Call for Entries: The 20th Annual Diana Spencer Memorial Deadpool

Rules as follows:

1. Ten ponies per player.
2. Ponies must be alive at midnight, December 31st 2017.
3. Ponies must be famous or infamous. To a point where a nearly 44 year-old wannabe rodeo clown from Titahi Bay knows who the hell you’re talking about. If I have to ask, you’re down one pony.
4. Points are allocated by the formula (100 – age at death)
5. Pony must be dead to score. Missing or nearly dead doesn’t count.
6. Special rules this year…

6a. THOU SHALT PICK NO PONY THAT THOU HAST SELECTED IN ANY PREVIOUS YEAR.

I’ll be checking before awarding points kids, so choose carefully.

Also, just to annoy the people who are bound to pick him –

6b. POTUS DONALD JOHN TRUMP IS OFF LIMITS.

Finally, just for the hell of it –

6c. ALL PLAYERS MUST NOMINATE ONE PONY AS THEIR ‘DEAD CERT’. SAID PONY SHALL DELIVER TRIPLE POINTS UPON EXPIRATION. IF THEY SURVIVE, HOWEVER, PONY’S AGE AT 31 DECEMBER 2018 SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE NOMINATING PLAYER’S SCORE.

To enter, EMAIL ponies to the official Diana Spencer Memorial Deadpool email address [redacted]. Or, you can just comment below, either is cool.

Over to you, kids. Here’s hoping for a bumper crop this year!

Granma (0)

  1. Charles Spencer
  2. Bruce Willis
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  4. Demi Moore
  5. Sylvester Stallone
  6. Mel Gibson
  7. Caitlyn Jenner
  8. Melanie Griffith
  9. Ron Howard
  10. Henry Winkler

Johnny (0)

  1. Will Smith
  2. Puff Daddy
  3. Jamie Foxx
  4. Stevie Wonder
  5. Eddie Murphy
  6. Dr Dre
  7. Kanye West
  8. Mike Tyson
  9. Magic Johnson
  10. Bill Cosby

Sian (0)

  1. Matt Lauer
  2. Scott Disick
  3. Kristen Stewart
  4. Bill Clinton
  5. Hugh Grant
  6. Dean McDermott
  7. Charlie Sheen
  8. Ozzy Osbourne
  9. David Letterman
  10. Angelina Jolie

Mr Rundle (0)

  1. Elton John
  2. Shania Twain
  3. Keith Richards
  4. Joel Madden
  5. Benji Madden
  6. Lorde
  7. Billy Idol
  8. Debbie Harry
  9. Miley Cyrus
  10. Billie Ray Cyrus

Dave(0)

  1. Vera Lynn
  2. Stan Lee
  3. Wilford Brimley
  4. Jerry Stiller
  5. Don King
  6. Little Richard
  7. Mel Brooks
  8. Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  9. Angela Lansbury
  10. Honor Blackman

Michelle (0)

  1. Jay Leno
  2. Steve Martin
  3. Bill Murray
  4. Howard Stern
  5. Jim Carey
  6. Gordon Ramsay
  7. Morgan Freeman
  8. David Hasslehof
  9. Corey Feldman
  10. Mark Hamill

Warren (0)

  1. Angelina Jolie
  2. Charlie Sheen
  3. Celine Dion
  4. Jimmy Carter
  5. Robert Mugabe
  6. John McCain
  7. Bashar Al-Assad
  8. Kim Jong-un
  9. Sean Connery
  10. Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress)

Moi (0)

  1. Thom Yorke
  2. Billie Joe Armstrong
  3. Anthony Kiedis
  4. Dr Dre
  5. Daniel Johns
  6. Betty White
  7. Cormack McCarthy
  8. Ian McKellen
  9. Jim Carey
  10. Aung San Suu Kyi

BJP (0)

  1. Bob Dylan
  2. Linda Ronstadt
  3. Phil the Greek
  4. Jesse Ryder
  5. John Goodman
  6. Ian McKellen
  7. Harvey Weinstein
  8. Alice Cooper
  9. Ozzy \m/
  10. Bob Mugabe
Saget (0)

  1. Kirk Douglas
  2. George Bush
  3. Prince Philip
  4. Robert Mugabe
  5. Charlie Sheen
  6. Stan Lee
  7. Sir David Attenborough
  8. Angela Lansbury
  9. Harvey Weinstein
  10. Kim ju un

Nick (0)

  1. Donald Trump *
  2. Ringo Starr
  3. Bob Hawke
  4. Caitlin Jenner
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Nick Jonas
  7. Mariah Carey
  8. QE2
  9. Bob Dylan
  10. Aretha Franklin

* Exemption granted.

