IKEA – goddess of the flat-pack

Ikea manThe IKEA catalogue is now more popular than the Bible and it’s not difficult to understand why. Within its pages you can find a wealth of strangely named, tasteful and affordable items for every home or office. The IKEA catalogue that is, not the Bible. It’s also a lot easier to read and doesn’t contain any rules regarding the non-coveting of asses.

For centuries mankind struggled without the wisdom and guidance of sensible Swedish furniture designers. Mighty civilisations have fought numerous blood-soaked holy wars, oblivious to the many stylish décor opportunities we now take for granted. Today, thanks to easy assembly bookcases and cheap sofas, we have the opportunity to finally unite as one race in peace and comfort. Say goodbye to nasty inquisitions and hello to the comfy chairs and soft cushions.

Of course not everyone is ready to abandon tribal conflict. It seems some folks just love a good war. It may be the result of our primate origins, that chimp-like brain that must have all the bananas. Or perhaps it’s caused by too much red meat. Maybe it’s time we gave peas a chance and with Swedish meat-free balls now available at IKEA cafés it’s never been easier to embrace your inner tree-hugger.

The big friendly Swedish giant can help us in other ways too. They empower clueless modern humans in their quest to be half as skillful and self-reliant as their ancestors, using nothing more than a small metal allen key (aka hex key or allen wrench) and a lot of cursing. Who hasn’t felt a surge of pride as they’ve tightened the last bolt and stepped back to admire their newly assembled unit. So what if there are a few bits left over, as long as it looks okay and doesn’t immediately fall apart when you move it.

They also provide a useful opportunity for couples considering marriage or co-habitation to come and test their commitment. Like some ancient quest, the lovestruck must navigate the perils and frustrations of the winding pathway in the showroom level and then avoid the multiple trolley collisions, screaming kids and myriad other hazards down in the depths of the warehouse. If you can hack your way through the jungle of the plant section and clear the checkouts without a major meltdown, you know your love is unshakable.

From Beijing to Barcelona, Michigan to Manchester, bums are being parked on the same sofas and food crammed into gobs with the same stylish but affordable cutlery. It’s the ultimate leveller – citizens of the world seduced by the irresistible charms of the Nordic temptress. Their trolleys heaving with flat-packs and coat racks, shoppers head for the car park, wondering how it will all fit in a Fiat 500‘s boot. They may have just popped in for a new duvet set, a washing-up brush and a quick cup of coffee, but they left with forty seven other items they never knew they needed. And they still forgot the washing-up brush.

Our potential saviours the Swedes are a liberal and equality-loving lot to be sure, but being pragmatic modern capitalists, they are also one of the world’s largest arms exporters. Maybe they also have smart modern warehouses (IKILLYA?) filled with easy-assembly missile launchers and cutely named land-mines. If the demand for bombs eventually fades there will always be a need for Billy bookcases, assuming there are any houses still standing and books unburned.

But hey let’s not let any minor ethical quibbles get in the way of a brave new vision – a future of moderately-priced self-assembly furniture, nice bedding and those cute little free pencils, made from 100% recycled former IKEA employees.

Let us assemble on Sundays, or indeed on any other day of the week, and fall to our knees clutching that little metal tool in hand and gazing in wonder at the instruction sheets. Then let us give thanks and praise to IKEA, our saviour, creator of (nearly) all things bright and beautiful. May it deliver us all and hopefully on the allotted day.

Copyright J.Lennick 2015 All rights reserved.

20 thoughts on “IKEA – goddess of the flat-pack

  1. I have a love hate relationship with IKEA, I dont like their furniture although have (in the passed) spent a small fortune on their bookshelves, they are great for glasses, plates, and cutlery however, and we do get our candles from there but they are paraffin based candles and… well I guess I am a bit of a candle snob.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We used to be the same with the love/hate, it was a big trek for us across London and we’d often end up having big rows. Then they built one nearer to us and we somehow learned to chill and embrace the experience. They are great for bookshelves and cheap sofas, kitchen stuff, etc.

      Lately I’ve been coveting those new desks they have that you can raise and lower with the push of a button to sit or stand.


      • ooh I didn’t know about hose desks lol. I think as long as you avoid Friday nights and any time weekend IKEA is still OK. cannot beat a nice well made bit of furniture though

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Some excellent points here about the good book, as I believe the Ikea Catalog is known. I can’t say I’m very surprised about its popularity. It really has glossier photographs and a much better home furnishings section that the Bible.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Would you believe I’ve never been in an IKEA store? It seems like I’m the only one left to discover its wonders. But I saw a very cool sofa/bed combination from IKEA at my sister’s house, so it’s only a matter of time before I cave.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. If the main message of the Bible is not to covet one’s ass, and I’m presuming (hoping) it refers to a donkey, then doesn’t there still remain a major inconsistency between the two ideologies centred around possessions and materialism?

    With this in mind, won’t the ability for one to supersede the other prove difficult, with a transitional period defined by a bloody clash of cultures the like of which we’ve never seen before?

    As it’s been so many times past, I fear this maybe just another false dawn.


  5. I’m not suggesting the avoidance of ass-coveting is the main message of the Bible. I am suggesting the book is rather less relevant to most people’s lives in 2015. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some worthy ideas and useful moral lessons. It just needs a bit of an update and less emphasis on the barbarity, misogyny and weird arbitrary rules about food and fabrics.

    I think we have largely already made the transition to a materialistic culture, at least in most western ‘democracies’. Most opposing ideologies have crumbled before the mighty onward march of the ‘free market’ capitalist culture and the industrial military complex.

    Ultimately unchecked materialism is a dead-end and without some belief in the value of humanity and recognition of what truly makes us happy, it will leave us no better off or happier. Just slightly better furnished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just being stupid! Imagining future historians looking back at the devastating Christian, Ikeaian wars of the 21st Century.
      ‘Though your point that materialism unchecked is a dead-end; we reached that point 40 years ago.


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