The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


It’s Not Equality If Someone Has An Advantage …
September 23, 2014, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Comment, United Nations

Yes I know I said there’d be no more posts until Oct 8th, but I also said that there is a high likelihood I wouldn’t be able to help myself and jet lag has resulted in me ‘not being able to help myself’.

So there’s been a lot of buzz about Emma Watson’s eloquent UN speech for the gender-equality program ‘He Not She’.

Seriously, the way some media are going on about it – they’re treating it like it’s the modern take on Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

That’s not her fault and what she says is very good … but some of the media either need to get a bit of perspective or start accepting Hollywood stars can be articulate as well as attractive.

Now without wanting to sound a dick … because gender equality is a very serious issue … but I can’t help but feel the UN have missed the point with their choice of name because to my eyes and ears, ‘He For She’ still promotes gender inequality, just now from a female beneficiary perspective.

I know saying this – especially given I’m a man – makes me look like some sort of sexist bastard, but my issue isn’t the cause [which is very important] it’s just that if they wanted to truly promote equality, then surely it should be called “He For We?”

Maybe I’m missing something but I can’t believe no one at the UN noticed this.

And with that, I’ll try and get some sleep.

Wasn’t too painful was it. Ahem.



Early Christmas Present …
September 19, 2014, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

So it’s just under 14 weeks till Christmas.

FOURTEEN!!!

As most of you know, this Christmas I’m going to be rather preoccupied so as I don’t want you to miss out on my festive generosity, I thought I’d give you your present now.

Are you ready for it?

It’s 2 and a half weeks of blog ranting freedom.

Yes, 18 days without having to read posts about Queen, Birkenstocks or … well, those are the only subjects I seem to write about these days.

But at least it’s not about fatherhood and how advanced my son is for his age.

Yet. Ahem.

But all that aside, isn’t that good news?!!!

OK, so the people you should be thanking are Wieden+Kennedy, Nike and the Chinese Government because the first two decided to push aside their better judgement and ask me come over to Portland for next week and then – yes, you guessed it – the lovely people at the Chinese Government have mandated there’s a week long national holiday the week after.

Seriously, the only people who are probably happier about this news is my planning colleagues – especially Paula – as this means she can now settle in to her new life and job without me talking to her every 2 minutes.

So enjoy my gift to you all but spare a thought for the people of Portland, LA, Vancouver and Nottingham because they’re not going to be so fortunate.

Happy [pre] Christmas and I’ll see you October 8th*.

___________________________________________________________________________

* Unless I have the overwhelming urge to post something rubbish on here. Which – let’s be honest – is highly possible.



Another Wonderful, Innocent Victim …
September 18, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

This is Paula.

Today she joins us as a planner on NIKE.

She was an athlete who was once tipped to be a future Olympian.

This is much better than having me on the business given all I was ever tipped for was to be a fat bastard.

On the positive, I achieved my goal whereas she decided to turn her back on hers and just do sport for the sheer love of it.

Anyway she’s very happy to be here and we’re very happy to have her here.

So welcome Paula – and next time I promise to ask to steal a photo off your Facebook page.



To Dad.
September 17, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Dad

Happy birthday Dad.

Today you would have been 76.

The last time I saw you was when you were 60 … so I would love to sit down with you and talk about the last 16 years.

All the stuff I’ve done, all the mistakes I’ve made, all the dreams I still want to fulfil.

And I know you’d be full of questions … constantly stopping me mid-conversation to ask about something I’d view as trivial but you’d see as important because it would help you understand the journey, not just the highlights.

But you’d be fascinated by it all.

Where I’ve lived.

Where I’ve gone.

Who I’ve met.

And as much as I know you’d love whatever ridiculous gadget I’d got for your birthday, you’d regard this conversation as the best gift of them all.

It would be for me too.

And I know that you would love to look into Mum’s eyes and say how proud you are of her for how she has lived since you’ve been gone.

