When tradition becomes Tradition

Traditional Lemonade is supposed to taste like hand crushed lemonade sold at the side of streets by sweaty urchins in deep summer. It costs more than conventional clear lemonade and is available in a variety of bottle sizes and brands.

This isn’t news. It’s seems that for a long time that anything can be made “Traditional” by slapping a pricetag on it and ramping up its nostalgia value. Look at the holidays. Look at them! The “Traditional” Easter pastime of finding hidden chocolate eggs is now apparently impossible without gift sets and play guides that alleviate the stress/magic of simply putting a treat somewhere unexpected.

The seasons themselves are under attack, since the mere act of enjoying the sunshine and the associated Vitamin D boost is now requires right headgear, a painstakingly retro patterned wool throw, a wicker hamper with a napkin stapled into the sides and “Traditional” foods.

Don’t ever make yourself a picnic. Don’t ever look at the foods you like, the foods you eat, and try and comprise a travel selection out of them. Don’t waste your time making a picnic, just let the supermarkets sort that pre-packed tradition out for you.

I never had pigs in blankets at Christmas in my childhood, but a deep sexy voice from M&S tells me to buy their premade ones every year, because it’s traditional.

Residential listings tell you that a balcony is “perfect for those warm summer evenings” because that is a Traditional way to unwind. They don’t tell you that the letterbox is “ideal for receiving correspondence from debt collectors” or that the toilet is “ideal for those mega-heavy bowel movements where you really find out who you are” despite those being the most nostalgic and Traditional ways to enjoy them.

Eager university freshers, moving away from home for the first time to connect with those like themselves without the rules or shackles that they grew up with no longer need worry about cutting lose and flying off the handle. They don’t have to arrange their own outbursts and memories, since they’re provided for them in a carefully structured fortnight of alcohol and sexual irresponsibility before the “real” business of education can begin.

You’re not doing something, you’re doing doing something.

Even critical thought is under threat. Soon it won’t be sufficient to simply have or express an opinion, and entire services will spring up dedicated to just that- the chronicling and publishing of individual observations and criticisms… oh…

Nick
xx

Also I hate the word “pastime”- it shows a lack of enthusiasm for the task being undertaken. “Interest” is lousy because it implies you can’t be interested in everything you encounter, and “hobby” is quite frankly silly.