Moody Blues.

You would think there might be more important things to consider in this dark time we’re going through. Monday wasn’t just Monday but rather the mythical ‘Blue Monday’: the worst, most depressing and soulless day of the year, according to the calculations of a few bods with too much time on their hands. What they don’t appreciate is that on top of the imaginary perfect storm that their calculations have conjured up they’ve also given people who were already depressed a reason to slump even lower. They may as well call it ‘head in the oven Monday’ or ‘why is Daddy hanging from the ceiling like that Monday’. Nobody is happy in January, certainly not in Britain, and double certainly not in 2021 so let’s bypass the gimmicks and just assume everyone is equally fed up.

Fortunately there is a way out. A solution to the daily grind of everyone trapped inside their own tortured mind and working from home. Simply invest in a Moodbeam! Yes! It’s another stupid name for something. You see, a Moodbeam is there to tell our bosses that we’re not in that great a shape, mentally that is. It’s simply a bracelet with 2 buttons on it – yellow to say you’re happy (because nothing says happy like yellow; the colour of most sick, jaundice and infected urine) or blue to show you’re, er, blue. Like on Blue Monday or indeed any other blue day (I prefer Bluesday, but who cares what I think). Interestingly the Moodbeam has been around since 2016 and it was such a remarkable, instant success that still hardly anyone has heard of it. Perhaps it’s more popular up north, where the sun never rises?

The co-founder of the company – Christina Colmer McHugh (yes, that’s her name) alleges to have come up with the idea so that her daughter could tell her how she felt without actually telling her how she felt, which is a great help and allows children to become even more pampered, withdrawn and uncommunicative, without actually addressing the problem. Hooray. This technology has now been rolled out like a barrel of shit to company bosses who want their staff to open up and tell them how they’re feeling without actually telling them how they’re feeling. So if I was sitting at home, eyes aching from screen time and lack of fresh air, I could very quickly look at my Moodbeam and press the colour that most accurately reflect my mood, and my boss would instantly know whether to ignore me completely (if I’m happy) or merely pretend not to ignore me (if I’m sad). In the case of the latter my boss could then pick up the phone and reach out by asking their secretary to call me and ask what the fuck my problem was. They could even develop their own response system where the press of a button could send out a generic text message designed to tourniquet a suicide attempt in the near future. Don’t you just love how technology is bringing us together, prising us apart and giving us tension headaches all at the same time?

The epitome of the smug, ‘reaching out’, compassionate, let’s make some money from the mentally ill generation, Christina Colmer McHugh says she is merely giving bosses the opportunity of asking “you OK?” to their employers without having to engage in some coffee breath exchange that might get in the way of their online gambling habit. And these techniques are becoming far more common. We’ve reached the stage where we’ve become so overwhelmingly drippy that we’re digging tech holes for people who don’t want to be in a hole, then throwing them in the hole and shouting down to ask if they’re still alive, knowing very well they can barely manage a whisper. And this is wrapping away as many adults as children; weaving a sticky web for them that prohibits any meaningful interaction with the rest of the world. I’m clearly no genius but I do think these gadgets are little more than battery powered avoidance tactics, because I can’t see how another piece of technology is going to help us remember how to be human.

The one thing I will concede is that the Moodbeam looks a bit like one of those stupid rubber bracelets that Chris Martin from Coldplay always seems to be weighed down by, and that gives me an idea. Once live shows get going again the audience could all get a Moodbeam and say whether Coldplay are making them happy because they have lost all sense of musical imagination, or whether they feel the band haven’t made a decent song in 10 years and are, collectively, wetter than an otter’s pocket. Or we could strap one one in the middle of any given conversation and instantly indicate without even having to yawn or take heroin that someone is boring us to tears. Beyond that it’s pure crap. Perhaps some of the simpler things in life are better solved by pressing a button but I suspect that Moodbeam offers a button in the wrong direction. Enjoy the rest of your Bluesday.

G B Hewitt. 19.01.2021

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