Archive for October, 2007

Disenchanted, disheartened, disappointed…

October 30, 2007

I wish there were more words to describe what I’m feeling right now. Actually I’ve been feeling like this for the past week or more. That’s probably the best explanation for the week long silence on this blog. It seems there’s nothing more to write about at times. And even if there was something to write about, or rant about, what difference does it make by posting it in here? Seriously what’s being achieved or even remotely changed by me spouting on-line?

In some ways, writing stuff in here does help clear the mind and sort of help keep the blood pressure within the safety ranges. But is what I’m doing in here just a form of escaping from the real issues that I need to confront in the real world out there? I think so. Whenever I write something in here and then see the responses or even just the fact that people have actually taken the time to read what has been said, it feels really great. But that doesn’t change a single thing that’s making me feel the way I do.

The biggest issue is that I know what I have to do to change the situation. But actually doing it is not as easy as it sounds. To change the situation, I need to change my character drastically. I need to be someone who most people will have trouble dealing with, because its going to rock the boat to the point of throwing a few people overboard. And that’s something I have huge issues with.

I know there’ll be loads of people who will say just go ahead and do what needs to be done, change the situation and deal with the consequences as they come. Hell, that’s probably what I would tell someone in my own situation. So WTF is preventing me from taking my own advice? Sometimes I feel that its just me being too cowardly to confront people, to tell them that I think their opinions and taste are full of shit. Is it just that I don’t want people to not like me? Maybe, but then at what price am I buying another person’s opinion of me? Actually, the bigger question I should be asking myself is if I really give a damn about what they think!

Ok, ok….. Maybe I should be a little clearer about where this is all coming from. Right now, I’m stuck churning out so called ‘creative’ work, that I personally feel is pure, unadulterated bull shit! And it’s not just me, the agency as a whole is doing the same thing. Putting out mind numbing stuff that’s loved by the client and the general public too. So what’s the problem if the client AND the public love it? Well, it doesn’t say very much for your level of work when you know the general public out there (Who goes wow) also gave ‘Parliament Jokes’ and ‘One shot’ rave reviews! I mean, is that really where I want to be? I think not. I know for a fact the agency is very capable of doing work that’s going to pull people out of the drugged stupor and make them go ‘WTF”. Its just that they’re being pushed and bullied into doing safe stuff that the clients expect to see and will definitely buy without having to move an inch out of their comfort zone. And the end result of this is the jingle singing, saccharine sweet commercials that are just too perfect to be true. We might as well be doing tele-dramas for God’s sake!

Also, what do you do when the person who makes the final call on what should leave the agency and what should not, doesn’t really seem to get half of what you’re trying to say in a concept. When he just refuses to see an idea just because he doesn’t understand it or relate to it. Since when did agency people only do work that related to them? Maybe it’s time to just tell him I don’t really give a fuck whether he likes it or not, because I know it’s going to make a difference and maybe raise the level of the agency by just a little bit. The problem is he has never seen that side of me. The side that can be really rude and aggressive to the point of being obnoxious.

Which of course brings me back to the point of rocking the boat. I know that confronting him and making a point to stop stuff that I think is crap from being done, is definitely going to rock his boat and a few others too. So the question remains, after all this ranting, do I continue to remain disillusioned and unhappy (but well paid) or do I rock the boat and take the consequences? Even if they may include me falling overboard myself.

Read…..Don’t Write

October 22, 2007

This seems to be the only thing my somewhat rebellious yet sluggish brain seems to be repeating to me endlessly from the time I got up today. I guess it has something to do with the weather. Probably a genetic memory has been triggered from many centuries ago. From a time when human kind put down the tools of their trade and stayed under shelter till the rain storms passed.

While it may not be applicable in today’s world, it still seems the right thing to do whenever the rains start pouring down. No matter what kind of work you’re involved with, outdoor or indoor, your body and mind both seem to conspire to keep you inactive and in bed for as long as possible.

