The IKEA is Not a Shop

We’re all aware of The IKEA. Some of you won’t know it’s a shop. Some of you won’t know why you even know the word, but you do. It’s one of those things that is in the world, but which defies description.

Now, you’re all now saying to yourselves: “the exertion of spring cleaning the Palace has warped the fragile little mind of The Kid! The IKEA is just a shop: they are merely purveyors of flatpacked Swedish plywood and/or chipboard joy!”. I fear not. The IKEA is the First World equivalent of what native peoples call a vision quest.

The IKEA exerts its influence from a distance. You will be sitting at home on a Saturday morning and, apropos of nothing, somebody will say “What time does The IKEA open on a Saturday?”. Now, this person may not necessarily be someone who can normally speak; a toddler say. Not even a person; a family pet, a treasured porcelain figurine, a wilting Ficus. It doesn’t matter. The seed is sown.

The urge to go cannot be fought. But the manner in which the quest is undertaken is of vital importance. You must, I repeat, MUST, make at least one firm purchasing decision before you leave the safety of the house. Either use the internet, or browse one of the many catalogues which inexplicably infest each and every corner of the building. But make a choice. Keep that choice uppermost in your mind.

You are prepared. The journey to The IKEA is mercifully brief, despite the high average mileage from your house to the nearest The IKEA. There may have been several near fatal road traffic incidents in your wake, but these do not concern you. Your choice of product, uppermost in your mind, shields you from harm during your quest.

You reach The IKEA. You park the twisted remnants of your vehicle in the car park. No one parks between the lines at The IKEA. Your choice of product, uppermost in your mind, inevitably inhibits your ability to reverse park.

You enter The IKEA through The Revolving Portal. The vision quest begins, for the very doors themselves contain The IKEA products. You proceed to the first floor, from where your quest truly begins.

There is One True Path through The IKEA. It is well labelled and signposted, but these markers are false and are there to tempt the unwary from the Quest. Your choice of product, uppermost in your mind, keeps you on the One True Path.

Many have left The IKEA, having let their choice of product fall from the uppermost position in their mind, bearing only The Energy Saving LightBulbs and The Ten Pack Of Wooden Hangers. Many people have entire lofts, garages, full of unused, unwanted lightbulbs and coathangers. Some even have to buy new houses to store the reminders of their numerous failed quests.

If you keep your choice of product uppermost in your mind, you may divine the location of your product in the mystic Norse runes of the IKEA and find yourself in the abyss that is The Warehouse. It is here that the faithful may decode the runes, locate their choice of product and pass out of The IKEA to the carpark, where they have to locate and dispose of the wreckage of their personal transport.

This is the price The IKEA makes you pay for your weakness.

Boot up sequence inititated

System coming online.
RAM check… ok.
Level 2 virus definitions loaded.

Enter the location you want to viruscan: Palace of Righteous Justice

Scanning… UNKNOWN ENTITY FOUND

It’s not been long since my investiture at the Palace and the ticker tape and balloons haven’t even been cleaned up. And yet I find that I am already uncomfortable in my new home due to the invasion of the very enemy we seek to destroy. And by destroy I mean comment upon with great and skillful prose and intelligent rhetoric with which to invite discussion among the Internets.

Today I’m going to speak of marketing. Marketing can be clever, and I like clever. This does not mean that I like clever marketing. Nor does it mean that I like marketing of any sort. My point is that I don’t like marketing. Specifically, I don’t like marketing when it’s so blatantly clear that this highly polished visage I see before me is in fact a highly polished company line.

Those of you who know me best (and right now that demographic is limited to RocketBootKid) will understand when I harp on about the correctness of a given statement. This is not limited to just the apparent (or blinding absence of) truth in the message, as I’ve already suggested, but also in the concise, clear, grammatically and lexicographically accurate language used to convey that message.

As exhibit A, I submit “proactive”. As much as I’d like to argue the case for this word infact not being a word, I cannot. The Oxford English Dictionary lists it and it is therefore in common usage. However, it is this very fact that gets my boosters boiling.

Proactive is a marketing term. A term invented by marketing managers (marketeers?) to make them sound somehow more active in a world where being active isn’t enough. It isn’t sufficient to just actively pursure their next mediocre management goal; they must be seen to be proactively pursuing it.

The reason it gets my boosters boiling then (I may start to use that as a standard actually) is that “pro” (yeah, I am going to get this down and dirty about it) in this context means ‘before’. It’s a nonsense term to describe how actively they are dealing with a situation they themselves created in the first place!

Binding pro to other words – in essence, trapping it there against its will – does not make you eloquent. It does not provide you with a concise manner of explaining yourself. It does not somehow instill your immediate audience with great confidence in your oratorical prowess.

It makes you sound like a cock.

And I’m somewhat saddened that there appears to be no other adjective I can think of that I feel accurately conveys my thoughts on the matter and on those people who employ it as part of their everday life. But being as concise and truthful as possible is what prevents me from becoming the very thing I am tasked with destroying. And by destroy I mean…

Oh, you get the point.

The Palace has a new champion!

I’m finally caught up processing the backlog of unrighteousness that had built up, so while I’ve got some spare time waiting for some more to come in, I needed a project.

So I’ve been spring cleaning the Palace: getting rid of all the empty bags of mess and stuff that were lying around and I found the Boy Wonder kit I bought like months ago and never got around to putting together. I got it in a sale. I think it had been returned as it turns out some of the bits are missing. Seems to work fine though.

Anyway, I now have some company in the Palace. Someone to help handle the load, so that we can be proactive in our Righteousness, rather than reactive which, I think we can all agree, is not the situation to be in.

Some of the missing pieces were to do with guidance and cognitive functions, so his input might be a bit erratic to start with, but I’m a great believer in the powers of electroshock therapy, stroboscopic lighting and duct tape1.

So, without any ado, and no applause please, here’s BoosterBoy. Take a bow, ‘Boy.

1The plus side to the War on Terror is that people are much more forgiving towards ones approach to cultural education and information control.