Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Invictus is a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). Invictus (Latin for “unconquered”) was recited by Nelson Mandela, who was empowered by its message of self-mastery, to other prisoners during his incarceration on Robben Island prison. The poem also leant its title to the 2009 film Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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Read this.
Be stunned at corporate stupidity.
Be sickened by cretinous trolls and idiots who think suicide is funny.
Be pleased there is someone like Holly in the world to call them out.
I’m proud to know Holly and applaud her stand against crass advertising.

Holly Brockwell

Dear Hyundai and your advertising agency, Innocean,

This is my dad.

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His name is Geoff. He married my mum in the eighties and had two little girls, by all accounts the loves of his life.

This is the note he left when he committed suicide in his car:

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And this is your new ad.

As an advertising creative, I would like to congratulate you on achieving the visceral reaction we all hope for. On prompting me to share it on my Twitter page and my blog. I would not like to congratulate you on making me cry for my dad.

When your ad started to play, and I saw the beautifully-shot scenes of taped-up car windows with exhaust feeding in, I began to shake. I shook so hard that I had to put down my drink before I spilt it. And then I started to cry. I remembered looking out…

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Please head over to HI! Magazine to read my full piece on the passing of Dalek designer Raymond Cusick. Here’s the first paragraph to whet your appetite…

Raymond Cusick, the designer of the Daleks in Doctor Who, died on 21 February aged 84 due to heart failure after a short illness. Cusick leaves behind two daughters, seven grandchildren and the greatest alien/monster design in the pantheon of science fiction.

Doctor-Who-Daleks

Oh for a quiet Sunday morning coffee

Posted: 24 February 2013 in life
Tags: , ,

CostaOn a Sunday morning I take myself off to the local Costa for a few hours to have a relaxing coffee (or two), a read of The Observer and maybe some tapping away on the MacBook. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and had become quite settled in my ways. I like a familiar environment and that’s what this Costa had become…until recently. A few weeks ago the furniture got rearranged. This threw me tremendously after becoming so used to picking out my regular table and settling myself down.

More seriously the noise level generated by the children that visit this Costa has risen to levels near matching the supersonic wake of Concorde in its heyday. When the decibels generated by the little fuckers can cut through Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir playing loudly at near maximum volume via iTunes and earphones then the time has come to consider exploring the potential of a new watering hole for a Sunday morning coffee. Parents visiting this particular coffee shop also seem incapable of controlling their offspring – or parking their increasingly grandiose perambulators (seriously expecting to see one with ejector seat and machine guns before long) in a fashion that does make one think they have been commissioned to assassinate you through trip hazards.

Though it has to be said that the screaming children of doom phenomenon isn’t solely confined to this particular branch of Costa, nearly all the Costas I’ve visited seem determined to tear my brain asunder with child-induced sonic waves. Yet, I don’t encounter this problem in any of the Starbucks (shut up rolling your eyes and muttering about tax dodgers) that I frequent. Perhaps it’s because several of those I’ve been to have stairs and that buggers the ascent of children in the way that the uninformed believe Daleks get knackered by steps. Let’s hope the manufacturers of prams never think to include hover technology.

So, serious consideration is being given to relocation to a Starbucks for Sunday coffee, though it needs to have cute lady staff as the Costa has that going for it.

I don’t suit suits

Posted: 14 February 2013 in life

This week I purchased a suit. I have not purchased a suit in the longest time. This is partly due to a) I don’t attend the kind of social outings that require a suit, and b) I loathe suits and any other form of supposedly smart dressing with a vengeance. Why the fuck are we expected to dress like uptight Victorians in certain situations? For me it’s the person’s abilities that count not what colour tie or so-called business suit they’ve decided to don that day.

In a previous job I had to wear and shirt and tie even though the only other people I saw on a daily basis were fellow employees. Why the fuck not just allow everyone to dress in casual wear such as jeans and t-shirts? The most laid back and productive days were Fridays as staff were permitted to wear mufti. To my mind relaxed employees make productive employees. Some of the most profitable and innovative companies in the world such as Apple and Google don’t give a crap what their employees wear and look how well they’re doing compared to the banking sector and other industries that are inhabited by corpse-like individuals in stiff necked shirts and the like.

Hopefully I will only need to don the suit for forthcoming interviews and then be able to work in clothing that renders me relaxed, productive and human.

Personally I think this message I received via Google Plus is a very “fuck off you strange person”. In fact I must have had an inkling this person was a weirdo as I blocked them over there on Google Plus many many moons ago when the name first popped up in my timeline thingy. What do you think? Subject line of the message is Message via your Google Profile: almost like twin Brothers.

Hi Ian Sadler, From Ian Clayton Sadler. / sport52ufo@gmail.com. I am sending you this e-mail Because i used to look like you when i was in my early 20’s. hope i can stay in contact with you it maybe be an answer i have been looking for my whole life The similarities between us are unreal. If you want to contact me and find out more info etc. I will leave it up to you Ian Sadler.

The notification was appended with: This message was sent to you from your Google profile. The sender does not have your email address. Well thank fuck for that I say as my “this person scores maximum on a weirdo scale” sixth sense is positively afire!

Feel free to email that address and ask WTF?! Though I’m not as it’d mean giving away my email address and that way lies grade A weirdness.

