Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lists, Loyalty Cards, and Why All Deranged Fans Should Check Their Spelling Properly

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lists, Loyalty Cards, and Why All Deranged Fans Should Check Their Spelling Properly

Article excerpt

Are you on a list? If not, you're nothing. You don't exist. You are a non-entity. Anyone who is anyone is on a list: 100 greatest this, 100 worst that, 100 most influential people we have never heard of. The only list I've been on is a shopping list--when my parents tried to sell me to the highest bidder while on holiday in Tunisia. They'd have sold me too, had the buyer not peeked under my balaclava and decided I wasn't white enough for the white slave trade.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

We are becoming dependent on loyalty and rewards. I am scared to go into supermarkets in case the cashiers terrorise me at the till. Do you have a Nectar card? A Clubcard? Each time, I freeze in a panic--have they brought in a tough new ID card system without telling me? Am I going to be dragged off to Guantanamo Bay?

As I scour the rest of the queue, looking for that nice Lady Liberty to come to my aid and rebuke the store's fascist regime, I remember that the loyalty card is just a nice way of giving me extra things. Spend [pounds sterling]600 in our shop and get a free carrier bag, that sort of thing. Some people are addicted to their Clubcards. You see them in the supermarkets--stick double points on anything and they'll grab at least two. Some poor man's been eating Pot Noodle for the past two months because they had double points in November.

Saying that, these loyalty cards probably hold more personal data than any biometric identity card ever could. As I write, some Whitehall code-breaker is adding the fact that I buy Domestos bleach to my potential terrorist profile. No part of my life is safe from loyalty cards; I get offered them everywhere. At Primark you get extra points for putting the clothes back on the rails. The beggar at my local cashpoint has given me a card so that, for every ten times I give him my small change, I get to walk past one time guilt-free. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.