The Sainsbury's Christmas Advert Is A Dark Vision Of Our Future
It's that time of year again, that time when large-scale retailers attempt to paper over their domination of our lives by subjecting us to twee advertising featuring songs by Flight of the Conchords and James Corden. But we are not deceived.
Because Sainsbury's Christmas advert presents a dark vision of our world, but an entirely accurate one. This joyful man, who works at an actual factory designed to make fun, is still crushed by the utter meaningless of his working life and the freedom it denies him.
Truly, his life is nothing. His mind is so overwhelmed by his dedication to the assembly line that he has to write a reminder for himself to buy his dog a fucking bone.
He complains about train schedules through song - the bread and butter of every British worker.
His boss twerks inappropriately at a Christmas function, revealing that even those with supposedly wondrous jobs are instead victims of eternal monotony and borderline sexual assault by the mundane.
And then - then - the "optimism" of the narrative breaks through. But it is not optimistic, it is horrific. This is a society where our state of total submission to capitalism can only be improved through self-replication, boosting productivity through the fracturing of time itself.
No, Sainsbury's claims, you should not seek to balance your work and home life in this world. The latter must always submit to the former, and the only solution is to automate yourself so that you can embrace your family and friends.
Yet the advert fails to address what happens when this man's manager discovers his inventions. Do we really expect that they will allow him to stay at home while his clones perform his tasks? If you do, you're a fool.
Because after this fleeting moment of happiness, this man will be hauled back into his workplace and given an ultimatum: work longer hours creating more of these beings to increase productivity even further, or be fired, because your job is now being performed free of charge. He has made his labour worthless - what did he think would happen?
His dedication to the cult of inbox zero, not to mention his arrogance that his children would prefer time with him to a PlayStation VR headset, has been his undoing.
We live in dark times.
By Scott Limbrick - @ScottLimbrick
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