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Wednesday, January 07, 2004
  stand back - death approaching

on the tube at the moment there's an advert for the new tabloid-sized version of The Times, the tagline is 'it's not big but it is clever.' but then underneath the logo, there's another little line, that says 'born to commute.' er what? 'born to commute.' can you imagine. you see what they're doing: the 'born to xxx' formulation is a popular one, it turns up all over the place. let's think. 'born to do it.' 'born to run.' 'born to win.' 'born to lose.' 'born to die.' 'born to be wild.' each one of those is an effective little motivating motto, they're so peppy (yes! i am born to win!), except the negative ones, and they're just little jokes subverting the peppiness of the concept of being born to do anything. but 'born to commute.' are they insane? who wants to identify with that? i guess they mean that it, the paper, the small version, is born to commute, it's so small you can open it on the tube without losing your balance. but it suggests something competely different - that it's us who are born to commute. damn right. it's actually quite a beautiful phrase, i think it's quite poetic in the way it describes the lifestyle of its target audience. maybe it's because of the competely inappropriate use of the up-and-at-'em 'born to...' with the 100% mundane word 'commute,' which can only suggest weariness, routine, resignation, defeat. millions of people sitting in trains, buses, tubes, cars, every morning, thinking, what am i doing, how did i get here, when did i choose this, wait, wait, not yet, it's all going too fast, whatever happened to..., help me, i'm so, so tired. born to commute. born to commute. born to commute. 
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