Monday, 30 November 2009

Overheard

Girl to girlfriends:

"...and that's when I discovered Garnier Nutrisse."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Postcard from America



Friends,

I hope this card finds you in good health. Things are well across the pond. Manhattan and its perculiarly evolved inhabitants have been more than hospitable to me and my work here. I have managed to immerse myself and mingle nicely over the months. In fact, I look forward to my first blackout Wednesday this evening in Pennsylvania - a tradition as old as pain itself I'm told.

While the physical threats and dangers of the African continent we know only too well, it seems instead that dangers here on the island are of the more emotional kind [I know!] and can creep up on a person faster than one can say I feel like... Thus, the local people are very generous with their prescription pharmaceuticals and many a time friends of mine have sent me on my way with a pocketful of Aderall or Xanax "just in case".

One thing, however, that will certainly not be tempered by such freely available chemical compounds, and of primary concern to me and my staff, is the positively cursed problem of "football". This rugby-substitute sport seems to have gained far too much traction here, especially on days such as Thanksgiving.

It seems that they simply choose to ignore the superior flow and complexity of rugby for lack of athletes capable of playing two forty minute halves without stopping. This cannot go on forever and we can only pray that the certain arrival of the metric system, and beer fit for consumption, will bring with them the great sport of rugby union.

During my time here I also noted a few things that might be of interest:

People stand in lines and only the office printer has a queue. If you ask someone if they are in the queue you will be met with only blank expressions.

The term excuse me is not meant to excuse any behaviour or to ask permission, it means Get out of my way. Please.

Between the months of June and September the underground trains are as godforsaken as a Brazzaville marketplace, and are best avoided at these times.

German automobiles are entirely unknown and someone ought to bring them here immediately!

Fondest regards,

Friday, 20 November 2009

Look at this house

Just look at it.



Richard Meier's Douglas House on Lake Michigan.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Alain de Botton - lovely stuff

I try not to post too many TED talks, or random Youtube videos for that matter, but every now and then I have to post the really good ones. Some more of my old favourites will no doubt follow.

Tagline:

Time Warner Cable. The Power of You.

That's right...
You heard correctly.

The Power of You.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Everybody is betting their life on something

I came across another smart person saying smart things again - on one of those smart people websites with the videos. He said: "Everybody is betting their life on something."

Man. It really is one of the most succinct, and frankly mindblowing thoughts I've heard in ages. Some tight copy right there.

Life is a gamble in many ways, and so often risk is the one thing that determines results and success more than anything. For instance, you cannot question someone else's love for you without first committing your own (another thing that brands ought to have learned by now). It's like a signal to the universe stating your intention to live, and deep down you know it's a gamble you have to take. Quite likely that the more risky option is to not risk anything at all, as people often can see the intention behind the action and find that all the more endearing.

But these are mostly not guesses or blind gambles. Like the quote says, the bet is on something, and that thing is inside you, like a skill or personality trait or worldview. Most likely it is a composite of those things, a broader intuition of life that grows and refines as you age. You say to yourself "I think I get it, and that's why I'm going to live like this, because that way will get me far.

Maybe you're super driven, maybe you just want to be a good person. It's about understanding and then believing, then forgetting everything you learned and going ahead and laying your shit on the line.

And I find that fascinating.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A little something I drew for you



A few nights ago, while I waited for my meal at some achingly hip Tribeca eatery, I asked one of the models for a sketch pad and some charcoal so that I could try to express my boredom more artistically. I was in a "state of flow" as we call it now.

To my surprise she brought me a crayon and said I could draw on the the tablecloth.

Anyhow I quite like the outcome. I'm considering showing it to my shrink.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Dude

"I don't know anything about music. My job has very little to do with music. It has more to do with taste and culture and balance."

Rick Rubin is a music producer behind some of the best rock, metal and rap of the last two decades or so and his contribution to the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is immense and different.

I like the idea that what makes his albums successful is the creation of what is in effect a high bandwidth link between the marketplace and culture, and the artist and their creative music making process. His understanding of the General Vibe allows him to produce music that is not just a novel creative package or original just in a musical sense, but relevant too. Creative and relevant music is a combination that is hard to beat. His ability to blend moments of straight-up good music with references steeped in the present makes for ever more remarkable musical moments of consciousness.

He's so good in fact that he got his photo taken by everybody's favourite lesbian, Annie Leibovitz. This is him at home, accessing his shit for your and my listening pleasure.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Saturday, 18 July 2009

You need to watch this

...if you haven't already.

A while back, my sometimes very inspirational mother sent me the transcript from J.K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard in 2008. I really love a great speech, and this is way up there.

