Revenge Consumption

Nicholas Quirke was introduced to an intriguing concept on 23 August 2020 that China has given birth to following the recovery of Wuhan where the pandemic began its merciless attack around the globe. The literal translation of 报复消费, ‘Bao Fu Xiao Fei’ is vengeful consumption but the term meaning ‘Revenge shopping’ and invented here, refers to the overindulgence in spending by citizens who, deprived for months, enduring quarantines, lockdowns and social distancing, have been waiting for these measures to cease and for life and business-as-usual to resume. The phenomenon has apparently resulted in long queues and high sales being observed in a number of cities in China. The notion caught his attention as he was entering a day when he would be attending two events in the Beijing Film Festival and aware that he was being very greedy when it came to cinema going felt it was definitely a term that could be applied to him. After a breakfast of vegan Bao he got to grips with more domestic endeavours and did some ironing as he watched a new TV series ‘For All Mankind’, which has the premise that the Russians won the space race and the effect that had on the policies of America. A friend of Peng’s, Rex, made an unexpected visit which occupied his time before he set off north to the UME cineplex to see ‘Cunningham’ , a documentary about the innovative, celebrated choreographer Merce Cunningham, a towering name in contemporary dance. His journey was notable due to the somnabulistic state of his neighbour who was nodding off on Nicholas’s shoulder! The film was surprisingly in 3D and documented the pioneering early work of the dancer who suffered adversity and incomprehension before being accepted for the revolutionary figure he was. And a figure whose work chimed at the time with revolutionary artists including Robert Rauschenberg a major collaborator; John Cage, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. He found the film deeply enlightening about its subject and an impressive work art of itself combining archive footage with contemporary interpretations of some key early works. He was hugely entertained by John Cages comment that he want we’d to make music do discordant that people would feel relived to go back to their normal lives and Rauschenberg’s observation that he was difficult to collaborate with as he hated sets and costumes, which obstruction led to some really incredible creative thinking. Extraordinarily he once told the designer he wanted to dance with a chair on his back. When the film finished he was meeting Peng to then see an open air screening of another documentary, ‘The Wrath of Bikes’ but to his dismay the event had been cancelled due to forecast storms! It was raining and instead they found a nearby mall to eat at. They found a restaurant that specialised in Yunan Cuisine which he felt was appropriate for next venture and he enjoyed the Tofu And mushroom dishes. His disappointment at not experiencing outdoor cinema in Beijing was sated when at home they watched the brilliant, creepy ‘Host’ which was an imaginative British horror made during COVID19 lockdown of the repercussions following an online Zoom seance. What lurks in the dark was not the ideal feeling to take to his bed in and sleep eluded him for a while as thoughts about letting out his flat from afar whirred around his mind till finally slumber embraced him.


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