Saturday, 27 December 2014

Panic Saturday

Today is the day after Boxing Day and the core Christmas holidays are over for another year. Whether you feel regret or relief will depend on you as an individual. One thing I've noticed is that when elements of American culture are introduced into Britain they tend to proliferate quickly and become very established; a good example is the TV soap opera Dallas, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsVZUJVVaIE (Ironically the BBC got so annoyed with this upstart of a US import topping the viewing figures charts that they replaced it with TavistockEnders). Another of these phenomena is Black Friday, which I reported on last year, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/black-friday-riots.html. This year there was a Black Friday in the UK; I expect it was introduced as a test to see whether we Brits could be corralled in the same way. It was a roaring success so no doubt there will be another one next year. Interestingly it worked even though virtually nobody in the UK celebrates Thanksgiving, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11244515/Where-to-find-the-best-Black-Friday-deals.html. The traditional British equivalent of Black Friday is the post-Christmas clearance which in progress right now; as I walked through the shopping streets of Oxford today I saw "sale" notices everywhere. The period leading up to Christmas is also a commercialism fest and the Saturday before Christmas is always remarked upon in the business news. However this year it was given a name: Panic Saturday. The actual sales figures have yet to be published, but economic forecasters are currently predicting a 21% increase on last year's profits. "Consumers"... that's human beings to you and me... apparently are more confident then in previous years, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30560208. Now, surely I'm not alone in suspecting that this whole enterprise is just a marketing gimmick; I wouldn't be surprised if just giving it the name Panic Saturday is enough to get more people out buying more presents for relatives they don't like, who will probably just throw them away. There's an underlying political agenda too to give the viewer the impression that this much-promised economic recovery has finally arrived. With an election coming up in a few months, memories of people walking down Oxford Street with full shopping bags could be a significant vote decider.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

People are just fecking zombies these days and I think your comment that simply naming it "Panic Saturday" is enough to get the masses mobilised is pretty accurate.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Anon, I wish we'd see crowds like this outside Parliament when they try to introduce an unjust law.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances of that eh. Not that I'm particularly active myself but I sometimes feel so exasperated with peoples' behaviour these days.......or perhaps I'm just getting old lol oh and it's Paul by the way. Long time listener to the Mindset Podcast :-)

Xylomet said...

Oh, I thought they were all warming up for the 2015 Zombie Run!. Nothing worse....Zombies with credit Cards (They'll bite your arm off for a bargain you know!).

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi Paul. Glad you tune in to the MSP :-) Happy New Year

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

X, I'll have to join in myself with the best costume and acting!... If the REAL zombies haven't broken out by then

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ben, happy New year to you too :-)