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


The Daily Mail Gets Into The Spirit Of Halloween …

I always thought the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween came out on the night of the 31st October, but the Daily Fail … I mean, Daily Mail … have shown me I am wrong in that assumption with quite possibly the most pointless ‘news story’ that they have ever printed.

Yes, I know you might find this hard to believe given they’ve printed such gems as how to get the Kim Kardashian look or the cat that looks like Tom Selleck or the lion that looks like a cartoon lion or, not forgetting, z-grade reality star almost steps into a puddle … but this is worse. No really.

Are you ready?

Are you peeping out from your bedsheets?

OK … so here we go.

Jesus Christ …

I know England is footie-mad but even the most devout Man United fan is not going to give a shit about this … especially given black t-shirts and jeans are about as common as getting mugged by an acne-ridden, drug-taking, 17 year old scamp in Manchester city-centre every Saturday night.

Seriously what next?

Is it even feasibly possible to go any lower?

Paul McCartney runs out of toilet paper?

Ice-Cube adds ice cubes to his drink?

When you think of some of the great journalists out there and all the trials and tribulations they have gone through to bring their important stories to the World, the Daily Mail pisses over all their efforts and legacies … and given the Mail website is one of the most visited places on the internet, that means the fashion of some footballers is going to be the topic of more people’s conversations than the state of the World.

And if you want something scary to think about this Halloween, you can’t get scarier than that.



Waving Goodbye To Singapore’s Most Dangerous Weapon …
October 28, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Experience, Management, Planners, Planning, Ros, Wieden+Kennedy

So today is a happy/sad day for me because I wave goodbye to my wonderful colleague Ros.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Ros for the last 2 years and I can honestly say, every day has been memorable.

OK, so part of the reason for that is that apart from being very talented and passionate, she is one of the most inappropriate people I’ve ever met … and let’s face it, I know a hell of a lot of inappropriate people.

Even more shocking is she is from the land of ‘nice’ … Singapore. What the fuck?!

And yet, despite her incredibly tasteless jokes, her excellent range of swearing and her ability to start a client presentation with the words, “don’t judge us before you’ve heard us” … she is a fantastic human being and a wonderful planner who everyone – even the clients she [cheekily] berates – love.

I’ve adored every moment I’ve either worked with Ros or watched Ros in action and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing her continue her exploration of what she is capable of doing and being. Even more so that she’s taking her fiancé – and Wieden colleague – Hiro with her.

[The man I saw her sheepishly walk out from behind a bush on Wieden’s rooftop garden with]

So to 72&Sunny Amsterdam, look after her … and by that I mean don’t turn her into a happy, positive person because apart from the fact that would mean you’re into ’brain washing’, it would also mean you’re stopping her be as brilliant as she can be.

Thank you for everything Ros, I’m super proud and excited for you.



How Raising A Child Reveals Whether You’re Full Of Shit …

I love my son.

I love him so much.

He is such a sweet kid.

Sure he’s a bit cheeky and a bit mischievous, but he’s just a lovely little boy.

I want his innocence and wonder to never leave him – but sadly, I know it will.

I also know things I’d never wish on anyone will happen to him.

Bullying.

Heartbreak.

Sadness.

And all I can do is try to prepare him for it in a way where he knows he can come through the other side.

Of course part of that will be by making sure he knows he is loved and supported unconditionally by his parents … the other part is making sure he is brought up with as much openness as possible.

One of those things is him understanding men and women are equal.

As I wrote about a while ago, my wife and I have had some stick from relative strangers in how we’re bringing Otis up.

One of the things they’ve ‘questioned’ is why we let Otis play with dolls and brooms, why we bought him a kitchen set and why we let him dance wherever and whenever the mood takes him.

Of course it’s none of their fucking business … but the fact is, we don’t want Otis to grow up thinking boys do this and girls do that and seeing our little boy being as happy playing with dolls as he is with his iPad is utterly wonderful.

I have to admit, I find the level of sexism around me frightening. I find it especially bad when I hear it from a man who has daughters. I literally cannot understand that.

And yet many ignore it exists.

They say any wrong behaviour is ‘cultural’ rather than sexist.

Of course there are cultural traits that define gender roles – especially in Asia – but that doesn’t mean they’re right or you have to carry on with them, even more so when you are not from this part of the World.

