Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mechanised Christmas

How else does one describe the sight of gigantic artificial Christmas trees gyrating slowly at the four corners of a traffic light junction? I found them mildly disturbing. I don't know if they're supposed to simulate trees swaying in the wind, but if they're moving because somebody thought that would add vibrancy to the Orchard Road Christmas scene, then that probably encapsulates the problem with this country.

We try so hard to keep up appearances. From a distance one may think the Huge green cones with the strips of baubles are tree-like, but on closer inspection there isn't even the semblance of branches or leaves. They're just very big inverted cones of green fabric with tacked-on coloured balls. And they're swaying ever so gently (not gracefully) in total asynchronicity (asynchronisation?) with the traffic that stops and starts past them, it's surreal.

I suppose natural trees won't dance. And I bet next year somebody will suggest that the artificial trees be made to sing too. In terms of tackiness, that ranks somewhere around those coin-operated plastic horses that I used to ride as a little boy.

If we really wanted to make it Christmassy, we'd get real trees. And we'd have bins around the trees for people to donate gifts to orphans. Because Christmas is about people and the sharing of life. It is not about trying to simulate life, no matter how clever our inventions and how real our simulations.

I like my machines to stay machines, like my trusty Palm Zire, my ageing Notebook, and La Voiture. You won't catch any of them being dressed up as anything natural. Ever.


Tym said...

Aye, 'asynchronicity' it is.

I always liked those plastic horses. They're beautifully tacky!

Terz said...

Dude! Update!

answer-man said...


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