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

Puppet Or Puppet Master?
July 15, 2011, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

When I was young I wanted to be a Policeman.

I wanted to be a policeman more than anything else in the World.

I knew everything about it … from height requirements to standards of pay.

Nothing was going to make me happy unless I became a copper.

And then I got a guitar.

Despite destroying every song I attempted to play, I wanted to be a rock star.

I wanted to be a rockstar more than anything else in the World.

I joined bands. I recorded in studios. I played hundreds of gigs and I blew an obscene amount of cash on more guitars and amps than the average band take on a World tour

And despite all that, my parents supported my ambitions every step of the way.

That doesn’t mean they agreed with all the choices I made – they still would have preferred me to go into law and were very vocal when they felt I was about to do something utterly stupid – but they had the attitude that it was better to live a life rather than a lifestyle and ultimately, they wanted what made me happy rather than them.

Which is handy, as I went into advertising.

The reason I write this is because a couple of weeks ago, the wonderful Lauren sent me a link to something that kind-of reflects the encouragement I received from my parents.

If you can’t read it properly, go here.

The thing I love about it – apart from being brilliantly written and in the perfect tone of the wonderful Viz – is that it’s not about giving people false belief or ridiculous promises … and it’s certainly not about making individuals think they’re destined for success or better than anyone else … it’s simply about encouraging people to not give up on the things that excite them simply because someone else says “it’s difficult” or “stupid”.

Chasing passions plays a significant role in the evolution of society and humanity.

If all we did were the things that were generally deemed ‘sensible’, we’d never grow or develop or try new things … so while I accept [as NP pointed out on an earlier post I wrote] there’s nothing sadder than “smug idiots living in the future, rather than living in the now” and “twentysomethings who have wasted opportunities in the pursuit of big positions and salaries”, it’s also important that we don’t stop people pursuing their curiosity and passions simply because it doesn’t meet with popular consensus … something way too many people in adland like to curb with their fixed processes and propriety tools.

65 Comments so far
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but what the fuck did you end up being?

Comment by andy@cynic

Apart from your enemy #1 you mean?

Comment by Rob

because a planner twat isnt a real job. its not even a fucking pretend job.

Comment by andy@cynic

and i never knew graham was a closet softy.

hate the fucker now.

Comment by andy@cynic

I bet he’ll be quacking in his boots.

Comment by Rob

good letter though. “on brand” as insipid little middle management marketing twats who have nothing constructive or valid or valuable to say, like to say.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

i bet the cops and the music industry are gutted to have lost out on your talent.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by lauren

good ad. quite like that. except for the aussie voiceover and cliche quirky aussie production values.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hahahaha, it does have a certain ‘Aussie’ feel doesn’t it. Like the jangly guitars in their 1980’s pop songs.

Comment by Rob

do you appreciate how many comments im making campbell? invoice is in the post.

Comment by andy@cynic

in the last few weeks, this blog seems to have turned into the sort of positive bollocks youd expect from wannabe god oprah and pointless paula pissing abdul. where the fuck have you left your snidey side? oh thats right, in your 30s.

Comment by andy@cynic

I wish this didn’t make me laugh. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Comment by Rob

youre saved from damfuckingnation by posts about fucked up aussie banks and airline campaigns. but youre sailing very fucking close to the fucking wind. dont make me hurt you, you wont like it if i have to hurt you.

Comment by andy@cynic

the. fucking. end.

Comment by andy@cynic

Wow Andy.

Comment by DH

Sharp nibs. etc.

Comment by Tarquin

Roger Mellie has nothing on you dear Andrew.

Hello Robert. I’m still watching, rarely commenting.

Comment by Wayne Green

freddie mercurys fucking love child as i live and fucking breathe. how the fuck are you? still a resident of betty fords holiday home?

Comment by andy@cynic

Tis I, the only man who has ever loved you. You are in wonderful form darling, now buy me that grand dinner you promised and give a large kiss to that honey of a wife you keep locked up.

Comment by Wayne Green

if you pay half ill think about it.

just had an e defending your honour. thats a fucking first. shame the person was judging from their self appointed fucking perch again.

defending you and your “drug/alcohol” problems. best laugh ive had this year.

Comment by andy@cynic

Did you really get someone telling you off Andy?

You mean they know you enough to have your email but don’t know you (or Wayne) enough to realize they’ve completely missed the point. Hilarious.

