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Along with the typical instructions to brew for 3-5 minutes, add a splash of milk and sweeten to taste, the teabags I bought today also tell you how to enjoy them and that, according to them, is to 'Chat, laugh, sip, savor'.
I mean, piss off!
I'm here alone at the moment.
Shall I call someone for some lively teatime banter or will it work if I just boil some water and make a fucking cup of tea?
It's no secret that today's advertising is designed to make us feel like our lives are disappointingly inadequate without their product.
One detestable example is how they've managed to convince young girls that they require skin cream and makeup to give them that 'youthful look'.
Whaaaaaaaaat the f***************ck???
We're apparently dumb and lost without what they're selling and the instructions they come with.
To the degree that Twinings feels they can safely assume that we are all so used to being miserable that they have to tell us where in the process of 'enjoying' a cup of their tea it's OK to let our hair down and converse.
Perhaps even audibly chuckle.
Piss off.

Still reading the Harry Nilsson book and listening to the albums as they come up in the story.
Poor Harry really lost his direction and, for the most part, his voice pretty soon after he started to receive a little attention.
When he was on it tho, he was REALLY on it.
A singular voice in a sea of soundalikes.
A great, sometimes silly sense of humor and deep currents of sorrow and regret.
It's all there.
I remember, in the early days of Dr Hook, we were exuberant and naive enough to believe we could record and release things like Freakers' Ball and Carry Me, Carrie on the same album and not confuse the shit out of the general populus.
It started right away too.
First album had Marie Laveaux and Kiss It Away on it.
First big hit was with Shel's heartbreaking and dramatic Sylvia's Mother.
Secong big hit was with his intuitive and hilarious shot at the state of the music business, Cover Of Rolling Stone.
People weren't sure which side of Hook they should take to heart.
Were we clowns or were we romantics?
Funny that no one asked that about the writer.
Whatever the topic, Shel's words were always poetic, insightful, colorful and cinematic on paper and were convincingly brought to life on record by the personalties in Dr Hook.
Shel was always able to exploit and be appreciated for that diversity in his writing.
But it gave us continuity problems.
This is exactly why Sylvia's Mother went thru a period where the audience thought it was a piss take.
Not for one second was that song ever considered anything but a sad, anxious tale of unrecipricated love and that's exactly how it was, and atill is, delivered.
Harry Nilsson suffered from that same double personality.
Think about Without You.
'I can't live if living is without you...'
Now think about Coconut.
'You put de lime in de coconut and drink 'em both together!'
The label wanted him to make up his mind and, commercially, preferred the ballad to the novelty.
But Harry thought that there was room for both.
Aesthetically anyway.
He bucked the system for as long as he could.
It lost him heaps of money, both in sales and, later, to finance his own albums, which, of course, the labels still didn't want to release or promote because they were full of what they deemed Nilsson's musical indecisiveness.
And he was drastically losing his vocal range which didn't help.
I'm sure it probably all drove him a little crazy.
But, as an artist, everything Nilsson ever did sounded like him.
He didn't disappear behind one particular style or trend.
I admire that.
Hook sort of gave up the fight and made a play for commercial success in the end, but, to be fair, there were a lot of us and all our families to consider.
Harry made up his mind pretty much for himself.
That's not to say his wives and children weren't on the rollercoaster with him, but, artistically, he felt the gamble was his to take.
And, yes, Hook did achieve a degree of the commercial success we were looking for at the time, but we sacrificed a lot of the earthy, irreverent air that made us different from other groups of our day.
Maybe it was a mistake.
Maybe we should have gone down with the ship.
Harry did.
He also damaged his health with numerous overindulgences and died in his forties.
But he's got a lovely remastered boxed set of all his albums, a respectful, fair and well written biography and an excellent documentary about his life to show for it, sooooooooooooooo...?
It's a pointless call to try and make in hindsight.
There's really no way to be sure before you do something and, once it's done, there's usually no going back.
Not all the way, certainly.
I guess there's also a world of difference between going back to something and never straying too far from it in the first place.
Go ahead.
Follow your heart.
See where that gets you.
Most likely nowhere you expected to be.

Hope everyone is warm and, as things go, happy. ~


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