We find ourselves dragged kicking-and-screaming into cyber Monday. I’m sure that as St Andrew was tied to a rakishly-angled cross, he was dreaming that one day his sacrifice would be marked by a torrent of emails trying to flog me (and many more besides) discounted tat.
Cyber Monday does sound worryingly like a normal Monday which has had various of its biological parts replaced with technological augmentations. It would certainly appear that resistance is futile and that our individuality is as nothing in the face of this new onslaught. In deference to its Greek etymological roots, I insist on pronouncing ‘cyber’ with a hard C which does rather bring Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond to mind – but also hope that it will pass.
Anyway, that is more of an amuse bouche than the main meat of my thesis. The weekend was preceded by the soi-disant Black Friday, an event imported from the US without also acquiring the associated bank holiday which gives it the ‘meaning’. Given that the main purpose of the day appears to involve acquiring electrical goods during a riot, it seem more natural to hold the UK version of the event on a Friday in early August to commemorate the events of 2011.
It would seem that I am railing in vain against this new addition to the continued commercialisation of the calendar – despite a savagely satirical post at roughly this time last year. I could begin to suspect that GofaDM is not having the world-changing impact I had been imagining! I realised all was lost when the universe started taking the name seriously and delivered an almost Black Friday with oppressive cloud cover meaning that the day barely became light.
When I was a lad, there used to be a recursive story, in which each iteration of the tale began with the words “It was a dark and stormy night…”. Of late, while the nights remain dark they seem to be relatively storm-free. The frequent storms which have afflicted November seem to be focusing their efforts on the daytime: when I need to be out-and-about on Shank’s pony or my bike. There has seldom been a better time to be a vampire: near 24 hour (at least semi) darkness and excellent travel conditions in the middle of the night. My gym, at least is open 24/7, and so I have been tempted to reorder my life to a more nocturnal pattern. I’d be a lot less windswept and my waterproofs would see rather less service. I could go the the theatre and/or music gigs between breakfast and lunch in my version of the morning. All I need is a job based around the working hours of the land of Oz…
I begin to suspect that the stories of my youth may not have been climatically accurate. Or is this another element of the malign influence of climate change? I don’t remember the UK being so windy when I was a nipper, but I suppose I did spend rather less time on a bicycle in those days. Maybe it is of a piece with the rather misleading advice on Iberian precipitation promulgated by the musical My Fair Lady. Despite the insistence of one of that pieces most popular numbers, the rain in Spain falls mainly on the higher ground with the plains being rather arid. It would seem that just because something rhymes, it doesn’t make it true. Still, it could be worth a try: has any political party ever tried using rhyme to make its lies and half-truths a tad more palatable?