Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Stop the world- I want my other sandal

I'm sorry to say that, yet again, I gave into the impulse to write into the Guardian. As this would be my 3rd letter to be published, it would have brought me firmly into the realms of what David Blunkett called "the yoghurt-eating, sandal-wearing Guardian-reading fraternity". It's weird how these things creep up on you.
I had good cause though. Yesterday's front page trailed the lead article in G2 with what was going to be a facile statement at the best of times:

"Why fashion is more important than life or death"

And, as if to prove my point below that it had the headline, "Fears for Briton as hostage killed." I
felt someone should point out the striking juxtapositioning there. They haven't published it though.

Brother thinks I'm being a little intolerant with this. I'm not- everyone has the right to express their opinion, within limits, but when you make a statement that idiotic in a serious newspaper, unless you genuinely know nothing of the world apart from clothes, you should expect a number of people to criticise your bizarre and twisted priorities. You sick weirdo.

The problem is, the article's actually a valid representation of a very mainstream strand of thought. Many people prefer to go shopping and talk about shoes than the horror around them. And in time it becomes more important. Their hero becomes Sarah Jessica Parker, thinking about sex, shoes and, most of all, herself as the city burns around her. She's plunging into the abyss, smiling, as her new Gucci handbag is to *die* for.

It's bigger than fashion shows, where an insular elite talk of unreal designs never intended to hit the shops are paraded in front of people who think they're at the cutting edge of the world. They're never going to realise that it's solely of interest to themselves, as they disappear further up their own backsides. But calling them journalists just encourages them.

It's in every mind-numbing magazine which genuinely seems to teach "last season bad- throw it out". The idea of retail therapy- that somehow getting further into debt will make you feel better- which somehow these people have brought into the language. The more stiches, the less riches.

If fashion's more important than life or death, imagine what would happen if someone flew a plane into London Fashion Week.

Welcome back to the real world.

Doubt the Guardian would publish that either.


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