From the album ‘One For The Road’ (2015)
From the album ‘One For The Road’ (2015)
Gosh, what a pompous title that is. Brian Sewell would’ve been proud.
But yeah, I need a new laptop and have done for well over a year. The current one, purchased in 2010, is slower than a granny at a supermarket checkout thanks to its optical hard drive. So what’s all this hand-wringing over getting a new one? Well, I’m embroiled in the process of converting the loft in my house. By saving consciously and conscientiously I have sufficient funds to turn my current dwelling from a two bedroom house into a four bedroom house. If house values continue to rise exponentially (thanks gentrification!) perhaps I’ll sell it to some cunty nuclear family within a few years.
Spending ten grand on the loft conversion is okay. It’s completely practical and it manipulates capitalism’s ruthlessness to my benefit in a self-congratulatory, pragmatic Sarah ‘get a home report!’ Beeny way. Providing you do it properly, it’s like printing money. Buying a more expensive laptop than I originally intended to, or really need, is the consumerist zeitgeist controlling and extorting me. This juxtaposition is infuriating. I’ve probably lost many of you at this point. We all need a bit of hedonism cries the gallery. Wanting to replace a seven year old laptop that wheezes louder than an asthma sufferer when you turn it on is completely normal bruh.
Sadly, Alan Curtis is completely right. The speed and perpetuity of digital and technological advancement has drastically altered sociological mores by seamlessly assuming consumerist materialism as its keystone virtue. Fashions and trends are nothing new, but this consensus is firmly established – by not having a contemporary device that works and works quickly, or having instant or 24 hour access, you’re cutting off multiple avenues that allow you to be ubiquitously sociable. Consciously opting out of or resisting said advancement makes you a) old (likely), b) a joyless anti-social curmudgeon or c) someone who’s to be looked upon with suspicion.
Which is unfair, but mostly I loathe having bourgeois impulses that vanquish rationality. Needing a new laptop is rooted in practicality, but upon researching what one to get for my specific and basic needs (to surf the internets, laddie) I was seduced by the features more expensive models had. Some are capable of allowing me to game in bed at 2k resolution. Having been introduced to the possibility I now not only want this, but feel I need and deserve it too. Pivoting from the intent to buy or spend on something for practical use to desiring it for its material worth, aesthetics, branding and potential improvement in lifestyle is a form of specious capitulation I associate with insufferable Apple acolytes and Tories. You know the sort, folk with enough disposable income that care little they’re being grossly over-charged, and who blithely acquiesce to its cynical marketing of needing to own the latest model. Owning the latest incarnation signifies you belong to the clique, that you have the status and wealth to ‘fit in’ with the zeitgeist, just like Patrick Bateman. How it makes you feel (about yourself) is more important than what the device was designed to do. There’s no room for negative or critical thinking here, such as was this a productive use of my cash? Will I use all these features? Do I really need this upgrade? Can I upgrade this device? Sometimes I wish I could be (a bit more) impulsive, but eschewing such questions when buying anything feels vulgar, as though you’re trying (and failing) to suppress a proclivity for snuff porn.
But yeah, I really, really want to watch snuff porn on an Aorus laptop, and now nothing else will do. Not even the fact that I plan on buying a refurbished model for a third less than its retail price is enough to alleviate the sickening realisation that I’ve saved up my money, only to feel just like one of those folk who willingly extort themselves. Though hopefully the adage is true – quality makes you forget the price. When the new laptop arrives I suspect I’ll enjoy using it so much, particularly the improvement in performance over its predecessor, that I’ll soon forget what I spent on it.
Still, while this war is lost, there are personal battles still to be won. I refuse to move from one incremental, often comparatively frivolous, technological step to the next. What’s the point in going from a Samsung S7 to an S8? Or an iPhone [whatever the previous one was called] to an iPhoneX? Plus, and while we’re on the subject, you have to be the biggest fucking cunttwat alive to buy the iPhoneX (cost – £1000 – WTfuckingF) just to get those hideous animal emojis which mimic you talking, or, god forbid, singing, and only work if you converse with someone who’s using an Apple phone. That there hasn’t been a revival of the Internationale in response Sex & the City 2, or Apple’s ‘Animoji (go-fuck) yourself’, pricing, war on audiophiles and the music industry, confirms communism is dead and buried.
Thankfully I’ve finally found a justification I can live with: I’m psychologically bracing myself for Brexit. In spending £1200 on a laptop when, to serve my practical and basic needs, one for half the price would suffice, I can console myself that it’ll be a one off. Post-Brexit I (and many others) probably won’t be able to afford such a luxury, or, if we can, we’ll pay a premium price for a basic model. God knows how we’ll cope.
From the album ‘Dr. Octagonecologyst’ (1996)
From the album ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ (1976)