I drove past a vast new housing development earlier today. It is the kind that looks like a computer simulator has calculated how many souls can fit into each square metre and designed boxes to accommodate them. What trees existed in the area have been cut down, including some beautiful Oaks, their fate sealed the moment a civil engineer decided the new location of the roundabout to enter the new ‘estate’.
In short it is just barren earth with nothing remotely appealing nearby, apart from a super-sized Tesco’s, a dual carriageway, another estate and a garden centre. Yet the marketing boards surrounding the development would have us believe an entirely different existence lies once the diggers have finished. Pictures of people taking leisurely walks through the woodland ( where is this woodland), families enjoying the Indian Summer and dining al fresco amongst trees with autumn colours (where are the trees), a man hugging his wife as they gaze out the window overlooking green fields (as opposed to more houses and cars).
Do people seriously look at this marketing bullshit and then look at the reality of a barren landscape and believe that a magic wand is going to be waved as soon as all the houses are up and everything will match the pictures? I may scoff but this is true of most of the buying decisions we make in our consumerist society. In the cold light of day, when most potential purchases are stripped of all the marketing bells and whistles, they are suddenly quite unappealing. Yet we all seem to fall for it time after time.
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