“Essential”, says the Macquarie Dictionary (Fourth Edition), means “absolutely necessary; indispensable: discipline is essential in an army“. But the new Thursday supplement in the Sydney Morning Herald, entitled essential: Style + Home + Health (not online), must work to a different definition.
Here’s what I thought might have been “essential”: oxygen; clean drinking water; food; shelter from the elements; basic medical care. Perhaps in our urbanised society I should add: cash; photo ID; a bank account; literacy and numeracy skills; a home address; access to a telephone.
Here’s what essential thinks is essential: Tiffany jewelry designed by architect Frank Gehry; chocolate pudding moulds shaped like the Buddha (yes, really); for her, a yellow silk blouse that costs $399; for him, a Ralph Lauren jacket that costs $1895; a male nanny.
That’s editorial, not advertising. This is what the “journalists” think is “essential”. Look at the ads and it gets worse.
Now I have none of this things which essential says are essential. Will I now wither and die? I am afraid…