Dan (0)

  1. Kim Jong Un
  2. George Bush snr
  3. Prince Phillip
  4. Bill Cosby
  5. Robert Mugabe
  6. Michael J Fox
  7. Tommy Chang
  8. John Cocksie Cocks*
  9. Justin Beiber
  10. Charlie Sheen

* Discount for terminal illness applies.

Kathy (0)

  1. Tara Reid
  2. Morrissey
  3. Demi Moore
  4. Demi Lovato
  5. Ed Harris
  6. Bam Margera
  7. Josh Homme
  8. Jilly Cooper
  9. Richard Hammond
  10. Zoella

Ranger* Dan (0)

  1. Kevin Spacey
  2. Harvey Weinstein
  3. Bill Cosby
  4. Queen Elizabeth
  5. Prince Phillip
  6. Robert Mugabe
  7. Kim Jong Un
  8. George Bush Senior
  9. George Bush Junior
  10. George RR Martin

* Rhymes with ‘banger’.

Noddy & Trev (0)

  1. Henry Kissinger
  2. Mikhail Gorbachev
  3. Madeleine Albright
  4. John Major
  5. Geoffrey Palmer*
  6. Jim Bolger
  7. Mike Moore
  8. Austin Mitchell
  9. Angela Merkel
  10. Hilary Clinton

* Former NZ PM, not the actor.

KVR (0)

  1. Duke of Edinburgh
  2. Caitlyn Jenner
  3. Dame Judi Dench
  4. Jonathan Hunt
  5. Len Brown
  6. Emperor Akihito
  7. Dame Maggie Smith
  8. Sir Peter Snell
  9. Jim Bolger
  10. Keith Richards

Sarah D (0)

  1. Madonna
  2. Philip Sherry
  3. Sam Neill
  4. Andrew Fifita
  5. Tony Podesta
  6. Johnny Depp
  7. Nigel Farage
  8. Robert Downey Jnr
  9. Suzy Aitken
  10. Stephen Fry

Uncle Mike (0)

  1. Prince Phillip
  2. Ozzie Osbourne
  3. Cliff Richard
  4. Barry Manilow
  5. Keith Richards
  6. Ronnie Wood
  7. Ian Smith
  8. Rolf Harris
  9. Peter Leitch
  10. Michael Jordon

DP2017

2016 saw off a bumper crop of the loveable and unexpected. This year let’s hope for a nice crop of a55h0l3s to balance things out. Double points for anyone who clearly has it coming. I AM THE LAW!

Marcus (0)

  1. Trump
  2. Richard Dawkins
  3. Stephen Hawking
  4. Richard dean Anderson
  5. Bill Clinton
  6. Betty White
  7. QE2
  8. Meryl Streep
  9. Justin Bieber
  10. Michael Buble’s son Ineligible

Granma Pip (0)

  1. Billy Connelly
  2. William Windsor
  3. Bill Cosby
  4. William  Shatner
  5. Bill Gates
  6. Billy Joel
  7. Billy Ray Cyrus
  8. Venus Williams
  9. Willy Nelson
  10. Billy Jean King

Dave (0)

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Betty Windsor
  3. Kirk Douglas
  4. Phil the Greek
  5. Hugh Heffner
  6. George HW Bush
  7. Donald Trump
  8. Stephen Hawking
  9. Charles Manson
  10. Tim Curry

Nick (0)