Comment by Bazza

Who is this knight in shining armor? How delightfully courageous and sweet.

Whoever you are, thank you so much but in future, you might want to lift your vizor up because I worry you may take another wrong turn.

Comment by Wayne Green

I will pay 1/3 and not a cent more.

I have commented more than enough on here for this year, let us communicate in the old fashioned way, over dinner.

Comment by Wayne Green

its hardly a challenge to guess the email address bazza. i wasnt defending anyones honour. if so it was andys. wont happen again. and for the record i cynically said that its nice to know that this wayne had some alcohol or drug problems. but at least andy is in a good mood now on his perch. looks like a result from my one.

Comment by peggy

yes bazza. im a fucking bastard bringing up the drug and alcohol problems waynes never had in his fucking life. they didnt slag me off for calling them freddies love child though. gay bashing must be alright by them.

wayne. ill think about it. now stop airing your dirty fucking laundry on this shithole and come to canada where youll fit right the fuck in.

Comment by andy@cynic

pedestal peggy reframes her words again. either that or what she writes and what she means dont match.

Comment by andy@cynic

enough of this. lets go transparency on this.

sent before the 7:17 comment from wayne

subject “oh wow” (referring to DH who should fuck off)

text “i know its none of my business, but jesus christ. step back from the blog and breath or whatever…

i take it you know this wayne green and he had some drug or alcohol issues. nice to know.

feel free to throw insults at me. wont read my emails till tomorrow. or just save that for a comment ill make”

i lied. on purpose (feel free to call me a liar today). thought it would make you think for a second andy and not putting you under pressure to throw something out as quickly as possible. doesnt always work lol

andys answer

subject: “youre right”

“its none of your business.

to humour you, wayne is my oldest fucking friend and ill talk to him as i always have.

maybe you should have a deep breath peggy because all you seem to be doing lately is judge from your pedestal. people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones you know.”

my answer

“im judging from my pedastal. you from yours. thats how it goes. ”

there you go. have a laugh.
delete it rob, because hey, i never meant to occupy your blog with this…

Comment by peggy

So I come in and read a load of shit that personally I don’t like seeing on here. While I like the fact that this blog has debate on here – rather than an endless stream of people who agree with whatever the author has said like countless other blogs – I don’t like it when things get personal, at least in a way that’s not good humoured or mischievous.

On one hand, I admire Peggy for standing up for a wrong she thought had been done, however after reading her response [above] it appears that’s not what she was trying to do.

Maybe that’s because after the years of Andy slagging off all and sundry, she knew his bark is worse than his bite … however having read the email she sent, the sarcasm/ cynicism she was trying to convey doesn’t come across to me either.

This is not saying Peggy is wrong [or right] it’s more another example of how the written word can miscommunicate as much as communicate.

Anyway, let’s leave this shit please, Wayne is an old, old friend of all of ours and the last thing I want him to do is feel smug his presence caused a commotion which has been his life’s goal for as long as I’ve known him.


Comment by Rob

wayne is fucking loving it. he finally gets to be the drama queen hes always dreamed of being, even if its by fucking proxy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Most exciting thing I’ve ever read on here. It’s not very exciting, it’s just better than the usual beige rubbish.

Wayne, you’re such a shit stirrer.

Comment by Billy Whizz

my, the good thing about this transparency stuff is that people can make up their own minds.

and the letter is pretty cool. in fact, the whole website seems to be.

to the point of not stopping people pursuing their passions… it probably would have been better if hitler would have gone to art school.

Comment by peggy

too fucking right “wow”

you ruined my fucking clean sweep, now fuck off.

Comment by andy@cynic

This post jumps around even more than usual. Being encouraged to explore and experiment by your parents is one thing, being unconditionally supported by your bosses regardless of what you want to do, is another. I know what you’re trying to say but it’s not quite being said.

You had fantastic parents and fantastic mentors but I also know first hand that while they endorsed your need to satisfy your curiosity, it was never without certain boundaries and deliverables being put in place and that’s the difference between people who turn out to be interesting and people who turn out to be deluded egotists.

Comment by Pete

Fair point Pete …

I did actually mean that to come across in the post, but it didn’t. There is a major difference between being a kid who is encouraged to explore stuff that captures their imagination and an adult who doesn’t want to take responsibility for the things they are being paid to do because they think they are destined for bigger things – even though they do little to work towards achieving it other than make some token comments and gestures.

