Subverting the Ikea arrow


[toh-tal-i-tair-ee-uh-niz-uh m], noun

  1. Absolute control of a state or governing institution which strives to regulate all aspects of public and private life where feasible;
  2. The character or quality of an autocratic or authoritarian individual, group or government;
  3. The Ikea showroom.

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There were tell-tale signs with the unstoppable invasion of Swedish meatballs flooding the Singaporean market. Then came the invasion of Billy cupboards and Mammut stools which found itself colonising next to every HDB home across the island. And then next day, one Ikea became two – nerve centers of Swedish imperialism at two ends of our besieged country.

A visit to the Ikea showroom is an exercise in totalitarianism. Both escalators servicing the second level has been modified to be strictly up-riding so you cannot back out of entering the showroom. The shortcut to the restaurant is sealed and padlock to force you to peruse the full-range of products against your will as if you’re on a conveyor belt. The Verdana typeface is everywhere, yelling discounted prices and Swedish words at you with a full-blown san-serif humanism. Thick, bold arrows printed on the ground order you around like a barking scream of a Nazi officer.

It is a fascist experience for the soul.

It is in this spirit of disenchantment that I founded the Organisation of Concerned and Conscious Consumers and Victims against the Proliferation of Authoritarian Ikea Arrows (OOCACCAVATPOAIA) to protect, unionise and mobilise the disenfranchised Ikea consumer. In the few minutes since our founding, the OOCACCAVATPOAIA has been committed to its cause through conscious acts of civil disobedience, specifically through going against the direction of the Ikea arrows.

We believe a conscious and collective subversion of the Ikea arrow will eventually gain critical mass in vanquishing the autocracy of this evil Swedish imperialist machine.

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