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


Big Enough To Matter, But Not Big Enough To Count …

Recently I was reading an article on Brexit when I came across a comment that stopped me in my tracks.

The reason for it is that in a few words – literally a few – it not only highlighted the issue with many of the shortsighted fools who voted for leaving the European Union – and likely voted for the election of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – but also could be used to explain the decline of so many companies, institutions and individuals.

This is it …

What a perfectly constructed sentence.

A devastating set of words that places you perfectly in a corner you can’t get out of.

It’s almost a Hollywood movie line it’s so crafted in its underlying viciousness.

But of course, the people it challenges won’t accept it.

They will continue to refuse to acknowledge their complicity in the situation millions now face.

Because as I’ve written before, people has difficulty understanding something when their credibility and reputation depends on them not understanding something.

It’s why they will continue to cast blame on everyone else.

Why they will continue to claim the opposition are more dangerous than the government they voted in … the government that has brought an entire nation to its knees.

But let’s be honest, the reason for their attitude is even uglier than not wanting to own up to what they contributed to. Because for all their claims of wanting a ‘better Britain’ … the real reason behind their choice was to create a barrier between them and people they think are beneath them.

A way to feel socially, morally, professionally superior to those around them, while conveniently choosing to ignore they were either given great advantage from birth over the vast majority of people or seek to mitigate their situation by blaming everyone else for what they have not achieved, despite starting from greater advantage.

I get it. It’s kind-of human nature. It’s also the unspoken truth of democracy – where the reality is we tend to vote for what works for you rather than what’s right for the nation.

Of course the unspoken truth is still better than the alternative … however given the way politics and business are increasingly allowing spin, vitriol and lies, it seems we’re seeing ‘post truth’ as an accepted and embraced business strategy.

And that’s why the independent voice has never been so important.

Not just in the public domain, but within organisations, governments and individual groups.

Not to attack, destroy or dethrone – as is the current trend – but to protect.

To ensure the people making decisions – or the people asking to decide on the options – are aware of the range of possibilities and outcomes that could occur rather than just blindly following a blinkered promise of what will happen.

Not delivered with hyperbole or exaggeration, but with quiet, informed context and facts … delivered by an individual or organisation without political affiliation and respected for their independence.

It doesn’t mean it will stop things like Brexit happening, but it will ensure people who knowingly bend the truths to suit their own agenda or were deliberately ignorant to the choices they made are held to account. Because without that, we carry on down this sorry path where governments, organisations or individuals can choose to ignore previous choices they made, ignore the passing of time that changes the context of everything and ignore the realities others may have caught up and left us behind.

I am under no illusion that the truth hurts, but delusion damages us forever.

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Happy Halloween …
October 31, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Advertising, Emotion, Fear

How appropriate this years halloween falls on a Monday.

Surely there is nothing scarier than that?

6 letters, a lifetime of fear.

However, I’m a generous fellow so I’m going to help you get even more in the mood by giving you something to watch.

15 of the supposed most ‘scary videos’ on Youtube.

And while that may not sound very inviting, let me tell you a story about the horror movie director, Wes Craven.

Years ago – while working on Sony – I got to interview him as part of our ‘feel’ strategy.

He was very generous with his time and opinion and left me with this gem as regards how he sees what he does.

“I make people feel alive by scaring them half to death”.

So rather than hate me for scaring you with this video, thank me for making you feel alive.

On a monday.

You’re welcome.

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Dumb Luck …

There’s a narrative that to be rich, you have to be smart.

Or very, very lucky.

Whether that viewpoint is true or not is probably more an individual take than a general view. But what isn’t talked about very often is how success can make you stupid.

The comedian Billy Connolly once said the world smells of fresh paint, because wherever the Queen walks [RIP] … 20 feet in front of her is someone painting the walls white.

Or said another way, wherever successful people go, ‘yes people’ follow.

Never did I see that more in action than when I lived in America.

