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


How Thick Is The Line Between Blessing & Curse?
January 25, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So recently, Led Zeppelin were inducted in the Kennedy Center Honours – an honour given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture.

Anyway, as part of the induction, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart took to the stage [with about 10,000 other musicians] to perform Led Zepp’s iconic ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

Now I know some people on here will regard that song as the sort of hairy, ancient rock that should be killed off … but fuck them … it’s a timeless piece of music majesty.

Anyway, while watching it, you couldn’t help notice how moved Robert Plant was during the performance and it got me wondering what was going on in his head …

Was it the sheer power of the performance?

The amazement that a song they wrote in early ’70, was still being played – and loved by people of all generations?

The shock that a song they wrote in early ’70, could still have so much energy?

The wonder that a song they wrote back in early ’70, was being played for the President of the United States?

The emotion of knowing it literally couldn’t get ‘bigger than this’.

Or was it just the simple realisation his impact on World history was assured?

Imagine that … doing something that stands the test of time. That lives forever. That others want to perform, protect and nurture.

It’s not like in adland – where many look at the flaws of other people’s work and then hack shamelessly away at it to suit their own purposes – it’s almost like this piece of music is revered, where people want to perform it while staying true to its overall spirit and essence.

Like an act of love.

An act of respect.

It must be one of the most amazing – and humbling – feelings on earth.

____________________________________________________________________________

PS: I also find it fascinating that when the camera pans to the remaining members of Led Zeppelin – apart from seeing how old they are – they always appear to show their reactions almost in a chain reaction style, never in parallel. At first it appears they’re all quite independent from each other, but the other way of looking at it is that each one has some sort of invisible ignition that sets the others off.

The best way to explain what I mean is at 4 minutes 24″.

Even though they are all sat in a similar location, watching the same event unfold in front of their eyes … first John Paul Jones reacts … then Robert Plant & finally Jimmy Page. I know this might sound like I’m talking hippy nonsense, but I still find it interesting.



Walking Hypocrites …
January 24, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

I’ve written countless posts about how people are inherently hypocritical.

Saying one thing but acting in another.

Demanding action in one area, but insisting their situation isn’t affected.

Shouting about democracy but not liking it when the result doesn’t go their way.

We are all like this – everyone – but I am still amazed how many people only see this trait in others, not themselves.

Actually, I’m even more amazed that there are researchers out there who don’t even recognise this behaviour in others – which might go some way to explain why so many focus group findings could have been found by a blind man, but I digress.

The reason for all this is that I recently was in a meeting when a man I’d never met before, walked in holding this glass …

Cop a load of that.

1. He’s telling everyone he’s a Virgo.

2. It goes on a massive rant how brilliant & hard working Virgo’s are.

3. It has the audacity to say they are modest and shy.

Modest and shy?

SO WHY THE FUCK IS HE WALKING INTO A ROOM OF STRANGERS WITH THAT WRITTEN ON HIS GLASS OF WATER?

Now I know what you’re thinking, “But what if that isn’t his glass?”

Well that’s a fair enough question – even though anyone in their right mind would do all they could to avoid using that glass – but when I saw it, I asked him if he was a Virgo and the funny thing is, he was genuinely surprised that [1] I asked and [2] I was right.

Who are these people???

Now I appreciate he didn’t do it to be a showoff – he was an extremely nice, gentle and kind gentleman – but the fact he didn’t realise [1] bringing a glass to a meeting that basically screamed ‘Virgoan’s are the greatest people in the entire Universe’ and [2] we’d naturally assume he was born a Virgo, highlights how people often see themselves very differently to how the rest of the World see’s them.

To be fair, a lot of that is the brains fault given it has been designed to protect our memories and ego regardless of reality, but still, not realising a glass like that would make you look an egotistical dick rather than a diligent and humble hard-worker is quite amazing.

So next time you’re in a meeting and people are throwing out facts about their life or thoughts … remember what they’re saying, might not always be as singleminded as they might like to believe. Focus group facilitators take note.

With all that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank you lot … my wife … my friends … my clients … my colleagues … who all keep me very, very aware of my utter hypocrisy at every turn. I suppose that makes me a lucky man, even though I probably need to spend a bit more time trying to convince myself of that fact.



Conversations With The Enemy …
January 23, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So last week, I had a conversation with someone I thought I hated.

Note I said “thought”, because the fact is, until last week – I had never met the person, I had simply encountered them through their work.

I didn’t like their work.

In fact I hated it.

To be fair, some of this was because of the people who liked this individual, rather than me purely loathing all they did. But I did. I bloody hated it.

That said, I appreciated their broader influence and I respected their beliefs – even if I didn’t agree with them – but all in all, they were in my ‘shit box’ and had remained there for literally, a couple of decades.

So imagine my surprise, when last week, I found myself on the phone, talking to this guy.

Worse, imagine my surprise, when last week, I found myself on the phone, talking to this guy and liking him.

I should add this was not because I suddenly agreed with all his views and opinions [though without doubt, I did on some things] but because he was a smart, charming, informed and amusing.

In addition, he also didn’t hang up on me when I told him how much I used to loath him and his ‘companies’ work … though that could also be because I mentioned how a certain colleague of mine spent 2 years mimicking him at work, just to annoy the shit out of me.

All in all, it was a really enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking conversation.

This has left me in a pickle.

I’ve been robbed of a belief that I had blindly hung on to for years.

A belief that I accept, was – potentially – based on nothing more than adolescence, pettiness and belonging.

OK, so this change in opinion could be based on me maturing. [Ahem]

Or maybe they’ve stopped being such an obnoxious arsehole. [Ahem]

But whatever the case, it’s reminded me that whether it’s people, research, clients or agencies … you should never judge a book by it’s [media] covee – never, ever, ever – unless it’s Bono, because I’m absolutely certain he’s an egotistical, little twat.



You Can’t Call Yourself A Democracy When You Have To Answer To The Corporate Cheque Book.
January 22, 2013, 6:18 am
Filed under: Comment

So I was very pleased to see that Obama has let sanity prevail and taken action against the ridiculously liberal gun laws of the US.

While I am sure myopic fuckwits like like Alex Jones will act like this is an act of war on American citizens [no doubt bringing up the ridiculous ‘Is Obama American’ debate all over again], there was one bit of the new legislation that shocked me and that was that the Centre for Disease Control were now allowed to study gun violence.

Yes, ALLOWED.

You see previously, doctors had been banned from gathering data or discussing guns with patients under regulations backed by the National Rifle Association.

What the fuck!?

I know the NRA would claim it’s because they were worried fictitious ‘evidence’ would be produced, but those bunch of conspiracy peddlers are missing the point, because by doing that, it means people like me think they actually acknowledge the role gun ownership has on violent crime and simply wanted to stop this proof from reaching the masses.

I appreciate modern politics is full of lobbying and cosy financial arrangements and relationships, but when a group can make research into stopping violence, illegal – simply because it doesn’t suit their personal agenda – then I think you have the right to start asking who’s interests our governments are really serving.

Honestly, the more I see these sorts of things, the more I find people who criticise the Communist Government, laughable.



Who Needs A Four Hour Working Week …
January 21, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

… when you can have the ‘no hour working week.

No, I’m not talking about winning the lottery.

Nor am I talking about living the sort of life some mean people on here claim I live.

I’m talking about this act of utter genius.

Mind you, it could be argued that …

1. I live in China

2. I spend a lot of time looking up shit on the internet

3. I have a propensity to delegate stuff to my colleagues

… I was doing this way before that guy.

Sssssssh, don’t tell Dan.