Friday, August 3, 2007

Computer illiterati

God above, I've just spent I don't know how long trying to add a list of my favourite blogs to my page. I must be a complete idiot, because I just don't understand the instructions. Whose name do they want (they already have mine), what is the url, and why oh why isn't it simple?? Please, someone, produce an idiot guide to what should be a simply process. How clever you all are to have done it already. I'm impressed.

Waved goodbye to Son this glorious morning as he set off with a friend for the Big Chill Festival. I had got the old picnic basket out and hosed it down, cooked a chicken, and bought wine and nice stuff for them to take. Of course, Son took one look at the totally uncool and ancient picnic basket and said "I'm not taking that!" Silly me - wrong again - of course he's not. Finally arranged food, wine and essentials in an acceptable bag, and off they drove. I was really envious. He told me that there is wonderful organic food, as well as good music, and he had booked a special camping area called something like the "Tangerine Tent", where everything is supplied for a luxurious camping experience. He had obviously booked the weather too.

This morning early I heard David Puttnam on the news talking about how we really have to change our energy-guzzling habits if we want to leave a half-decent world for our children and grandchildren to inherit. I'm allowed to call him David rather than Lord Puttnam because I knew him years ago when we worked for the same Advertising Agency. He was a rather scruffy, but definitely upwardly-mobile, bloke in those days, and I was a very junior creative person. He certainly has come up in the world. Alan Parker (sorry, Sir Alan Parker) also worked in the same Agency then, writing commercials, and I remember him saying that his mother-in-law at the time (I think he has a different one now) kept asking him when he was going to get a proper job. In those days, when Creatives were dogsbodies, no-one wore smart clothes (except the Account Execs), and she obviously thought that anyone who went to work in old jeans and holey jumpers couldn't be earning much. How wrong she was. And how she must have eaten her words. Alan used to let me write the odd trade ad. when he couldn't be arsed. It was great. Never a boring moment. I forget who said it, but it was certainly true that working in advertising was the most fun you could have with your clothes on.

Back then, we had ideas; we produced creative concepts that were often exciting, funny and relevant. That was what we were paid for. These days I believe that most advertising campaigns are produced on computer. I don't know how because a computer doesn't have ideas. It can't think. Which brings me back to that bloody list...

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