This sort of brings me to my next point. What would you think of the theory that nature, of whom we all are a part, can read our bio-rhythms and judge when we’re over worked and totally stressed out. And when that happens nature decides its time for a break. And so it rains! Are the seasonal rains we experience nature’s way of making us re-charge our batteries?

If that were true, I think we should stop fighting the urge to curl up and sleep a little extra, sit propped up in bed with a hot mug of whatever and a book or just chill the day away with some friends over a bottle. Could all the adverse changes to the long established weather patterns actually be a direct result of us humans forcing ourselves to work right through nature’s break time? Are we forcing nature into a concerned hysteria of sorts by not obeying the ancient laws?

Hmmmm…… It would make for an interesting experiment to see if we actually closed down offices and schools and got everybody to take a break whenever the rains set in, would the world’s weather patterns return to the ones we knew so many years ago. Maybe by actually obeying our instincts, we can help put an end to the tsunamis and tornadoes and other such freak weather conditions.

I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find enough and more volunteers worldwide. After all, we’re not asking people to give up anything more than work! Imagine being able to change the world as we know it for the better by actually just relaxing and doing nothing?

Standing Ovation for Equus

October 20, 2007

If you happened to be at the British School auditorium yesterday, count yourself among the privileged! In my very, very limited knowledge of theatre and acting techniques it was a production that absolutely deserved the standing ovation it got!

For me, who goes to the theatre to be entertained in some form, it was an experience that spoke volumes. It took you through a vast spectrum of emotions that made you question some of the most fundamental norms of society.

I felt the main actors played their parts brilliantly. It was fairly impossible to judge one against the other and say who was the best. They all seemed to work their roles seamlessly together in order to transport you to that moment in time and place they were in. The actor who played Alan Strang, brought his character to life in a way that was intensely believable. As expected Rohan Ponniah excelled in the role of a tortured psychiatrist who questions his very role in life.

Anyways, as said before, I’m no expert on the theatre. But I hope that Steve De La Zilva does not disappear into the wings again, but continue to bring his special style of directing to Sri Lankan theatre.

In closing, well done guys, you’ve definitely got a a standing ovation from me!

Where do good dreams go?

October 19, 2007

What happens when a dream dies?

Does it just disappear, or go to dream heaven?

Or does it simply get re-born in another mind?

And if in that re-born mind it lies dormant, does it keep re-incarnating?

Constantly searching for that one enlightened soul who will give it life?

Does it haunt the realms of man, hoping to be glimpsed?

Is it the dead dream, that wakes us up in the darkest of hours?

Screaming out to our sleeping unconscious, pleading to be heard?

Begging us to see the beauty that lies dormant.

Or does it just sit quietly in a corner, weeping inconsolably?

Mourning the lost glory that could have been.

Hoping and praying for this time of man to pass, 

And blissful silence to descend.

Bringing with it the peace that only a total lack of thought can bring.

Master Yoda was a Sri Lankan!

October 17, 2007

Yes, that’s right. I firmly believe that the little green master of the force originally came from a little country called Sri Lanka. Now I know there are many of you sitting out there chuckling to yourself and saying “WTF?”, but I’m sure you’ll change your mind and agree with me once you’ve read this through.

For those of you not too familiar with Sri Lankan history, let me give you a quick update that will set the stage. It’s said that many, many years ago a certain Sri Lankan king had a number of giants serving in his army. There are many amazing feats that have been attributed to these beings. They were rumoured to have originated from the “Yodha” clan. Also, history tells us that one of these ‘yodhayas’ was a man of short stature, but possessed immense strength.

Having established the historical background, let me take you through a couple of strange coincidences or similarities between the giants of Sri Lanka and the Jedi Master. The little green master’s very name seems to indicate a certain nostalgia for his mother country and clan. after all, its not too much of a jump from ‘Yodha’ to ‘Yoda’ now is it? Stature wise too there seems to be a strange similarity between Master Yoda and the fabled giant. Could it be that this particular ‘Giant’ was actually looked upon as one because of his extraordinary mastery over the ‘Force’, which let him do amazing feats? Thereby making him not a giant in physical size but rather in mental stature. Much the same as Master Yoda once again ya?

