Month / May 2017
How kebabs can teach you not to bullshit
I didn’t write yesterday because I spent a good part of the day chasing up leads for a new car.
Buying a car takes a lot of thought. Aesthetics, reliability and character need to be in abundance for me to even think about exchanging monies.
My adventures took me to a small coastal town, and as is common when you’re near the seaside, I indulged in a traditional dish of chips. Simple, honest food with a dash of ketchup, a spatter of vinegar and a generous dollop of Ketchup.
Sadly it was ketchup from one of those sachets which require you to have a degree in engineering to even open them.
It was while I sat there that I saw something of beauty. It was an advert for kebabs. Now, I don’t really eat them myself so initially I disregarded it.
But, then my attention was drawn back. I realised that it was a near perfect advertisement.
The language was clipped and easy to follow. The picture caught the eye. The benefits were clear.
I could even overlook the lack of punctuation as it was just so easy to read. Sometimes it doesn’t take a writing degree to write some good copy in order to flog something.
It knows the target audience – speaks directly to them, and sells the product. No bullshit, no being too clever and no glossy language.
The art of cutting out the bullshit and getting to the point is in danger. I’m all for pretty prose and slick sentences, but sometimes you don’t need either.
Of telescopes and Freddie Mercury
The modern telescope – great, isn’t it?
Fairly easy to make and use, and with thousands of possiblities as to what you can do with it. Many of them life-saving or life-changing at the very least.
When I was a kid I saw a cartoon once where a meteorite was heading towards Earth.
They used a telescope to check it out, and in doing so noticed it early enough to save the world. Very technical stuff indeed.
Years, later the plot from that cartoon was nicked by Armageddon…but hey ho.
In all seriousness though, it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t like the telescope isn’t it?
(Tintin and the Shooting Star)
However, as is human nature, there’s always someone with a problem.
The telescope was initially conceived in Holland, but after hearing about it Galileo was quick to act and made one of his own. As a result of the exposure he gave it, he’s generally credited as the inventor.
So, there he was – showcasing this fantastic creation to the world, and while the majority were thrilled there were some who weren’t as enticed.
The moral conservatives of the time felt that it was wrong. And that the telescope was giving humans an extra power that they shouldn’t have had, a power not given naturally.
Galileo stuck true to himself and his passion won over the masses – the telescope soon became a big hit and thus history was made. Although, he did admittedly remain a bit of a controversial figure in his lifetime.
What’s our lesson here?
Nearly everything we do, no matter how innoculous it seems, will generate criticism. Even the greatest ideas you have will be doubted by some. But, as long as you believe in the idea you need to show your passion to those around.
And became such a hit that he’s even referenced in a Queen song.
I had several ideas for today’s post. And, as I loaded up this site, my mind was abuzz with them.
Then I saw it. On WordPress’s homepage of all places.
“WordPress powers 27% of the internet”
Just let that sink in.
9 reasons why your legs should be like two great steam locomotives…
Selling yourself is one of the hardest things you can do.
Well, for most people anyway. That’s why so many of us are full of nerves before we go to an interview or a date.
I found this out when I was eighteen. I decided to go to Uni at the last minute, and as a result didn’t have much time to write a personal statement. I made the mistake of sharing it with a friend to read over, the following line became a running joke in my friend group at the time:
“I work out regularly as I believe that a pristine mind should be complemented by a pristine body.”
Ahem. Terrible. But, you know what – some eight or nine years later, I can’t help but agree with eighteen year old me.
Fitness is something I’ve let slip a little. In my ongoing battle to be creative I’ve not found as much time for exercise as I should, and that’s counter productive.
Maintaining a level of fitness helps motivate you and it keeps you sharp throughout the day.
Plus, the most important asset in life you have is you. So you need to keep yourself tip-top.
In light of this, these arrived today:
Let’s keep the creativity flowing while making sure that we look after ourselves.
“We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for.” – Malcolm Gladwell
10, 000 hours
Apparently it takes ten thousand hours of the right kind of practice to be truly good at something.
How many hours in your life have you spent creative writing?
This is a fantastic read.
As told by Vincent…
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”
– Vincent Van Gogh
What I learnt from an all-night Disney marathon…
I think the last time I pulled an all-nighter was during the last few days before my final year University project had to be handed in.
How I remember those torturous hours of trying to be productive, while also using the library wifi to Netflix ‘Jonathan Creek’.
But, it was worth it in the end.
On Friday night though, I turned up to the snazzy Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square for a Disney marathon. With my girlfriend. We arrived at about 9pm, and didn’t leave until 8am.
I did it though. Didn’t sleep a wink and watched every minute of every flick. I’d seen nearly all of them as a kid – but here’s what I noticed about each one as an adult:
Alice in Wonderland:
I always think that weirdness is more of a modern thing – but that’s clearly not true.
This film is perhaps the most accurate representation of how a dream (or nightmare!) plays out that I’ve ever seen. Also, the Queen of Hearts – what a pain in the arse.
The Jungle Book:
I loved this as a kid. And when ‘the bare necessities’ came on – everyone in the cinema was singing and clapping. It’s great how fond and nostalgic we are of our childhood memories.
Also, as an adult, I now can’t help but relate to Bagheera! Trying to keep his cool, while organising troublesome people around a busy world! Anyone who has worked as a supervisor in a previous life will know that I mean.
Lilo & Stitch:
Even as a kid those films where everything goes wrong the whole time used to jar me.
It hasn’t changed as an adult!
I didn’t enjoy this at the start – but, as it went on, I got more involved and I thought the FBI agent turned social worker was hilarious.
The Little Mermaid:
This was made in 1989 I think, but its attitudes to women are very, very dated.
Beauty and the Beast:
I loved this as a kid, and it brought back fond memories. How hilarious is Gaston!?
However as an adult, it seems crazy that the Beast is allowed to get away with falsely imprisoning someone just because they walked into his castle!
I miss Robin Williams.
The Lion King:
I think the biggest thing to take away from this is to never, ever, ever, ever, trust your creepy uncle…
Also, you experience a kind of smugness when you go to an event like this and manage to stay awake. How I scorned upon the others who slept through most of the films.
Still…once I got on the bus back home, tiredness hit me like Mike Tyson. So maybe they were the real winners.