequent rise in popularity of that peculiar American tradition of The-Friday-After-Thanksgiving-Sales-Chaos, or, as it’s known to its friends, Black Friday. And when I say chaos, I really do mean it, in stores up and down the country masses of people who’d for some reason bought into the whole crazy mess descended in their droves. Incidents involved police being called to various branches of Tescos, shoppers fighting over allegedly cheap televisions, people causing affray and so on. All in the name of great deals. By which I mean consuming.
Do you know what time it is, Hypothetical Audience? Well, as I write this it’s half two on Sunday, but that’s not what I’m getting at all. It’s actually that specific time of year, just past Halloween and Remembrance day, where the retail sector in the United Kingdom cranks into high gear with it’s marketing engines and bombard us, the consuming public, with christmas adverts until Boxing Day. It happens every year, obviously, and each company seems to try to out do both each other and themselves year on year. We get a whole cornucopia of thirty-seconds-to-a-couple-of-minutes films intended to sell us stuff, some directly by rubbing their products in our faces, others by desperately trying to pull at our heartstrings to make us forget it’s an advert. All in the name of crass commercialism, you see, for an event appropriated from Christian tradition that was likely appropriated from elsewhere ad infinitum. What fun!