Thursday, November 20, 2008

For We Have No Help But Thee

In these difficult economic times, there's only one person who can lead us o'er the tempestuous sea of negative equity, soaring unemployment, collapsing banks, failing pension funds, rising food prices and all-round financial misery.

It's not who you think, though. It's not Robert Peston or Faisal Islam. It's not Evan Davis, or Tony Levene, or Margaret Dibben. It isn't even LC's alter ego, the Economonkey.

No, forsooth, for there is one who is wiser still than they.

It is, of course, our old friend Michelle Ogundehin, editor of Elle Decoration, whose sage pronouncements on the economy we have had occasion to heed before.

In this month's issue, Michelle takes time out from informing us that 'chocolate brown is hot for winter - even for Christmas decorations!' to impart some more of her wisdom on the current financial crisis.

And you know what, we can all relax, because Michelle says that money isn't actually all that important in the grand scheme of things. 'When times get tough, [is] being visibly surrounded by things that provoke an emotional reaction the true meaning of wealth?', she enquires, rhetorically. And before you can jump in with a quick 'well not really', she continues, in the manner of Madeline Bassett opining that the stars are God's daisy chain, 'I'd like to think so.'

Well that's all right then.

And in these tough times, what emotion-provoking things should we be visibly surrounding ourselves with? According to Michelle, an original Picasso would fit the bill nicely. But before you all fuck off to Sothebys with the housekeeping, Michelle wants to be sure you're buying your original Picasso for the right reasons. You aren't buying it to flaunt your wealth. You're buying it as an aesthetic comfort blanket to soothe you through the economic downturn. After all, there's nothing like a picture of a bint with a wonky face to take your mind off the gas bill.

And for those of us who can't afford an original Picasso? I suppose we'll just have to make do with brown Christmas decorations. Great.

21 comments:

Jayne said...

I always have chocolate brown ornaments. They're chocolate. And then I eat them. I recommend the bags full o' coins...

Vicus Scurra said...

I don't need a Picasso, I am going to put your little essay on my wall.

If only I could get the mouse to paste the text, that is.

Tim Footman said...

I going to paint Michelle Ogunhedin brown, cut her into strips, and use her to make very sombre daisy-chains.

Gok Wan is the tinsel.

patroclus said...

Jayne: You are not only very sensible, but also very fashion-forward.

Vicus: I hope it's getting pride of place above the baronial fireplace, and not in the downstairs privy.

Tim: Is 'so-and-so is the tinsel' the new 'so-and-so is the shiznit'?

jill said...

Thank you for making me giggle like a fool. And thank you for not abandoning your faithful readership for nappies.

Extra bonus giggle points for the Wodehouse reference.

Vicus Scurra said...

I don't have a downstairs privy. Unfortunately, that is the first time I have remembered that for a while.

reuttion - to be in a state of ut for at least the second time.

Annie A said...

classic patroclus

Johanna said...

Haha! Yes, that sort of thing is why I don't read magazines.

I had an interview the other day for an editing job and was asked what magazines I read, and the only thing that sprang to mind was Scarlet, the girls word porn mag. It's strange that the only womens magazine I've found that doesn't patronise women (much) is an erotic one.

Boz said...

Can't I fuck of to Topman with the housekeeping, as usual?

Surely the invitation of a place in Obama's cabinet for Michelle is merely days away?

Marsha Klein said...

Phew, thank goodness you alerted us to this! But it is really, REALLY easy to buy a Picasso for all the wrong reasons...

extemporanea said...

Good lord, Madeline Bassett. I have to go and re-read my entire Wodehouse collection immediately. I'd completely forgotten about Gussie Fink-Nottle, too!

leonie said...

ahh, "Bint with Wonky Face" (1928) - one of my all time favourite pieces of art.

Annie said...

Jayne - tee hee!

I have stopped buying Elle Deco, as it makes me murderous. Even Living Etc makes me feel mildly homicidal.

Belladona said...

She would choose a Picasso - damned out of her own mouth. Not that I have that much against Picasso but really... Obviously nothing at all to do with comforting herself by flaunting her wealth.

Jayne, you are so right. Chocolate is the only way to go for christmas decorations.

Belladona said...

I gave up on women's magazines a long time ago - I buy SFX instead. It is informative, not patronising and sometimes there are zombies in it.

james henry said...

Hurrah, SFX is aces! Good (if brief) comics review section as well.

janey33 said...

My husband has been made redundant, I have two essays to write which should have been finished a month ago and the washing machine has broken down. And now you tell me that my Christmas decorations are deeply unfashionable. A Picasso is EXACTLY what I need to cheer me up. I wonder if they've got any on ebay?
Todays word verification is "splatch" If that isn't a proper word, it jolly well should be!

oyebilly said...

All my favourite things are brown.

Valerie said...

To be fair, brown is one of my two favorite colors (the other is green). But that doesn't alter my opinion of Ms. Ogunhedin.

My hairstylist, who is currently out of work and cutting our hair on the weekends in our backyard, related to us how she'd been watching a blurb on The View that "actually seemed sensible." The segment was on "holiday outfits for your kids for under $50." She watched it with interest until the end, where the host concluded, "yes, these are the perfect outfits for that skiing vacation!" As if a skiing vacation were in the realm of reality for anyone who was looking for budget holiday togs, Michelle commented. She was disgusted.

Valerie said...

Ooh, I copied Tim's (possibly intentional) typo. Cool.

patroclus said...

Janey: Very sorry to hear about your husband, that's rough. Hope he gets back in employment very soon.

Billy: What are your favourite things?

Valerie: I like brown very much too, although possibly not for Christmas decorations. It's not very festive colour, unless you're at the Coffee and Chocolate Festival. Mmm, coffee and chocolate festival.