Sunday, November 23, 2008

David Mitchell on the economic downturn

David Mitchell is a king among men. I don't know if he's just started writing for the Guardian, or I've only become aware of it recently, but his latest piece on the economy was a much needed remedy to the continual doom mongering of the official news channels who urge us to despair because this year's sales of Christmas lights is down two and a half percent.

After mentioning that Woolworths is being sold off for a pound David says;

"It doesn't surprise me that the economic downturn has affected Woolies though. What surprises me is that it ever made money in the first place. It's always struck me as a shop that sells a baffling array of different sorts of absolute crap...

"It courts the kind of customer who wanders in for a bag of cola bottles made out of diabetes futures, impulse buys a Little Mermaid-themed cheese grater that'll buckle on its third time of using, picks up some stationery for correspondence, but nothing that doesn't have a picture of a bunny in the corner, then peruses the range of nine different films, eight of them Disney, before buying one of the two Barbra Streisand CDs and a plastic garden cricket set that's in the sale. Apparently, people like that just aren't spending like they used to."
Of Lush he says;
"If a few smelly soap shops such as Lush went to the wall, I reckon I'd still sleep at night. I was once given some soap from Lush that contained bits of plant matter - actual pieces of twig and, I think, an olive. In the soap. Having to feign pleasure at the receipt of something so absurd may be too high a price to pay for prosperity."
He then concludes;
"Who knows, it may even be time to move away from an economy primarily nourished by the purchase and exchange of goods and services that are unnecessary. Being a parasite is all very well, but you've got to have a host,"
God bless you David. God bless you.

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