Earliest political memory of the day #24

epm-24I suppose a definition of what is ‘political’ would be needed but since, in my view, all things can be political my earliest political memory would be this. I remember my Father buying me a toy gun. We did not have lots of toys and I was utterly obsessed and excited, wanting it so badly. After much persuasion he agreed and I was consumed with joy and enthusiasm for this new toy while I pretended to assassinate various shoppers on the way to the car. As I sat in the car on the way home, a strange feeling overcame me. I recall vividly the gradual deterioration of that sensation, that brief satisfaction in getting what I had wanted receding already to leave an altogether more disturbing feeling bare and exposed. I felt for the first time a sense of emptiness. I could not reconcile the discrepancy between the all consuming desire to have this thing and the realisation that I had been misled and that this gun was not what I had perhaps imagined it to be since the gold had already lost some of its glitter. I never trusted entirely that sensation again and while it is to some extent a shame for excitement to be tempered in life, the disbelief has served me well in avoiding certain traps, forever attempting to recreate an elusive moment, forever on that merry go round of joy and disappointment. I have looked for something of greater value which I have sometimes found in looking. The gun had served its purpose in bringing me a tool to fulfill my imagination but the strength of want was not equivalent to the value of the thing itself. In truth, it’s only when you have something that you know its true value and much of its apparent value is provided by our projection and longing. It is a necessary, evolutionary trap perhaps. It set me on a path of mistrust and de(con)struction, testing the mettle of the thing before committing to it, perhaps afraid to look foolish should the gold turn to mud in my hand as I proudly displayed my new discovery. It may well be why I am so contemptuous of the advertising industry… It also proved to me a universal truth about us all, that no matter what it is, and in spite of the strength of feeling our longing may suggest, it’s never enough.

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