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

Nothing Reveals A Fool Like The Willingness They Have To Share Their Wisdom …

I know what you’re thinking, that post above is a joke.

Has to be, doesn’t it?

Probably posted by a comedian who did it to set up the premise of their act which is about how ridiculous it is some men who think they have the right to control, blame or judge women for their own tragic, delusional and illusional bullshit.

Except – as you guessed it – it isn’t.

It’s true. It’s bloody true.

And while I could use this post to highlight the bullshit of religion – and America’s religious right – I’m not going to.

Not because I’ve suddenly become mature, but because Owen has done it all on his own.

Instead, I am going to talk about the other thing he is demonstrating … something many people, religious or not, are doing … and that is confusing opinion for intelligence.

A long time ago, I wrote a post about a line that featured in the movie about Margaret Thatcher featuring Meryl Streep.

It was this …

“Everyone prefers to feel these days instead of think. Why is no one thinking anymore?”

Now I – as anyone who knows me, knows – am a big believer in ‘feelings’ and yet even I agreed with the point she was making in that statement.

And I think that’s kind of similar to the point about some people mistaking opinion for intelligence.

This belief that just because you think it means everyone should feel the same.

Acting like an all-seeing guru.

The Yoda’s, Yoda.

My god … the lack of self-awareness is incredible. But it’s not simply because these people live and interact in a very tiny bubble – surrounded like minded sheep – it’s also because they refuse to be open to the lives, contexts and considerations of others.

God, there were so many of these people in China.

Predominantly white, Western men … who would immediately think and act like ‘they knew best’, regardless that they’d never been to China or – if they had – had only interacted in Western contexts.

Oh the shit they’d spout …

The blinkered ignorance they’d spew.

From talking about twitter in a nation that didn’t have it … to saying Asian women would not buy expensive lingerie because they only buy things that show status to society to telling Chinese business people how to sell their products in China, despite it being their very first time in the country … you name it, I heard it.

I used to call it ‘the generosity of stupidity’.

And while it is easy to laugh at them – and people like Owen, with his misogynistic, sexist bullshit – the scary thing is they attract audiences and we’re to blame.

You see we think it’s so obvious they’re ridiculous that we don’t need to call them out on it. But the problem is, this feeds their belief they’re right and before you know it, they come out with tweets that suggest a women wearing leggings is an act of sexual temptation.

Worse, an act of sexual temptation that is entirely the woman’s fault, regardless of the fact they’re just wearing some leggings because they’re comfy or stylish or it doesn’t matter what the fuck the reason is.

Which is why I think we should all follow the advice of Peter Mensch.

Peter is one half of Metallica’s long-term managers and when I asked him what he thought his job was, he said this:

“I’m paid to tell them the truth. They might not like it, they might not follow it, but it is my job to ensure they know the reality of the situation they are going into, based on 40+ years of experience working at the highest, most demanding, most successful standards of music management”.

Or said another way …

When you meet people like this, if you don’t deal with them, you’re complicit to them.

And while some may say that is argumentative and aggressive approach, I’ll leave you with something my Dad used to tell his young lawyers about the importance of dealing with issues head on.

“Nothing shows respect like providing a client with inconvenient truth”.


No post tomorrow as we celebrate the wonderful Matariki … so see you Monday.

Death As A Business Model …
May 10, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Corporate Evil, Marketing, Marketing Fail

We shouldn’t be surprised reading this.

As I wrote a while back, McKinsey had a similar point of view when working with the Sackler family to keep the deadly Oxycontin drug selling in its billions.

In fact the only thing that is a surprise is how McKinsey keep their ‘sheen’ when more and more reports come out as regards their ‘money wins’ approach to consultancy, regardless of the potential outcome.

Of course the reason is many of the organisations who use them, revel in the ‘no limits’ approach to making cash that consultancies bring to the table. And why shouldn’t they when they know that for all the talk of wanting to align with brands with purpose, customers will go with anyone if the price is low enough and the illusionary optics are good enough..

What a mess.

Money Can Buy You Luxury But It Can’t Buy You Decency …

There’s an old saying that goes, ‘money talks but wealth whispers’.

It’s a nice turn of phrase, but if it was ever true – and it probably was, at least in terms of old school rich – wealth is talking much more loudly these days.

Many years ago I wrote a post about it and how I was how wealth was moving from expressions of success to acts of arrogance.

Since I wrote that post waaaaaaaaay back in 2006, we have seen this shift become more and more common, to the point where the characters in the brilliant Succession … are seen as aspirational rather than despicable.

But this situation is not new …

I remember reading an interview with Michael Douglas where he couldn’t work out why people liked his character in Wall Street, when he was supposed to represent everything wrong with the times.

