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

Where Are They Now? In The Dustbin.
March 19, 2007, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Comment


Do you remember the singer Sophie B. Hawkins?  She had a couple of hits in the ’90’s …  but I can’t remember for the life of me what they were.

She wasn’t very good at her peak but the poor thing must be really crap now given she won a court case against a guy selling promotional copies [via eBay] of her soon-to-be-released album and only got awarded US$346!!!

Three Hundred and Forty Six Bucks … that wouldn’t even cover the cost of a stereo to play the rubbish on!!!

Poor thing, talk about a reality check on the state of your career, the judge might as well of said, “Sophie, you’re a nobody, go and die under a rock!!!”


This got me thinking … when do you give up on a dream? 

When do you realise or accept ‘it’s not going to happen?

Having religiously watched the wonderfully awful ‘American Idol’, I am continually amazed by the arrogance of some of the entrants … so many are absolutely crap and yet believe they are amazing … what drives this? 

What do they call upon to keep their dream alive?  What are they chasing … the fame, the money, the desire to fulfill their dream?

What is obvious is that fame used to be the end product of doing something worthy or great, and now, for many people, it is the actual goal … hence the incredible growth of reality TV shows like BIG BROTHER, which may be many things but certainly not ‘reality’!

Is ‘normal life’ so bad these days?   Why do we crave a life ‘style’ rather than a life?   Why aren’t we happy with our ‘lot’ in life?  What has changed this and do you think it is going to get better or worse?

I recently watched a documentary on the UK / US schooling system and was reminded how much pressure is put on young kids to ‘achieve’ – especially the ones who are academically brighter than the average.

What really grabbed me was how they were being sold this dream that education equated to job and life satisfaction – which is sadly not always true.

Then this got me thinking about the drug consumption explosion … and if you remove things like distribution, price decline and ‘social status’ … I can’t help but feel many of the people who embrace it are the ones who were sold a ‘better life’ [by teachers etc] before growing up and finding they’re actually living a painfully average life – thus drugs help them hide/escape/forget the situation they find themselves in.

Of course I could be totally wrong … and there’s a damn site more reasons than just this … but as much as underselling life and opportunities to the young is wrong, so is overselling it – though what the ‘line’ is between the two, I don’t know.

If there are any parents who read this blog, I’d love to hear your comments … especially if you think the Government / Education system is inadvertently pushing people to drugs?

36 Comments so far
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damn, i wish i was your lover.
that’s what she sang.. i’m not creeping on you. promise.

Comment by lauren

see age’s blog for who may also be helping out in a drug-taking culture..

Comment by lauren

I don’t know whether you knowing the name of her song, or the fact you’re still up on a work night scares me more.


Comment by Rob

Correct. She also had another hit over here that I forget the name of.

Its the idea of getting rich quick. Most people dont to be talented anymore, they just want fame and money.

I hope the Jade Goody crap this year will help stop that phenomenon.

And as much as I dislike American Idol and X Factor in principle, they are at least reminding people that to be famous you actually need to have a talent or ability.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i’ve got a lovely case of insomnia, which possibly accounts for my bad taste and attitude.

Comment by lauren

Jaye Goody … as hated by the cynic mob as Paris Hilton for similar reasons as well ironically.

And Lauren, for God’s sake read Ray Martin’s autobiography … it’ll make you fall asleep in about 3 minutes flat.

Comment by Rob

As someone brilliant pointed out, making Jade Goody famous is like teaching a monkey to be a butler.

Dont be surprised if it starts throwing shit at you, its still a bloody monkey.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Jade is proof that anyone can make money … which sort of begs the question, why can’t I???

Comment by Rob

Because you keep spending it on electronic shit thats why. Only 1404 emails to go.

Comment by Billy Whizz

But not drugs though … [trying desperately to keep the subject matter of the post going on!]

Comment by Rob

A lot of people who seek fame are of the personality types most likely to get hooked / abuse drugs.

Look at people like Robbie Williams and Lindsay Lohan, they are clearly insecure people who take it too far.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Thank you Rob … not just for your view, but for keeping in ontrack … hahaha

Comment by Rob

Rob, I know it’s late but your meeting isn’t over yet so could you stop fucking blogging and pay attention to what is going on.