OH MY GOD.

The ‘manage-up’ attitude was incredible to witness.

Basic thoughts were met with an ever increasing amount of fawning responses …

“That’s a brilliant idea”.

“Genius”.

“You’re so clever”.

And all this resulted in was leaders thinking they were Gods … walking on clouds thinking the world was looking up and worshiping them … pushing confidence in their own voice to greater and greater levels, so they spouted even more ridiculous viewpoints that they packaged-up as next-level Yoda statements for their entourage to fake swoon over.

I say this because I recently saw this …

WHAT THE HELL?

I mean, what does ‘the smartest praline in the World’ even mean?

Does it have Alexa inside them?

Or maybe the new iWatch Ultra?

Or did they get Einstein’s body, crush it up and placed fragments into each nut.

Seriously, what the hell are they going on about???

Well it gets worse.

No, really.

Because when you watch the ad, ‘the smartest praline in the world’ translates to the ability to be a sexpest on public transport … I kid you not.

The good news is this ad is apparently old … but it still perfectly demonstrates nothing can make you more egotistically stupid, than being successful.

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Terrifying Insanity …
March 30, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Death, Empathy, Fear

Putin’s evil acts in the Ukraine have obviously repulsed the World – even though, the World has contributed to this situation by their inaction over many years.

However it is the rise of conversations relating to nuclear war that has got everyone terrified.

I don’t mind admitting I have found it very triggering and it’s the most fearful I’ve ever been about another World War.

Of course, compared to the poor people in the Ukraine, it’s nothing – and that’s why they need our support and our commitment to making our governments responsible for righting wrongs and dealing with the Putin situation that actively enabled.

Nothing highlights the craziness of the times than this headline:

That this newspaper headline can exist again – in 2022 – is mindblowling. Almost as mind-blowing as the idea anyone can be ‘well prepared’ for a nuclear attack.

But while this ‘news’ should have put me in a terrified state, it actually managed to raise a smile because the reality is London goes to pieces when there’s an inch of snow so to suggest it could deal with an all out nuclear attack is actually hilarious.

So thank you Sadiq Khan for the smiles and fuck you Putin for the fear.



Nothing Is More Appropriate Than Valentines Day Falling On A Monday …
February 14, 2022, 8:00 am
Filed under: Advertising, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Culture, Fear, Love, Valentine's Day

Valentines Day.

The day of fear, disguised as love.

The day where society has been culturally bullied into making excessive expressions of adoration at hugely inflated prices.

OK, I appreciate I sound a total bastard … but I just find the whole thing ridiculous.

Maybe in the days where it was supposed to be anonymous, it had something going for it – though maybe these days, that qualifies as stalking – but now it’s just the worst example of marketing exploitation.

Oh I can hear the arguments …

“It makes sure there’s at least one day in the year where people feel loved and appreciated by others”.

It’s the same excuse that created Fathers Day, Mothers Day and god knows what else the flower/card industry came up with.

I remember when Earth Hour started to great fanfare.

For just one hour, turn off all power to save the planet.

And people did do it.

Literally.

An act of symbolism that achieved absolutely fuck all in changes of behaviour or changes to the climate. It was the ultimate act of convenience activism.

But to be fair, Earth Hour did want to change that.

They wanted to a bigger impact than simply awareness.

And can you remember what they did?

They added a + sign to their name.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Having Valentines Day on a Monday is perfect because both are days you generally wish didn’t exist but you have to deal with.

The sad thing is love is a wonderful thing.

Yes – as Joy Division once sang – love can tear us apart.

But it is such a beautiful force of power.

It makes you giddy with joy, it makes you feel invincible, it creates safe environments, it gives you the confidence to take risks, it helps overcome barriers, it makes it OK to reveal emotions, it inspires songs and poems and stories …

Love deserves so much more of a celebration than a bunch of $100 flowers and a shitty card.

On a Monday.