I've read and re-read it a number of times, and it still makes me mushy inside. I actually feel honoured to share a birthday with her!

This is the video. Full transcript here

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Blazing good conversation

Had a great chat with Iwan the other day after a spot of longboarding down the windy paths of Prospect Park. We just chilled on the grass and let rip with the craziest ideas for a good two hours. You know when all your shit is in sync - philosophy, creativity, similar viewpoints in life... A conversation like that really does wonders for your wellbeing. Need more of those.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

New York rocks

Two reasons:

1) It looks like this when you enter a nightclub:



2) Even in the height of summer, if you turn the cold tap on you get actual cold water.

Dam-age.

My housemate John is Burmese and he struggles to say "dammit" if he stubs his toe or sees a hot woman in the street. Instead he says Dam-age..! Pretty hysterical, especially when he's referring to the latter. If you take a cruise around Soho on a sunny Sunday you will understand the damage being done.

Taglines

Imagine a world without taglines.

How would you judge brands?

Firstly, you would be forced to judge them by their names. A great brand name is a gateway to all manner of brand success (and I will definitely be sharing more of my thoughts on that). Secondly, you would be forced to feel brands - feel the unique composite of their vibe, and not be limited by only verbal communication.

So often a perfectly reasonable 30 sec TV spot has whatever decent message it just tried so hard to get across replaced by a perfectly rubbish few words flashed across the screen right at the end. A picture is worth a thousand words? Well the word equivalent of 7500 frames of genius cinematic production has just been replaced in the viewer's mind by, wait for it...

Ford. Drive One.

Why not just shut up?

Taglines are one of those things that people feel forced to create and compete on because the next guy just did it. And now we have a whole new sub-medium where the primary call to action is a fear that a competitor might occupy the same territory if one doesn't grab it first.

Anyhow, in terms of brand personality, judging a person by their actions and not their words is regarded to be better, and one would normally avoid making judgements of a person by what or who they say they are. Especially if they babble the same sweet nothings at you every time.

Really?

HP – Expanding possibilities
AMD – The smarter choice

Way decent:

Virginia is for lovers
Alaska - B4UDIE
Scotland the brand
South Africa - Alive with possibility
Nike - Just do it
The Independent - It is, are you?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Pinkberry with Terry

I totally just ran into an old buddy of mine, Terry Richardson, outside the Pinkberry in Spring Street.



I know!...right?!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I can dig this

Is there a name for this very extraordinary and, frankly, hot vibe?
Maybe someone on top of the fashion scene can tell me. For now I'm going with Pastel Goth.

Seen on lookbook



Or maybe it's the fact that she's not afraid to show off her branded take-away coffee that turns me on. I don't know.

Don't lie! Of course you would...

Monday, 6 July 2009

People I like

People try not to judge others, but we all do. A few days ago I was sitting on the train when I realised I think I know the way in which I judge people, when I first see them.

I judge people by whether or not they look like they are staying with or trying to break out of their allotted socio-economic place in life. You can tell, by body language, posture, expression on their face, or the way they speak relative to their apparent education.

On that train you may also see the relatively poor father of five, going to work a crap job, but he's dressed in the best suit he can afford, contemplating the day ahead. He wants to get that next promotion, and is thinking about what flowers to get his wife. He wants to get to the next level - even if it means being at the bottom of that next level.

But right next to him is the guy of the same age, same background, who has the same amount of money, but is dressed in tattier clothes, texting away on his cellphone, shouting at his buddy. He appears happy to be at the top of the lower level. Why? Because it's the top. He's happy there.

People who are prepared to constantly be at the bottom of a strata, be it socially or in their career are normally the ones moving up that quickly. Those who are out of their comfort zone most are learning the most.

People impress and interest me if they look like they're making an effort to get to whatever their next level is, or to be out of their comfort zone in some way all the time. How else do you learn unless you're at the bottom? For me it plays a big part in informing your general attitude towards life.

"A great man is always willing to be little." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Louis Vuitton is sponsoring your next holiday

This is a close up of the latest Louis Vuitton LSD. Tasty... I wonder what they call them, No Baggage? Posh Trips?

Or maybe it's just the heat.

I shudder to think what August is going to be like in this place. Heat like this is quite oppressive and it's really hard to get anything done. The train stations are the worst because they're full of hot air pumped out by the trains in order to keep the inside of trains way colder than they need to be. Go figure.

My life is just so crazy right now

I'll break it down for you...

Friday, 3 July 2009

Proust Questionnaire

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Respect for everything and everyone, by everyone. No really.

What is your greatest fear?

Going blind or deaf, or not being able to run.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

No-one really.

Which living person do you most admire?

