14.8.12

Market wrench, if you want to be literal.

A few days ago, I set up Nike+ accounts for my mother and myself, but I've since realised that (surprise, surprise) apps designed to be used while running aren't compatible with a tablet you hold in both hands. It's too bad that I won't be able to use the account I set up, but there was a bright side: It's kind of thrilling, almost... liberating, to find yourself in a position where Nike doesn't want to sell anything to you. It's not like I beat the system - but in a small way, the system wasn't able to beat me.

There should be a word for this feeling, I thought. Because it's more common than you might expect. And so, I propose...
Marquetrench:
The sense of satisfaction which comes from being outside a corporation's sphere of influence.
  • This is what a bachelor feels when he picks up a bridal magazine, flips through a few pages, and then laughs softly to himself as he puts it back on the shelf.
  • It's the reassurance a non-smoker gets, knowing that their lungs aren't as black those of the "cool kids" behind the school.
  • This is what prompts someone to remind people on Twitter that they don't care about the Superbowl.
  • This is why older generations take pride in saying they have no idea who One Direction is.

A few example sentences:
He savoured his coffee and his marquetrench in equal measure, as he read an article on his Android phone about a new iOS security exploit. 
She couldn't afford to go to the movies, but at least she got a bit of marquetrench from checking out DVDs from the library. 
He thought he'd impressed her with his golfing anecdotes, but upon reflection, he started to wonder if that hadn't been a look of marquetrench in her eyes.
Certainly, there are a lot of instances where you can use this word, but more than that, it's useful for a few other reasons.

1. It gets people to acknowledge the spheres of influence of corporations. The more I notice the insanity which circles around the popular shades of lipstick for the season, for example, the more similarities I see to the hype around the sequel to my favourite video game. If we put names to these patterns, perhaps they'll be easier to recognize. But why would I want to do that?

2. It reminds people that this is a positive emotion. A militant anti-consumerist is not always an effective spokesperson. People don't want to be constantly reminded about child labour and ecological impact - it's a downer, and it puts people on the defensive. But, if people accept that it feels good to be independent, we'll be more willing to have discussions on the subject.

3. It's an emotion, not an expression. Joy is an emotion. "Hallelujah" is an expression of joy, and somebody shouting that constantly is going to get on people's nerves in a hurry. If someone starts to get annoying with their brand superiority, we can just politely tell them that their marquetrench is showing. And speaking of annoying people, that reminds me of one more example.

At the grocery this weekend, I was behind a gentleman who paid cash, using large bills. The cashier commented that she didn't see many of those, and he proceeded to tell her how he didn't use any plastic cards, of any sort, and how he did it, and how much money he was saving, and just generally going on about how clever he was.  There was so much marquetrench coming off this guy, you could almost smell it. After he left, the bagging clerk turned to the cashier and asked, "Was that... hipster?" The cashier nodded. "Yeah, kind of hipster. Sort of."

4. It's not hipster. "Hipster" has become a catch-all term for "cheap and self-righteous",  and because of that, a lot of things are getting tarnished by association - including hipsters themselves! Yes, hipsters can be full of marquetrench, but that doesn't make a bit of marquetrench a bad thing. I believe that if we use this word where it's appropriate, we could reduce hipster confusion by at least 40%.

...So, there it is. Marquetrench. Use it as you will - or at the very least, please smile and nod politely when I vainly try to shoehorn it into every post I make for the next three months.

2 comments:

Heather Dudley said...

Well, I guess you could always carry the tablet in a backpack? That would work, right? LOL.

I want Nike+ so badly. I have it on m iPod, but I haven't gotten the thingy yet.

Denton Froese said...

That makes perfect sense! I mean, when am I most likely to need to run quickly: when I'm competing for a track and field medal, or when I'm trying to find the right terminal before my plane leaves? I might as well get used to the backpack now!

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.