29 December 2008

Laugh or Cry?


Now then, after you've heartily overstuffed yourself and then slathered yourself in the perfume of choice, you will be aware (will be made aware), that now is the time to rush out and buy a new sofa prior to plonking oneself in front of the boob tube for some mind numbingly seasonal entertainment. Yep, perfumes are out and sofas are the next big thing. Goody.
As Jonathan Bignell explains “The semiotic analysis of advertising assumes that the meanings of ads are designed to move out from the page or screen on which they are carried, to shape and lend significance to our experience of reality.”
Oh dear, dear Humanity; such things make me laugh and make me cry.
Fortunately, there are other things in life to make me laugh and make me cry.
This year......
Laura made me laugh.
Nick made me cry.
Over to you then?

EDIT: But srsly; is there not something wrong here? We accrete possessions to fuel our vanity and hope to find that some of their worth will rub off onto our own person and enrich us somehow and we buy (literally) into this delusion while our true poverty is hidden behind an illusion of wealth.

As EM Forster aptly puts it in 'Howards End', "We are reverting to a civilization of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty." Later, he has the somewhat flighty and romantically inclined Helen Schlegel say....."in the end, the world will be a desert of chairs and sofas - just imagine it! - rolling through infinity with no one to sit upon them." I can't put it any better than that really.

3 comments:

looby said...

Although, just to play devil's advocate...investing objects with an ability to give meaning to our lives beyond their utilitarian value is as old as culture itself. Tis a bit sad though when people see their identities as being constructed through advertising. There was a good bit of research I read a while ago that while teenagers profess to be unaffected by advertising they of course are some of the biggest consumers of the most widely-advertised brands.

Er...anyway, the room's gone a bit quiet so I'll shut up, wish you a very happy new year and send you all the best for sorting your troublesome puddle out in 2009.

clodhopper said...

I think the devil likes it this way. The objects can say; look how powerful/wealthy/hip/holy/cool/cultured/important I am. I don’t expect it to change anyday soon….as you say, it’s been with us for millennia; it’s deeply rooted. But I don’t like it and perhaps I over compensate by denying that objects have a value beyond the utilitarian, when in fact, I know that they do.

I like the idea of lots of teenagers going into DFS and making out on the sofas.

Tell you what: you be Helen and I’ll be Mr Wilcox and we’ll go get lethered and have an extremely funny converstation.

best for 2009
clod

llewtrah said...

I love that sofa! Billy and I went to an exhibition where they had the lips-shaped seats and other barmy bits of furniture.