Rich Giles and I will be speaking at the Strategic Corporate Communications event in Melbourne on Sept 14. My session is aptly entitled ‘Coping with new media aggression’. So I guess that means "Coping With… Cameron".
Mark Jones has some good additional notes from the PANPA conference we were at earlier this week, including this one of his own:
â€œWhat weâ€™re seeing now is the rise of conversation journalism.â€
I think he means it’s different from the "voice of God" journalism most of us are used to. But I could be wrong.
Apparently he and Hugh didn’t appreciate my "Tarantino" camera angles. Cmon guys, I didn’t hear Travolta or Sam Jackson complain. You just don’t know art.
Speaking of art… Gould Galleries in South Yarra (across the road from the Como Building) is having an exhibition of Linde Ivimey’s sculptures next week. I’m definitely going. I stumbled across a picture of her work in a catalogue about a year ago and it blew me away so much that I tore it out and stuck it on the wall in my study. I’m trying to get her to come on the show as a guest. Check out images from the exhibition and tell me what you think. I find her work is scary and disturbing in a similar way to Francis Bacon‘s paintings and David Lynch’s films. When I was last in Paris (August 2004) I caught my very first exhibition of Bacon’s work at Musee Maillol. It was breath-taking. I’ve been a fan of his work since I discovered it via Brett Whiteley. Did you see that Whiteley painting of the Frangipani and Hummingbird sold for $2.04 million? Amazing. Brett knew how to paint a flower.
Rich Giles is coming to Melbourne in September and he and I will actually meet for the first time! Weird. We’ve been doing podcasts together for 18 months but we haven’t met F2F yet.
So anyway, we’re going to have a small get together and it’d be great to meet some of y’all. Details here. Well lack of details there I should say. I didn’t even know about it until Cris from plasq told me about it. I don’t like this whole "geek dinner" thing. Too many nerds turn up. NO NERDS ALLOWED to this little bash. I’m looking for tequila, table top dancing… and lots of P2P filesharing. ANYONE caught talking about interface design or database optimization will be stripped naked and fed to …. Ben Barren.
When I was up at the PANPA (PAcific Area Newspaper Publisher’s Association) Conference at the Gold Coast on Monday I had a coffee with Mark Jones, IT Editor of The Australian Financial Review and Hugh Martin, Editor of News.com.au. We discussed the future of newspapers. There was some workmen making a bunch of noise next to us, which explains some of the audio interference.
My mother just emailed me a link to this video about using "bump keys" to open locked doors. As interesting as the video itself is, the point is this: MY MOTHER sent me a link to something on Google Video! Surely that’s a sign of a tipping point? (I think the Book of Revelation also had something to say about what happens when your mother sends you a link to Google Video… I think it’s one of the signs).
This makes me think of an argument I’ve been having lately with a bunch of MSM people. It’s this idea of "watercooler chat" media. There’s this idea, which may be true in part, in the minds of the mainstream media that we (their audience) have some Maslowian need to all watch/read/listen to the same thing so we can talk about it the next day around the watercooler, like we are so pathetically desperate for some sense of social identity that we need to rely on Big Brother to feel whole.
I’ve been explaining that this isn’t what happens when I catch up with my friends for coffee. Our conversations go more like this:
"Hey have you seen that clip from The Daily Show where Sam Jackson was talking about why he made Snakes On A Plane?"
"No, I haven’t. Shoot me the link!"
"Yeah I will."
"Hey have you seen the Urban Ninja videos on YouTube? This crazy kid who can seriously run up a wall?"
"No, getthefeckouttahere. Shoot me the link!"
"Hey have you heard that new podsafe track that James Brown put up on PMN?"
"No way dude! James muthafucking Brown??? SHOOT ME THE LINK!"
"Ow! I feel good!"
Now that even my 59 year old mum, born and bred and still living in Bundaberg (rural Queensland, about as far behind the modern world as you can get without going to Uganda… I think even Bono is petitioning the IMF for debt relief and cheap AIDS vaccines for Bundaberg), is flicking me the coolest Google Video links, I think we can safely say the era of "one-size-fits-all" media is coming to a close.
I’ve never really been a huge U2 fan. I can take or leave most of their catalogue although I respect Bono’s ability to write a lyric. And I’ve always been suspicious about his whole "save the world" shtick, not because of him per se, just because I am suspicious of any celebrity attaching themselves to a cause.
But I saw him interviewed about his work on TV (was it 60 Minutes?) a few months ago and some of the things he said struck a chord with me.
So in the airport yesterday morning, on my way to QLD, I picked up a copy ofÂ Bono On Bono Michka Assayas’s 2005 book containing a series of revealing interviews with the guy over the course of the early 2000’s. I’m already about two-thirds of the way through it and it’s one of the most inspirational reads I’ve had in a long time. Almost every page is chock full of quotes that smack you upside the head. Whether he’s talking about U2’s approach to their music or his political activism, it’s just a series of brilliant ideas. Even though he is a very passionate Catholic, and almost every page relates his work in both fields to his spiritual beliefs, which I definitely don’t identify with, the guy has so much first-hand wisdom about success in art and politics that this book is a complete gem.
I feel like it’s almost a personal call to me to grow up in a bunch of ways. He tells this story that he said is responsible in many ways for his political direction at the moment which I’ll relate here, albeit in a paraphrased fashion. The story was related to Bono by Harry Belafonte. HB told of a time when Bobby Kennedy has become Attorney General of they United States and the entire civil rights movement, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, was depressed because Kennedy was a racist and was going to block all of the civil rights efforts. King was presiding over a meeting with a group of his followers and he said something like "do you mean to tell me that there isn’t one nice thing you can say about Bobby Kennedy?". "That’s what we’re trying to tell you, there is nothing good to say about him", his people told him. And so King broke up the meeting and said they were not going to discuss the matter again until someone could find something good to say about Kennedy. Eventually they learned that Kennedy was close to his bishop. So the entire civil rights movement ganged up on Kennedy’s bishop and got him to convince Kennedy that morally he had to support them. And he became their biggest supporter.
So I had always wondered how a guy like Bono manages to get close to guys like Bush and Blair, if he truly represents what he says he does, and they are the worst manifestations of modern Western imperialism. And this is his angle. He finds the one thing they can agree on and ignores EVERYTHING else. He says in the book, when he’s working with them on debt relief, he ignores the Iraq invasion. He ignores all of the other evils they preside over. Because he knows he can only fight one fight at a time. He finds the common ground and ignores everything else. I find that REALLY hard to do in my dealings with people.
I think I can learn a lot from this guy. I’m almost finished the book and I think I’ll re-read it again as soon as I’m done. This time I’ll take notes.