Chris Marshall

Choices, What Choices?

Politicians, Marketing Specialists, Broadcasters, Retailers, Hospitality and Leisure Companies will, I have no doubt, a) tell you that we the paying public have never had so many choices, and b) will disagree totally with the content of this article!

Turn on your TV and you will have, literally, hundreds of channels and thousands of programs to choose from at any nano second of life.

Want something to eat, online or out in the real world, again hundreds of choices await on bated breath for your decision.

Looking to cast your vote? Left, Right, Centre, Left of Centre, Right of Centre ….. again a multitude of choices, although to be fair they do all seem pretty much the same i.e. useless!

Late 90’s on my first trip to New York I ventured into the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, to have a look around. It was huge. I mean it was seriously huge. I know it had records, but I could not name one of them. After 5 minutes stood in the entrance deciding which way to go first to have a look, I decided to leave as there was simply no way I could even start to do justice to all the choices that lay before me.

Last month after a trip to the cinema with my parents they wanted to eat. We were in a Retail Park with the best part of eight ‘different’ restaurant franchises to choose from. Lots of choice then?! Not really. A 10 minute walk around checking out the menus on display confirmed that pretty much all offered the same: pizza, pasta, burgers, fajitas, grills … all had booths, and all had pretty much the same ‘theme’.

This last week I tried to watch two new series on TV. I only managed half an hour of each as I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I had seen them before. I hadn’t of course, only I had …. stuck together cliches, a 6 part series that only warranted 2 episodes at most, the same story with some (not so) new twist, and lots of mood music and knowing looks …… yawn!

On the plus side this mundane dumbing down, the result of having to produce so much to provide at such low prices has driven back to purchase LP’s ….. primarily of artists that I actually know, or heavens forbid that an actual real human friend recommends, and read biographies and history books about people and events that I am actually interested in.

Every cloud, silver lining, the old ones are the best …… with cliches like that maybe I should write a TV series, or a menu, or a marketing slogan ….. “We take the thinking out of life so you don’t have to!”

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