Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Crunch Bunch

An email in my inbox, from a shopping website that will go unnamed [but...uh... if you got it, you know who I'm talking about]:

You don't need us to tell you that this is the time for investment. Forget fast fashion and quick fixes. We're investing in timeless basics that will last year after year and stand out from the crowd.

Don't think me hard-hearted. I know retailers've gotta make a dollar [and no-one benefits from the economy going down the tubes], I know they've got overheads and bottom lines and masses of stock that they need to shift our way. No-one expects them not to. But one thing is being ignored: after you buy this season's timeless classics, there'll be another raft of essential, three-figure long-term buys next season. All of which, of course, will carry us safely through to the good times again.

I know full well that I sound like a mardy cynic, and I truly will try not to rant about any more recession-related idiocy for at least a week. I'm just rather weary with every advertising line now referencing the credit crunch, and with the moronically topical tone they all take.

"There, there. We know you've got no money. [Ha ha! Sucks to be you!!] We know you can't afford to buy your next tin of baked beans, or make rent. Instead of buying that new house, savvy savers will downsize and buy this handy 3-pack of classic alpaca cushion covers. These amazing, dual purpose delights will make your home look up-to-the-minute AND mean you don't need to buy a new house. Take that, credit crunch! The perfect investment to carry you through the recession. 'Er from next door might be sitting on the kerb this morning with the few worldly possessions she has left since the bailiffs battered the door down halfway through Newsnight, claiming their due, but you can feel cosy and cocooned from the financial maelstrom with your timeless soft furnishings. Available now for the inflation-busting price of £159.99."

If I exaggerate, they drove me to it. I'm sick of hearing about it. Give me facts and reportage - the latest bank to crash and burn, our good PM's newest and boldest strategy to dig us out of this apparently apocalpytic mess. But I really don't need credit-crunch themed shopping journalism, ta very much. I've heard of spending your way out of recession, but this bullshit about this being the time for investment, buying something [coincidentally 'on-trend'] to 'take you through' several seasons... It's getting my back right up.

Can we not just be honest about it, and admit that we should be saving, not investing, but that when the spending urge hits you, it's better to buy this product than that product, because "ours is totally... like... BETTER"?


Make Do and Mend said...

Brilliant and so true - how utterly moronic to use recession jargon to make you spend. It is dreadful sales techniques at their worst. Yes we do need to keep shopping it makes the economy go round and grow but not need for sheer exploitation of a situation which causes anxiety for some.

I think we'll all be alright as long as we sit tight and ignore the gloom but also learn to make do rather than qualify our worth by that investment 'trend' piece!

but then you knew i'd agree!

Sister Wolf said...

Too damn right! The term "investment piece" when it comes to clothes is just a stupid misnomer. It just means SPLURGE, YOU IDIOT! With the unspoken promise that an item of clothing will make your problems disappear.

Charponnaise said...

Glad I'm not alone in this. I really don't mind people trying to sell me stuff, because I find buying things awfully pleasurable. I just wish they didn't feel they have to take us for idiots in order to get us to spend our money. It has surely not gone unnoticed, by this point, that most of us rather enjoy spending money.

enc said...

You said it, Char.

jacquieshambles said...

I share these feelings. Driving me a bit nuts these days, I tell ya...

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