Saturday, July 12, 2008

"The middle ground is getting absolutely murdered"

So said Mike Ashley, this time in the financial pages. He's actually saying something, inadvertently perhaps, that tells us a lot about the way things are going now. There are rich people, a small number but they are comparatively richer than at any time in living memory. They are the ones who "want the latest products". The rest of us are after "extreme value". And the middle ground is, indeed being murdered. That was most of us, by the way: the employed working class, all but the wealthiest of the middle class.

Nobody could have predicted just how fucking weird things would turn out in the way we live. We 60s kids grew up with the notion that inequalities were gradually eroding. Many of us wanted revolution, wanted it now, but there was always the underlying hope that things were evolving nicely anyway: the poor were getting better-off, the rich more like us, less outrageously rich.

Selfishness and greed became acceptable, even praiseworthy in the 80s. And now, income is horribly polarised. But the fucking weird bit is, celebrity culture means that the the poor watch the rich's antics with salivating envy, thinking only: I Want to Be One of Them. And hardly ever: This Situation is Shit, Let's Change It.