Morbid, finality and sadness: an emo retrospect

Though I hate to admit it, its less than four weeks till I’m done with university for ever (well fingers crossed, knocking on wood and whatever other superstitious bullshit I should try), so I thought I’d talk about finality.

Not many people contemplate their own mortality, only ninjas and presidents really (mostly because to get to be in that position they have to realize they will most likely be assassinated). Which to me would put me off applying for either. Possibly the only worse position to be in is a nameless henchman, because unless your up against Nigel Powers, and he’s feeling loving, you’re pretty much ruined. I have contemplated death, recently and throughout life, mostly because I one read that you don’t even spend a million hours alive. It’s more like

24 x 365 = 8760

8760 x 74 (average lifespan of a white NZ male) = 648240.

Not even a million hours how stink is that? So with the knowledge of living less than million hours, does your brain start wondering about the time you’ve spent reading this? When you could drawn a beautiful picture, hugged a person you love or watch birds fly and marvel at nature? But rather than an actual ramble about death, because that is just depressing and can put you in a very unhealthy cycle of thought. This is more to do with what human spend their lives doing. We often establish routine at an early age and then stick with it until a variable changes. The majority conform to the social norms around us, accept what the things we cannot change and try to work past them. It’s your basic ‘adapt & overcome’ situation. As an aside, one of the biggest changes is a new partner (I hate that term, in a relationship sense it’s one of the most contrite, PC words and it should be abolished). I reckon the success lies in the ability to find the mutual overlap of routine/ That weird oval space of Venn diagram if you will.

So I raise the question imagine what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail? There are so many options with this, it’s almost like becoming invincible or having a million wishes, you could guarantee a lottery win, sit any exam on any subject and pass, impress everyone and generally live life better off… oh what a world that would be. But there is a trick in this question, just like in Bruce Almighty replying yes to all the requests of the plebs, if you knew you couldn’t fail you’d expect to succeed all the time. However, success is fairly subjective. For a starving African child success is eating more than once a week, while for a super rich white person success is having sex with a different girl every night and not remembering as you snort kilos of coke. Obviously this is a bit extreme, but if you look at it that way, you could only win 5th division winning like $25, passing your exams with a B- and forming a relationship with a person who never really loved you but instead just felt obligated (and there is nothing worse than that). I have way over examined this simple statement. I think it’s just supposed to be a motivational type thing so you can achieve dream big, live fuller existence and other such psycho babble.

What is really the point of anything at all? I don’t really have an answer, it’s like a why is the sky blue, or if bumblebees aren’t supposed to fly how come they do type question.

What this blog stemmed from was a shitty day that put a few things in perspective. Everyone has those days when they are getting yelled at by the boss, or having an argument with a significant other and just look them in the eye while thinking I don’t have to put up with this shit, why am I taking this? We take that crap and disappointment etc because we crave the routine, the unchangeable existence of being, the regular events in our life that make us realise we are living and not just cruising through life on auto-pilot. This may have become a bit morbid, but take from it this, as the remorseless sweep of the second hand ticks away during those long hours at work, or in class or waiting in traffic, remember that you’ve got to get a shit load of stuff in less than a million years, and that that it could be really worse, you could be dead.


Immersed In Immersion

This week I wanted to follow on from last week. Purely because last week was just not a good enough rant. It was a fine rant, don’t get me wrong. It just needed something more. So this week I bring you ‘Last week’s rant 2! The sequel!... This time it’s personal’.

I want to touch on immersion. Specifically immersion in new media. I may even dabble in experiential advertising but that is a big may. When I talk about immersion I don’t mean the people who play grand theft auto and then go out, steal a car, have sex with a hooker, and then kill her to get their money back. I don’t even mean the LARPers (Live Action Role Players) out there who dress up in ye olde clothes and yell spells at each other. I mean YOU! Yeah, that made you feel uncomfortable, confrontational self-reflexivity all up in your grill.

