Thursday 26 April 2018

You don't know what you've got ...

Kilkenny City - we need to think what kind of High Streets we want.
Kilkenny City - we need to think what kind of High Streets we want.

John Masterson

Time was when we liked the bright, shiny things that replaced the drab blandness of our surroundings. This led to a more vibrant culture, even if it came at the price of a lot more bad taste. Cheap colourful clothes were not usually cut well. And pink and lime green baths have not stood the test of time.

As always, the pendulum swung and our heritage became a new religion. The past was to be venerated. There was an uncritical acceptance of things that went before, and no one would have any difficulty getting all sorts of well-meaning people protecting some building that the occupants of old would have put a bulldozer through at the drop of a hat, had such a machine existed.

I have always had a liking for durability. The disposable culture never appealed to me. The idea of throwing out a shirt that did not even show minor signs of wear always seemed immoral. Putting it into a charity shop is a good half-way house to ease the conscience. But in today's world the economy does require us to spend as if there was no tomorrow, and shops depend on us spending our 2016 money this year. I was appalled recently to look at my credit card bill which told me that if I made the minimum payment each month it would be cleared in about 20 years. In that case, it would last a lot longer than the items it was used to purchase.

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