As NP said in a much more succinct way. Damn!

Comment by Rob

Great letter and ad by the way.

Comment by Pete

What Pete said.

Comment by Bazza

What Pete and Bazza said.

Fair play to whoever called Andy out. Shame they jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Or maybe I am jumping to an incorrect conclusion in saying that.

Comment by George

depends who you ask.

Comment by andy@cynic

Haha. Who is this relentless Andy@Cynic – Rob is this a fictional character you’ve created to keep yourself in check? 🙂

Nice post. Very true. The world would be a rather dull place if people weren’t naturally inquisitive. I read an article today that explained how Science recently discovered a less common gene code that programmes people to explore, take risks, be impulsive and adaptable (namely the 7R and 2R).

It arose 40 – 50 thousand years ago after we left Africa as survival traits for migration (hence people furthest away from Africa are more likely to have it).

So essentially, the ‘search’ is built in to many people’s human make up. Repressing it, represses who they naturally are.

Comment by Jessica Brookes

campbells my fictional puppet. and a fucking ugly bastard one at that. now campbell, fetch me a beer.

Comment by andy@cynic

Glove puppet?

Comment by Billy Whizz

theres no fucking way id stick my hand anywhere near campbells arse, let alone up the filthy black smelly hole.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh wouldn’t that be funny if Andy was actually Rob’s alter ego. I’ve seen Fight Club you know. Of course tha would mean that Rob has an untapped psychological need for incompetent builders and overly competent gold-diggers, but whatever rocks your cradle I suppose

Comment by northern

If he was my alter ego, I think my Mum would have drowned me at birth … and she is the sweetest, nicest person to have ever lived.

Comment by Rob

Lovely letter and ad. Seek: the planner’s motto.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

Where are the fat slags on their letterhead?

Comment by Rich

i gave up today.

Comment by a sun for me

I understand Pete’s comment, but the sentiment of Robert’s post is hard to argue with.

The commercial ably demonstrates how progress can only occur if exploration and experimentation is encouraged.

I like the post and the letter is delightful.

Comment by Lee Hill

Awesome letter, in some ways it reminds me of Kevin Chesters’ TED talk. Love the ad too for various reasons 😉

Comment by Age

In the way that Kev is your boss? Haha!

Comment by Rob

No and yes. Haha!

Comment by Age

Just to clarify, I’ve no right to tell people what they should want. When you’re young, yhou think you can change the world, and sometimes you’re right, so I’ve nothing against people dreaming big, and it really is daft not pursuing your passions, even liking Queen, but if that pursuit is at the expense of ‘now’ it’s really not worth it. I guess I’m saying that the end isn’t as fun as the start, usually you find it’s the journey you enjoy rather than getting there.
And what really scares me is people wanting things they don’t really want, because actually it’s what they think othet people people want them to want- be that your parents, your peers or culture at large.
For example, I’m supposed to want to work on stuff like Nike and do world changing work. I’m saying that isn’t attractive, and if you’re not in this business to do good work, frankly, you’re in the wrong business, but that pales next to playing hide and seek with my demented boy and getting home for bathtime most nights.

Comment by northern

Basically, if you only value – or want to be defined by – what your job title is, you’re missing out on what life can really do for you.

I’d rather spend the evening with my wife than win a Cannes Lion. I mean that. I mean that with every fiber of my body.

Comment by Rob

My sister and I took some fairly unusual GCSE and A level combinations (which I later found out were only allowed after my Dad had Major Words with the headmistress).

His philosophy was that we should do whatever we were good at and made us happy – and that a career would naturally fall out of that.

Result: one Account Planner and one Bellydance teacher/agent/performer. Not quite the lawyer, doctor or vet the school had in mind but probably a lot more fun.

Comment by gemma

Which one is the bellydancer?

Comment by northern

Andrew – remember Anna from Poulters? 🙂

Comment by gemma

My family churned out TWO planners!
God help the careers guidance counsellor (interestingly the school I did my Alevels is the one from the famousDef Leppard drummer story – RobC will know.)

Comment by Rob Mortimer

if i new you were going to write a post about an ad when i sent you that link, i would have kept it to myself!


love you.

Comment by lauren


Comment by lauren

With the crap I write normally, I know you did it to make sure I wrote something half decent for once.

Comment by Rob


Comment by lauren

when are you posting it?

Comment by John

Boom Tish.

Comment by Rob

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