New Jays ‘cause it’s my Bday.
I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on. —
(Source: runouttheguns, via louisepotter)
BMW Motorcycle Riders - ‘The lone wolves of the road’
This is quite a fascinating insight about BMW riders in contrast to their fellow Harley Davidson riders.
The Harley Davidson brand myth is all about rebelling against societies’ expectations of one’s self. The Harley rider is an outlaw. A gunfighter. A rebel. According to Doug Holt, Harley’s brand myth represents a clique of men joined to a conservative vision to restore ‘traditional’ conservative masculinity (i.e. white, patriarchal, Christian, American) over the cultural free-for-all of the new global networked community. Harley riders see themselves ‘belonging’ to a brotherhood of outlaws.
BMW riders differ immensely. For them it’s all about the riding experience. They see themselves as the gritty warriors of the road. To the BMW rider, Harley riders are showboating, weekend warriors who spend most of their time polishing their bike rather than actually riding it. Whereas, BMW riders are the kind of people who ride 10,000 miles in one trip. They are the ‘real’ riders. The independent survivalists of the road. The lone wolves. The ones crazy enough to ride from the icy tip of Alaska to the tip of South America, and back again.
If we used brand archetype theory, it’s quite obvious that Harley-Davidson would be the ‘Outlaw’, and BMW the ‘Explorer’.
Storytelling is joke telling. It’s knowing your punchline, your ending, knowing that everything you’re saying, from the first sentence to the last, is leading to a singular goal, and ideally confirming some truth that deepens our understandings of who we are as human beings. We all love stories. We’re born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories. It can cross the barriers of time, past, present and future, and allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others, real and imagined. —
TED talk with filmmaker Andrew Stanton of Toy Story and Wall-E fame on the clues to storytelling.
Isolation Therapy - A short-term escape for today’s hyper-connected generation.
While catching up with my sister the other day, she started telling me about this friend of hers who has a very interesting method of relaxation and stress relief. He visits a spa retreat that specializes in isolation therapy.
It involves is stepping inside a chamber called an isolation tank. An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. When you lie back, you float effortlessly on it due to the density of the salt water. The body is perfectly supported by the solution which therefore creates the feeling of weightlessness. From what I’ve read, isolation therapy provides an environment that frees the mind and body from all external stimulation. The mind is therefore left free to drift into the deepest state of relaxation possible. With the body in such a relaxed state it will cleanse itself from stress related chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and lactic acid and replace them by beneficial endorphins. The body has the chance to restore its natural powers of self-regulation and healing.
Isolation therapy was conceived in the 1970s, but it never really took off. At the time, it was seen as a fad and slightly extreme. However in the last year it’s been making a big comeback all over the world. You’re probably thinking that all of this sounds a little extreme. I did. Especially considering that my sister’s friend is only 20 years old. But when you think about it, it’s pretty easy to see why isolation therapy is starting to make a comeback.
Today’s young generation is surrounded by more stimuli than any previous generation. Information is all around us, and we’re ALWAYS connected. We’ve got multiple social media accounts that are constantly bombarding us with notifications, and our smartphones keep us connected to the workplace at all hours of the day and night. Quite simply, we’re hyper-stimulated. And all this stimulation takes its toll on the mind and body.
This is why many city folk are drawn to holidays that take them away from the bright lights of the big city and into areas that deliberately cut them off from their normal, hyper-stimulated lives. Think of holidays to the country, to rural beach towns, and even into the jungles of the Amazon. Why are more and more people are going camping than ever before? Why are spa/spiritual retreats all the rage today? It’s because all these things are a form of ‘escapism’. They offer complete or partial ‘disconnection’.
So when you think about it, stepping into an isolation tank might sound a little extreme at first, but it makes complete sense. It’s a short-term disconnection from our crazy ‘connected’ worlds. Just another method of escapism.
What is luxury?
