For Black Friday 2014, read Hate Week 1984

LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
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Bag yourself a Black Friday bargain then?

Television the size of a snooker table perhaps? A swanky tablet? Some Dr Dre headphones? A Furby with a human brain?

Didn’t bother myself. Don’t want any new stuff. Want less stuff, if at all possible. So simply sat and watched the roiling crowds on the rolling news coverage instead.

Thousands of our fellow citizens debasing themselves in pursuit of the latest gadgets and gizmos.

Even those that did not resort to out and out violence wreathed themselves in squalor, pushing and shoving, snatching and grabbing.

Entertaining in the way that all nightmarish instances of modern collective insanity are. Funny yet viscerally disturbing, like real life written by Samuel Beckett.

And all somehow inspired by the birth, two thousand-odd years ago, of a man, a desert prophet, who peddled a line of peace and equity...

Still, is easy to knock the mob. How else are the eternal have-nots to afford the latest must-haves?

And how their desperation must tickle the have-lots!

No speculation required on this latter matter, of course.

The mirth of those with money to buy the big telly, swanky tablet, sentient Furby, et al, filled social media all day Friday. There were even smirks from the glorified well-coiffured presenters whose job it is to introduce mobile phone clips while reading something tarted up to resemble ‘news’ off an autocue.

Their smugness in comfort, in their plush bubble, nearly as dismal a spectacle as the twits exchanging headlocks over appliances which will be technologically redundant this time next year.

Hate, from one end to another. Hate of the person ahead of you in the queue. Hate of the person whose desire to own what you take for granted sees them jettison any notion of dignity or restraint.

The whole travesty put me in mind of Hate Week, that great annual festival of state-directed sickness enjoyed by the citizens of Oceania circa 1984.

Mr Orwell would have seen the similarities, notably the advance role played by our media.

Stoking and whipping, making sure this modern transplant – from the shores of our colonial masters – took with the natives.

Only doing their duty, of course. Appeasing the advertisers who hold their leash. And at least they get some ‘content’ out of it too.

Bread and circus, rolled into one.