WD Fyfe

A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society

Christmas and Commercialism

Personally I think “Christmas is getting way too commercialized!” is just a phrase everybody yips about at Christmas.  In truth, Christmas is pretty much the same as it always has been.  However, there have been some profound changes that not everyone is aware of.   For example, in the 21st century our buying habits have…..

 We interrupt this blog to bring an important breaking story

In a surprise marketing move, at least 3 gigantic electronics companies have introduced the same new consumer product — just in time for Christmas.  The Incredibly Useless Thing was introduced simultaneously at retail outlets around the world today.  The product sold out within hours.  Immediately dubbed the iThing by every unimaginative journalist in the universe, the device has sent computer geeks everywhere scurrying back to their mothers’ basements to try it out.  According to industry spokesperson, Nebraska Peterson, the iThing comes with twice as many mega-pixels and enough speed and memory to launch the Mars Rover from your kitchen.

“We’re calling it a whole new approach to connectivity,” Peterson said. “The iThing will connect with every other electronic piece of junk you own.  It’s wireless and interactive.  There are different coloured lights that come on randomly and various unusual sounds.  We’ve also added a remote, so you can access the iThing from any corner of the planet.  The remote is as big as a barn, with 17 buttons that don’t do anything, 6 buttons that do something (but nobody knows what) and 3 buttons that you’d better not touch because they’ll bugger up everything in your house — including the toaster.”

The iThing uses the new Inutile Operating System, which is no different from any other system except it kinda works but not really with all the stuff you’ve already got.  It’s unnecessarily complicated and the Interactive Help Menu is no help whatsoever.  Installation and set-up are so confusing no ordinary person can possibly understand what half the crap does, and if you click the wrong button in the dialog box, you’re screwed forever.  All three gigantic electronic companies are offering 24/7 tech support in a language that sounds remarkably like gibberish.  So say your prayers, ’cause the coyote’s got a better chance of catching the road runner than you have of ever figuring this thing out.

In a candid interview, one techno-drone said they’ve changed the names and placement of every function on the menu just to screw with everybody.  He went on to say that software developers do this all the time because all the cool kids in high school made fun of them, and they still haven’t got laid.  He concluded by shouting, “Who’s laughing now, Braaadley?”

Initially, the iThing will be offered in two models: the cheap one you see advertised (which is under powered and worthless) and the outrageously expensive one (which the pirates who made the device know you are going to have to buy eventually, anyway.)  However, Canadian media giants Rogers and Bell — who between them, own everything but the Crown Jewels — are taking a bold new direction as retailers.  “We don’t care about the iThing itself,” they say. “It’s free.  You can have the damn thing for nothing, as long as you sign a 5 year contract of penal servitude so we can charge you for every nanosecond it operates from the minute you turn it on.”

There have already been protests about the predator pricing of the iThing.  A fake YouTube commercial, showing the iThing exploding has already been e-mailed to everyone on the planet, and a Facebook group called “iThing Sucks” has attracted several million members.  Retailers have responded to the criticism by saying, “Big deal! A bunch of kids and old people have clicked a button on Facebook.  So what?  We’re sold out already, anyway.”

Nebraska Peterson, spokesperson for the three gigantic electronic companies, also responded by saying, “There has been some criticism, but the retail numbers speak for themselves.  This is not a manufactured shortage.  Our customers are saying they want the iThing.  Look at the unholy prices people are getting, reselling it on eBay!  But we’re a family-oriented company and we want parents and grandparents to have something for their loved ones during the Holidays, so we’re offering an opportunity to pre-purchase the next shipment of iThings.  Your purchase comes with a numbered gift card which you can use to track your iThing through the entire distribution process.  We plan to ship fairly quickly, so pre-purchasers should have their iThing within 3 months.”  Peterson admitted, however, that pre-sales had far extended the company’s ability to print the gift cards, and most people are just using their credit card receipts as presents.  She also hinted that there was already a new and improved model, the iThing 2.0 — with tons more memory, better resolution, and a cheaper price tag — which should be in retail outlets on April 1st, 2011.

We now return you to your regular blog.

Therefore, in light of this profound and insightful argument, we can conclude that commercialism hasn’t changed the face of Christmas but merely modified the holiday spirit.

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3 comments on “Christmas and Commercialism

  1. N Watt
    December 20, 2010

    Okay, that was just toooo funny, but sadly so true. I bought a brand new computer less than 6 months ago and already it’s an outdated piece of junk. There is no way to keep up with all the latest changes, so I guess I’ll just struggle along with this antique computer of mine and forget about the I Pod, I Pad, or I Thing, I couldn’t figure them out anyway.

    • wdfyfe
      December 20, 2010

      Welcome to the 21st century

      WD wdfyfe.wordpress.com

  2. B.J. Vandale
    December 20, 2010

    How funny, but how true. If I remember correctly there was a person who said, “What do I need a computer for, a cell phone, a DVD player, a MP3 player, the Internet etc.” Oh yes, I guess it was me. Way back when I thought I would never have a use for any of the above, but come to find out, I have and I use them all. I said I was going to stop with the hi-tech when the CD and DVD players came out. I was one of the people who, and I quote, I don’t know how they work and I’m probably to old to learn anyway. There are some of the things I will not buy, but if you were to buy everything that is new to the market, you would be up to your armpits in Hi-Tech. I have to be very honest with anyone, I never did learn how to program the old VHS machine, and what difference does it make, they are out-of-date anyway. You use the Hi-Tech gadgets that work in your own life and leave the rest on the store shelves. I think I’ll take a pass on that there new iThing your trying to sell me, unless like all the other gadgets you can purchase a teenager or young adults to show you how it works.

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2010 by in Social Comment and tagged , , , .
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