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


Why Bad Grandpa Should Make All Of Humanity Breathe A Big Sigh Of Relief …
February 19, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Have you seen the film Bad Grandpa?

It’s a bit like Borat in the way the central character – in this case Johnny Knoxville – goes around in disguise causing trouble while cameras capture the horrified reactions of the general public who don’t know they’re being filmed.

If you have seen it, I’ll get to the point of this post in a minute, however if you haven’t, here’s a little taster of what it is all about …

So as you can tell, the movie is basically about the twisted – yet loving – relationship between a cantankerous, cranky, loveable pervert grandfather [played by Knoxville] and his sweet, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth, mischievous, grandson [played by Jackson Nicoll]

Throughout the film, they get up to all sorts of scrapes … from defecating in a family restaurant to entering a child’s pageant show [with the little boy dressed as a girl before launching into a full-on stripper routine to Warrant’s ‘Cherry Pie’] … however unlike Borat, which basically exploited stereotypes and cultural differences, the beauty of Bad Grandpa is that the overriding feeling you get at the end of it, is how utterly wonderful society is.

From showing how people are genuinely concerned about the well being of a kid seemingly on his own in the city through to a biker gang actively caring about the feelings of an old man who they believe has had to leave his grandchild with his loathed son-in-law, the movie inadvertently reveals the best of humanity.

I know that sounds mad, I know that might not actually be what Knoxville and the Jackass/MTV gang intended, but it does.

At a time where the media likes to present the World as a cesspit of hate, violence and crime … the movie Bad Grandpa will not only give you a lot of [guilty] laughs, it will also remind you there are far more good people out there than bad and as long as we all play our part in keeping it that way, there’s a chance things might not be as bleak as they sometimes appear.



Screw You Mills & Boon, Here’s Rob Campbell…
February 18, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

After writing a post on Friday about how I think Valentines Day is the absolute opposite of love, a friend of mine sent me this video of what love really is.

What a shame the couple in the video only have a 58% chance of staying married.

Mind you, with one having a Dutch accent and the other having a Scottish accent, they only have a 10% chance of ever understanding what the other person said.

Oh well, despite all that, I have to say I was moved by how the whole thing went down and I particularly loved how the happiness of the occasion swept through – and was shared – by the audience and cast members.

Nice.

We need more happiness in the World.

I know it’s always there, but under the tsunami of fear being peddled by our media, we often don’t see it.

If Valentine’s day was about celebrating the feelings of love demonstrated in the video above, then I’d be all for it – but as I said on Friday, it’s not – because all companies want to do is flog scared men some overpriced cards, flowers and chocolates whereas real love, at least for me, is about emotional generosity and that’s something you show with your heart not your wallet.



LG Need To Get Out More …
February 17, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Have a look at this global ad for LG Ultra Flat TV …

Not the best ad in the World is it?

It gets worse when you see the headline they’re using, “The Best View In The World”.

No it isn’t.

I know a shitload of views that are better than that.

Sure, it’s OK, but if that’s supposed to be a reflection of how awesome the new LG TV is, I’d be very disappointed.

And just for the record, I’m not being petty because when I saw that ad, I recognised the weirdly shaped building that’s on the left-hand side of the ad … at the front of all the other buildings. I recognised it, because for 4 years, that’s where I worked when I did my WPP adventure and let me tell you, as nice as the view was, it wasn’t the best I’d ever seen in life.

In fact, as much as I love Singapore – and I do – I don’t know if there was any place there that I would even put in the top 100 ‘best views in the World’.

And that’s my problem with statements like that, it’s bullshit.

Maybe if they said, “The best view in the World … for now” I’d be a bit more accepting, but even then it’s hugely rational and incredibly ambiguous.

Buying a television may not be as a pressured a decision as it once was … and the advancement of screen and function seems to know no bounds … however, if all you’re going to do is churn out some bog-standard ad that seems to not know whether it is selling how flat the screen is [no, I don’t get that either] or how brilliant the image is, then you are selling both your marketing and your product short.

As you can tell, I’m very happy about starting this week.



Love Is In The Air …
February 14, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack.

Isn’t that the best Valentines Day gift ever?

Better than boxes of chocolates.

Flowers.

A romantic dinner.

A dirty weekend in Paris.

It is.

No, you don’t understand me, IT. IS.

Oh who am I fooling, even my wife has only spent one Valentine’s Day with me in the last 10 years – and it’s not this year because she’s in Sydney while I’m back in Shanghai – so I may as well accept it, go home and eat a Pot Noodle for one.

But before I do that, I need to write a bit more.

Not because I think you want it … not because I think you’ll read it … but after almost 2 weeks of silence, I have stuff to say and what I want to say is LOVE IS AWESOME.

It is.

I know that might sound soppy, but I don’t care, it is a great thing.

Not the Hollywood version that [1] never happens and [2] is full of people who marry, divorce and marry someone else all within a period of a week, I mean real love – the sort available to all of us.

Of course there are many types of love …

Romantic … family … friends … activities … moments … but at the heart of them all, it’s when you are sharing them with someone of significance that they get taken to a whole new level.

Sharing is often misunderstood.

It’s not about doing things 50:50. Sure, it would be in a perfect World – but for me, it’s simply the desire to share your time, mind and life to make the other person happy.

I’ve written before how I sort-of freaked out when I met Jill because this wonderful woman actively wanted to take my stresses and concerns away.

I had got so used to having to deal with that shit by myself, that I couldn’t understand why someone would openly want to help and I have to admit, I had a hard time trying to let go because I was worried it would all fall apart if I wasn’t there to closely hold it together.

But I did and it didn’t.

And the reason for that was she cared about my well-being and wanted to share the responsibility of that.

That’s amazing.

Of course, it only works if the feelings, actions and emotions are mutual … but when they are, that’s what love is and why it is the most wonderful thing in the world … something that can change your World both in the present and the future in ways you never even contemplated as possible.

And that is why I don’t like Valentine’s Day.

I actually think it is the opposite of what love is about.

Not just because for men, it’s a day that is ultimately driven by fear – the fear of not doing something so their wife or girlfriend gets upset – but because love is not in the big gestures, but in the small.

A life of flowers, chocolates, dinners and presents might sound wonderful, but I’d hate it.

I’d much rather have a life where I want to spend my time with the person I’m with and have them want to spend it with me.

A life where the conversations we have are open and broad.

A life where the adventures and experiences we have help form a bond that is deeper and more impenetrable by the day.

A life where ultimately, you care about their well-being and they care about yours.

A life of generously small acts.

That’s what love is. At least for me.

Which is a good job, because my wife has pissed off to Sydney and I’ll be spending it at home burning copies of Love Actually.

Whoever you’re with, take care of them and let them take care of you and may it be an unhappy Valentines day but a happy day for the rest of your life.

The End.

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PS: From Monday, we will never refer to love – or this post – again.

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PPS: I once wrote a post about Love Actually and how some scientists had said its multiple story lines could drive people’s brains to ‘breaking point’. I remember because basically every women in the office slagged me off for their favourite film. I wanted to link this post to that, but it’s gone. Literally disappeared. I went through EVERY post I wrote last year and it’s not there. I don’t know how it’s disappeared other than someone deleted it but I don’t know how that is possible, so if anyone casually comes across it – please let me know as it is literally freaking me out. Thanks.