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Rodrigo Duterte
  3. Charles Manson
  4. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  5. Robert Mugabe
  6. Viktor Orban
  7. Bashar al-Assad
  8. Nicole Kidman
  9. Vladimir Putin
  10. Ayman al-Zawahiri

Sian (0)

  1. Betty White
  2. Wendie Malick
  3. Janice Dickinson
  4. Lindsay Lohan
  5. Dick Cheney
  6. Sir David Attenborough
  7. Snoop Dog
  8. Bert Newton
  9. Jaden Smith
  10. Andrea Bocelli

Moi (0)

  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Rupert Murdoch
  3. Bob Mugabe
  4. Rolf Harris
  5. Dick Cheney
  6. Yoko Ono
  7. Mark Chapman
  8. George Lucas
  9. Tony Blair
  10. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Michelle (0)

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Angelina Jolie
  3. Elton John
  4. Barack Obama
  5. Charlie Sheen
  6. Bret Michaels
  7. Mick Jagger
  8. Oprah Winfrey
  9. Lindsay Lohan
  10. Mel Gibson

BJP (o)

  1. Justin Bieber
  2. Joni Mitchell
  3. Angelina Jolie
  4. Michael J Fox
  5. Jimmy Carter (President)
  6. Joost van der Westhuizen
  7. Jacques Chirac
  8. John Goodman
  9. Prince Philip   (The Juke of Edinburgh)
  10. Jerry Lee Lewis

On the importance of manners

Around a year ago, there was possibility that the agency I work in was going to be sold. In that eventuality it seemed I would either be out of a job or in one I didn’t particularly enjoy, and with mouths to feed and a preference for loving what I do, I started to look at other options.

Two of the opportunities I explored at that time were with large consulting firms, and as someone who made a conscious decision not to take that career path when I completed post-grad, I was neither surprised nor disappointed to find I wasn’t well suited to either of them.

Thankfully (for me at least) the deal didn’t go ahead, and the last nine months or so have been some of the best of my career – doing great work with an inspired team, for clients who deserve and appreciate our efforts.

However stressful it may have been at the time, in hindsight this was a useful and enlightening experience…

It caused me to consider my professional motivations (nobody cares about what you do – why is so much more interesting and revealing), and rekindled my passion for creating value over and above the needs of my clients and their customers. Job creation, export earnings, making NZ prosper and a better place for us all to live and work in – this is why I get out of bed each day.

It gave me clarity on what I’m really good at, what I enjoy doing, and the kinds of people I like working with.

It also provided me with a reminder of the kinds of people I’d prefer to avoid, and the shining coarsest examples in this respect (other than management consultants, whose dubious nature scarcely requires mention) are the recruiters themselves – duplicitous, self-serving people traffickers to a man. And woman.

I was reminded of this recently, while lunching with a friend. I missed a call and received a voicemail from a recruiter, introducing herself, explaining that she’d found my profile on LinkedIn and would I please call her back. This immediately struck me as odd, as this woman and I had met several times last year. The idea that she could fail to recall our association nine months later was disturbing, but ever willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt I promptly returned her call…

Rings once, sent to voicemail. Ok. I leave a message.

*crickets*

The next day I send an email, thanking her for her call.

*crickets*

A week later, I call again. Call is promptly answered, but she tells me she’s in a meeting and will call me right back.

*crickets*

Another week goes by, another email and another voicemail.

*crickets*

Well, shit. Is that how you want to play it? Ok then.

In all honesty, I’m quite happy where I am and couldn’t care less about whatever this harpy had in mind. However, the fact that someone could request a courtesy, receive it, and then be so utterly rude in return is not something that I will tolerate, forgive, or forget.

Much as I’d love to name and shame publicly, my vengeance is colder and runs deeper. I know people. Fine folks like yourselves. People who engage recruiters, and the talented sons-of-bitches they are so desperate to procure.

As her phone stops ringing, this woman will learn the hard way what the rest of humanity already knew – politeness counts, people.

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

I bought a painting (yay!)

2016 is off to a great start. While in the Hawke’s Bay for new year, I was fortunate to meet Fane Flaws, take a tour of his astonishing home, and buy one of his recent works – Electric Id #1 (gouache on brown paper).

