BY JOHN NASH
The annual assault on wallet and digestive system has washed over us again accompanied by a stream of TV charity chuggers hoping to shame us into giving them money for every worthy and unworthy cause on Earth. I watched through heavy eyelids as the “last elephant on Earth” tottered repeatedly across the screen, bracketed by those cheerful adverts for happy funerals. It may be the season of goodwill, but not necessarily that of honesty.
Christmas gives me the opportunity to selflessly assist my wife’s waistline and derrière by scoffing all the beautiful and delicious Ferrero Rocher croquants gracing our groaning table with their golden packaging. It was such a difficult decision to help her in this way. Although she claims that she is on a diet, the dismal failure of the police to protect any of us has instead forced her of late to adopt the rather more utilitarian position that heavier people are harder to kidnap and so she, quite reasonably, prefers the safer cake and choccy option. In the end, my gluttony won the decision against her gravitational interests and so, verily it came to pass upon the Good Lord’s birthday, that I helped Mr Ferrero shift a few of the 3.6 billon pieces of his marvellous confections that delight the human race (and many ambassadors’ spoiled guests) in the form of Rocher every year.
As I slouched in semi-conscious overindulgence, my eyes fed by the hypnotic gyre of nostalgia precipitated by the ever-rotating ancient movie re-runs on the television receiving apparatus, and my stomach filled with a narcotic mixture of the hazelnut and chocolate splodge floating gently in Deep South liquor, I realised that although my body was so excellently provisioned, something was missing from my daily diet of entertaining intellectual junk food. Where were all the middle class climate nutters and Extinction Rebellion idiots usually glued to the roads, defacing evil capitalist stuff and noisily cluttering up the dismal and vacuous women’s magazine programme known as the BBC News? Perhaps they felt upstaged by all the noisy strikers. Perhaps they couldn’t find a train to get to the city. Perhaps there weren’t enough commuters to annoy.
I would have thought that Christmas is a good time for them to protest about the environment (it’s damaged by our consumption) in the middle of the UK’s £84 billion annual Christmas consumption of nosh and presents, but no – in truth, the protesters are also part of the problem and were simply busy at home like the rest of us, consuming, stuffing their faces and playing with the nearly £20 billions-worth of new smart phones they will soon be using to protest about consumption when the weather warms up a bit.
Now, I have absolutely nothing against Ferrero Rocher and I urge everyone to fully acquaint themselves with the delicious Italian product if they haven’t already done so. It certainly puts on a good show:
This particular glittering offer presents, in a most impressive manner, (1) 24 pieces of the tasty pralines, each (2) separately wrapped in gold foil and (3) labelled, nestling in (4) its own paper cup, residing beautifully in a purpose-made, (5) vac-formed tray of gold flashed PET, itself sitting on (6) a quality colour printed information card, all set inside (7) an exquisite injection moulded case made of clear polystyrene, itself (8) logo printed and taped for security with (9) clear adhesive tape. Presumably, it was delivered to the retailer enclosed in (10) a bulk cardboard outer on a (11) wooden pallet. Behold the product and its dozen or so varied and attractive components. A hundred years ago it’s flawless sparkling and prismatic case alone would have been an impressive gift fit for a king. Now it is simply disposable packaging. It is surely a wonder of modern manufacturing, confection and marketing and it fully deserves the important part it plays at Christmas.
The mind boggles at the thousands of tons of farmed cocoa, hazelnuts, sugar, soya, wheat and vanilla as well as salt mined, plastics refined, paper milled, timber machined and other raw materials gathered and transported by land, sea and air, from the four corners of the world, plus the amount of Italian ingenuity, fantastic design, experimentation, engineering, confection and production work (wafers to bake and punch out, nuts to chop, fondant to mix, shells to fill, enrobe with chocolate and plaster with roasted nuts) to produce billions of these high-quality items to a consistent standard, then send them all over the globe to arrive safe to eat in the correct places at the correct time.
And yet, although Ferrero Rocher adds considerably to the joys of being alive, not even one tiniest part of any of this vast, delicious enterprise is essential for the survival of the human race. Nothing. Not one bit. However, far from being a huge problem, I see it as a human triumph.
As the annual tide of materialism recedes in the New Year, we can expect the climate and extinction nutters to re-emerge and make a rectal trauma of themselves once more. Not one of the gormless hypocrites will stop to consider the stunning achievement of the Italian confectioner nor the many industries that form his supply and distribution. Not one of the moronic “activists” will stop to consider that their consumption is the very “problem” that they are having a tantrum about, either. They are monkeys shouting angrily at their own reflection in a pond.
Of course, they are just arse-end amateurs and willing donkeys, flotsam on the equally greater tide of cultural Marxism and its cod-philosophy of Critical Theory that is sweeping Western academia, left wing politics and popular media at the moment. Criticism is the new religion. Although sane people and normal English speakers understand the term “criticism” to mean “a counter observation aimed at seeking the truth or some kind of consensus”, modern Critical Theory parodies it by claiming to “unmask the ideology falsely justifying some form of social or economic oppression; to reveal it as ideology and, in so doing, to contribute to the task of ending that oppression”. It invents and teaches that the environment (and everything else) is oppressed and so it looks for equally invented scapegoats as proof.
The only problem is that Critical Theory is itself an irrational ideology – it’s a tax-raising, witch-finder parasite that appoints itself as the sole unmasking judge, jury and executioner of what is “false”, automatically making itself “obviously correct” and every other viewpoint “obviously false”. Like everything about Marxian ideology, it turns reality on its head and calls itself the constructive liberator when in fact it is the destructive oppressor. It is the ideology of the charlatan sold at a high price to the village idiot.
Today’s unaware cultural Marxists and anarchists, plus their feather-bed, air-head academics (most of whom are actually anti-academic) preach modern nihilistic “Critical Studies” (pidgin English for “save all the hard work – just throw out everything, including the books, the baby, the bathwater and the bath and pretend the Emperor has new academic clothes”). They do so irresponsibly, without a single concrete proposal for what might replace all of our modern ideas, enterprise, food, energy and resources that have actually been so demonstrably successful across the real world for a century or more. They are the embodiment of the wise observation that empty vessels make the most noise”.
Pol Pot tried to un-invent the modern world and that was not necessarily the finest advert for human well-being or a particularly edifying example of extreme left-wing anarchist ideological plop. Unsurprisingly, wherever a far-left or anarchist Utopia (a word that means “no place”) is created and applied exclusively (usually by force), the elites live like oligarchs while millions die in purges and even the poor survivors scrape by like rats with no bread, let alone copious quantities of affordable Ferrero Rocher and booze.
Ah, my fellow Squires – look upon Ferrero Rocher and have faith. A simple mouthful of chocolate that proves we humans are amazing and ingenious creatures. If we can invent and build a vast global industry just to enjoy a nut in chocolate, imagine what we are capable of when it comes to solving the somewhat larger environmental problems of the modern world. It will be done, not by Critical Theory nor its puritans nor its statue-pullers nor its paint-flingers – it will be done by right wing objectivity, by science and technology, by competition and enterprise, the historical supply side of all civilisations and the ladder we climbed up to leave our hunter-gatherer past.
These are the right-side activities that hunt, discover and provide the resources necessary for society to function and prosper. Without these activities, the pampered consumers on the left wouldn’t have any free time or freedom of speech, or for that matter, paint.
A very Happy New Year to you all.
John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high-rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.