Wednesday 28 November 2012

Pre-Christmas postmodernism

I stopped for a coffee this morning. Big mistake.

For the benefit of any environmental health officers reading this, it wasn't the coffee itself that was the problem. What bothered me was the setting.

I stopped at Next - yes, the clothing retailer - in Shoreham.

In the main window of Next is a festive tableau. Nativity?   A family unwrapping presents?  No. The centrepiece is one of those sawn-off cones used for wrapping Christmas trees in a giant fishnet stocking. Except, of course, the trees in the window display are artificial.

"Is it postmodern?" I asked myself. Or did the designer think this really summarised Christmas in 2012?

But I wasn't stopping. On the first floor, accessed via the bedroom department and a travelator from the future, is Starbucks.

And then I realised I was off to a coffee shop that has dropped 'coffee' from its name. The coffee shop that's been telling us "red cups are coming", a celebration of takeaway cardboard containers rather than the contents. Red cups are coming; an apparent parody of Coca-Cola's announcement that "holidays are coming", in which Santa Claus drives a giant truck across the country like a festive Kris Kristofferson.

Okay, I'll stop now. A skinny gingerbread latte with whipped cream, please. Yes, of course I'm serious.