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Show me the Logos

23 April 2001
Jamie's ready to dish out some corporate punishment...

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And now look at us. Microsoft Word1 has more followers than most religions; people are more likely to lend credence to a Bill Gates press release than to the latest papal edict from the Vatican. In short, the Word just got blown out of the water.

Let me give you an example, from a couple of weekends ago. I was shocked and delighted to see signposts by junction 10 of the M4 pointing the way towards The Oracle. Could Apollo be alive and well and living in Berkshire? Spurred on by promises of Delphic guidance, I strove like Aeneas towards my destiny; unfortunately, all I found was a fuck-off shopping centre slap-bang in the middle of Reading's one-way system. From the navel of the earth to the arsehole of the universe in one easy step. What the fuck happened there?

All I can say is, maybe we got wise to the scams. We're too rational to follow the ambiguous instructions of some dippy virgin who's high on ganja (unless there's the slightest chance of scoring); fear of divine retribution and subsequent gnashing of teeth isn't going to force us to change our lives. When it comes to superstition, I'm afraid the writing's on the wall (apologies to Mr Wonder. But hey, he's not going to be able to read this!); we'd rather have somewhere convenient to buy our clothes...

But let's be honest, has anything changed? Looking round the new Oracle, you could be forgiven for thinking there was a bit of a religious gathering. Punters gathering round the various makes of footwear with the sort of blind respect and awe usually reserved for sacred relics ('No, I'll gladly pay a week's wages for the new Reebok Mach 1, that sounds a perfectly fair exchange'), or hopping around waving a shoe like out-takes from the Life of Brian. If you were a bit of a God-squadder in the old days you had a fish tattooed on you; now you declare allegiance to Nike (sportswear icon, not goddess, this time) by shaving a tick in the back of your head.

Now, am I the only one that finds this all a bit spooky? I suppose in part it's the concept of branding that gets me - as if the ovine approach of flocking towards the latest fashion wasn't enough in itself, you carry the permanent mark of ownership burned into your shoulder (or tracksuit or whatever). Makes the term 'slave to fashion' even more pertinent.

It's more than that though - it's the zealots that really play games with my mind. The type of people who adhere religiously (sorry, that word again) and irrationally (the two do tend to go together) to a particular brand and get all the gear, and spend their whole time slagging off the rivals. Part of this is just a natural need for community and a common enemy, some of the old tribal instinct coming out (I remember when I was nine a big debate going round school on who was better out of Garfield or Snoopy, in which everyone had to declare allegiance one way or the other), and I suppose it's better arguing about fashion labels than going on crusades or declaring fatwahs on literary figures; but it seems a pretty pointless outlet for one's splenetic juices.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I could afford the bloody things. As it is, I'm sat here with my Green Flash plimsolls and C&A slacks, celebrating Easter with plenty of chocolate, the way it should be. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ I feel sick. fcuk the lot of you.

1 [back]
I know. I did a word / Word(tm) thing in my first clown. But that was ages ago...


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

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