What I mean by this is that you sir or madame, are immersed. That is to say that you are immersed in technology and all it’s wonderful benefits and opportunities (to exploit you). How long have you spent on Facebook today? How long have you spent checking your phone? How long have you spent doing other random shit on the internet? Long story short, where the fuck do our lives go? I mean, I was thinking the other day, where is the line?

In our parents day (rady fuckin raaa we all know they didn’t have technology Hugh) Now you can’t do anything without it involving some sort of technology. Unless of course it’s something that doesn’t involve technology but those things are usually A) Boring, B) Healthy, and C) Boring. Back in the day there would have been a clear division between what you did with your day and how you did it. Now you just use technology to escape life, and life to escape technology. Can you see where I’m going here?

One day I’m going to walk in to class, and forget who everyone is in there. I’m then going to have to whip out my phone, go on Facebook, and scan through my friends till I find photos that identify them because I will be so deep in this fuckin rabbit hole they call technology to even think about the biological world we actually live in (unless it is integrated into technology in which case we are doomed, possibly by robot zombies).

Sometimes I just can’t see the difference between e-consequences and real life consequences. On the internet I could say fuck you motherfucker and you’re ugly as mother, who you beat. And they would prroooobably reply saying ‘lolololol you used the wrong ‘your’ what a retard *insert racial slur* go have sex with men’ Which for me, at least, I can deal with. In real life, hey, who knows, but I’m 90% sure my gangly frame would get the crap beaten out of it. But I would still feel inclined to say it.

I can't tell if that is just the anarchy in me wanting to slip out or maybe technology has blurred the line so much that it loosely resembles a smudge that could possibly once have been a line, but you couldn’t really say for sure. But if it is anarchy. I know it was technology that put it there.


P.S. experiential advertising is advertising you experience.


Online Radio Adventures

While perusing through Facebook one evening, I was prompted from the Pendulum fan page that they were playing a live spot on something called the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Lacking the necessary funding to purchase tickets to the up-coming concert, this appeared to be the next best thing. Naturally, I was intrigued. I clicked through a series of links which then lead me to the number one UK radio station's website.

I’ve never ventured into the realm of streaming radio online before. Why would I? I don’t waste my bandwidth listening to what good old New Zealand has to offer live on the airwaves. We get the latest pop hits and good hard man-rock from the 80s. If I’m not feeling the radio buzz I’ve got a selection of my favourite MP3s to keep my fist pumping.

Soon enough, I was listening to prime time UK radio (they’re 11 hours behind) where the DJ is promising me some live Pendulum within a matter of minutes. I was suddenly excited. When the fuck would get an opportunity to listen to world-wide DnB superstars live listening to 91FM? From what I last heard, ZMs latest offering was a phone call to Zac Efron from Australia about his latest fucking movie but then again, Australia is almost New Zealand, right? Yes, I realise there is about 20 times more people in the UK but that fact is I now know that there is an alternative to what we’re offered here in God’s own. Now we just have to wait until we can steam this in our cars without being charged $10 an hour (I’m too lazy to research this.)

After a quick interview, Pendulum (the full band) jumped straight into their latest single The Island (Part 1) and followed that up with a cover of Linkin Park’s new single The Catalyst which I admit, is really quite good. The Live Lounge is renowned for bands covering artists which are very off-genre and generally aren’t expected from them. Last time Pendulum were there, they covered Coldplay’s Violet Hill.

BBCs Radio 1 delivered a great first impression leaving me keen for something more. A friend directed me to listen to Zane Lowe’s show, this time pre-recorded, from a few nights before. From what I can see, Radio 1 runs two hour slots in which DJs can pretty much do whatever they want. Of course they have a theme to their show, for instance, Top 40, hip-hop etc and there doesn’t seem to be an annoying ad in sight, apart from advertising shows within the radio network.