These Psychedelic Ids are just mesmerising. Can’t wait to get it home.

 

electric_id_1_framed

DP2016

And we’re off! Good luck, gentlemen…

Johnny (0)

  1. Christina Applegate
  2. Sharon Osborne
  3. Kathy Bates
  4. Robert De Niro
  5. Melissa Etheridge
  6. Suzanne Somers
  7. Mr T
  8. Rod Stewart
  9. Carly Simon
  10. Ringo Starr

Granma Pip (0)

  1. Billy Connelly
  2. William Windsor
  3. Bill Cosby
  4. William  Shatner
  5. Bill Gates
  6. Billy Joel
  7. Billy Ray Cyrus
  8. Venus Williams
  9. Willy Nelson
  10. Billy Jean King

Dave (6)

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Roger Moore
  3. George Lazenby
  4. Abe Vigoda
  5. Kirk Douglas
  6. Mary Tyler Moore
  7. Prince Philip
  8. Clive James
  9. Stephen Hawking
  10. Tommy Chong

Nick (73)

  1. Lindsay Lohan
  2. Martin Crowe
  3. Prince Phillip
  4. Mohammed Ali
  5. Paul Gasgoine
  6. Joost van der Westhuizen
  7. Stephen Hawking
  8. Justin Beiber
  9. Jay-Z
  10. Michael Schumacher

Sian (0)

  1. Barry Humphries
  2. Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanztta)
  3. Richard O’Brien
  4. Dennis Rodman
  5. Caitlyn Jenner
  6. Eddy Izzard
  7. Hilary Swank
  8. James Franco
  9. Guy Pearce
  10. Craig McLachlan

Moi (0)

Rangergeddon

  1. Harry Windsor
  2. Axel Rose
  3. Geri Halliwell
  4. Danny Boniduce
  5. Ginger Baker
  6. Scott Dixon
  7. Susan Sarandon
  8. Tom Wolfe
  9. Robert Redford
  10. Woodie Allen

Michelle (0)

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Angelina Jolie
  3. Elton John
  4. Barack Obama
  5. Charlie Sheen
  6. Bret Michaels
  7. Mick Jagger
  8. Oprah Winfrey
  9. Lindsay Lohan
  10. Mel Gibson

Noddy & Trevor (0)

  1. Chuck Berry
  2. Georgina Beyer
  3. Prince Philip
  4. Dougal Stevenson
  5. Bashar Assad
  6. David McPhail
  7. Pope Benedict
  8. George Bush SNR
  9. Patricia Routledge
  10. Bob Hawke

Gordon (0)

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Kirk Douglas
  3. Hugh Hefner
  4. Bill Cosby
  5. The queen
  6. Sean Connery
  7. Billy Connoly
  8. Ozzy Osbourne
  9. Tom Waits
  10. Prince Phillip

The problem with digital social connections

 

I was interested to see this piece on TechCrunch this morning.

Wiith is described as something akin to Tinder, but with a focus on shared social experiences. Clearly the term ‘shared social experiences’ is open to broad interpretation, and I have no doubt that Wiith will be useful to the same fine people that managed to force Adult Friend Finder to pivot from its initial bearing as a social network for golfers. Deviants aside, Wiith is an interesting prospect and a reflection of a similar idea I had a year or so ago.

Two things really bug me about mainstream social platforms…

The first is selection bias. No matter whether you’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tinder or Grindr, new connection recommendations are typically based on shared attributes. Facebook wants me to meet Jill because we have 12 friends in common; LinkedIn wants me to meet Bob because we work in the same industry; and Tinder wants me to meet the Harris twins because – well, that ain’t gonna happen ‘cos I’m a happily married man. My point is, while digital social platforms have made it easier to meet new people, the selection of new connections based on the requirement of shared attributes is tantamount to inbreeding, and I don’t believe that’s a good thing.

