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


Remove The Wires …

I recently wrote a post about the situation with youth culture in NZ. How such a brilliant country that does so much right is failing its youth at an epic level.

Not all is its fault.

It is a small country, far from other nations with an incredibly small population so for many brands – especially more youth culture focused – it is a market that offers little profit potential or industry influence so it is a very low priority to go there.

Hell, if IKEA or Amazon aren’t here, you can be sure Supreme etc won’t be.

So what this means is what is in NZ is – in many ways – the very same things that have always been in NZ … resulting in a belief among youth, there’s not much here that is specifically for them, reinforced by the internet allowing them to see what is happening in other countries, which all contributes to a feeling of isolation, a lack of opportunity and pressure to conform.

While this is not the only reason for the terrible statistic of being the number 1 country in the World [per capita] for youth to die by suicide, it is one of them … and when I wrote about this a while back, the beautiful and generous Nils from Uncommon sent me the brilliant poem above by Philip Larkin, which pretty much sums up the issue NZ needs to deal with.

Because whether for protection or control, wires make your World smaller, which eventually will make a smaller World for everyone.



The Pointless Reveals The Most Important Things …

This is a plant in our office.

I have no idea who owns it.

I must admit I don’t even really like it.

But that sticker …

Oh I like that.

I like it a lot.

Sure, to some it may be stupid.

Or even disrespectful.

But to me, it shows a company where the people within it have a mischievously creative spirit. The sort who spot creative opportunities to do something people will notice, or relate to or just feel for a whole host of reasons.

In just a single word, they found a way to make anyone who sees that little sticker not just see a plant, but a hard-to-please, always demanding, never content, forever dissatisfied pain-in-the-ass plant diva.

In short, they gave a plant a personality.

In one word.

Yes I know I have a ‘history’ with dodgy stickers – and I also loved the time someone at Wieden Shanghai put the sticker ‘freedom’ next to the ground floor button in the lift [which was promptly taken down, probably by the same person who still goes mental when they discover another of my Wieden leaving stickers hidden somewhere in the building despite me having left years ago, hahahaha] … but I particularly love this one.

I love someone thought it was worth doing.

I don’t care they may have given it no thought whatsoever – in fact that makes me like it more – because it’s those little, pointless things that reveals the most important thing you could ever want to know about an agency.

Are you entering a place that has a culture of creativity or a business that sells efficiency processes under the label of creativity?



A Year On From A Half Century …

This time last year, I was writing about how I only had 11 days left of my 40’s.

That I would soon be reaching my ‘half century of age‘.

To say a lot has happened since then is an understatement.

A year ago, I was living in Fulham, working with R/GA and stuck in the first lockdown.

Since then, I have gone through redundancy, bought a beautiful family home in the countryside, watched Forest fuck up the best chance for promotion that they’ve had in 20 years, been in The Guardian newspaper, got ‘The Hoff’ to make a video for my beloved Paul’s big 5-0 birthday, started Uncorporated with Metallica’s management … worked with even more rockstars and billionaires … as well as some fashion icons, music producer legends and the most anticipated video game in history … bought a house in New Zealand that we never saw, moved to New Zealand in the middle of a pandemic, started working at the wonderful Colenso and got to see my family start living a ‘normal’ life again.

And that’s just the big bits.

So here we are again.

The beginning of the month of my birthday.

I hope to fuck this year is not as traumatic.

I’m fine with the variety, but please, not as traumatic.



If You Want To Know What Is Really Important, Talk To Someone Who Has Been Struggling With Their Truth …
May 31, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment, Love, Truth

A few weeks ago, out the blue, someone I know wrote to me to tell me he was gay.

He told me this was something he had struggled for decades to deal with but he had recently accepted his truth and was slowly getting comfortable with it.

And – for reasons even he wasn’t sure of – he wanted me to know.

I read it and then read it again and then just stopped to take it in.

It was one of the few moments in my life where I was highly conscious of all the incredibly different emotions going through me at that very moment.

