Although it seems a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it wasn’t too long ago when receiving a letter or correspondence through the post was greeted with excited anticipation. Now the sound of the letterbox and the sight of mail on the landing tends to be a portent to debt and threat – ‘Your bill…’ ‘To be paid by…’, ‘You owe…’, ‘FINAL NOTICE’, ‘Summons to Court’, etc.
If it isn’t bills or requests for payment, it’s usually junk mail or menu’s from local takeaways. You no longer get letters from friends or lovers who you haven’t heard from in ages, those types of messages were replaced by email. That is until the spammers, hackers, marketers and account departments hijacked that outlet for private communication. Now most of your [non-work related] email is advertising, notification of pending bill payments or just total junk selling you pills, penis enlargements, plastic surgery or participation in various “once in a lifetime” offers gifted to you by strangers. You can either invest in shares that are about to go through the roof (but nobody knows yet, except you and the few other thousand people who have also been sent the same bullshit via email) or you can give your bank account details to a random stranger and wait for an unclaimed fortune that has been sat in the bank account of a soldier from some war torn country who cannot claim it himself to be sent to you… yeah, right.
So regular mail and email are no fun anymore. Even your home phone (if you still have one) is little more than a ringing receptacle of shite. You don’t expect a friend on the other end when you pick up that handset, you expect it to be a salesperson peddling a scam dressed as ham acting and delivered with dead-eyed enthusiasm by a soul-less grunt serving a tour of duty in a telesales call centre in order to pay for sky-high-city-centre-apartment-rent, drinks and cocaine at the weekend. At best it will be someone from a ‘respectable’ company or corporation who wants you to swap over to their company or corporation for the same deal as the one that you are with already, except that it has been reformed and reworded to sound better at the time of hearing, yet works out pretty much the same as the one you have already got once you have gone past the cool-off period to opt out of the 12 month contract. Mobile phones [sometimes] at least offer you the option of seeing the name and number of the caller, but this only means the marketers and sellers don’t even bother to waste a member of staff on the call, opting for a recorded message – “You may have been mis-sold PPI…”
With the exception of social media (which is now becoming increasingly polluted by advertising) the peddlers, salesmen, conmen and accounts departments have usurped all of our communication outlets. The thought of what is going to be in your next letter, email or un-screened phone call is now unpleasantly daunting. Worse still though, is actually making a call to your phone, bank, gas or electricity company. There is a scene from ‘Enemy of the State’ where Gene Hackman blows up a building because Will Smith’s character made a phone call. A bit extreme and out of context I know, but now I feel like blowing my head off every time I make a phone call – IT’S JUST SO FRUSTRATING!!!!
Receiving a cold call nowadays is like a visit to an English dentist – drill and fill; drilled by a sales pitch in order to open up an already rotted chasm so it can be filled with something that would be otherwise worthless if you hadn’t allowed the decay to become so irreparable…
…And breath. Now here’s what I think of stuff.
I’ve had stuff and stuff is shit
It usually breaks and you get bored with it
Things ‘n stuff ‘n stuff ‘n things
Lifestyle ‘improvements’ – bling, bling, bling.
It sounds dead corny but all you need is love,
Love is better than all that stuff.
A smile and politeness and a bit of respect,
That’s what makes you feel really better.
Laptops, i-pods, sportcars, clothes –
All that stuff’s nice, but all that stuff goes.
Happy times and the memories don’t
Good friends and family won’t.
But the thing that makes me laugh about stuff
Is how unhappy it makes you trying to get enough.