A case of vanity in this bonfire?

For some people the process of overcoming an addiction is an experience to be conducted in private, while others don’t mind exorcising their demons in public, but Neil Boorman is turning his struggle into a right old song and dance.

The “label-obsessed journalist and music promoter” is going to burn all his branded goods in a low-key “attempt to re-evaluate his lifestyle”. Then he’s going to write a book about it, provisionally entitled the Bonfire of the Brands.

For those of you unable to wait for the book Neil, who used to do something at defunct style bible Sleazenation, has set up a blog to chronicle the countdown to the bonfire that will usher in a new era in his life and (presumably) enable him to write his magnum opus.

The blog contains a number of touching vignettes underlining Neil’s obsession with brands – he follows a family around Carnaby Street, identifies the make of shorts the father is wearing and then takes their picture, from behind while they aren’t looking. The Diary tried something similar once but doesn’t talk about it very often these days.

Like Ishmael, the narrator of Moby Dick, Neil travels far and wide indulging in philosophical speculation and pontification on everything from Colleen McLoughlin, to whether the people at Innocent smoothies are actually very nice, to the roots of his own obsession.

Another blog entry highlights the challenge Neil faces in coming to terms with his fiancée’s car – a Citroën AX. But according to his blog he’s ready. “In a few months from now, I’m going to drive, no, cruise that car around Shoreditch and Soho for all to see. Yeah, that’s me, behind the wheel of an AX,” he roars. Follow Neil’s progress at bonfireofthebrands.blogspot.com.

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