The Champagne Socialist

Definition here, but basically it’s the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do-ideology-tailored-to-fit-the-image-conscious type of person. Examples:

I am anti corporation. Anti the mode of capitalism that profits from cheap labour in the third world. It’s just plain wrong!

The champagne socialist is against big corporations, that is, until it has the opportunity to enjoy in the spoils themselves. ‘Although I’m anti Nike and its amoral, inhumane business model, these Nike sneakers and tee complement my 80’s attire. Nike is cool now, because it brought back its old logo and slightly re-branded itself, so it’s kinda vintage, it has street cred, and it has design cred. Plus, how can our agency knock them back as a client when they pay so well, it would be to the detriment of myself and my career. Double plus, the logo on our client list gives us big brand credibility. But I’m anti corporation, and I’ll attend an exhibition that preaches as such (sponsored by Nike, in conjunction with Apple)’.

When Nike moves beyond sport and becomes ironically cool and iconic to champagne left wing designers and starts sponsoring their creative endeavours, it presents a conflict of interest to the champagne socialist. Fuck it, ju$t do it.

I’m an environmentalist. I am green. Save the Planet!

I once shared a flat with a person who had a poster on their wall stating ‘Maybe it’s coz I’m Green!’ Basically, they were a friend of the planet and they wanted everyone in the planet to know. But when it came to putting recyclable objects into the recycle bin, they kinda forgot that they were green. They also forgot when it came to turning lights off. I think what the poster meant was, ‘Maybe it’s coz I want to be seen to be Green, because it’s cool, but really I’m just another shade of grey’. Less catchy and a little less cool.

I am anti American

I lived with a guy (I lived with alotta people) who was vocal about being staunchly anti-American. Underline the vocal part. He took every opportunity to voice his disgust with them, not just the government, the whole shebang. Even the mere sound of the accent supposedly wound him up. He would say this before sitting down to another episode of The Simpsons, before watching American History X and reading another book by another American writer. ‘Oh yes, I’m anti-American, except for when it comes to my own interests. No, I’m anti the.. wait, is it cool to be anti-American? What’s the latest with that? Obama’s in now, so is it uncool to be cool, which one is Bush? That Hope poster was cool, I used it as my profile pic, am I cool? Who’s cool? Shit it’s hot in here, next question’.

‘I’m a creative, it’s all about the idea…

…I’m an ideas person. I’m all about ideas, not vanity, ideas. I’m a creative. I can’t do it if there’s no idea to it. Hear me now, ideas!’

Um, nothing you do is based on ideas. It’s based on taking someone else’s idea and reappropriating it to fit your own brief. Or going to Getty and iStock, moving some pictures around, colour, overlay, multiply and slapping some type on it and claiming it as your own design. It is a formula and it is streamlined. There’s nothing wrong with that, do what you need to do, but just kill the act.

Oh, but I can’t do it if there’s no idea. It’s about the idea. Oh, ideas and creativity!

See that there, that bit of creative design you just did. I saw your reference in a design book. You ripped it off. You didn’t base it on that, you copied it and just changed the words. So yes, there is an idea there, but it’s not yours. Actually, it isn’t even an idea; it’s an arrangement of objects and a hue. Do you even know what an idea is? Stop preaching about being an idea revolutionary, and accept your status as an idea reappropriator, not a creative.

I dislike the whole concept of marketing, spinning shit to sell shit to people who already have enough shit. I cant bare to watch or listen to an ad for longer than half a second. I look around and (apply muzzle now).

Oh yeah, that one is me. I claim the above, yet I work in marketing, and have done a lot of work in ad agencies. Not a lot, my whole career has been in advertising. I look at my folio, and it’s all advertising. I look in the mirror and I see a catchy strap line with exclamation marks shouting YOU ARE A FUCKWIT!! DON’T MISS OUT! FUCK OFF! I’m a champagne marketing critic.

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