Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas with Mr. Creosote

I went into HMV in the Westfield yesterday night.

Britain's last entertainment retail chain is apparently on the rocks. It's interesting to watch because businesses of this size seem to go through a period just before they die where they become grotesquely inflated versions of themselves. Like stars, or Elvis.

So HMV now looks the way that it might if it had been laid out based on a description of HMV given over the phone by someone really out of their mind on cocaine.

Just shitloads of CDs and DVDs and shit everywhere, piles of the fucking things all up the counter in sort of like drifts. An loads of people an babies crying an vomiting.
Look neither to left, nor to the right

The queue to pay is corralled into an S-shaped rat-run lined with consumer sweeties like burnable DVDs, copies of Up In the Air and the new Take That documentary, and rubber earbud ends.
The counter is constructed entirely from Inception DVDs.

Inception is the perfect supermodern film, confusing and larded with special effects so that every one that saw it in the cinema felt like they could maybe do with watching it again. No one really needs to see Inception again, you won't learn anything from it, and the film's internal logic loops pointlessly back onto itself to deliberately confound sensible interpretation. It's not profound, it's just facetious. Like that joke 'what would you rather be or a wasp?' but told to you and then explained in arcane detail by a frowning Leonardo DiCaprio.

If you manage to get out without a copy of Inception you have won.

This retail experience, which is the kind of 'things you might like' cross-selling you get on the internet but made physical could be applied to all kinds of funnelled crowd. So if you forced all the people getting on the tube to walk through a tunnel filled with products some of them would definitely take something even if they weren't 'shopping'. The fact of the thing's merely being available is advertisement enough. All we need to do is streamline the process of paying for things so that as soon as you pick something up, you have already paid for it.

The idea of ' shopping' is sort of old fashioned anyway. We're always shopping, even when we're at work.

Ten years ago we might have said that the Internet was like a big department store, in fact what's happening is that big spaces like the Westfield are becoming a sort of physical version of the internet  'events' and curiosities with shops in between.

PS: I've been blogging about 2 years now. That's weird isn't it? Check out this post from 2008,when I thought the world was about to end.

PPS: Tits and Bums Magazine have posted my Will Self piece in full. I still have the transcript of that interview, which I might put on here next year, if you're lucky.


Anonymous said...

If god created anything more overrated than ANY Monty Python anything, she kept that shit fo' herself...


Ben said...

Reading the comments of that old post, I think your and Scamp's career's are still mirroring Hilton and Lohan to a somewhat eerie degree.

I won't bother trying to justify this just in case I offend one of you.

Gordon Comstock said...

Yeah spooky.

ben said...

Man, look at that misplaced apostrophe. The most shameful thing I've done all year.

Gordon Comstock said...

Doesn't sound like a very fun year Ben.