In the middle of January I set myself the goal of blogging each and every day. That lasted for a week or so before I failed grandly. Sometimes I can’t think of anything to blog about – life being throughly unexciting at present – or a bipolar-related low hits me and I can’t even be bothered to turn the computer on or fire up a tablet or smart phone. Once upon a time I managed to knock out “Musings” of a couple of thousand words but that creativity is failing me at present. Hopefully this bloody Quetiapine will begin to settle itself down and allow some productive thoughts once again I’m beginning to understand why so many of those with bipolar refuse medication because they know it’ll fuck up their creative juices. I’m certainly  feeling juiceless at present.

Back in April 2012 I bid a fond farewell to Facebook. I deleted my account and penned a blog post on the subject No I Am Not On Fucking Facebook – A not-so fond farewell.Included was the comment, “Facebook is where you keep the friends that you don’t want to talk to and Twitter is where you make the friends where you want to talk to”. I hold fast to the opinion that Facebook is a fucked-up social media monster but I think what partly prompted my return is the fact that any job I may get that involves direct marketing and social media is going to require a knowledge of Fucked-up-Book. So I need to keep myself appraised of the various aspects of this ailing leviathan of the internet. They’re going to sort out that bloody awful timeline thingy soon, right?

Plus I came to realise that I had lost touch with quite a few people that I once connected with. I never get around to emailing for some reason and they’re not on Twitter – a horrendous omission on their part I feel, but what can one do? Quite surprised to have reconnected with a couple of people quite quickly. I’ve managed to build some new and valuable friendships on Twitter so let’s see if with the help of Facebook I can resurrect a few of those that died off during the madness era of 2011 and 2012.

Observing the Shufflers

Posted: 3 February 2013 in health, life
Tags:

Shufflers are the slowest incarnation of joggers. They move so slowly that they are the merest hair breadth away from ceasing motion and going backwards in time. And the vast majority of them appear to be older than octogenarians and defying death with every laboured motion of their shuffling legs. Covering their exercise route must take forever and dust surely has to gather upon them. At that time of life I think it’s time for them to admit that exercise isn’t going to stave off the arrival of the Grim Reaper and that relaxing in front of the telly with a warm cup of something is the better option.

Today I saw the all-time classic Shuffler. 80 if she was a day, florescent vest that is surely detectable by the International Space Station, and shorts exposing classic knobbly knees. In the midst of her laboured shuffling she was expending energy that should have been devoted to breathing by talking into her mobile phone. Presumably she was arranging for an ambulance to take her the rest of the way home…

When writing for the vision of others it’s interesting to see how one’s work is edited. So far in writing for HI! Magazine I’ve not had to scream “no fair” when it comes to the tweaking of my words. I recently submitted a few words about the classic TV series The Prisoner for HI! Recommends: The Best Film and TV Show Marathons. Below is my original text is laid out in comparison with the edited text in italics. Not too much has been changed 🙂

The Prisoner

From September 1967 to February 1968 a masterpiece of television was transmitted as The Prisoner explored themes such as experimental drug use, rejection of authority, and the right of an individual to be an individual. There’s been nothing like it before or since: a television series that makes you think in tandem with enjoyment. The premise is simple but the application amongst the most challenging ever.

From September 1967 to February 1968, a masterpiece of television was transmitted. The Prisoner explored themes such as experimental drug use, rejection of authority, and the right of an individual to be an individual. There’s been nothing like it before or since: a television series that makes you think in tandem with enjoyment.

After abruptly resigning, a nameless British secret agent (Patrick McGoohan) is abducted and whisked away to a surreal coastal resort known only as The Village (exteriors provided by the tourist village of Portmeirion in North Wales). Dubbed Number 6 by his captors McGoohan’s character spends the series trying to learn who (or what) placed him in The Village whilst also attempting to escape. In turn The Village authorities, headed by Number 2 (portrayed by a series of guest stars), attempt to find out why Number 6 resigned so suddenly.

After abruptly resigning, a nameless British secret agent (Patrick McGoohan) is abducted and whisked away to a surreal coastal resort known only as The Village (Portmeirion in North Wales). Dubbed Number 6 by his captors McGoohan’s character spends the series trying to learn who (or what) placed him in The Village whilst also attempting to escape. In turn, The Village authorities, headed by Number 2 (portrayed by a series of guest stars), attempt to find out why Number 6 resigned so suddenly.

At the centre of the series is a powerhouse performance by Patrick McGoohan quite unlike any other you’ll have ever seen on the small screen. Also a producer, writer and director on the series, McGoohan nearly drove himself (and many of the production team) into nervous breakdowns in his vision for perfection. If you’re a fan of The Beatles think of the experimentation of Revolver, mixed with the psychedelia of Sgt Pepper, and sprinkled with the fragmented chaos of The White Album.

At the centre of the series is a powerhouse performance by Patrick McGoohan quite unlike any other you’ll have ever seen on the small screen. Also a producer, writer and director on the series, McGoohan nearly gave himself (and many of the production team) a nervous breakdown in pursuit of his vision.

Get the DVD or Blu-ray, immerse yourself in 17 gloriously colourful episodes and be amazed at how many of the series’ themes remain relevant today. Be seeing you.

Immerse yourself in 17 gloriously colourful episodes and be amazed at how many of the series’ themes remain relevant today.