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November, 2008:

My Mum’s Ginger So Just Bloody Stop It

Firstly I must apologise to my Mum.

She’s not ginger, she’s titian.

Gah, let’s call a spade a spade. She’s ginger.

Perhaps this makes me more sensitive than most when it comes to the latest minority for whom it seems to be socially acceptable to make derogatory comments about, but I think that nonetheless my point is valid.

It’s a hair colour. Personally I think it’s a very attractive colour. My natural hair colour is light brown. But on many occassions I’ve dyed my hair ginger.

This will just be a short session on the soapbox:

I am heartily sick of hearing people making stupid comments about people with ginger hair.

So can we please stop this nonsense now?

I find your comments distasteful.

I don’t think you’re funny.

I really think you should grow up.

Rant ends…

The Glaring Omission in Fairy Tales

When I was a teenager, I always thought that the challenge was meeting the right person. But now I’m a little less green I realise that there are probably hundreds of potentially pretty good matches out there. The challenge is not in the meeting.

Personally, I love the meeting. Everything’s new, exciting and you’ve a healthy dose of lust to help along the way. Both parties are pretty well behaved because of the lack of familiarity (which we all know it breeds contempt) everything is zingy, sharp, fresh.

Also, it’s fair to say neither party are truly being themselves. It’s a sanitised version. Better groomed. More positive, upbeat, joyful, fun (I could spew these adjectives for days). It’s blissful.

But not real.

The next stage, once the first flush of the honeymoon period is over has it’s benefits though. Sure, you might miss the excitement, but it becomes more real as you start to feel more secure in the relationship.

But ultimately there is no happily ever after. It’s never that simple.

I often wonder how Cinderella dealt with Prince Charming’s less than charming habit of sprinkling when he was tinkling. When the Palace was repossessed (due to failure to repay the loan secured on it) did they pull together or fall apart?

Romantic it ain’t, but it interests me more.

It’s tough making a relationship work. I think that given around half of marriages in the UK end in divorce, perhaps this is an understatement.

It’s all part of the journey though right?

Musings of a Dirty Mind

I love Ikea.

I love the brand, I love the furniture – my flat is almost entirely kitted out with it.

However their latest ad is causing me to question whether or not I have a dirty mind…

It starts out by showing a bed frame, a mattress, duvet and pillows. Then they introduce ‘doink’ – a machine that tests the mattress… It sort of bounces up and down on it.

Yep, I have a dirty mind.

If only my mattress saw that amount of action… 

Unhappily I can’t seem to find the ad they’re airing right now. But I’ve found a dirtier one – enjoy 🙂

Apparently happy ‘doinking’ leads to a happy home.

Ikea ‘Doink’ Ad on YouTube – Extra Dirty Version

The Perks & Pitfalls of a Virtual World

Back in April of 2008 I attended a fantastic event called ‘Being Virtual’ at the Dana Centre which is part of the Science Museum in London. The Dana Centre offer loads of fantastic free events where you can learn, discuss and debate various issues concerning contemporary science, technology and culture.

This particular event was primarily concerned with the number of individuals who are living part-real / part-virtual lives; and the perks and pitfalls that this virtual identity provides. It was a really interesting debate, and one which got me thinking about the pros and cons of virtual life.

Whilst I don’t participate in virtual communities such as Second Life; it nevertheless got me thinking about how the perks and indeed the pitfalls of online communities more generally. What occurs to me is that essentially online life is a paradox – everything about it that’s fantastic, is also potentially dangerous.

One of the things I love about the internet is that whatever particular interest you might have, you can find other people who share these interests and communities which you can participate in.

Undoubtedly finding others who share your life experiences / sexual orientation / views / interests / hobbies etc can give a sense of validation and positively boost your self esteem. Examples might include special interest groups, online support groups etc.

However, what if your interest is, how can I put this – less than ‘healthy’?

The Pro Anorexia (or ‘pro-ana’) movement have a very large online presence – offering those with eating disorders to interact with other like-minded individuals, who encourage and support each other to continue to lose weight.

Clearly this is a support group of a different kind. Rather than focusing on rehabilitation, these groups positively validate individuals who choose to continue to harm themselves via their eating disorders.

For me this really is the darker side of the internet. Now clearly this is by no means the worst type of community you can find online – I’m highlighting it purely as an example.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is not an article damning ‘pro ana’ sites. It’s just that sometimes (and to my mind this is a decent enough example) validation is not what you need.

I believe that whilst it’s great to interact with those who support and validate your views; it’s also really important to speak to those who do not share your views. Debate is good. Through debate you may see things differently.

I think the potential danger of the internet is the single-minded nature of some of the communities therein. I think that there’s a danger that some individuals will use the internet to cut themselves off from everyone who disagrees with them; and safe within this bubble continue to close themselves off.

I recognise this is a tricky subject, but like I said debate is good – please share your thoughts.

The First Post

Here it all begins.

I feel I ought to share something of myself – just in case anyone stumbles across this blog and decides to read it 🙂

I’m a Marketing Manager for small online agency called Gravytrain, I’ve been working there since January 2008, and in this very short space of time I’ve been somewhat bitten by the internet bug.

Yep, I know I’m totally late to the party, but I’ll probably be late for my own funeral; and in any case it’s bad manners to arrive early. You throw the host’s precious preparation way off.

I’m really not too sure what it is I’m looking to achieve with this blog.

In my working life I lecture people constantly about the need to plan. Identify your key objective and then undertake activity as appropriate with the end game of fulfilling those objectives. But I’m kind of at a loss here. 

I’ve always haboured a secret desire to be a writer, so maybe this is my way of playing around and seeing if it’s something I can actually do. Or perhaps it’s that I spend an awful lot of time writing copy (ha spot the marketer) about things I really don’t have an interest in, and I’d really like to write about some stuff that I love.

In any case I’m really not too sure how this is all going to pan out.

Rather than objectives, I think I’m going to try and make some promises –

  1. I will update regularly – it might not be daily, but I hope at least a couple of times a week
  2. I will always be honest – writing marketing copy often involves some ‘creativity’ (anyone who’s worked in the business will surely attest to this) – there will be no such nonsense here
  3. I will take feedback – if anyone takes the time to comment / feedback / critique – I will do my best to take it on the chin – and let’s face it they’ll probably be right. However I reserve the right to treat nasty spammers with the contempt that they deserve.
  4. I will try and persuade my wonderful friends (who are far more talented than me) to guest post so that there’ll be some substance between the drivel and dross that I’ll be spewing out.

Anyhow, enough of this for now – I really should eat something – ideally not beans on toast, I’ve made a resolution to stop eating like a student, and I’m really trying to stick to it.