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Ghost in the Machine -The Easter Rising

"I tink we're after wastin' oor time here Pat... they've all gone to do dat shoppin' instead."

“I tink we’re after wastin’ oor time here Pat… for sure, they’ve all gone to do dat shoppin’ ting instead.”

Profoundly depressing thought of the day: As a vaguely functioning copywriter… some days I feel my words are about as valuable as a good script in an HD porn movie.

Raising the ded … It’s time for another loosely-linked grumble/ramble through the life of the writing outsider.  A Gramble?  Another paean to the ranks of the excluded… If I was a product I’d be extruded.  If I was a piece of land – protruded.  As a problem simply alluded to: my usefulness –denuded.  Or  maybe I’m just deluded?  Yes it’s the ded zone every time.

Easter Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit…

It may be a bit early for an Easter special but in the kind of marketing effort that should make us all proud the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and Hot Cross Buns have been on sale in the supermarkets since ooh; at least December 29 so GITM is determined to match their noble effort for the good of the austerity economy.  It’s a pleasure Dave!

Removing the foil from my egg is a process that gives me pre-traumatic stress disorder because I know once open – I’m going to eat it all with no quarter asked or given to the blinding yellow yolk until I inevitably feel distinctly queasy.  In much the same way I also struggle with the plural of marketing folk.  Marketers is the awkward norm: when Marketeers is the phrase that slips off the tongue – although it has faint hints of the Mickey Mouse club.  And?!  I hear you ask.  If that’s the case then I suspect you see them in groups wearing devil horns on their ears as the dark spawn of capitalism they undoubtedly are.  Marketing is a bit like the foil on a Creme Egg – a little bit always gets stuck in your teeth and causes grief. Just be careful not to swallow too much in case it leaves you feeling properly sick.

Whoo… Moany, Moany…

The English – even without the worst depression in living memory – are scarcely great balls of positivity.  Just think how people react when asked how they are – “Not bad.”  Or – “Mustn’t grumble.”  Maybe – “Can’t complain.”  Often delivered with the codicil – “Hmmph; not that anyone would listen if I did.”

"Welcome to the show Tommy... Brit Invasion or not it stays as Mony Mony!"

“Welcome to the show Tommy… Brit Invasion or not it stays as Mony Mony!”

We sometimes seem to specialise in a peculiarly secular form of ennui.  For the non-religious Easter is always a bit like that… unlike it’s glossier, richer, brasher cousin Christmas where everything is better – including the weather – a festive season that now even boasts the eggs and the buns as well so Easter’s special traits are even more denuded.  You and me both: maybe we could go for a drink sometime?

There are still the daffodils of course unless the post-Christmas heat wave has burnt them all to a shrivel on the patio or it’s just too cold for them to open up – much like the English.  This is for the members of the population who routinely moan about how in their day Easter started at exactly 10.15am on a Good Friday when the family would collect the Hot Cross Buns from the local baker’s shop on the only day of the year they were produced…  “Chocolate eggs?!  Huh… we boiled an egg and pretended.”  Moaning should have been in the Olympics where we could have engineered a clean sweep of medals: a skill to us as football is to the Brazilians.  Chances are the Latin races who really give vent would have considered it a fix but what an opportunity missed of a home games combined with our speciality.  And talking about specialities…

Let’s have a good old English sing-song to raise the spirits Are there any good Easter songs?   Easter bonnets and Easter parades are too arcane and just don’t cut it anymore.  How about stealing from Christmas in return for buns and eggs?  Chestnuts roasting on an Easter barbecue anyone?  Come on Noddy Holder… there’s another pension plan waiting to be written.  Failing that – You Raise Me Up perhaps for those wanting a religious pun?  All Rise from those Big Reunion boys Blue.  Boy bands aren’t just for life they’re for Easter.  How about appropriating Donovan’s Mellow Yellow for all those egg yolks and daffodils?  They call me Moany Yellow?  Quite right too…

Thinking of – Our Lord Jesus who was killed for our sins and rose from the dead to save us all – thank you; can you call back later I’m in the middle of writing and it’s too cold to stand at the front door; ok? – makes me think of all those other people who seem indestructible.  Those who have been there my whole life… Her Majesty The Queen, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Ken Dodd, Rolf Harris and Sir David Attenborough are just a few who spring immediately to mind – I didn’t say I liked them all just that they have been to some: a comfort, a steadfast presence, a source of continued controversy, a pillar of our culture – like Jesus; or moaning.  Sorry Blue… Big Reunion or not it’s just not going to happen…

Praising the dead… Candidate for Most unsuitable comment in a condolence book – “Have a good one!”  Or anything ending in LOL.  Here at GITM: in the interests of clarity… Why do people talk in abbreviations first – then explain them?  Why don’t they just explain them first?   Or explain – then give the abbreviation?  Or just explain without abbreviations at all?!  There that’s cleared that up then…

"You're not special...you're not special...you're not special anymore!"

