As my wife and I weaved our way through the grotesque monoliths within the UK’s capital city, I started to lament the death of the old High Street – leaving myself open to a charge of nostalgia – a most heinous crime by all accounts – at least in the opinion of my now mature offspring.
Over the last year or two, I have struggled to understand why nostalgia is viewed as such a despicable offence, given the manner in which some regard it present times – no doubt one day soon, it will become an felony under the UK Criminal Code.
I can see it now, “You are hereby charged, that on dates unspecified, you, Gordon George Kinghorn, with malice afore-thought, indulged in several hours of nostalgia whilst striding down the aisles of major retail stores throughout the borough of Knightsbridge – how say you, guilty or not guilty?” I should plead guilty.
In mitigation, I would claim that we sometimes got it right in the past, (The Kinks still rule OK-occasionally at least, don’t they?) so why therefore, should we not hang on to some of it?
Why oh why is progress always considered a better option?
I abhorred my Christmas shopping experience – a tacky occurrence at best, the vast majority of retail outlets we visited on that particular day, appeared to offer little more than offensive T-Shirts, over-priced underwear, mountains of mobile phones and shiny Androids, those that could do just about anything by simply pushing a screen – save going to Mercury or Saturn of course…but give it time I guess.
Coupled with our visitation to the stores in question, there were loudspeakers blaring hideous music – and I mean hideous – Messer’s Sinatra, Como, Presley and Crosby must have been be rolling in their graves – there existed not even the merest indication that Yuletide songs were soon to follow the cacophony of noise that blared out that disagreeable day.
Additionally, one would have indeed strived very hard to unravel any hint that the Christmas period was soon to be upon us, (at that time) – the vast majority of shops opting for colourful ‘Bargain Sale’ or ‘Drastic Reduction’ signs – as opposed to the once ever-present images of Santa…or dare I say, ‘Baby Jesus’ lying in his manger, but worse was to come.
Before long, and as the shades of night descended on the streets of lamentable London, we discovered that the borough council had invited a commercial sponsor to pay for the Christmas lighting in Oxford Street, the net result being a huge neon effigy of ‘Ronald McDonald’, attired in a pitiful reindeer costume, unconvincingly suggesting to the near-frozen throngs, that Ronnie’s employers offered an appetising culinary alternative to the British traditional festive fare – puh-leeze!!!!
The iridescence thrown-off from the so-called festive lighting had no meaning, it reflected little more than a shoddy testimony to commercial greed – even the anniversary of the birth of Christ has no longer any significance in this fast-depleting technological age.