Renzo Rosso.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Over sensitivity.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Hypocrisy. There is no escape from that one.
Or amorality - similar vibes.

What is your greatest extravagance?
A good haircut.

What is your favourite journey?

Any long ski-lift to the top of the Alps.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Teetotalism. Never trust someone who tells you they don’t drink.

On what occasion do you lie?
To protect others’ feelings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I appear too normal.

Which living person do you most despise?
Robert Mugabe. George W Bush just doesn’t know any better.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Vibe. But is it really over-use?

What is your greatest regret?
Not seeing Nirvana unplugged.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My friends. No question.

When and where were you happiest?
The sunset set at Origin Festival, front right speaker - with my mates of course.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Better feet.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Open mindedness - to anything new.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Ryk Neethling. He must have a lot of money, get laid a lot and not have any health problems…

What is your most treasured possession?
Good taste.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The inability to really chill out.

Where would you like to live?

Lake Como.

What is your favourite occupation?
Music, sex, maybe both.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I'm me.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Enthusiasm.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The ability to talk proper shit.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their sheer coolness and perspective on life.

Who are your favourite writers?
Everyone has their moment, some for longer than others

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Patsy Stone.

What is it that you most dislike?

People who don’t think before they talk.

How would you like to die?
On the dancefloor. Or in space. Though those could be the same thing.

What is your motto?
“Those who know do not say. Those who say do not know.”

Very interesting vibe... Love, that is

Diesel



...diesel.
in case you forgot.

What style is your life?

Right, I'm claiming it. I am the first person to re-separate the term lifestyle into it's original parts, life and style.

Lifestyle is kinda meaningless now. From this point on we will only be using the term life style.

Pretty cutting-edge if you ask me.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Crippled

At the beginning of this year I lost a friend. Not to death, but to a coldness I didn't know existed in anyone's world.

It's been six months and I still feel like half of my normal self.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Techno music... AA-EE-AA-EE

Last Friday I got to see Richie Hawtin play a four hour minimal techno set at a club called Love, in Greenwich Village. They ordinarily play dubstep and the sound system was tipped to be the best in New York. That it was. If you ever get a chance to go to Love or to see Richie play, or both, do it. My god...





look at those faces...

Monday, 29 June 2009

Nothing quite like a spot of Wimbledon

I'm watching a particularly exciting match between Britain's "hope" Andy Murray and Stanilas Wawrinka on the newly-roofed and newly-lit centre court. It reminded me of last year's final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This event I regard to be the single best sporting event that I have ever seen. Federer was on course to beat Pete Sampras' record, was he to win, but on the day faced some incredibly good quality opposition in the form of Nadal.

There was hardly an unforced error in the match - on any given point one player was simply and solidly outplayed by the other. Over a course of almost 7 hours, including rain delays, the match resulted in the some of the most incredible rallies ever seen in tennis. I believe even John McEnroe said it was the greatest match he'd ever seen.

Being lucky enough to see such a high level of anything happen for such an unusually long time is a something I won't easily forget.

And now we take a moment

to appreciate this...

Being prolific

The Michael Jackson thing didn't really hit home with me until last night. A radio station was playing non stop hits of his the whole night and every track struck me as more classic and influential than the last. I suddenly realised how intense it must be to have left a trail like that behind you in the world. He's chilling there, buried, and all over the world people are listening to similar Michael Jackson tribute days and suddenly getting their groove on.

He was, as they say, prolific. Sure he had help at various times along the way, but it was his own emotional energy that was behind every last ounce of his supernova-like legacy. A generosity of spirit that was offered to the world for most of the late 20th century.

Don't "give it 100%", try to be prolific.
It's different.

I'm too cool, you're too hot.

Uh...where was I going with that...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

This is where it's heading kids...

I have no idea what this typeface is called but it's hot.

Friday, 26 June 2009

New vibe: hollow ice

The weather outside is 32 degrees and at 100% humidity. Which means it's the same inside, I guess.

As I sit in my bedroom in Brooklyn, fan blowing loudly, ass stuck to the chair, I finally made it to the kitchen to get some water. Of course the ice in the freezer had not frozen through yet, but I did notice how it was in fact exactly half-frozen.

Which is actually pretty awesome. You get to have not just a top layer frozen, mind, but a complete hard shell of ice. While the almost frozen water from the center you can pour into your glass, making the overall temperature lower than if you had used just regular tap water. Do you know how much better hollow ice sounds in the glass?

Those perfect little shards stay so beautifully frozen for the entire duration of my beverage sipping, and make me feel like a James Bond villain in a Lanvin suit, uh... whose ass is not stuck to a chair.

This is where I want to be right now