Comment by George

You either have spies or are a Warlock!

OK – concentrating.

Comment by Rob

Both and if you respond to this, I will kill you.

Comment by George

I don’t think Rob is scared of you … well, not too much. Ahem.

Comment by Not Rob. Ahem.

Are you trying to tell me I really never will won’t be worldwide planning director of Wonderbra? Time for some charlie.

Comment by NP

Hello Mr Northern Planner. Please don’t use comments like that as it will only encourage Rob to post more replies and I need him to actually concentrate on what he is doing. Thanks and I hope you are doing well.

Comment by George

OK Rob in another effort to keep this on topic. Now interesting you should say this, as it’s the thought behind Singapore’s ‘Streaming’ system which works like this: In Primary 6 (Grade 6) the kids write an exam, based on the result of this you are put into either the ‘Express’, ‘Normal’ or ‘Technical’ streams. Express get special schools and are fast-tracked on scholarships and eventually an Ivy League University. ‘Normal’, well, follow the normal school, Junior college & Univ sequence. The ‘technical’ stream cannot apply to universities for degrees, they only will be allowed into technical institutes after high school to earn diplomas in technical skills for future blue collar jobs.

This is, of course very harsh and frequently criticised, I particularly abhor it as I am a school drop out and can’t imagine I would’ve just been allowed to be a mechanic in Singapore.

But it seems to work as the kids are very clear from a young age, on what is success and the life they can achieve…

Comment by Hari

Its maybe too harsh, and I dont think kids should be forced away from their dreams; but it has a level of targeted realism that is needed here.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I don’t agree with your last bit Hari … the kids are TOLD from a young age what is success and the life they can/should achieve – their own views and goals don’t come into it.

This is why in Singapore, anyone who has aspirations outside of banking/white collar jobs is regarded as an outcast and the creative arts are viewed as nothing more than a ‘nice distraction’ to the business of making money.

Now I have to go because if Jill see’s I am blogging when I should be working, she’ll do her nut.

Comment by Rob

OK, you ask for a parent, so you’re gonna get one. Yup, it’s me.

There are times when you could kill a whole range of people as a parent. TV people, Education people, Ad people, Politians and other parent people. Really properly kill them.

The things is, kids are brilliantly simple. You ask them what they want to be BEFORE they go to school they’ll tell you they REALLY want to be. My girls came up with a vet, writer (children’s books), dancer, and flower (she was very young, but being a flower is ok in my book).

Now, there are all at school at do you know what they say now? “Bugger off dad I’m doing my homework”. The pressure on kids today to acheive is enormous. Not of from me (or their mum) but from the school system. And it’s getting worse. My youngest, Emily has four times the homework that Hannah did when she was her age. But the thing is the kids don’t know what it’s all about. Why are we doing all this stuff dad? And the only answer I can give them is “because that’s just the way it is sweetheart”. Which is why I could kill. Because I don’t why it’s like it either.

The only thing that kids can see is that with things like pop idol and big brother is that something HAPPENS to these people. I’m glad that my kids think it’s all a bunch of arse but their friends at school go crazy for this shit.

It gives them direction, something to stear towards something that the careers officer can’t help them with becuase he’s just as confused by it all as well. The teachers are out of touch too. And most parents don’t give a shit (most parents want their kids to be superstars).

I wouldn’t want to be a kid today. It would confuse the shit out of me. It’s hard enough being a dad.

Comment by Marcus Brown

IMHO: it’s all bollocks.

take my sister and i. i’m the over-achiever – got caned (not literally) for only getting an A (as opposed to A+) in exams, while she got pandered over getting a C.
i’ve got a degree and she never finished high school.
i wanted to be a radio journalist. she wanted to be a boy.
now i’m the one with the ‘creative’ career, lovingly caressing the poverty line.
she earns a grand a week working for some shit TV network.
she takes drugs and gets shitfaced, often. i don’t (anymore).

pressure on kids sucks and squeezes the bejeezus outta ya, but i don’t think it’s the sole contributor to seeking drugs and, at the end of the day, there are many other factors that influence your life and choices as an adult.


this is not an endorsement of that jade girl, american idol or starfuckers, or any other beige crap.