Overall I was just so incredibly happy for him.

I had absolutely no idea so cannot imagine the hugely challenging and emotional journey he has been and will – hopefully to a much lesser extent – continue to be on. But to get to the point where he is comfortable with embracing who he is makes me so so happy.

He’s a wonderful human. A wonderful, talented human and all I have ever wanted for him was to be happy. In time, I believe this will make him happier than he may ever of dreamed was possible.

And then there was the feeling of pride.

That he had found the strength to admit it to himself.

That he had chosen to take the path of his truth, despite it opening up some other doors he will now have to navigate.

People struggle with all manner of issues in their life, but this must go to the very heart of who you are. Identity. Expectation. Judgement.

What I imagine was the intensity of pressure is beyond anything I can imagine … but he didn’t just deal with it, he beat it.

That is fucking incredible and amazing.

And then there was love. Genuine love.

That he would trust me enough to tell me something so deeply personal.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve known each other for a while and I’ve always thought incredibly highly of his character … creativity … compassion … and kindness … but we’re not constantly in each others lives so to share something with me that he has just come to accept himself is the highest honour I think I may ever have felt.

As I told him, I just want to go give him a massive hug and tell him he’s ace.

The point of this post is two fold.

I hope that one day – by hook or by crook – he see’s this.

So he knows how much some old bloke from Nottingham thinks of him.

How proud I am of who he is and what he has done.

Which will be the same as everyone else he tells will feel.

Nothing changes of course because we’ve always adored him but we will all be so happy for him for being happy with himself.

The second point is a reminder.

No one knows what someone is going through.

Too often we look at people based on what we’re going through our own lives rather than considering what they may be going through theirs.

Just remembering we’re all dealing with different sorts of challenges may just open the door to people feeling more comfortable or confident to express or share. Or simply feel the World isn’t a cold, cruel place.

That they’re not entirely on their own unless they choose to be.

I’m so so proud of you mate.

And I’m so excited for the life you can now live.

Because while society often talks about material assets as symbols of a life worth living, the best thing you can have is a life of truth.

Love ya …

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I know this blog has a rather dark sense of humour, but please not on this post. I am sure you know why, but save your sarcasm and abuse towards me for tomorrow. Ta.



There’s Three Types Of Old Person …

Contrary to the quote of Oscar Wilde above, I don’t think the young think they know everything.

Sure there’s some … but the vast majority seem to simply be curious to explore and learn. It’s why I have far more faith in the future of the planet in their hands than my peers.

In fact, I meet far more older people – normally white men – who have the attitude of being the font of all knowledge.

In fact, they all fall into one of 3 distinct groups …

Those who think they know everything.

Those who know they don’t know everything,

And those who do know everything.

Given the last group consists of one person – Mr Martin Weigel – that means the vast majority fall into one of the first 2 camps.

The scary thing is that there seems to be far more who think they know everything versus those who are open to keep learning. I do sort-of understand. A life lived is a life experienced. Except it isn’t … plus life is constantly moving and evolving so to come in with some condescending, self-important. “I know it all” attitude is literally the worst thing you could do.

And yet so many still do it.

The funny thing is, because they come in with an attitude of forcefulness, they rarely have people speak up against them so they go off thinking they’re right while everyone around them whispers how stupid they are.

My Mum – as usual – had it right.

She was always open to the new.

It didn’t mean she liked it.

It didn’t mean she understood it.

But she felt if it mattered to them, it should matter to her.

And that’s why she went out of her way to watch, listen and learn.

What’s even more wonderful is that people who saw her being interested in them were then interested in her.

She loved the idea that she could mess with the expectations people had of an elderly Italian woman.

Not so she could pretend she was young, but so she could feel she still was an active member of society. Someone who still had something to offer, even if that was to stop older people blindly discounting what was emerging in culture.

God I miss her.

Which is why her, “be interested in what others are interested in” should be something we all follow. Young, old, rich, poor … because the more we understand, the more we can actually create change rather than conflict.