However the reality is if you revisit his famous ‘Greed Is Good’ speech … it sounds very similar to the toxic, machismo, ego-bullshit Musk and Bezos – let alone the Roy family in Succession – spout on a disturbingly regular basis.

Have a look …

So when you consider this – and the hero status Jordan Belfort achieved with his ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ persona – you start to realise that rather than learn from the mistakes of the past, we’re running right back at them.

Or said another way, it’s like the 80’s all over again.

Nothing reinforced this to me that this ad I recently saw on insta …

What the fuck?

For all the vulgar displays of wealth I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot having lived in China and America – I don’t know if anything beats the utter arrogance of travelling to one of the most environmentally fragile places on the planet simply so you can then piss on it by using mass carbon-emission producing boats, helicopters and submarines.

Fuck the environment.

Fuck the planet.

Fuck humanity.

All that matters is doing what you want and money lets you do whatever that is.

I honestly don’t know who I hate more … the company who put this on or the people who will happily pay to be a part of it.

That they have chosen to advertise this disgrace on instagram shows how much the company knows ‘alienating people’ is part of the appeal for the rich.

It’s sick.

As sick as all those companies who try to profit from the environmental crisis by making products that are ‘less bad’ rather than ‘more good’ and then try to place the burden of responsibility on the population rather than the corporation.

But then, as Joel Bakan wrote way back in 2005 with his book Corporation – companies, like the ultra wealthy – are fucking psychopaths.

Attention To Detail Is A Not A Cost, But A Commercial Advantage …

The commercial exploitation of the environment crisis by brands makes me ill.

For all their claims of doing things to ‘save the planet’, the reality is:

1. It’s not.
2. It’s focused more on how they can make money from it.

Putting aside the fact many of these conglomerates have actually added to the environmental crisis rather than taken it away, many are now trying to burden the general public with the blame and the responsibility to sort it all out.

Now of course the general public have to shoulder a huge amount of responsibility, but seeing companies try to look innocent when they have resisted – and continue to resist – major change is revolting.

From a personal point of view, one of the companies who I feel have been one of the worst for exploiting situations for profit is Unilever.

While there are some amazing people who work there … while the company talks a great game about being a ‘purpose’ driven company … you don’t have to look too far to see the organisation have profited from promoting racism, sexism and exploitation.

A few weeks ago, I got sent this:

As you can see, the bottom shelf holds a bunch of Persil Automatic washing powder.

Now Persil has long had a role in British society that has transcended the category. Their iconic ‘dirt is good’ campaign helped celebrate the benefits of kids getting dirty in life.

Of course it was self-serving, because the dirtier they get, the more washing powder you need, but it was deftly handled and had a point of view that resonated deeply.

However over the years, they’ve tried to evolve that message to have a more ‘purpose driven stance’ and things like the environment have become a focus. Which explains why they have written USE LESS in massive letters at the top of the box.

However – and hilariously – it seems no one realised, or cared, that at first glance it says USELESS … which is probably a far better description for how Persil are really dealing and committing to the climate crisis.

So to whoever did this – or didn’t realise this – I salute you.

Not just for your mischief/stupidity, but for proving there is still truth in advertising, even when they’re trying to say a lie.

When Retail Goes Porn. And Management Go Stupid …

What were they thinking?

Were they thinking?

And then, to add insult to injury, they announce it’s 70% off.

The lack of self-awareness is amazing.

Nothing showed this more than the way so many companies talked about their approach to the recent festive holidays.

On Linkedin – which I appreciate is the opposite of professionalism – there were so many posts from senior members of companies going on about how they were giving their staff time off during the holidays, as if this was a treat because normally they expect their staff to pay the company to work 24/7.

I’ve said it before, but time off is not a gift it’s a right.

More than that, it’s proof a company cares about the health and well-being of their people.

Unless you’re giving weeks instead of day/s, then making a big deal of it is the total opposite of the hero-signalling they think they’re doing.

As is when they announce to great fanfare ‘unlimited time off’ … which I wrote about as an act of wanting to appear generous when it’s really about control, because as we all know, it’s a crock of shit.

If it was really unlimited, then you could never go to work and not get fired and we all know that’s not going to happen.

Sadly it seems a lot of organisations follow the Trump/Johnson school of leadership – all headlines and no thinking.

While that can work initially – mainly because it’s just an act of populism built around doing the opposite of whatever the previous governing body enforced that was unpopular – it soon gets found out because people realise the decisions are not made for what will make them feelvalued, but what the management think will make them look valued.

Of course you can’t please all people all the time … but honesty, transparency and not trying to take credit for something you’re supposed to do, goes a long way.

We all make mistakes, it just seems a lot of companies are making a lot at the same time and somehow reading that as endorsement rather than group think stupidity.