Comment by lauren

Hari, that outline of Singapore’s education system is scary… reminds me of “Brave New World”.

I’m about to turn 26 soon, and it’s a weird time to be around my friends. Seems everyone is just thinking a little too much – kinda like a Zack Braff movie or something – about how their life has turned out to how they THOUGHT/WANTED it to turn out. Some of them are pretty satisfied, the majority aren’t. Being me, I just sit back and observe these kinda emotions, try to understand them. It’s exactly what you said Rob, we’re sold promises of success and a better life by our parents and teachers and we strive to over-achieve and alas, life turns out to be pretty damn average in the end. Personally I think we’re starting to think “it’s over” a little too quickly these days, I mean, we not even 30 yet!

It is sad, especially how A LOT of kids turn to drugs to counter this disappointment. Thank God friends I have haven’t…

On a somewhat related note, the Montana Meth project has been getting some global headlines. Worth checking out, search YouTube for the ads. I think they work:

Comment by Age

Thanks for those comments guys, I really, really appreciate it.

When I was at school, I was good at school work but absolutely crap at exams – mainly because teachers had continually told me exam grades were the conduit to having a great or terrible life and I was scared shitless of screwing it up.

Infact when I was 15, I was sent to a careers advisor who looked at my prospective exam grades [which were low, regardless of how good my school work was] and told me I wasn’t ever going to be the lawyer or journalist I wanted to be … I should consider a career in catering management.

Imagine how that feels when you’re 15!

Infact, had I not had such great parents who supported me, helped me and encouraged me, I could be living a totally different life to the one I have now – and it’s not because of talent, it’s because I’ve been exceptionally lucky to continually meet people who have believed in me and encouraged me to explore opportunities that I never even knew existed.

I am a massive fan of education – especially in areas which are becoming less and less attractive to the money-at-all-costs society we’re breeding – but if we continue to stop kids exploring the joys of life and give them more and more pointless adult-like exercises [ie: the mass quantities of homework Marcus mentioned], then I am afriad society will be made up of a large propotion of middle management, call centre employees.

Hell, that would be a reason to take hard drugs right there.

I know I have gone on about Sir Ken Robinson – as have Fred and Age – but I beg people to watch / listen to it … … because he is so right when he say’s education is now formulated to kill creativity and free thinking in the people of tomorrow.

This is an issue very close to my heart and the wonderful Mark Chong at Singapore’s SMU regulary lets me rant to his wonderful students about embracing what is important to them.

The sad part is that in many of the Asian youth, the thing they are passionate about most is money – because they believe this allows all their other hopes and dreams [wife / husband, family pride, fulfilling responsibilites, material possession, house, car, etc etc] to be achieved – which is why their choice of job is beoming primarily dictated by starting salary than passion liberation.

I find it sad … but then I am from a different generation with different cultural values, so I cannot say they are wrong … though I do believe that if the Governments of the World don’t take on this issue in some way, it will have massive economic, cultural and social issues for them later on in life.

OK, rant over … back to work. BOOOOOO!

Comment by Rob

My “aptitude” test in early high school said I should be a mechanic. Imagine how proud my parents were knowing they were paying top dollar at one of Melbourne’s most expensive private schools to be told that! My father has been a mechanic for over 40 years and I couldn’t think of a worse job.

Comment by Age

You posh bloke Age … private school. Ooer!

But your Dad should have been proud because ironically, you now can earn more money in a Blue Collar job than 90% of the White Collar jobs – mainly because we are becoming a society who can’t DO [practical] things so happily pay top dollar to people who can help solve our problems and inconvieniences.

Comment by Rob

I think I could be a painter… hmmmmmmmm, another month of putting up with recruiters and I might seriously consider this.

Comment by Age

lemme guess age – either xavier or st michaels?

Comment by lauren

Good guess! I’m and Old Xav.

Comment by Age

he he… you’re talking to an old star of the sea girl..

Comment by lauren

God … posh people on my blog. I am so honoured.

Comment by Rob

you obviously haven’t met me rob, if you think i’m posh.. ha!

Comment by lauren

You obviously haven’t met me if you think you’re common.

Comment by Rob


Comment by lauren

Thank you.

Comment by Rob

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