Even if you study the very unique speaking style that Master Yoda uses, the similarities between his grammar/syntax and Sinhalese is pretty overwhelming. Let me give you a few examples just to refresh your memory.

“to the war go we must” is an almost direct translation of “Yudhdheta yanna onay api”

“Judge me by size do you?” equates to “Mainnay maawa size eken dha oya?”

“Ready are you?” would be “Laasthi dha oya?”

“For 800 years have I trained Jedi” equates to “Avurudhu ata seeyakata mama puhunu kala Jedi”

These are just a few of the quotes I managed to pick up off the net while writing this post, but I’m certain there are many more if you look further. It seems as if Master Yoda, who was comfortable speaking Sinhalese, had to adapt himself to speaking a foreign tongue. The almost direct translations, the similarity in grammar and syntax are all very common mistakes made by people who are learning a new language.

So, in conclusion, my firm belief is that Master Yoda definitely was from Sri Lanka and and was much revered as a giant because of his mastery of the Force. How he happened to eventually find himself in a galaxy far, far away is another matter. Maybe the Star Wars epic will reveal a few secrets to this as well if studied more closely.

Comments anyone?

The end of a journey?

October 16, 2007

I’m not sure how many of you have been reading my blog from the very first post, but if you have, you’ll know that I started this with the intention of finding out if I was a true writer at heart or if I just write because its a job.

A few months into this project, I’ve come to discover that I’m actually managing to write something in here almost everyday. And the best part of it is that its not because I have to, but because I want to! To me that’s truly amazing. If anyone told me this could happen, I would have laughed out loud.

So, now the question arises. Is this then the end of the journey, have I found the answer I was looking for? Well, in a way yes, I have found the answer to the questions I started out with. I have found a new affection (I wouldn’t go as far as saying love!) for writing.  And not writing just for the sake of seeing it in the press or on TV and radio. But for me, somehow, this journey or search doesn’t seem to have come to an end. Rather it has opened up fresh avenues that I would like to explore. What I’m hoping to discover isn’t really clear to me as yet, maybe it’ll come to me as this blog progresses.

One thing I do know though. That the saying “Every new beginning is another beginning’s end” seems to somehow hold true.

So lets see where this beginning’s end takes me ya?

Communication issues

October 16, 2007

Has it ever happened to any of you, that you have this brilliant thought or idea in your mind but no one else seems to be able to see it just the way you do? This seems to be happening more and more often with me these days. Hence the blog post of yesterday. I find it to be very frustrating having to rely on someone else to bring the idea to life in pictures and colours, when they just don’t seem to be able to grasp the core idea in the first place.

I mean, I can see it in my mind and know exactly what the idea is going to look like when its put on a piece of paper, but somehow my art people don’t seem able to see it! It doesn’t help matters that my artistic abilities don’t extend beyond the drawing of stick figures, but then isn’t that what the art guys are supposed to be talented at? Taking a stick figure concept and turning it into a visual that makes people stop in their tracks?

At times I can’t help but wonder is it just me? I mean, am I not being clear enough in explaining the idea to them, or is it just the language I use? God! at times I hate the fact that we humans are restricted to having to communicate using words and pictures only. I men imagine how perfect it would have been if we had developed the talent for telepathy, all I would have to do was to form the idea in my head and then send it to my art guys who would then have a very clear picture of what I want. Its then a simple matter for them to improve on it further in their minds and let me know.

Anyways, here I am, stuck with the inability to communicate to my fellow man…….and this from someone who’s supposed to be a writer…….FFS!!!

AAAARRRRRGGGG!!!!!!!!