“You’re not special…you’re not special…you’re not special anymore!”

Hot Cross Buns may be the title of that HD porn movie alluded to earlier.  However, neither that or the edible variety – not having seen the movie that may apply to both of course – can be described as special anymore: my local Waitrose sells them all year in different flavours.  It may not be an interesting time for Hot Cross Buns but it is for language.  Language is always a fascinating and cyclical thing.  The words and phrases on every one’s lips and the current battle ground of cultural meaning are workers, shirkers, aspirers and their linguistic offspring of hard-working families, the aspirational, those who want to get on and the deep significance of drawn curtains.  Funny that all the main emphasis on hard-working comes from people who live – and have always lived – seamless, feather-bedded, daddy knows someone, gentlemen’s club, no real job, trust fund, subsidised, privileged, expense account, never any dirt under the fingernails, gone to the right prep school/college/university types.

To have humble beginnings is to be patronised these days.  Humble is not a fashionable word.  It’s a genuine quality sadly lacking in this look at me world.  For sure there has always been something slimy and calculating about its meaning ever since Dicken’s character of Uriah Heep in David Copperfield traded it as his obsequious catchphrase.  It could be due a renaissance as Victorian values of deserving/undeserving poor rear their ugly head again.  Charles Dickens transported to this age would no doubt recognise the debate even as he struggled with the rate of progress.

But that’s language for you: words and debate once solidified, established or thought overcome are suddenly up for grabs again.  In the realm of copy London agencies and humble are about as likely in the same sentence as Easter and a good lyric.  It’s all purported to be about tone of voice – TOV to the abbreviated.  In truth it is mostly about tone rather than any character or genuine voice – which tends to be the abbreviated in this relationship.  Humanity is somewhat excluded in this sometime bland grandstanding act of corporate representation.  Fiscal relations tend to blur the edges of what makes us special.  It’s not just buns who suffer.

"Special delivery for Mr Ricci!"

“Special delivery for Mr Ricci!”

Old friend missing in actionsqualid – as in squalid deal, squalid little man; hope this isn’t a squalid piece?  Squalid – say it three times – extend the syllables and you feel like you need to go for a wash.  But as GITM has raised before – it is all in a name…  Take Barclay’s Rich Ricci – which as a moniker is both apt and an example of truth being stranger than fiction.  You couldn’t make it up… then perhaps you wouldn’t want to.  He sounds like Daddy Warbuck’s long lost cousin in Annie: delivering distinctly on message that – “the sun will most definitely not be out for you or your kind tomorrow or any time soon in the current political climate little girl.”  And that’s not because it’s Easter.  Someone’s got to pay for other’s mistakes.  Not Rich – he is set to make a big time share bonus from the Budget.  This is on top of the extraordinary fortune he ‘earns’ in his job at Barclays Capital.  He was recently photographed with a fistful of crisp currency in a Canary Wharf newsagent buying other’s (life) chances at a huge Euromillions jackpot.  A squalid act or the instinct of a natural gambler and the secret of his success?  In all the talk about the fight against pornography and obesity what about the obesity of monetary greed and the booming pornography of poverty?

That’s enough or I’ll be cited for stirring insurrection.  Not a chance when a self-immolating moan is what passes for debate.  The Easter Rising might have some significance to Irish readers or keen history devotees but not the English: a minor altercation in the aisles of B&Q – or a quick slump with their shoes up on a leather sofa in DFS when the assistant’s not looking – is as far and fractious as it goes at Easter.  Still… mustn’t grumble.

It’s time to raise me up from my lowly perch and cleanse my system of all the effects of those Cadbury’s Creme Eggs… I’m off to get a Croydon face lift and I’ve got a builder coming round to relay my pelvic floor just in case I get the HD porn call.

 

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