12 Mar

If Roland Barthes had lived to see the dying days of the age of Argos, he’d have had a field day with the Dyson DC-23 Animal. It’s a beast of an overdesigned time-saving machine, Spring-cleaning’s answer to the Black & Decker power drill. Using it to sweep the floor of my Mother’s flat this morning, I felt deeply inadequate; it was rolling its dual-action industrial-strength plastic eyes at my light-of-touch vacuum-cleaning habits, its unnecessarily macho suction drive constantly reminding me that it was a product for REAL MEN, men with ambition, driving licences, men with books by Chris Ryan and facial hair- it was, truth be told, a profoundly emasculating experience.

It uses the terminology of military equipment to describe itself and looks like some sort of WarHammer laser gun; it seems to have forgotten that it is not designed for blowing up insurgents in Helmand but for cleaning up sitting rooms in Fulham. It’s absurd and ingenious in equal measure; someone has finally figured out how to make vacuum cleaners appeal to precisely the kind of people who have no interest in them. I can’t be arsed to find the Dyson adverts online (lest they contradict my non-argument), but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they described their product not as an effective time saving device but a REVOLUTIONARY NEW WEAPON in THE WAR ON DUST. There might be blood; there will probably be sweat; there will most certainly be tears; but in the end, the Dyson DC-23 Animal will blast the enemy back to the stone age- or, failing that, to an easily emptied drum chamber made of transparent orange plastic. Yee-Haw!

You can’t help but be swept up by all this crypto-military bullshit; at home sucking up the far-flung remains of Hancock’s toast with my crappy, unbranded Gloster Gladiator of a hoover, I feel like the Polish Army cavalry-charging the Panzers. With my antiquated equipment and half-arsed tactics, I am clearly no match for the blitz of dead skin and Weetabix that defiantly rises up on my kitchen surfaces every morning. Am I tempted to buy into the Dyson Corps, though? Frankly, I’m more than emasculated enough as it is without being further humiliated by my vacuum cleaner.


One Response to “POWER VACUUM”

  1. positivegreenford March 14, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    I would happily swap our nearly new Vax cylinder cleaner for your macho Dyson right now. It can hardly bring itself to lift a hair off the carpet which is starting to felt. Probably needs Any McNab to make it effective.

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