Friday, 12 October 2007

Razors and detergents

I think I've entered a stage of profound nihilism. I didn't begin that way, I mean who does? There aren't many newborns out there questioning whether they really are, as their parents (well, anyone remotely genetically linked to the thing) will undoubtedly put it, 'the prettiest child on the planet' ignoring the fact that they look like either Winston Churchill or Paul Daniels, or even worse some perverse hybrid of the two). No, life does this to you, it starts as malingering doubts, you hear that santa stuff isn't true, the bible stuff doesn't hold much water and you find yourself being manipulated from day one. Manipulated? 'Stories' on how to share toys with your friends, how to eat all your greens, all that arse gravy that is fed to children in the name of a bedtime story, if that's not a cynical ploy to manipulate behaviour through the medium of entertainment then I don't know what is.

Anywho, I digress, as tautologous as it sounds life lead to cynicism and that is the surest path to nihilism where all 'knowledge' seems unfathomable because nothing is ever as it seems. Now to the subject in hand, razors and detergents. I dislike shaving, show me someone who doesn't (okay, other than a xyrophiliac -- smart arse) but there is a holy grail in the razor world which is the 'close shave' in which after shaving it appears as if the continuity of your skin has yet to be breached by the merest nanometre of hair. For a number of years I used the Gillette 'Sensor Excel' which when it came out was 'the closest shave a man can get'. Since this product hit the market there has been the 'Mach 3', the 'Mach 3 Turbo', the 'Mach 3 Power', the 'Fusion', the 'Fusion Power' and most recently the 'Fusion Power Stealth' which still claims to give the closest shave a man can get -- why on earth should we believe them? Compare:


With soap powder it is the same, the key message is that they shall get your clothes the whitest white. Well if that is true why would there ever be the need for any other product? If the pinnacle in dirt removal has been achieved where else can you go? I do not deny that products get better but in claiming that whatever they sell at any given point as being the closest thing there is to perfection they make any future product seem redundant or make any future claim of a similar kind seem untrue. Also compare:


Language is a strange beast, 26 characters, hundreds of thousands of possible words, frillions of new and conceivable ideas and yet we see the same ridiculous verbal detritus rehashed in some new form with every new product selling an idea they know is false and we know is false. We live a life of mutual bullshit -- this is why I am a nihilist, or am I?


Anonymous said...

Not life but television: it makes a nihilist and a misanthrope of me yet it is merely a repulsive carney - and easily avoided.

Paolo said...

Misanthropy reminds me of the reason I hate miso soup.

I think Bhutan experience shows up the problem of television, where since its introduction in 1999 concepts wholly alien to an entire people have taken over -- consumerism, status anxiety and rocketing crime levels.

All hail the mighty television.