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, March 29, 2012

Commercial: Lego - a new toy every day

Just wonderful...


Monday, March 26, 2012

Commercial: Rory Sutherland on Influence

The big man was on top form at Conway Hall yesterday. Particular gobbets that leapt out for me were:

- There should be a place for stupidity in rational discourses about policy, economics etc.

- How come the irrational people don't get to police the rational people? It always happens the other way around.

- Heuristics are grossly underused in society.

- Problems in complex systems can't be solved by simplistic, 'scientistic' rules.

- Absolutes are much easier to stick to.

- Intelligence and rationaity are not the same thing.

- Meaning is not a scarce resource.

No doubt, if you were there, you'll have loads more.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A 100 word play

I had a go at one, for the Royal Court's rather spiffing search for lots. Full opus below.



Elizabeth II picks up a phone and dials. We hear:

Automatic recording Welcome to We’re As Skint As You Are Financial Services. Please choose from the following options:

Press 1 for a shouting match about your statement.

Press 2 to have your card cut-up and poked into your eyes.

Press 3 to pawn eBay wins and useless relatives.

Press 4 to talk to someone in Tajikistan called Bazza.

For all other enquiries, please hold.

Brian Hello. Thanks for calling We’re As Skint As You Are. Can I take your special security password please?

Elizabeth Gin. The answer is always gin.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poetry: Adventures in Form

Fire up your shopping baskets! If there's one definite purchase that you should be making this spring, it's this fine tome from Penned in The Margins. As described:

Welcome to a strange new world in which a poem can be written using only one vowel, processed through computer code, collaged from film trailers, compiled from Facebook status updates, hidden inside a Sudoku puzzle, and even painted on sheep to demonstrate Quantum Theory.
Discover a multitude of new and unusual poetic forms – from tweet to time-splice, and from skinny villanelle to breakbeat sonnet – in this inspiring and inventive anthology.

It's going to be a Poetry Book Society special recommendation, and it features a heavyweight line up of poets. Including Ruth Padel, Paul Muldoon and me. Um...


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poetry: Dog Ear

A lovely idea for a lovely new publication. And, very kindly, they've put a wee little thing by me up on the website.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fiction: Running to meet you

A short short thing of mine, can be found over at SXSW stories. With thanks to James Mitchell.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Commercial: Brautigan Book Club #1

So here's me reading at the inaugural BBC, last week.

Find out more about the club here.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Commercial: On the joy of cigarettes

From Robert Walser's Berlin Stories:

Meanwhile you have rolled yourself a cigarette, say, and inserted it with great care between your well-practiced lips. With such an apparatus in your mouth, it is impossible to feel utterly without cheer, even if your soul happens to be torn in twain by sufferings. But is this the case? Most certainly not. Just wanted to give a quick description of the magic that a smoking white object of this sort is capable of working, year in and year out, on the human psyche. And what next?

And I thought: I wish I could turn this into an ad. Of course, it would never get by the regulations nowadays...


Friday, March 02, 2012

Commercial: Harrison's Fund

Just to draw your attention to a charity I recently helped out, by writing some copy for them. I'd say they're well worthy of your time, attention and support.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Commercial: The moral of the advert is...

BBH's new work for The Guardian broke last night (they did what appears to be their new trick now of buying up an entire break, this time during 10 O'Clock Live [a very Guardian show, if ever there was one]).

As you'd expect, it was excellent: brilliantly produced, dramatic and impactful. But it did leave me with the nagging sense of, (and I paraphrase the French here), "So it works creatively; but does it work strategically?"

For while it makes sense to show all the facets of a story that The Guardian might explore, and the depth to which it might expore them, was a fairytale the best way to demonstrate that?

To me it said, we apply as much firepower to the trivial stories as the important ones. Which I'm not sure was the intended out-take.

Metaphor's all well and good, but it doesn't mean that it'll be interpreted the way you want it to be.