Despite 500+ connections, my LinkedIn gene pool is so shallow you could dive in and smack your head on the bottom. My Facebook and Twitter profiles are no better – packed to the gunwales with colleagues and contemporaries. This is great for recruiters and those looking for a little industry chit chat, but useless in all other contexts. Back in my bar fly days I used to meet interesting, random people all the time – builders, bailiffs and bartenders (lots of bartenders), famous actors, authors, musicians and photographers, former mercenaries, convicted murderers… Thanks to the social networks’ recommendation algorithms, the opportunities for such wild and exhilarating encounters are now practically non-existent.

The other problem lies in the inherent agenda of social connections. While Facebook is less of an issue in this regard, connection requests are invariably tied up with an agenda of some kind. That LinkedIn request is from a headhunter or would-be supplier; the new Twitter follower is a content marketer wanting to leverage my reach and influence; and that Tinder request (ok bad example – Like I said, I’m a married man and don’t use Tinder).

I’ve come to realise that while our species is now more connected than it has ever been, we’ve also never been so lonely. Our social networks are designed to surround us with people just like ourselves, who invariably want something from us. The opportunity to meet new and interesting people for no other reason than to enjoy human interaction just doesn’t exist in today’s social networks, but it should.

Is Wiith the answer? Will it solve these ills and lead our species to the richness and fulfilment of genuine human interaction? Who knows. Maybe not, but it’s a nice idea and hopefully a sign of more to follow.

DP2015: Call for Entries

Ah, sweet December, my favourite time of year. The endless frustration of insane deadlines and absentee clients, offset by rampant binge spree drinking and a plethora of barbecued pork products. All of this, of course, pales in comparison to the true joy of this festive season – picking 10 celebs and praying to Glub / Uncle Chuck that they meet their mortal end before the next year is out.

That’s right, sports fans, DP2015 is open!

Got Schwag?

For about a year now Since the start of last year (time flies!) I’ve subscribed to Startup Threads Monthly. Every month a tshirt, some stickers and a discount offer from some hot new startup arrives in my mailbox, and a small fee appears on my credit card statement among the endless array of taxis, bar tabs and mobile phone charges.

Startup Threads

It’s been a while, and my initial motives for subscribing are no longer clear (probably some misguided, hipsterish desire to rock the startups nobody’s yet heard of – bogus and sad, I know). I know why I haven’t cancelled though, and for the same reasons I’d urge all of you to do one thing right now:

Sign up to a subscription service. Startup tshirts, underwear, razor blades, chocolate – whatever floats your boat.

Why? For me there are two reasons. First, there’s the absence of choice. Too many brands are labouring under the misapprehension that consumers want choice. Sure we do, generally speaking, but choice also creates problems we have to solve, and this will often cause us to simply not choose instead. I have to make a bajillion decisions every day at work, many of these having considerable consequences. You think I want to labour over more decisions in my free time? Hell no. Check out any busy working man’s sock and shirt drawer some time and you’ll see I’m not alone – all those threadbare shirts and odd socks are testament to the fact that choice can be an inhibitor to action.

By subscribing to Startup Threads I get a new shirt every month. Some are awesome (better than anything I could have found through hours of shopping), some are pretty cool, and a few I really dislike – but that’s ok with me because the juice is worth the squeeze. To me the cost of a dud once in a while is way less than the benefit of getting a new shirt every month, mostly cool, without having to think about it.

The second reason I love subscription services is possibly a little childish but still valid. I love surprises, and it’s nice to get one every now and then even if I did pay for it myself. Nothing beats arriving home after a long hard day and seeing a mystery package on the table. Joy! Sure I know it’s going to be a shirt, but what’s the design, who’s the startup, will the colour be awesome or… *not awesome*? It’s like having your own little Christmas morning each month, but without the ham (dammit – hey Frank, any chance you could throw in some ham?).

I’ll admit that when some of these product subscription services started to emerge I was more than a little skeptical. Why would someone pay top dollar for something they don’t even get to choose? If you only consider the simple exchange of money for product then yes, it all seems a little nonsensical. But once you factor in the cost of choosing vs the value of not having to choose, and the value of finding a surprise in the mailbox each month, the balance tips entirely the other way. Behavioural economics is some interesting shit, huh?

Go on. Treat yourself.