TRIPLE HUMBUGS ALL ROUND!
Writing about Christmas television adverts recently, I reflected that ad agencies who have only ever employed non-white citizens as messengers and doormen in the past are now, in pursuit of the Woke Wonga, having us believe that Britain is now solely composed of mixed race couples living in duplex apartments overlooking fashionable rivers. As one wit said on Twitter: ‘At this time of year, all these Christmas ads make me feel sad for all the black ladies, lone parents to their children, whose dads all appear to have all married white women and started second families in large Farrow & Ball painted homes with them.’
An objectionable non-seasonal aspect of advertising occurs when #BeKind celebs take a huge wedge to be promote something dubious when they’re loaded already; the worst example might be the Beckhams, who with an estimated fortune of £336 million have just nabbed another £10 million for flogging the footballer’s image as the media-friendly face of Qatar as it prepares to host the FIFA World Cup. A man who boasts of being a Gay Icon will be promoting a country where women are prisoners in their homes, migrant workers abused (many of those who constructed the FIFA World Cup stadium worked for up to seven months without pay) and where homosexuality is punishable by death. (When Beckham said that Qatar is ‘changing’ was he referring to the fact that executions have recently been re-introduced after a twenty year hiatus, according to Amnesty International?)
Perhaps the most banal bet irritating aspect of advertising, especially at this time of the year, is when already over-employed actors turn up as the voice of some or other tat-emporium. And it goes for successful thespians in general. The unemployment rate among actors is around 90%. Couldn’t the few lucky ones with millions in the bank just stand back from advertising voiceovers generally and let unknowns make some money for once, especially in the season of supposed goodwill? Or does their greed never take a holiday?
Personally, I won’t enjoy Christmas, seeing it as something to *get it over with* as do many people who have lost loved ones; Christmas is a Time of ghosts at the table, and not just those in A Christmas Carol. There’s a particularly funny bit in Diary Of A Nobody when the prodigal son Lupin says ‘I hate a family gathering at Christmas. Someone says ‘Ah, we miss poor Uncle James, who was here last year!’ And we all begin to snivel. Some says ‘It’s two years since poor aunt Liz used to sit in that corner’ - then we all begin to snivel again. Then another says ‘Ah - I wonder whose turn it will be next!’ Then we all snivel again, and proceed to eat and drink too much…’
Both my husband and myself came from happy homes; we got together 25 years ago when our parents were still alive. Now our families have died around us and we cling to each other like soused-up orphans in a storm, remembering when those we loved lived. But by Boxing Day we’ll be back to our bouncy selves - until the awful spectre of New Year’s Eve or, as we call it, Amateur Night. Roll on 2022 when I can get drunk on Wednesday lunchtimes - and once more revel in the security of being disapproved of, as I booze without being licensed for fun.