That you’d want to tell her how thankful you are for how she looked after you, even though we always knew from your eyes and hugs.

And you’d be telling her all this while gently holding and caressing her hand.

And I would remember when I was very young, I came into the lounge from the back of the house and saw you and Mum on the sofa – watching television while holding hands – and I said “stop being so silly”.

And I’d think what a fool I was.

Because I’d give anything to see that again.

And I know Mum would too.

And I know you’d be secretly happy that I have tears in my eyes as I type this.

You’d be sad that I was sad, but happy that you are still so much in my heart and mind.

And you are.

Every day.

Every single day.

I miss you Dad.

Happy birthday.



Why I Love Katie Dreke …
September 16, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Katie Dreke.

What a woman.

Actually that’s bollocks, what a person.

I first met her in a dodgy cafe in Amsterdam in 2010.

For some reason we hit it off immediately. Of course, when I say ‘for some reason’ I am obviously referring to the shock that she seemed to enjoy my company because it’s obvious I would enjoy hers.

Anyway, apart from being whip smart, she’s stupidly lovely, utterly charming and generous to a fault … both in her time, her viewpoints and her willingness to help.

Every time I’ve met her, I’ve come away feeling energised for the experience – and frankly I am basically a platonic groupie.

Jesus, this is more Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar Speech than a Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar Speech … which is probably more embarrassing for her than it is for me.

Anyway, the reason I am writing this is because of two things.

The first was that I recently re-watched her interview on Junior Planner [a wonderful little series co-run by a ridiculously lovely guy called Ben] that was full of genuinely meaningful advice for someone starting out in a planning career.

The other was this:

Yes I know it’s just a nice turn of phrase.

Yes I know it could be a remake of the classic Churchill quote.

But that’s not what makes it good … it’s the fact that Katie can articulate a point in a way people don’t just understand – but actually feel – and for all the pseudo-intellectulism bullshit that planners desperately try to claim they have, real smarts are when you can get people outside the industry to come on the journey with you.

For me, there’s a bunch of planners who have forgotten what success is.

Too many are focusing on being intellectually victorious, rather than emotionally resonant … and the point is, if you’re desperate to show how clever you are, you’re actually showing you’re not very smart.

So here’s to Katie … one of the best people out there, who also happens to be one of the best planners out there.

Thank you for the inspiration and please reassure your husband, I’m harmless.



If Freddie Mercury Was Alive Today …
September 15, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

… I would ask him why he wrote this line in his song Bicycle Race:

“Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars”

… but appeared on stage with this guy:

These are the things that keep me up at night.

I’ll be here all week. [Sorry]



What Has Paul McCartney And Nottingham Forest Got In Common?
September 12, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

No … it’s not that they’re both past their heyday.

Nor is it that they’re both living on past glories.

It’s not even that they were much better with their old team mates around them.

It’s this. And for some reason, I find it utterly beautiful, albeit in a wonderfully ramshackle way.

There’s something about a crowd singing that gets me every time.

It is – for me – the musical equivalent of how I feel when I watch a movie or documentary about triumph over adversity.

Over the years, I’ve been in many situations where I’ve been there when it happens.

A football match.

A concert.

Where – intentional or not – the crowd take over and lift the arena with song.

And I always stop when it starts and look around the venue with open eyes and open ears.

For me it’s almost spiritual.

I know that sounds utterly wanky, but it’s true … and I am sure that’s part of the reason some people find going to Church such a special experience. Hell, I’m an atheist and I find hearing a choir in full song in a cathedral utterly hypnotising.

But the thing is, whether you experience it or partake in it … the end result is always positive.

That feeling might only last a few seconds, but the energy of that shared moment affects everyone and transcends everything.

Worries … pressure … pain … they all momentarily disappear and everything feels alright.

It’s audio prozac and creates a moment you remember forever.

Which is much better than most ads will ever achieve.

Even after being researched to within an inch of their life.

Probably because emotions make people feel much better than rational arguments.




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