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


Desperate For Friends …

A while back, Mark Zuckerberg announced to the world he was creating a holding company – that would house Facebook and Instagram etc – called Meta.

He launched it with this piece of underwhelming fanfare …

There are so many questions about this …

Why did Zuck make his avatar leaner than the real him? Why did he think showing a virtual room with some boring mates playing cards would excite the world? Why the fuck is his wife & dog making an appearance & why would his dad give a shit about receiving a clip of the pooch? Why was the “awesome virtual room” like a Sega Megadrive game background? Why are Facebook/Meta employees so cowardly they can’t tell their boss his acting is worse than people who appeared on that short lived BBC soap, Eldorado? Why did they think it would be trippy to show a flying fish to a generation who make TikTok videos far weirder, fancier and more interesting? Why did I watch the whole thing. Twice? Why did they make their logo a shot Zorro mask? Why does android Zuck still pretend he’s human?

It was, in no uncertain terms, fucking terrible.

But to show that Facebook have no shame taste, they then went on a social media tirade in a bid to drum up support and interest from brands.

Not people. Brands.

Asking them what they’ll be doing in the metaverse.

And while the social media account of a brand talking to another brand may be cool for the people working at the brand, 99.9% of the time it’s an act that shows a complete lack of self awareness.

Look at this …

It’s the equivalent of 2 old white dudes – wearing Yeezy’s & Supreme tees – thinking they’re the hippest, hottest dudes on an empty petrol station forecourt in Basingstoke on a wet Tuesday night.

Seriously, I detest this sort of thing.

I certainly detest every bit about this echo chamber, jock-banter, industry ‘in joke’, interaction.

I know some people will claim it is ‘hijacking culture’, but there’s 2 key issues with this.

1. How can it be ‘hijacking’, when this approach is so common, people literally expect it.

2. There’s a major difference between hijacking and boring them.

Putting aside the danger of letting a man like Zuckerberg have even more knowledge about our lives so he can profit from it … putting aside his track record of saying his company does good things then is found to be doing bad … putting aside Facebook ‘borrowed’ their Meta logo from another company … what Zuckerberg is showing is he doesn’t care about the people who use his products, just the advertisers who keep throwing money at him so they can find more and more ways to sell stuff to them, before launching ad campaigns saying they care about the environment and everyone should act.

Or some other blame throwing tactic.

Zuckerberg isn’t going anywhere.

And what makes it worse is that technology … specifically the metaverse and mixed reality … has the potential to do incredible good for humanity. However when governments allow this space to be ‘owned’ by egotistical billionaires, then the only ‘incredible good’ we can look forward to, is more blatant exploitation with no legal implication whatsoever.

Thanks Zuck.

Thanks for robbing us of the future we could have, but you want to dictate.



Money Over Morals …
December 2, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Apathy, Culture, Death, New Zealand, Youth

A couple of days ago, a New Zealand research company – one used by a huge array of big business here – gave a speech to a broad marketing audience and said the concept of ‘tall poppy’ was dead.

They had the audacity to say this the day after Jake Millar committed suicide. The arrogance to say this when they reside in a country that continues to have one of the worst – if not the worst – youth suicide rates per capita on earth.

There are many reasons that contribute to the terrible suicide rate, but ‘tall poppy’ is, without doubt, one of them.

A significant one of them.

The biggest open – yet oppressed – secret in the country.

So to that company, I want to say this.

You are not just complicit to the problem, you are playing an active role in it.

By making statements like that, you’re placing all the blame on the people who felt they had no other choice. You’re telling parents their kids situation & context didn’t exist. You’re telling NZ, they can continue to look the other way. You’re telling the friends, family and colleagues of 26 year old Jake Millar, pictured at the top of this post, that the media who revelled in getting the nation to celebrate his business failure – and then attached all manner of additional negative personal narratives to his name = are blameless.

Do you realise what you’ve done?

Do you understand the implications of your actions?

You’ve just told the nation they can carry on as they are. That their perpetual and persistent judgement and abuse is simply ‘banter’.

How fucking malicious of you.

Be grateful I’m not calling out your name because what you did is shameless.

But let me reassure you, we will be chatting and I’ll be reminding you of your responsibility to the truth, not to making money from reinforcing a cultural narrative of denial.



Countdown To Hope …


I can’t believe we have hit December.

DECEMBER!

More than that, I can’t believe we’ve hit December and I’m still in lockdown … albeit in a totally different country to the one I was in last year.

Madness.

Given the last 365 days have basically been Groundhog Day, I’m amazed how quick this year has gone.

You’d expect it to have felt slow … but far from it.

For us, it’s been a huge year filled with huge changes – and I’ll be writing a huge post all about it in the next few weeks [don’t roll your eyes, ha] – but before that, we have Otis’ 7th birthday to celebrate and we need to find a way where he can feel the love and attention of his friends and family, as this will be the second year he’ll be experiencing it on his own.

I remember when birthdays were such a big thing.

A sign of growth … independence … power.

Of course, when you’re my age, you tend to look at them as indicators of getting old, irrelevance and impending death [hahahaha!] which leads me to something I read recently from Tom Goodwin.

It was this:

I have to say, it stopped me in my tracks.

Yes, it’s obvious, but when you see it written like that, you tend to re-evaluate what you’ve done and what you still want to do.

I am increasingly becoming aware of my mortality.

I’ve written about it before … but while I am not in a depth of depression, there is a part of me that acknowledges I am approaching the final 1/3rd of my race, despite having the hunger, energy and ambition to go a lot further.

It’s quite unnerving.

You look at everything with fresh eyes.

You ask yourself if you’ve done enough or are doing enough.

I don’t mean in terms of career – though there is a bit of that – I mean in life in general.

I look back on what I’ve done – and I acknowledge, I’ve done a bunch – and sometimes wonder if it was all a dream.

So much of it seems like it belongs to another person’s life.

Or another version of mine.

China. America. Singapore. Australia. Japan. Hong Kong. London.

So many places over such a long period of time.

Each one filled with experiences, stories and memories that defined who I am.

You’d be amazed how often I have to remind myself these happened to me. Seriously.,

The life I’ve lived is beyond anything I could ever have wished for … and while I appreciate my privilege, seeing that quote from Tom made me think about what I’m going to do with what I have left. What I want to do with what I have left.

On one hand I don’t want to sit back … I want to chase after the things that intrigue me with even greater speed and determination. But on the other, I want to make sure I am making time to enjoy and embrace all that’s going on. I don’t know if I’ve been as good at that second bit as I should have.

The problem is, the more you do, the more things you discover you want to do and – as has been the case with me – you find yourself on a track, travelling 100mph without having the ability to really enjoy the journey and the experiences you’ve had because you’ve seen something else you want to investigate.

I guess I’m living proof it’s not just millennials with short attention spans, ha.

That said, I’ve got a lot of expectations for 2022.

I did for 2021, but apart from NZ, that did not work out that way at all.

But now – with vaccinations and a world opening up – there’s a chance things could really change. A chance to embrace and explore what the world has to offer.

And I must admit I can’t wait.

Having been on only one plane in the last 18 months – to get us to NZ – has been very strange. I love travelling and exploring and have spent the last 25 years doing a ton of it. Hell, I did 100 flights in 2019 alone.

So as we enter the last month of 2021, I can look at next year with a different sense of optimism than I’ve had in a long time. A year where I want to learn how to balance ambition with enjoyment … because nothing makes you value the possibilities of the future like the acknowledgement you don’t have as much of it left as you probably would like.