The Big Idea – Marxist Theory by Currys

You probably thought Currys were just trying to flog a few cheap electricals in its adverts. They're actually making a serious statement on contemporary Marxist theory...

Santa loves Christmas adverts too. Look at him!

Adverts: if it’s not Phil Collins, it’s perfume, price comparison sites or power ballad best-ofs. Or so you would think. But actually, there’s a lot more going on under the bonnet than they would have you believe.

Take Currys, the most densely-nuanced set of adverts currently on television. They started off with three inoffensive, thirtysomething commuters, running the downmarket chain store from their high-definition future offices. Then the Irish one was taken away (presumably moved to another chain for flirting too much with the blond one), leaving her and the Danny Wallace-a-like to get on the hard work of pointing at pictures of electronics.

So far, so innocuous – but then we were introduced to the mass of workers. While our remaining management duo strutted up and down a runway, barking rules about delivery and packaging, the workers – a mix of overalled ex-miners and store drones – unquestioningly listen to their orders, before getting to work. And you know why they are getting on with shifting white goods? Because that’s how we communicate our love in the 21st century: by buying the missus a Candy washing machine slash dryer for Christmas. Why, that’s a nice bit of commodity fetishism.

While the alienated proles toil away at shifting white goods just off the boat from China, Blondie goes off with the Wallace-a-like for a suckjob and a punnet of sushi. Exploiting the masses is hungry work, see. How this can be interpreted as anything but the bourgeois’s oppression of the proletariat mass is unfathomable.

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Currys have even obliquely tried to smuggle in more incompatible concepts than the average Matrix film. After proleing it up for a bit, we suddenly discover that above the bourgeois is an all-powerful queen, shooting off barbed comments and withering looks at the be-desked workers. They actually seem quite scared of her. It might explain where the Irish fellow went to – one withering look too many and he was taken away for electrical treason.

We’ve also recently stumbled onto what may be the Nietzschean Ubermensch (have I written about the flu-ridden weekend I spent convinced I was the reincarnation of Nietzsche? No? We’ll save that for next week.) Sure, loveable Teutonic Klaus may be keeping quiet at the moment, but behind people’s backs he’s able to fix Christmas lights by just smiling benevolently at them. Some may say that he’s supposed to be Santa, but he could be both. After all, Santa seems quite happy to eternally return year after year, flying around the world. And it never really made sense how a saint was able to fly, did it?

So the next time you flick away from Currys for rotting your brain, remember: this is significantly better telly than what you’re watching in the first place.