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Catharsis to Charon - A Seasonal Tale


We’ve been having a bit of clear out here at Sound Marketing. We’d noticed that the number of magazines lying about the place had been getting a little out of hand, so the plunge was taken. The thing is, even though it’s kind of cool to be surrounded by the fruits of your labours, it can also feel a little like the walls are closing in, so bookmarked or not, out they went.


God, it feels good. Cathartic, almost. Once you’ve tipped that first pile of twenty into the recycling container, you don’t look back. Hundreds of them. The office feels airy; the shelves manageable, and you start looking around for other ‘stuff’ you can get rid of… Broken staplers, lanyards, finger-spinners, boxes for long-dead printers, long-dead printers, dead cacti, unused swag mugs with out-of-date phone numbers, ring binders marked with the names of old clients, perished elastic bands, ancient crusted cheap instant coffee, swivel chairs that lean to one side, dozens of pens that don’t work, year planners from 2007, permanent markers without lids, keys that no-one can identify, angle poise lamps with obsolete bulbs, nipped cables, tangled purple earphones … all going in the recycling skip.


Meanwhile on the ‘other side’, in the snowy badlands of hard commerce, Father Chrismass production and his merry band of consumer-focused elves have just triggered another avalanche of ‘stuff’. Vans and lorries criss-cross the world, groaning with ‘stuff’ to put nano-second smiles on the faces of children who already have so much ‘stuff’ they’re not so much appreciative as they are completely stupified by extreme acquisition syndrome; zombiefied, sitting in the midst of far more interesting empty boxes as family pets disappear under waves of wrapping paper.


But that’s apparently what makes the world turn. From the first time a fur-clad cave-dweller motioned to another that he’d swap his special polished foxes jaw beard comb for bit of quartz on a string made of rabbit cartilage, humans have been at it. Making stuff. Yes, yes, I know people do need certain stuff. Shoes, for example. And coats. Perhaps even hats. Oranges. Nuts. Even some shortbread. A bike. A football. But does anyone need another onesie with panda ears, or a set of basket-weaving tools, or a money box in the shape of a pineapple, or a set of home weights to put under the bed, or Jamie Oliver’s 83rd book about cooking with rosemary and clementines, or ten selection boxes, or a deluxe foot spa, or a child’s drone, or an underwater watch? Or Monopoly?


All that said, there is one gift we’ll all need when the reckoning comes. We’ll all need just one shiny penny to pay the ferryman - Charon - he’s the bloke who looks at all that baggage and says:


“You can’t take it with you…”


Merry Christmas everybody.



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