October 15, 2007

Sorry people…….just had to let that out!

Api Sinha Wansayen….. Amma Paa

October 13, 2007

Based on a very ‘spirited’ discussion I had with a few friends last night, I believe we have concrete proof that the Sinhalese people are actually descended from the lions. This conclusion was reached quite by accident, but I believe it still hold water.

The discussion was about a comment made on themissingsandwich’s blog about how a lion doesn’t fight pigs because he doesn’t want to get his paws muddy. From this point the discussion turned to the behaviour traits of male lions and how similar in fact the Sinhalese male is to them.

If any of you have seen a pride of lions hunting, it’s always the lioness that hunts and the lion then ambles up and starts eating first. In most ultra Sinhalese homes the wife will slave over the hearth to make the most delicious of meals which her husband will partake of first and then she will eat whatever is left. And god help any proper little wife who forgets the pecking order. See the similarity I’m getting at?

A lion will never hunt for its own food unless absolutely forced to. The same is true of most of our Sinhalese males. If there’s the slightest possibility of being able to sit under a ‘Kos Gaha’ and wait for a fruit to fall, without making the least effort to climb the tree, he will definitely do that. In short it takes extreme circumstances to motivate them to get off their asses and fend for themselves.

I’m sure if you think for a while, you’re sure to find many more similarities between the lion and the Sinhalese race.

So in conclusion, the ‘Api Sinhawansayen’ claim certainly holds true in this day and age.

Sell-out

October 12, 2007

To say I’m starting to hate the current economic situation in our country, is a gross understatement! Even if you can pretend to ignore the almost daily price increases of everything from petrol to bloody cigarettes, how in heaven’s name do you ignore the adverse effects on the advertising industry? Or rather the adverse effect on the mind set of senior ad managers?

I mean, for us who work on the creative side of things, it’s all about pushing the envelope and trying to do something more daring than we did the day before. But how the hell are we supposed to do that when we have clients and management who insist on playing it safe?

Since when did playing it safe ever pay off? History has has been written and made by people who took risks. Risks that were not made with a safety net in hand. The greatest successes in history have been made by flying in the face of conventional wisdom. When if ever, is the local advertising industry going to accept this and actually put it into practice?

Some great name in advertising once said “The day billings become more important than creativity is the day I take my name off the board”. His name is still on the board of one of the most creative and successful agencies in the world. How often have we been to workshop after workshop and had the catch phrases “Creativity pays”, “It’s all about the work”, “Never settle for yes, when yes wow exists”, drilled into us ad nauseum? Yet when it comes down to actually walking the walk, it’s a daily fight to get the cutting edge stuff even looked at in-house.

Case in point, I’m working on a certain brand that is largely handled by a different agency, but we have been given the chance of getting our foot in the door with some small time pieces of work. The management’s point of view is that we should basically do something very similar to what the other agency is doing (of course this was worded in a much more convoluted and different phrasing). The justification given is that this is just a small job and therefore the client is not going to be looking for idea based work. To me, this makes absolutely no sense at all! Why would they come to us for something that they can get from the other agency in the first place? What sort of fucking sense does that make for them? What makes it worse is that I personally believe this client is not the run-of-the-mill dumb client who you can faff with. They aren’t going to buy something from us just because the advertising “gods” of the agency tell them to. Rather, it’s our duty as a self-respecting agency to give them the choice of whether they just want the same old shit on a different platter or something totally new and maybe even a little risky.

So what do I do with this situation? Well, I have told my team to firstly get the same old shit on a different platter over and done with. After that we’re going to sit down and work the idea based stuff that we think the client should be doing. Come Monday, I’m going to have a fight on my hands to take this stuff to the client, but fuck it, if they wanna fight, so be it! I accept that I may be totally wrong about this client and will have to eat humble pie after the meeting, but its worth the risk. What the hell, didn’t I say earlier in this post that nobody ever got ahead by playing it safe?

Outta here!!!