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Tony Grist

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A Vanished World [Oct. 16th, 2008|09:21 am]
Tony Grist
Normally I switch off mentally when the ads come on, but last night, in the middle of the News, something nudged me in the ribs and told me to pay attention because I might just learn something.   So I did.  I'd  just spent a quarter of an hour being told about tumbling markets and rising unemployment and how we were all getting poorer and then, bingo, suddenly here were all these happy, smooth-faced women trying to sell me frivolities.  It was like falling into another world- a  vanished world-  where we all still had-or thought we had-  money to burn.  One ad was for a lotion which comes packaged like a roll-on deodorant- and you smear it under your eyes to make them sparkle (so, basically, snake-oil) - and the next was for an automatic air freshener that squirts not one, not two, but three different fragrances into your home. Who needs this trash? Who ever needed it? And what a heedlessly rich society we must have been- up until last week- to be even tempted by it!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2008-10-16 03:19 pm (UTC)
You are right. About half the stuff we buy we don't need. Go into any "gift" shop, or open the Sunday supplements, and the world is full of meaningless trash that is "neither use nor ornament".

Room fragrancers, air fresheners, tumble dryer sheets, oil burners, Lilliput Lane models, women's magazines, men's magazines, Airfix models, Sunday newspapers, kitchen roll dispensers, trouser presses, herbal remedies (except for echinacea) almost anything anyone buys you for Christmas, pasta makers, bread makers, juicers, slow cookers, letter knives, espresso makers, Cath Kidston garden tools, stickers saying "my other car is a Porsche".... STUFFAGE and all of it quite, quite pointless.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-16 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'd abstract slow-cookers from that list- we use ours quite a bit- and it's energy-saving too, I believe. But on the whole, yes; our houses are full of amusing objects that are good for nothing but to keep the economy of China ticking over.



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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-10-23 12:21 pm (UTC)
I once read a Life Magazine article about an old woman who had been brought to the United States after a lifetime of poverty in--oh, Poland, maybe--and she said she got tears of joy in her eyes when she discovered Kleenex. How it popped up in the box. How it was disposable.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-23 04:22 pm (UTC)
I visited Czechoslovakia just after the Berlin Wall came down. It was astonishing how little there was in the shops.
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