I’m not talking of the nice sales assistants in shops who go check if they have this shoe in an eleven and three fifths when you ask them nicely. I’m talking of those guys who phone or knock on the door at the best of times and the worst of times, who waylay you in shopping malls like bandits of old, who latch on to you like a terrier and don’t let go until they get you to unwittingly exchange your soul for a set of steak knives, or a time share in Timbuktu, or a bottle of Antarctic air.
Dentists? Wonderful people. Lawyers? Salt of the Earth. Loan sharks*? Invite ’em over for tea. But salespeople? No thank you.
Continue reading “On why I hate salespeople (and how to outsmart them)”
One of the things I like about George Orwell’s Animal Farm is…what’s that? I promised not to write about it anymore? I did, didn’t I? But I have to, for this morning the interwebs informed me that yesterday would have been Mr Orwell’s eleventy-first birthday. (The reason the interwebs only informed me of it this morning is because the pages I follow which inform me of titbits like this are mostly based in the US and as such are at their most active when I’m snug in bed, thus the belated tribute to ol’ Eric (what Orwell’s mother called him).)
His two best-known novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four (the latter published only months before his death), both describe totalitarian societies where power is vested in a small minority who uses a combination of intimidation and propaganda to keep the masses in check.
Continue reading “On propaganda and birthdays”