Monday, February 06, 2006

Five blade razors have arrived!

Yes, Gillette has done it! The five blade razor! We're well on the way to the promised land of the 10 blade super razor. Remember – you heard it here first!!

I love it when a plan comes together. At school, I spent some considerable time explaining to 14 year olds the advantages of the communist system of production and distribution as an intellectual exercise in the study of Animal Farm. I always used razor blades as the prime example of how the control of the production and distribution of goods in a socialist society was far more effective and sensible than letting ad-men and consumers do it. And, my tongue-in-cheek railings against very multi-bladed razors always got a good laugh! Now, I know I was right! Hands up all those who think a 5-bladed, turbo-charged, multi-lubricated razor is a blessing to mankind! Hands down those who think it's just a marketing ploy.

It is dangerous when ideology intrudes into the classroom. However, I defy anyone to come up with an intelligent way of teaching Animal Farm or 1984 without explaining socialism to students who have never heard of it. Therefore, I tried to make it a “joke” - hoping that pupils would see the inherent absurdities in both capitalist and socialist ideologies. I wish I could say it always worked. Unfortunately, I often appeared to be an unpaid recruiter for the Socialist Worker. Twas not my intention. It wasn't difficult to convince pupils that producing ever more bladed razors was an absurd waste of the talent and expertise of the razor manufacturers of the world.

Soap powder works the same way. In State Soap Factory Number 6 you could produce all the soap required to clean the nations clothes without spending the millions that Proctor & Gamble does to convince mug punters that Daz is best. Honest! Think about it.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola both spend more than the GDP of most countries in the world (more than $1.6 billion) in trying to capture that extra one tenth of one percent of the soft drink market. This is more money than the GDP of every African nation – with the possible exception of RSA (and it's close!). That noise you can hear in the background is the crying of millions of starving and dying black children in Africa being drowned out by the high revolution whine of George Orwell spinning in his grave. It's impossible to teach Orwell without explaining his socialist views and how he came, even as an Old Etonian, to get them. In Spain, Homage to Catalonia: in England, The Road to Wigan Pier.

It was a worry (probably without foundation) that I was creating the next generation of barricade stormers through the innocent machinations (I hope) of the advertising departments of some of our major corporations. Not to mention the impact on my pension rights if kiddies convince their mums to beat their clothes clean on rocks with just a bit of sodium hydroxide (lye) as a cleaning agent – or brew their own home-made fizzy drinks.

Honest, I was just making an interesting point about the absurdity of modern life. When the revolution comes, please don't let me be first up against the wall! Please.

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