And yet it is everywhere – even in supposedly liberal and developed nations, as this wonderful piece by Hillary Clinton shows.

While Hillary says the way women are judged differently to men is ‘not bad, just a fact’, I find it deplorable.

But it’s true.

I remember having to tell one of my talented female planners to clap her hands a bit differently because it looked too much like a little girl and a bunch of sexist pricks would then judge her for that. I hated having to do that … but there was no way I was going to let this talented individual be ignored just because they had decided the way she applauds looks juvenile.

And that’s why I like what Cindy Gallop is doing.

Or what she’s trying to do.

My problem is she’s treating all white men as the enemy which, in my opinion, not only doesn’t serve her purpose any good, but is the sort of generalised bollocks that certain white men have treated females.

And that’s why Otis is being raised to see equality not prejudice … because values, roles and/or potential shouldn’t be evaluated or judged by gender or demographic, even if the way society operates – including those supposedly fighting against it – wants to keep that the norm.



You’re Either In Control Or Being Controlled …

Many of you may have already read this, but a while back, Politico magazine wrote a long – but fascinating – article about the moment George W Bush heard about 9/11.

What makes it especially interesting is they talk to people who were with him that day … from his Chief Of Staff, to his security detail to journalists to the pilots of Air Force One and the F-16’s sent to further protect the plan.

It is an amazing insight into one of modern histories most defining moments as well as being a wonderful lesson in how to give direction to chaos rather than letting chaos direct you.

You can read it here.



It Will Make You Blind And You Can’t Climb Ladders Easily …

A long time ago I wrote about a gum that was designed to stop teenagers whacking off.

Then there was the soap that supposedly made you a virgin again. Or something.

However before you think the ‘anti-sex’ brigade have the monopoly on stupid and ineffective products … don’t forget Vulva aftershave, the scent designed to make men smell like a vagina. A sweaty vagina. Oh how I wish I was joking.

Anyway, I say all this because recently a friend sent me this …

I am hoping he sent it to me because he knew I’d find it amusing, but seriously look at it!

I must admit, when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke but then I visited the URL and it went to a real place.

Now I have to be honest, having read it – I literally don’t know if it’s true or a parody.

If it’s true, it’s hilarious. [And a teensy bit scary]

And if it’s a parody, it’s absolutely brilliant. [Check out the ‘Family Fun’ link]

But here’s the thing, that ‘ad’ states that you can never climb the ladder to heaven if your hands are full of penis.

Despite my best friend being the proud owner of a penis that could easily be mistaken for an international ballistic missile, I’ve never had any penis size issues but I might now if this organisation say’s that the average penis requires 2 hands to control.

Or maybe that’s just people who are going to go to hell.

Which – if it is – is the best ad for sin I’ve ever seen.

Besides, there’ll be more interesting people there … not to mention all my friends.
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PS: I promise the blog posts get better this week. Eventually.



Turning Monday Blues To Monday Yellow. Or Something …
October 24, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Communication Strategy

It’s Monday.

It’s getting cold and rainy.

You are stuck in your cubicle.

So, because I’m so kind, I thought I’d cheer you up by letting you join in The Kennedys assignment and feeling challenged and fulfilled.

Or something.

And what’s the assignment?

It’s what that picture at the top of this post says.

Over to you …

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PS: Even Mr Dodds can’t say this copy is ‘too long’. Then again …



Putting The Con In Icon …

There are a lot of people who think that in the digital age, nothing can be kept secret.

Maybe they’re right, but that doesn’t hide the fact that some people can keep their secret from being found out for a pretty long time.

Case in point is Elizabeth Holmes – the much lauded, self-made billionaire of biotech start-up Theranos.

That’s her in the photo.

While many have written about her, her story is really one about confidence.

Or should I say the dark side of confidence … both in terms of how she used it and how many fell for it. That said, it is also a story about the fear of missing out and how cash can blind the judgement of many otherwise sensible people.

[But, fortunately, not all]

It’s a truly scary story though I must admit, the thing that shocked me most was learning there was a guy in the US – admittedly a Brit – who had never worn a pair of jeans.

Anyway if you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to read it … it’s a modern day version of the Emperor’s new clothes.