Something to rouse you from your Groundhog Christmas melancholy


Whilst we all undeniably crave or need the comfort of some familiarity and continuity in our lives, it’s the unpredictability of each new day and the inherent challenges that I know these will bring that makes me get up each morning. Too much repetition drives me mad. I need perpetual Flux.

Christmas is very much an annual Groundhog Day for me. I find myself eating the same food, seeing the same faces, reading the same Christmas cracker jokes, coming last in the yearly yuletide quiz and regretting my penchant for gluttony at roughly the same time after consuming my weight in Turkey.

Our eyes and ears are bombarded with the same TV show re-runs, the same sickly sweet Christmas tunes and ads that are so disappointingly generic, insipid and mine-numbingly dull that it feels like we have seen them a thousand times before. In fact, I’m pretty sure that half the ads I did see this year were indeed last year’s creations, salvaged from the cutting room floor. The recession is starting to bite it would seem.

Okay, so this may not be appearing on TV screens across the UK for another two days, but watching it this afternoon has helped wake me from my Christmas malaise.

“Sometimes the only one you have to beat is yourself,” booms the voiceover after the climax of the Matrix-esque fight sequences between the Golf designer and his clones.

To me, this beautifully communicates the notion of relentlessly pursuing improvement and progression. Not only is this a mantra that we can all relate to on a very personal level, but it is one that when imbuing VW’s brand essence, successfully conveys their commitment to continuously seeking perfection. It’s amazing quite how powerful the message of discontent with the status quo is.

Merry Christmas to all. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the track is MJ Lan’s remix of Keine Melodien. Rather good dont you think?


5 responses to “Something to rouse you from your Groundhog Christmas melancholy

  1. Christmas is all about familiarity, and overdoing it. We would feel cheated if we didn’t get that for at least one week every year.

    Flux generally equates to stress, which is addictive and we can all do well without for such a short time. The problem with addictions to change and flux, is that they can get in the way of ever really enjoying the moment for what it is.
    The ego tells us we need more, better, different.
    Happiness is something that can only be snatched in the moment, when we don’t feel that moment is imperfect. If we believe that everything can be better or improved, when is enough enough, and when can we feel unreasonable joy at what what is, rather than what isn’t.

    Just enjoy the boredom, familiarity of friends and the excesses of Christmas. We would not want to sacrifice those times surely, to put this short, wonderful, and occasionally awful week into the same manic, pressured category that we create for ourselves the rest of the year.

    Some wise person said you can achieve happily once you stop needing to achieve to be happy.

    Ding Dong merrily,

    The philosopher’s apprentice

  2. How very Buddhist.
    I just hope that the people in charge of VW haven’t been taken in by that grandiloquence.
    Whilst VW claim to have set out to challenge only their own creativity, and outperform their existing Golf model, why improve the golf if it’s already “das auto?” Self improvement and innovation is born out of necessity, and that comes from competition with others. If all I had to compete with were my doppelgängers, I’d have a job by now. Alas that is not the case, but the competition with my rivals compels me to improve myself.

    It’s still an entertaining and visually impressive advert, which is gratifying for me is to watch. The cinematography will probably receive critical acclaim. However, cynical bastard that I am, it fails to bestow to me the same enlightenment that you found in it Dyl.

  3. Incidentally, the WordPress icon on the tab looks very similar to the VW one.

  4. Corblimey, you miss the point.
    Nothing wrong with improvement, and there is barely anything that cannot be improved, but for what purpose, unless it improves the way we feel. Why not set the bar so we can win, rather than set ourselves up for failure?
    When did anyone have a car that rivalled for pleasure their first old banger ? Are we happier with 500 rubbish colour TV channels than people 40 years ago were with 3 channels in black and white? Are fast food chains and meaningless community websites really a step forward with regard to happiness or quality of life. I don’t think so.

    We are forced to compete, to win , to judge, to fail occasionally. It is our attitude that matters, and that is the pivot around which we win the game of life or lose it.

    By the way–not Buddhist at all, just common sense from a lifelong searcher.

    Philospher’s apprentice.

  5. Neil, the relentless pursuit of improvement at the expense of happiness is certainly not a desirable state of being. However, is in not the case that the pursuit of an ideal that might well be perpetually out of our reach is the very thing that in fact brings meaning, and with it happiness, to our lives? If we set the bar so low that we always achieved our goals I don’t think we would feel truly fulfilled.

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