Frank wore the reindeer antlers only for a few moments.
The reason that Frank was dressed Christmassy as early as November was because he was being paid. Solstock, my friends’ photo library business wanted to take pictures of our family. And Frank was part of the day.
He even had his own release form.
Anyhow this year, I’ve been playing Christmas songs in the office (well, Alexa has) since 1st October.
And I’ve decided that I want to put the tree up on the 1st of November.
I really love Christmas. So I am making it come early.
If I can have christmassy things going on for three months instead of two weeks or whatever we’re ‘supposed’ to do, I am happier.
I think I am in a minority here.
Making Christmas appear this early.
I expect that everyone reading this (yes, both of you) may grumble at these extended festivities.
But I do love Christmas.
So please allow me to be the first to say this to you this year:
Richard Williams, better known by his stage name Prince Ea, is an American spoken word artist, poet, and filmmaker. He considers himself to be in the influencer arena too.
After graduating from the University of Missouri with a degree in anthropology, he initially pursued a career as a hip hop artist.
I hadn’t heard of him a week ago.
So thank you Wikipedia for the cut-and-paste.
I’ve discussed influencers with businesses and individuals quite a bit over the last few years. As you can imagine. It’s because I founded Always Wear Red.
I’ve always had a treble-barrelled question in my head for influencers. It’s:
Who are you influencing, what are you influencing them to do and how do you know you’re having an effect?
The most popular verbal response to this question is:
I think that’s how you spell it.
It’s the noise that stupid people sometimes make.
Head slightly tilted one way or the other.
These open-mouthed gazes that I so often get when I ask this question don’t upset me.
They annoy me.
Because these people take money off other people and almost all of them don’t know who they are talking to, have no idea of the possible change they are trying to make and never bother to track it anyway.
I understand Brand Association. One brand buddying or aligning with another business brand or personal brand with similar values. So that markets and audiences can appreciate a sensible alliance that may magnify important issues and thinking.
But this self-important and vacuous rubbish is just awful.
Anyhow, Prince Ea.
I don’t know much about him. But I did see a recent acceptance speech he made for an award. And I liked what he said.
I don’t know if he was being sincere. But I do know he wasn’t being spontaneous. I have seen a pre-recorded version of what he said.
However, all of that considered, I still liked what he said enough in the 60 second video to transcribe it. I wanted to internalise it.
Here’s what he said:
That word ‘influencer’ is interesting to me.
Because it’s like, we’re influencing people to do what?
A lot of people call themselves Social Media Influencers but you’re influencing people to do what?
Is it to reach a level of beauty that is not attainable naturally?
Is it to have people lust after cars or material objects that will never bring somebody true happiness?
Is this what it means to be an influencer?
You know when you get pulled over. You’re drunk. They say you’re under the influence.
A lot of people are intoxicated by what these influencers put out there.
When you get sick what do they say? They say you’ve come down with influenza.
A lot of people are ill because of what these influencers put out there so I have just one question for every influencer because we are all influencers. And that question is:
When people come to your page do they walk away better or worse?
So yesterday we saw Brian Glover as our PE teacher.
He then went on to play a great football match with the kids in the film Kes. It’s a rather more indulgent clip as it’s longer.
But it is definitely worth 4 minutes and 26 seconds of my day. And I hope yours too.
It’s amazing how creativity can make inanimate objects famous.
Goalposts were never so iconic.
And I also remember the genuinely stomach-turning feeling of standing in a field.
Wondering about my own popularity and favour as the bigger boys chose their football team from a lineup that I was a part of.
I was never chosen first.
I was lucky enough to chat to David Bradley (Billy Casper) last year. And he said that what happened at 2:50 “Bloody hurt”.
I imagine it did.
There are two lessons for me here actually. About my business life.
If I play against people (brands) that I can beat easily, it’s no victory really. So I aim high.
And secondly, if I am the referee of my own game then of course I will win. Ultimately, the market will decide if Always Wear Red wins as the game plays out. Not me. And I need a good team around me to help.
If you like Ken Loach’s 1969 film ‘Kes’ – you’ll have fun.
If you don’t like ‘Kes’, I’ll see you next week.
Or just stick around and by the end of the week – you probably will like it.
Man In Field Makes Us Laugh
OK let’s set the tone for the week. Let’s see whose ‘in’.
Because only a Kes fan will find this video funny, I think.
Man in field.
Runs towards camera wearing red tracksuit.
A tune made most famous by Monty Python plays in the background.
Is he improvising and just doing what the hell he wants? Probably.
Why is it funny? Because I had a PE teacher like this.
(We all had a PE teacher like this).
(And by the end of the week I’ll have explained how I went from watching Kes wide-eyed and open-mouthed in 1978 aged 10, to wandering around HMV in Newcastle in 2017 aged 49, alongside David Bradley (Billy Casper), buying every copy of Kes in the shop).