Our fellow Kiwi Zane Lowe plays at a prime time of 7-9 Mondays through to Thursdays. His show centers on the best of new music. Zane Lowe plays host of the world premier of some of the world’s biggest tracks, most recently the new My Chemical Romance and Kings of Leon tracks. He played a dub step remix of Claire Maguire’s Ain’t Nobody from Breakage (think Skream vs La Roux) which he dubbed the world’s biggest track right now. After the song was over, he was struggling trying to get through the overload of texts he was receiving. He then stopped the whole show to play the song again. Once again, the texts wouldn’t stop. He read as many as he could out and said fuck this, and encored the song for a third time. After realising he was in critical danger of playing the track for the next 1.5 hours on repeat, he forced himself to stop it and chuck on some Architects, some pick-on-guitar, stick-on-skin, mouth-on-mic action. I was shocked at the shear range of music this guy plays. I have never had such a great time listening to the fucking radio.

In other news, it’s the time of the year where the first announcements for New Zealand’s great music festivals are posted five hundred times on Facebook. Rhythm and Vines go-ers have recently received the good news of DnB heavyweights Chase and Status joining the already promising line up and there is only a matter of hours before we get our first real Big Day Out news (2am Tuesday morning). After some questionable years of BDO since ’06 (the Tool year), I think it’s safe to say that we’re old holding out for something worth-while. Some rumours are currently pointing towards Blink-182, Deftones, Weezer, MGMT, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and many more big names.

While this really does sound good and great, I couldn't help but cry when I saw the confirmed line up for Soundwave, a festival only a couple hours away on a plane as the crow flies. From what I hear, they're working on bringing this one over to New Zealand, touch wood. I’m not going to list them for the sake of the word count, but fuck. Check out the magnitude of what the UK gets to experience at Leeds, Reading and Download. And don’t even get me started on America’s Warped Tour. Sigh.

Encore, turn your subs up.


The Age of Random.

I realized something today.

It’s Sunday.

And no one really gives a crap on Sunday.

Sure there maybe some of you that are reading this Monday, or even Tuesday (but honestly, get with the times. You should be refreshing this page all day Sunday waiting for my update.) remembering the weekend that was.

But it is the job of Sunday to be lazy.

To be the day that everyone kind of forgets what it is they did.

It’s the day of the hangover.

The day where you walk to the dairy for a can of coke.

The day you go out and get eggs bene.

It’s not the day for relevance.

If Sunday were an ad it would be one of those shitty random ones that no one really likes.

So it is my duty to embody that.

For me.

For you.

For us.

Or maybe just for me.

But seriously folks! (After that opening gambit I have something interesting to say. Yus!) What is with those random ads? The likes of the moro gold ads (not the funny old ones with the squirrels oh no, not the crazy Bollywood ones. The one with the talking giant chocolate bar), the ads that try to come so far out of left field that they don’t even make sense. Some are clever and funny and have logical lateral leaps to the product and others die a tragic, tragic death.

It was in an agency that Hugh and I were helping out in that we first really had a face-to-face encounter with these sorts of ads.

No idea was good enough, and we had some fucking good ideas.

“But the kids like random.” The creative director kept telling us.

Yes your right kids like random they find it fun. The flashing lights and colors make their pre-pubescent head spin.

But they aren’t memorable (well most of them aren’t).

You can’t set out to create something random. You can have randomness in mind but I don’t feel as though it can be your mission statement. It doesn’t work because, as we see in so many ads these days, it comes of looking a little retarded.

So what did we do? We toiled and toiled. Thinking up random idea after random idea. They were all dumb and we had hardly anything we liked but we needed to pitch so we kept on keeping on.

And when we asked to see what the real creative’s had come up with wasn’t much better but the problem was the CD loved what they had done. Even if to us it looked even worse than what we had thrown up

So what am I trying to say? Random = fun, exciting sometimes awesome ads. But if you’re focusing on being random you’re going to create something random. If you’re really good it will look okay. But if your not, and I don’t really think many people in the world are successfully random on cue, it’s going to look constructed and be a waste of your time and effort.