"So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here -- not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms." Hunter S.Thompson
I haven't written anything here for a month. I have been somewhat distracted with one thing and another.I've also been thinking about the best way forward with this blog. Originally it was intended as a tribute to iconoclasm, but over time it simply migrated into a collection of contemporaneous thoughts, some my own and others I found thought provoking or interesting. Judging from the emails I have received regarding my silence (which is only a perceived silence - if you follow me on Twitter you'll know what I mean) some people enjoyed reading my rants and raves and miss them. As I like to rant and rave it seem only fair that normal transmission be resumed. Perhaps with a slight refocus. No harm in that, it is useful now and then, to take stock.
So, what is this conversation (i.e. ThoughtSpurs in toto) all about?
The initial focus was on brands and marketing, as conditioned by differentiation and iconoclasm. That is a subset now, though. I find it difficult to separate marketing, advertising and brands from society as whole. A challenge for business is surely to overcome the 'them and us' model of mass communications to really open the way for more inclusive dialogues.
The social media phenomenon really does change my perception of the way forward. I have less and less regard for brand messages that are virtuoso - you know the kind I mean - the spectacular set pieces of yesteryear, film making fetishism in microcosm. Today I am more like to be receptive to messages that have far greater relevance and, oftentimes, utility - which might be expressed by the facility for me to understand more or engage more with the message personally. The scale of my engagement is relative. The simple facility to comment or offer and opinion is sometimes sufficient and demonstrates the thought that I, like other people, want to be heard and acknowledged, rather than simply being yelled at or sung a silky siren song by spruikers.
Perhaps this is another reason why I have been contemplating the future of ThoughtSpurs; I haven't really created a sense of community, aside from the loyal cadre of readers, many of whom I know personally. Comments are as rare as hen's teeth. That might simply be because I haven't invited comment, or that I am not remarking on matters you find remarkable? If this is the case, let me know what interests you and we can discuss it.
I have said it often that I don't believe that agreeing is thinking - not that I want to be disagreeable. I do, however enjoy examining a topic from a different point of view than the one my biases and predispositions lead me to by the nose. I once thought that I fell somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan on matters of economics. Since I have been writing this blog I have found and it has been pointed out to me that I am far more liberal than I thought I was. It's hard to be stuck in dogma when you express your thoughts out loud. Not only do opinions become apparent to others, they are clarified in one's own mind in the airing. In any case, though it may be a trope, I often console myself over my changing mind with the remark by Emerson 'A foolish consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds'.
Perhaps the format for ThoughtSpurs should be a discussion of my thoughts and an examination of why I think as I do, and perhaps what if I thought differently. Thinking different, as Steve Jobs and Lee Clow, persuaded us back in the day, is crucial to moving forward.
I began this post with a quote by Hunter S. Thompson (who, along with Chris Locke, is a favourite writer and thinker) not only because I think his remark to contain a pivotal truth, but also because I like iconoclasm, I like 'the crazy ones' and I am suspicious of 'received wisdom'.
I don't know if I have really answered my own questions but I am thinking again and look forward to getting to the nub with you and hearing your thoughts, here, on twitter or out there in the real world. It's important. After all, we may have opposable thumbs but we also have to capacity to hold two or more opposing ideas in our minds - and that is what separates us from chimps.