August 15: aesthetic choices in the workaday world

We were discussing which of the selection of shapes of Marks and Spencer’s crisps from their mixed packet we liked best. Both of us preferred the corrugated iron shapes. There is also a tubular shape, a little organic-looking shape and a kind of medieval wheel shape. In some similar bags of crisps (perhaps the one from Lidl) there is also a portcullis-shaped crisp, so we tend to refer to these shaped crisps as portcullis-shaped crisps. There is a category of person who, if I asked them which shape they preferred, would answer irritably, saying that they didn’t care. This category of person would view my differentiation-talk as nonsense out of a sense of themselves as being people who cut through triviality and/or had no time for meaningless nuance.

In the nice cafe we have found next to Seven Dials in Covent Garden we had a discussion about the coffee cups. I am looking to find a nice one or two for home with an attractive shape. This would equally get the goat of the above-mentioned category of people. They would no doubt prefer drinking from a mug. I conclude there are two types of people. Those for whom tiny aesthetic choices are unimportant and those whose day is cheered up by them. If you value aesthetic detail in your consumption of culture (football; good looks in people; the arts) why would you not value this in the workaday world that surrounds us at every moment of the day? Perhaps because you feel that here it impinges on your ideological values, though I don’t see why you can’t appreciate the variety of crunch in a corrugated iron shaped crisp and still retain your ruthless streak in the futures market. A training in nuance in whatever genre might hone your financial acumen.

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