This weekend I finally caught up with a television programme that many people had said that was brilliant — and it was. That was Sherlock and I think the reason I never really watched it was because there were only 3 episodes per season and they came and went quickly.
Normally, in my wild (for a given value of wild) and culturally relevant youth, I would seek out all these wonderful cultural creations and consume them with the thoughtfulness of a classical scholar — basking in their profundity (or not).
But not now. I haven’t watched Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Homeland or any of those Scandanavian bleak dramas that are supposed to be great. I haven’t even kept up with my normal hobby of watching terribly awful blockbuster films like Escape Plan that I would have been to the cinema on opening night when in university (in between working anyway). I wait for things to come on Netflix because I can’t be fucked and prefer my couch to most other places.
I’m pretty sure I don’t keep up with as many games as I should and thought Ghosts and Battlefield 4 were mind-numbingly dull (and this comes from the person who collected EVERY DAMN THING in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. But even then, I work and have outside interests and so can’t spend as much time as a teenager consuming this particularly delightful medium. I haven’t even played Minecraft and feel like all these indie games are behind this door that I can only glimpse from behind a keyhole.
So I’ve slipped safely out of the relevant advertising market of being young and I don’t know how it even happened. I became relentlessly busy and started a PhD but procrastination was never a stranger to me. Why did I stop caring about all this…stuff?
But even greater irrelevance awaits me! Not planning on becoming a parent so the whole thing about schools and all the associated pains of raising a mini-me won’t affect me. I won’t have to worry about the school run or which nappie to buy. I won’t have to worry about fighting for the equivalent of Tickle-me-Elmo at Christmas (like I remember seeing news reports on when I was younger). Nope, that advertising sector is closed. A whole swathe of targeted messages on Facebook are misdirected.
I am a DINK though (dual-income, no kids) which I guess is good, capitalist wise. I have disposable income to splash on things I want but all the things I want are basically comics. I don’t consume a lot on clothes on gadgets. I basically buy more books and consume even more free media online. I’m not a girly girl, I buy a new pair of shoes when mine let in too much rain. I buy new t-shirts on a nerd-quotient level rather than fashion. So much marketing advertises to an ident-i-kit image of what women want and consume and none of it is relevant to me at all. I don’t even own a hairdryer.
But I’m not old enough to be worth to cater to by politicians. I’m not a pensioner, I’m not a baby-boomer. I’m a nothing-er. I’m just a person inbetween relevant cultural and political demographics.
I’m not a worthwhile person to advertise too. I’m a market failure in the form of a person.
I’m not even bothered by this. I just find it interesting. I essentially have the same tastes as my partner but none of the advertising is directed at me because I’m not male. I see relentless advertisements for perfume and cologne (presumably because that is what you buy people at Christmas) and it just makes me despair that I have to put up with them for a month. I guess this is what it means to get older, in some way. That you are no longer relevant to the powers that be but you also no longer care.
I worry though that I’ll miss something (mainly pub quiz answers to be fair). That there will be something important and culturally relevant that will forever mark me as An Older Person. That I’ll become the people I argue with on Facebook about politics and religion. That progress will pass me by and I’ll be on the wrong side of it all. I’ll no longer be relevant but also deeply obsolete.
I guess advertising and marketing never really goes in for all the deep stuff though. Keep it light and all that. Shiny. So its doubtful that if a revolution comes that I’ll hear it on Spotify. Oh well. Someone let me know when the revolution or the futuristic dystopia happens. I’ll be over here re-reading Sandman.