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

Things On Pedestals Are Exceptionally Fragile …

I’m back.


Anyway, a little while ago, a respected marketing guru – a real one, not one of the self-appointed pretenders out there – wrote a post about the situation in Ukraine.

While what they were saying was right – ie: we should resist giving brands who actively choose to still trade with Russia, our time or money – the way they said it bothered me as it gave the impression people working for these companies – regardless of situation or circumstance – should focus on getting a new job.

I pointed out not everyone has the privilege, money or time to be able to do that – many are just trying to survive, even if they are against the war – so it might be good to mention that for both context and understanding.

The individual in question saw my comment and came back at me.

In their eyes, they were saying exactly that in their comment [they weren’t] … and then questioned why I would even raise this.

So I replied saying I was happy they didn’t mean it as I read it but it was because of how it read, that I commented.

To which they came back again …

This time they used a tone that suggested I was idiotic to question them because of their highly regarded status in the industry.

OK, so that last bit is my interpretation of their tone, but at no point did they show any understanding or desire to understand my point of view. They disregarded it immediately, as if being challenged – especially someone like me – was an outrageous act of impertinence.

At this point I showed a degree of maturity, because I could have said …

… the burden of responsibility for communication is on the author not the reader.
… we all make mistakes – even professors of marketing – so they didn’t need to get so upset.
… their response was so disproportionate, it was bordering on white fragility.

But then I realised I didn’t have to, because they kind-of said it all themselves.

There is a lot of talk about white privilege – and so there should be – but today I saw privileged white privilege. By that I who believe their level of education, status or wealth deems them to be untouchable due to being perfect.

Now don’t get me wrong, this person is very clever.

They have a huge amount of knowledge and experience and have built a platform that means they are heard and followed by many.

All brilliant.

However, as clever as they are, on this occasion they weren’t very smart.

Which gives us a good lesson to remember.

As much as we may not want to, we all make mistakes … but those who refuse to entertain the possibility of that happening often discover that they become the mistake.

Gone To Oz, Back Wednesday …
June 20, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Comment

[And happy birthday to Lizzie]

Truth In Advertising …

Free newspapers.

Yes, they’re free.

Yes, they’re made of paper.

But news?

Most of the time I take them from the letterbox straight to the bin. And then I saw this …

A local, free newspaper that called itself ‘a rag’.

And do you know what I did?

I went and got it and then read it cover to cover.

15 years ago I talked about ‘unplanning’ … which is basically, the power of truth.

[Though in 2006, I also wrote a post about the commercial value of a single banana at Starbucks, so maybe the idea of ‘product loneliness’ had something to do with me picking up a copy of the paper. And you thought my posts were bad now, hahahahaha]

It was my reaction to an industry drowning under the weight of it’s own bullshit terms, techniques and approaches. Well you know what, it’s got worse.

So while calling a local newspaper a ‘rag’ is hardly a strategy … it makes more sense than so many of the strategy submissions I judged around the World over the last few years.

Oh my god the claims.

An item of food that reignited a culture.

A sales promotion that brought families together.

An alcohol company that inspires artistic diversity.

No … those examples are not a joke, they were real submissions … so with that in mind, a local, free newspaper that made a bloke pick up a copy, read it cover-to-cover then blog about it because they labelled themselves ‘a rag’, should be considered a Grand Prix winner.

Or in submission speak:

How a small plucky local, free newspaper become the most influential entertainment channel for international tourists.

Transformation. Disruption. Purpose. Blah, blah, fucking blah.

OK, I think I need to go and have a lie down … and lucky for you, it is going to last 4 days as I’m off to Melbourne so there’s no post till Wednesday.

You’re welcome.

We All Need A Partner In Mischief …
June 16, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Family, Love, Paul

So today is my beloved Paul’s birthday.

While I wish I was able to celebrate his special day with him, knowing we were together so recently helps minimise the disappointment that I can’t be today.

Especially as we got to experience two incredible events together in the space of a week.

Watching Forest win promotion to the Premiership and seeing Queen in concert at the O2.

It was like it was arranged by a higher power. It was amazing.

And as I wrote a few weeks ago, I needed it.

I don’t mean the experiences – though they were amazing – I mean spending time with him.

I’d not seen Paul for almost 2 years and that may be the longest we’ve ever gone apart.

That would be significant for me at any time – but with my parents gone, Paul is the person who has been in my life the longest and so not being near him takes on added significance.

He has always been my best friend, but now he’s even more than that.

Put simply, I love him.

Every single thing about him.

From his infectious immaturity to his evolution into Frothy Coffee Man.

And even though every bit of trouble I’ve ever got into my life can be traced back to him … he is so important and special to me and I hope he knows it.

One day we’ll live close to each other again, but till then – happy birthday Paul. I hope you have an absolutely immense day and are spoilt like buggery by Shelly … and I look forward to the time we can celebrate together again.

Love ya.

A Great Thing Happened On This Day …
June 15, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Birthday, Comment, Jill, Love

I’m a pretty lucky guy.

Contrary to popular opinion, I have worked hard for stuff … but I can’t deny that the life I have is disproportionately good to the life I probably deserve.

And nothing sums this up more than being married to my wife.

She is a beautiful, compassionate, considerate human.

She has supported and encourage me on everything I’ve wanted to do.

From moving countries to jobs to everything in-between.

Any success I have had is definitely with her influence stamped all over it.

Today it’s her birthday.

And while she will enjoy it, she also not want me to make a fuss about it.

Not because she doesn’t like birthdays, but because she doesn’t like being the centre of attention.

When I wrote a post about her a few months ago, she was a bit embarrassed about it.

She likes the quieter life and me talking about her and her achievements made her feel a bit uneasy. And while I don’t want to make her feel that way, it’s very hard for me to dial-down how much I love her because quite frankly, she’s everything to me.

Oh the things I could write.

The things I want to say.

About what you mean to me and how great I think you are.

But I’ll do as I’m told by just saying this.

My dear Jill.

Happy, happy birthday.

You’re the absolute best.

I am so happy and lucky to have you in my life.

You’re an amazing person … mother and wife.

Otis, Rosie and I hope you have an amazing day.

We’ll do our best to make sure you do.

Here’s to many more birthday’s I have to resist celebrating publicly.

Lots of love my love.