Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Apologies, for I'm still not fully back in the physical and mental loop. But for now, please can I draw your attention to some of the following?

1) Recommendations from this month's 26 newsletter can be found here.

2) As mentioned in the newsletter, The Art of Lost Words is on at text/gallery in London. I quote:

Ever wondered what happens to lost words, forgotten in language's landfill while the world sweeps on in pursuit of new phrases? Well, for one week only, they'll be exhumed and transformed into objects of beauty by a handpicked crew of 41 designers, artists and illustrators.

I quote again: "As a member of 26, you're cordially invited to the Private View on 6 March 2009, 6pm - 9pm at The German Gym, Pancras Road, NW1 2TB (opposite St Pancras Int'l). Please RSVP to if you'd like to pop along. Otherwise, catch the show which runs from 5 -9 March." I'm sure you the non-26ers amongst you will be welcome too.

3) It's soon going to be Free The Word time again, International PEN's literary festival. At 26, we're doing to do a slightly more souped up version of last year's Free The Blog. If you'd like to be involved, please drop me a line.


Friday, February 20, 2009

The importance of a t-shirt

to Howies. Some interesting thoughts on what companies might have to do in the future too.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Smit's wisdom

One of the benefits of having some unexpected, enforced time off work (hello gastroenteritis) is that there's a chance to catch up with unread books and articles, unwatched telly and the like.

Into the former category falls 'Business at Oxford', the magazine of the Said Business School, which in its current Winter 2008 issue has an edited transcript of a lecture there by Tim Smit, of the Eden Project. Its pearls certainly perked me up, and are worth a gander. Highlights include:

1) The 'Tinkerbell' theory: If you can get four people to believe in something as passionately as you do, it will almost certainly happen.

2) Be the 'last man standing': 'If you have a certain amount of charm and people know you're not going to go away, they will eventually pay a large sum of money to make you go away.'

3) Tell 'future truths': Have your idea, gather all the people you admire together and publicly say you will do this. The shame of not doing it will make you succeed.

4) Accept every third invitation you receive: to meet people you otherwise won't meet.

All sound pretty damn good to me


Friday, February 13, 2009

Listorama: Facebook status updates vol 11

BetaRish (is):

working at home today

waiting for the 270 Blue count

wondering what Alastair Cooke would have made of it all

really might have taken on too much this time

salutes Mr Paxman and Mr Rascal –

has his fingers crossed

off to be best man at Matt and Shelia’s wedding today

plotting the next mixtape

thought he had the first four lines of the novel at 5am this morning. Alas, it was an early morning dream

all in his mind

loves the way you make him feel

has had three hours sleep, and is warning you all he is foul to grumpy, rising them falling

all wrapped up in circumstance

going to attempt a movie marathon

has lost some days to his vanity

tips his titfer to you

at Natalie’s Party

all you need

thinks you might be his lucky star

delighted that Danny Baker’s on Radio 2

waiting, with a gun and a pack of sandwiches

wishes he had some big thoughts under some big hair

appears to be a permanent member of the awake at 5am club

believes in something like you

has his bling cufflinks on today

Oi, snotty nose, outside now!

would like a title for an art-rock playlist. Any ideas?


(the) epitome of faded seaside glamour

31 today. The horror, the horror

thanking you all for today’s kind wishes

battling for Battles to an obsessive degree

trying tom decide between an ode, or a sonnet

thinks the bacon sandwiches were too small

thinks he might have cracked the tetrameter thing

a minor chord and major lift [NB: I know that should be ‘fifth’]

snake begetting rabbit

will be on the popscene on 3 July next year

hunting for discs of rebellion

awake at an ungodly hour

at work

in the office again

can’t get out of his mind

falling apart, according to one judge this morning

has two little arms to hold on tight

your number one guy

hoping with chance you might take this dance

back in the office again

going to try and avoid logging in for the rest of the day

has lost all sight of you

found a two of hearts this morning

gearing up for a potentially mad 48 hours

wishes you all a tidy Christmas

really should get up and feed the cats

on the hunt for a skirt in today’s sales

whispering in the conclave

shaking hands with the hacking cough

has a new camera to play with


says 2009! Bumrush the calendar boyee!

will defeat the BT box today

nursing a hangover, preventing him from nursing a kitty

asks: does the back to school feeling ever go away?

wants to go back to bed, and start again tomorrow

says OK Go to the new year. Again

Treachery a/k/a Missy cat died this lunchtime

asks you to bring your loving over

has joined Popinjays Anonymous

thinking about meat. Again

will be cracking on with admin in a moment

missing some Golden Globes. Any one seen ‘em?

wasn’t planning on today starting at 5.30

the sound of water

a lurker. I’ll explain later

trying to wish deadlines away

had a dream about flying greyhounds last night

still in pain after running


says Hail to 44!

still needs to tinker with the latest playlist

as fast as a duck

wants to get a hold of you

dancing in a funeral cortege

asks: whither baille funk in the next century?

reckons you’re about an 8 or a 9

sings, ‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a time machine?’

hopes today will mostly be about burgers

going wild in the aisles

on the way to Paris

today the left bank

says it’s snowing in Paris. Fingers crossed we’ll get home tonight

still recovering after getting back to St Pancras at 1.20am this morning. Thanks Eurostar, thanks

now here with the weather


asks you all to read Paul Gilroy’s ‘There Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack’. It’ll be worth your while.

is Bafta tastic

needs to rouse himself to action



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marching bands

Little in life can't be improved with the addition of said item. Witness Thom and Jonny giving '15 Step' 'some' at the Grammys on Sunday night. Thom, in particular, seems to be channeling a cross between Liam, Jagger and Ol' Dirty Bastard. Go figure.


Monday, February 09, 2009

The fear of the fact checker

Common in US magazines, less common in the UK, either way the fact checker is a hardy breed, sparing many a writer from blushes and/or lawsuits. So, in this New Yorker reminiscence, feel mortified at the following:

The worst checking error is calling people dead who are not dead. [The fact checker] remembers a reader in a nursing home who read in The New Yorker that he was 'the late' reader in the nursing home. He wrote demanding a correction. The New Yorker , in its next issue, of course complied, inadvertently doubling the error, because the reader died over the weekend while the magazine was being printed.

There, grace, God, etc.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Super twitter chatter

Bit late with this, but it's still lovely. The New York Times have mapped the collective twitter chatter during last weekend's Super Bowl in the US, and then plotted it against game time and events. The emoticons tugged at my heart.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We were on

the train behind the one that Gulliver was stuck on on Monday. The big lesson? Eurostar really need to provide more information to passengers; before, during and after the journey. At a minimum, please set up a twitter feed asap.


SoPo number 1

Laura Forman. Genius. Poet. Queen Wordsmith. And organiser of Elmwood's SoPo, a night of poetry in Soho. The first one was last month. Joe Dunthorne, Tom Chivers and Colette Bryce wowed us. So much so, that in at least one of the photos here, I'm actually smiling. See if you find it. Apologies for looking so serious/bored in the others.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ladyhawke lied

Paris 0902 061
Originally uploaded by SgtRock333
Paris was so the opposite of burning. Freezing. Bloody freezing. Still, most of the other cliches were ticked off with a cold ambition. Though going up the Eiffel was saved for next time round.

More frozen foolery here.