Relationships of substance and value with all the people in your world. The man who cuts your meat, grows your vegetables, fits your shoes, pulls your coffee.
Luxury is not being a slave to fashion, nor trend. Not shopping on sale, only to have more of what is not right. Luxury is having only in your life what is correct and right, and when the time is right.
Luxury is having an extra hour every day to read the paper, eat toast with your love before you leave the house, sit in a park at lunch and watch the grass grow. Even if it means you’ll never drive an S-Class Mercedes or send your children to Knox.
What is value?
Value is paying 20 or 30 percent extra not to shop on sale. Value is the extra 50c it might cost to have a coffee that is truly superb, or the extra $30 a year you might tip your barista to remember that you like a single sugar and the milk extra hot.
Value isn’t cheap. Value costs money, but it also costs time and consideration. Because if you value yourself, you don’t skimp on what’s important – time, quality, integrity.
- Ethan Desu —
Sage words from Ethan Desu on the real meaning of luxury and value. Ethan is highly regarded in the classic menswear scene, and rightly so.
I think that many retailers and luxury brands need to realign their concept of seasonal sales due to the negative impact they have on their core brand value.
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are “The Advertisers” and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
F#ck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. —
Banksy on Advertising (via thediscoursecircus)
Rather than talking ‘at’ the audience, what if we engaged them as willing accomplices? Hmmm.
Be more than just a magpie.
To quote a great planner I spoke to recently, “It’s all about connecting the dots, mate!”
When I first started out in planning, I was like a magpie. Magpies constantly collect shiny, interesting objects. Like a magpie, I was constantly searching for new and interesting things in the world - Things such as emerging trends, products, brands and ads. But I just wasn’t connecting the dots.
One of the most important things I’ve learnt is that you need to dig much deeper than that! There are always going to be shiny, interesting things out there in the world. Shiny things aren’t hard to find. Anyone can do that.
Our job as planners is to dig deeper and understand what they actually mean. We need to understand the cultural significance of them. We need to understand why they are emerging, and how and why they are connected to other ‘shiny’ things.
It’s just so easy to be a magpie and look for shiny things with no real understanding of what they mean. But proper planning is all about connecting the dots in seemingly disconnected ideas in order to create something truly brilliant.
Monday: Come at me bro! #caffeinated (Taken with Instagram at The Lab)
How listening to music has changed.
The other day I was waiting in line to order my morning coffee at a café near work. I had my headphones on. I was listening to the new Childish Gambino album (which is amazing by the way). Just as I got to the counter, I pulled my headphones out of my ears and placed my order. An older man, probably in his fifties noticed the headphones and said “all you cool kids are always plugged into something these days.” I laughed and ended up having this wicked conversation with him about the way that people listened to music back in his day.
Back when he was a teenager, he bought vinyl records. He described it as being a tactile experience as he could actually open the wrapper, smell the sleeve, pull out the vinyl and feel the grooves. He spoke about the anticipation that would build as soon as he had bought the record. He would literally run home from the store to listen to it. And when he finally got home, he’d go to straight to his room, close the door, put the needle on the record, sit on his bed, and just LISTEN.
It was a moment of pure concentration. He’d watch the record spin round and round. He’d listen to the hum of the needle as it travelled through the grooves. He loved the occasional crackling sound. It felt romantic. Poetic. Real.
He’d play it from start to finish, carefully listening to every lyric that was sung and savouring each and every note that was played. It was deeply emotional. Almost like a drug, it took him to another world entirely.
After speaking to him, I walked away and thought about how much things have changed. I mean, I can’t even remember the last time I’d sat down and just LISTENED to an album from start the finish and really given the music the appreciation it deserved. For me, and probably millions of others in my generation, music is just something we listen to while we’re doing something else - Like driving, working out, reading, or cooking. It’s more of a distracted style of listening, whereby music is not ‘the event’, instead it’s an ‘enhancement’ to another event entirely.