Howard Saunders   Apr 04, 2023   Uncategorized   0 Comment

I’m sure you will recognise us. We are the lip syncers and the lycra-clad gym barbies that demand your attention every morning. We are the cop provocateurs and the speed junkies that beg you to wince in empathy. We are the tree huggers, the matrix dwellers and the needy, pleady marathon runners, fundraisers and sponsored chuggers that replenish your daily dose of guilt. We are the fluorescent yoga exhibitionists and gyrating gen-zedders here to make you feel old and impotent. Over-inked and under-educated we are the botoxed banshees squealing in your notifications. We are cyan haired, gender challenged, chromosome deniers…and we are proud. We are fictionally cleavaged augmentation addicts. We are the midriff cavorting milfs with bovine lashes and matching IQs. We are filtered freaks flaunting lips bee-stung to bursting with monosyllabic exuberance. But above all, we are do-gooders and doom-mongers: both virtual and virtuous with lungs so ballooned with hubris that the end of the world simply must coincide with our own fleeting, meaningless existence. Yes, four and a half billion years of planet earth comes to an end just as we show up. How crazy is that!

Welcome to TikTok. I knew you’d recognise us. You’ve seen us on your daily, no..hourly, twelve bore shot in the face of everything wrong with the West. (Is that the CCP I hear chuckling in the distance?)

How did we get here I hear you ask. Well, we drank the elixir: a cocktail we call Apocalypse on the Rocks. It’s a simple recipe: take a couple of world wars, add a generous glug of rock ’n roll (any youth culture will do) and whisk it to a crazy froth with the iPhone (other brands work, but the original is best). It’s a long, deliciously addictive drink that’s a bit like Ahahuasca in that you instantly become one with every atom in the known universe. It genuinely feels as if the Earth is revolving around your head. No one else’s, just yours. You may even shed a tear knowing that you are a child of the last remaining traditional binary parents before the age of the Great Entitlement arrived. 

The old fashioned concept of truth simply evaporates. Your eyes are opened to personal truths, like the 57 varieties of gender nobody mentioned previously and that deep down you always knew you were a little bit special. Without truth, you see, there can be no delusion. Join us and your superpower will be the knowledge that everything that came before the Great Entitlement was racist, transphobic and utterly irrelevant. Perhaps best of all, our elixir not only opens your eyes, it closes your ears. No need to listen to the olds ever again. 

Stick with us and you’ll get high on knowing that although there is no god, if one did exist it would probably be you. That’s how powerful we are. Together, we crystallise the understanding that the planet is crying out for help and it’s down to us, not to save it as such, but to let everyone know what we know. There’s no time for discussion or pointless debate. That’s why I sloshed five litres of Desert Sunrise vinyl silk over the Bentley showroom. We communicate in B&Q colours now. Talk certainly isn’t cheap.

Western governments and Silicon Valley are absolutely seething. Just as we’d settled comfortably into the idea that a benign partnership of Big Tech and the Big State would run everything forever, along comes TikTok to set light to an entire generation.

If you are one of the Unentitled, oh how we pity you. Perhaps you are hoping your children are simply ‘going through a phase’ or taking an angry, but understandable, post lockdown kick at the shins of the establishment. Fraid not.

TikTok is mere kindling for the fire that is yet to engulf this planet. Very soon we will be every child, every friend, every neighbour and every customer for the next quarter of a century.

We are the Insufferables. Not only will you recognise us, you will learn to live with us.

Join me on Twitter @retailfuturist for profound insight and newsy nonsense

About Howard Saunders

The Retail Futurist, otherwise known as Howard Saunders, is a writer and speaker whose job it is to see beyond retail’s currently choppy waters. Howard spent the first twenty five years of his career at some of London’s most renowned retail design agencies, including Fitch & Company, where he created concepts, strategies and identities for dozens of British high street brands. In 2003 he founded trend-hunting agency, Echochamber, inspiring his clients with new and innovative store designs from across the globe. Howard relocated to New York in 2012 where the energetic regeneration of Brooklyn inspired his book, Brooklynization, published in 2017. His newfound role as champion for retail’s future in our town and city centres gave rise to the title The Retail Futurist. Howard has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts for BBC Radio 4, BBC Scotland, the British Retail Consortium, Sky News Australia and TVNZ, New Zealand. His talks are hi-energy, jargon-free journeys that explore the exciting, if not terrifying, retail landscape that lies ahead. When not in retail mode, Howard has recorded, literally, thousands of digital music masterpieces, most of which remain, thankfully, unheard.

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