How can three presidents say the same thing, spanning well over a decade and yet not have the balls do do anything about it? How much leverage must one lobby group have for this to happen?
My sister lives in the US, in Connecticut no less and she is having to have conversations with her school about how they can prevent a massacre from happening.
I look across the pond and I think “What fu*king kind of world even contemplates such conversations with primary schools?”. How is that a school’s responsibility?
They are fighting the wrong problem and promoting the wrong kind of solution. Teachers carrying guns, bulletproof glass etc won’t stop this from happening again. The problem isn’t that schools are ill equipped, it’s that there are crazy fu*kers out there who have been allowed to amass an arsenal of weapons for little money and with little fuss.
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And if you allow every bozo to carry a gun, sooner or later one of them is going to kill someone. The only solution is to stop them having such easy access – be that through making weapons or bullets more expensive to doing some basic background checks (i.e. has this person been in prison before / do they have a history of mental illness or short temper?).
The right to bear arms is supposed to be about self defence but the types of weapons that are available to purchase are beyond the means of reasonable self defence – they are military weapons that have no place in a modern, civilised society.
The time for talking is over. The world is watching America.
I’m not religious in any sense, yet somehow I found myself recently spending about 3 hours on YouTube watching both Richard Hawkins and Christopher Hitchens take on many religious people with their views. It made for some very interesting and at times amusing debate, but the most poignant point was this
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
― Steven Weinberg
It is very much a precursor to the Jerry Maguire letter. In it he pleads for creativity and originality above tick-boxing and processes. It is a clearly passionate letter and I have italicised the passages that stand out for me. I suggest that if you are in a creative industry, you print it and pin it to your wall.
Our agency is getting big. That’s something to be happy about. But it’s something to worry about, too, and I don’t mind telling you I’m damned worried. I’m worried that we’re going to fall into the trap of bigness, that we’re going to worship techniques instead of substance, that we’re going to follow history instead of making it, that we’re going to be drowned by superficialities instead of buoyed up by solid fundamentals. I’m worried lest hardening of the creative arteries begin to set in.
There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this sort or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there’s one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.
It’s that creative spark that I’m so jealous of for our agency and that I am so desperately fearful of losing. I don’t want academicians. I don’t want scientists. I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.
In the past year I must have interviewed about 80 people – writers and artists. Many of them were from the so-called giants of the agency field. It was appalling to see how few of these people were genuinely creative. Sure, they had advertising know-how. Yes, they were up on advertising technique.
But look beneath the technique and what did you find? A sameness, a mental weariness, a mediocrity of ideas. But they could defend every ad on the basis that it obeyed the rules of advertising. It was like worshiping a ritual instead of the God.
All this is not to say that technique is unimportant. Superior technical skill will man a good man better. But the danger is a preoccupation with technical skill or the mistaking of technical skill for creative ability.
The danger lies in the temptation to buy routinized men who have a formula for advertising. The danger lies In the natural tendency to go after tried-and-true talent that will not make us stand out in competition but rather make us look like all the others.
If we are to advance we must emerge as a distinctive personality. We must develop our own philosophy and not have the advertising philosophy of others imposed on us.
Let us blaze new trails. Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.
So the government has once again backed down on one of its proposed policies as a result of public outcry and a perception of being soft on crime.
This must be the 3rd or 4th back reversal the government has performed in the little time it has been around all of which have been off the back of getting a bit of flack from voters about them.
I have a couple of issues with this:
In today’s world of increased transparency, we need our politicians to catch up and open up. You want a Big Society, then include it don’t alienate or antagonise it.
Despite not leaning right or left when it comes to politics, there are some politicians who seem quite genuine and Ken Clarke is one of them. Despite not always agreeing with him, you can see what his thinking was and he is fairly open and honest about it. But if the price you get for it is to get chastised from left, right and centre then no wonder people respond by spinning things into incomprehensible psycho-babble.
I remember someone (Charlie Brooker I think) saying that because there is now such outcry at any opportunity, politicians are becoming vapid, with nothing to say on politics and policies and the lines between parties is fading away. Is that really the political system we want?
At the end of the day you get what you deserve, and at the moment we are getting the crap governing we are creating with constant PR battles.
(Note: I don’t buy this ‘we didn’t vote for this coalition’ argument. You know the system, how it works. Sometimes this happens. Now let them do their job. If they f**k up, kick them out at the next election)
How am I doing?
Fingers crossed for a good April!