I don’t want to bring negativity into the world. Like, in actuality, I would like to be a Mother Teresa figure awaiting my ascent into the blissful seventh dimension. But still, as the bumper sticker says, "shit happens" and so – *hails a thousand Marys and looks pleadingly at the waning moon* –: it has become a known fact that “Ed Sheeran earns the UK’s average salary in just eight hours”.
How do I know this? Because the below email landed in my inbox this morning. Take a look:
The message – which comes from a PR company representing an establishment called Solution Loans (and includes an exclamation mark, as though, uh, we should all be excited about Sheeran earning more money than we’ll ever make with his damp dishwater music!!!) – is a lead into a campaign tool allowing the general public to compare their salary to that of their favourite musician. Or, to put it in other terms: Do You Want to Feel Disappointed, Well Come on Down and Celebrate in the Knowledge It Will Take 1,917 Years to Earn the Same Amount as Adele Makes in One Year.
No disrespect to the PR involved in this (I don’t know you, I wish you well, I hope you get to go on holiday this year, maybe somewhere nice in southern Europe before Brexit makes that complicated) but can we take a moment to just say a big fuck you this idea. On the one hand you can see a lightbulb going off, like, ‘What if… people… could-compare-their-salary-with-musicians-and-[the point ends here because I don’t see there being any other point, except of course the point that people might (but will absolutely not!) take a loan from this company off the back of this campaign].”
On the other hand, people are poor. I have £86.44 left in my bank account with two weeks until pay day and I work a full time job (depressingly true story). You’re probably the same. Some people aren’t even that lucky. I’m not going to remind you of all the stats that point to encroaching debts and a big unknowable future that hangs over our heads like eternal thunderclouds filled with acid rain that will one day reduce us to such a collective level of destitution that the Four Horsemen will (finally! eventually!) arrive and carry us into hell – a place where at least the heating is paid for. These things we carry like millstones around our necks.
Then again, for the sake of getting into it, lets be specific and knowledgeable and calm without any rage. Here are the facts: forget about Ed Sheeran, the average earnings of UK workers are now no higher than they were in February 2006; our national debt is ticking like a time-bomb; last year though unemployment fell by 4.5%, wages still weren't keeping up with inflation; universities have been given legislation allowing them to raise fees year-on-year; basically the country, the UK – or at least a portion of it – is drastically struggling under Conservative government austerity measures. So, timing-wise, this isn't exactly the best time for a campaign that highlights how hehehe, you're not a millionaire even though you may well have been working hard and hoping for at least a salary bump while your wages continue to slip as the cost of living rises. This tool isn't really sharing news anyone wants to read (unless you're Ed Sheeran).
So in essence, basically all I wanted to say is fuck you once again to Solution Loans like the entitled cashless millennial I am. And *gasp*, that’s it. My angry baby has been birthed and its amniotic fluid is flowing from me. That really needed to happen. Let us now carry on again with our day. To restore balance, here are some royalty free pictures of nice things who would never ever dream up this soul-destroying PR campaign. Aww!
You can find Ryan on Twitter.