"One of our greatest high tech innovators, James Dyson, has urged me to increase the support they get. I have listened to him, and have gone even further than he recommends." Rt hon George Spunkface, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
LORD DYSON OF MALAYSIA. BUY MY NEW MACHINE, IT'S MILES BETTER THAN THE LAST ONE, BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE NEXT ONE. THAT'LL BE MILES BETTER THAN THIS ONE, HONEST, YOU CAN TRUST ME, I'M AN ARSEHOLE.
How does he do this, year after year, this vacuum cleaner shit, and not feel embarrassed?
The Shakers were one of those religious nutter sects which fled England to found Uncle Sam's lunatic asylum, across the water. Shaker dwellings, textiles and especially furniture have become stylistically iconographic; blessed with massive forests of walnut, oak, ash, cherry and pitch pine the Shaker settlers crafted austere, ultra efficient and durable pieces of furniture which these days change hands for tens of thousands of dollars and their designs are widely reproduced by craftspersons all around the New and Old worlds. Shaker homes and furniture were a celebration of the covenant which timber represents between man and nature, a celebration peculiar inasmuch as the Shakers practised celibacy and have now, pedictably, died out.
As well as repudiating their own reproductive urges, the Shakers hated dirt. Around their rooms, at shoulder height, they fixed pegrails on which they could hang stools and chairs and stuff,
whilst they swept out the rooms, chastising their polished floorboards with bezam brooms, brushing living's detritus straight out the door. No carpets for them, fuck no.
My Shaker carpet moment came years ago, long before I knew about Shakerism, when, as a young man, in the kaleidoscopic embrace of lysergic acid dyethelamide, I dropped on the floor a tiny sliver of cannabis resin with which I was hoping to ape the Saviour on the Mount and build a joint which would stone the five thousand - or at least the handful of people in the room, it was an immeasurably small fragment of dope, its retrieval almost requiring an entry into the sub-atomic universe. Down on my knees, I went, fingers carefully parting the aforestation of carpet fibres, Jesus, there was some horrible stuff living in there, all manner of bits of shit and filth, rotting food, dust and vast herds of nasty, dangerous insects, little armour-plated bastards, waving claws and fangs, sawbills and sabretails, snapping and hissing, multi-legged, with eyes on stalks. Fucks sake, lads, we're under siege here, get the fucking vacuum cleaner out. After what seemed like centuries of earthquake-noisy hoovering I got down again, prised the fibres apart again and it was all still there, the snarling carpet universe. I don't believe I was hallucinating, you only need to think about carpeting for a moment to get the horrors; the Japs and the Chinks and the Muslims all take their shoes off indoors but we don't and even if we do just the very construction of carpet, it's woven density, will swiftly make it home to stuff you'd rather not think about, and life being what it is, shit survives, adapts, clings to its environment.
Never been happy with carpets from that day to this and generally manage to throw the fucking things out and clean and polish the boards; twenty coats of varnish'll do the trick, two or three a day, a light wire wooling and a wipe with white spirit between coats; a week to empty the room and sand and stain the floor and a week to varnish it. And then you can just mop it over with some gentle detergent, a gleaming, natural, vermin-free surface you could eat your dinner off of. For me the fitted carpet is as desireable as the Ahn Sweet bathroom. A shithouse in the bedroom. Aye, right. Luxury.
And so the vacuum cleaner strikes me as the most useless, redundant piece of junk you can own. Even the Kirby one, the one that costs over a grand and is made out of some intergalactic heavy metal that you can't hardly lift, even that one, a thousand horsepower hoover can't clean these little fuckers up. At least they last a lifetime, though, the Kirbys, don't jam up, chew up their belts, refuse even to do all that whirring and wheezing that the Dysons do. Just go down any council tip in the country, the section where they put the tellies and computers and printers and fridgefuckingfreezers that they pretend to recycle and there'll be platoons of those fucking Dyson things, purple and yellow and grey, standing to attention, fucked and useless, clapped-out, shiny, plastic, planned obsolescence, worn-out, right on schedule; junk, good for fuck all.
First they sold us, at exorbitant cost - on HP, even - intrinsically filthy floor coverings that we didn''t need and then they sold us shitty, noisy bits of junk to keep them clean, even though they didn't, couldn't; Hoover beats, as it sweeps, as it cleans. And now Dyson, having shipped his business out to the Far East, where folks work for fuck all, bombards us, year after year, with variations on his pointless, plastic theme. He needs one shoving up his arse.
And Mr George Spunkface, smirking and coughing his way through his non-budget dragoons this clown, Dyson, to his cause, as though he was a hybrid of Michaelangelo and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Brilliant inventor, James Dyson, says I should do this or that and this or that that is what I am doing. Aren't I clever? And I commend myself to the house.
Trains and boats and planes, we used to make, from needles in Redditch to ocean liners on the Clyde and everything in-between. Now, we lionise the City's financial terrorists and govament kowtows to tax-dodging, sweatshopping rag traders at M and S and TopMan. Seems quite appropriate that Dyson, peddler of worthless, plastic junk, should be whispering in the Chancellor's ear. High-tech innovator, right up there with the large Hadron particle collider, that's bagless vacuum cleaning. Dyson, the modern charlady's best friend.