An hour ago I was stopped outside Heals on the King's Road by a guy collecting for the Painted Children Charity.
WELCOME TO THE DRAYTON BIRD BLOG - Commonsense about marketing, business and life
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Thursday, 31 December 2009
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Many of us, I am sure, have heard the story about the founder of Scientology.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:16
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
I think I mentioned the other day that Steve, who arranges these matters for me, has reset our thing-a-me-bob machine to allow a deluge of spam to come flooding in. This makes life pretty tedious, but there are small compensations in some of the messages.
For the most part my time was wasted, which is probably just as well. All the same,I believe I have developed as vivid an imagination as anyone about the esoteric side of these matters. Nevertheless, nothing in my wildest dreams can cope with the picture conjured up by something that came whizzing my way an hour or so ago.
Its subject line read "Ebony Girl With Big Booty On Her Knees". How the hell can the poor girl walk without falling over? And if you wanted to get friendly with her, where exactly would you find the right opening?
It really makes me wish I had paid more attention in my anatomy lessons all those years ago.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 04:47
Sunday, 27 December 2009
After the second world war, when I was already middle aged, ha! there was a joke going round about a crate of sardines.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 18:16
Saturday, 26 December 2009
The greatest pain for me in the last few days has been a plague of spam.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 17:29
You don't need to tell me Christmas can be stressful.
39 years ago the lady I was then with sat on the banister outside our flat in Harley Street on Christmas morning and threatened to jump if I didn't marry her.
Since the flat was a penthouse, this was a compelling argument. Nevertheless, horrified by the madness of it all, I left the house and rushed off to Euston to take the train home to Mother. Right strategy, maybe, but wrong tactics -- there are no trains on Christmas Day.
When I got back it turned out she hadn't jumped and about a year later we did marry. Then followed dreamlike years of ecstatic happiness - we were madly in love with each other - punctuated by nightmares, because every few months she would try to kill herself. Although I was no model citizen this was not an ideal menage.
Eventually she left me for a Swedish lawyer with transvestite inclinations, then came back, then left, then came back, then vanished. I regularly search for her on the internet - though I don't know quite why.
When I began this blog I planned to tell stories like that about my life, but somehow I got side-tracked, then sidetracked again - and so on. Rather like my present (and I pray last) partner who eventually flew off to Rome with BA on the 23rd after giving up on Alitalia.
Her plan was to take the train home - but there was no train, so she caught one to Naples where she stayed the night with a friend before being driven across the peninsula back home.
On Christmas Day she was rushed off to hospital with a virus. Not much cheer there either.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:23
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
I sent this to a few thousand people, but if you didn't get it, here it is. There's music, so turn up the volume.
Christmas is near. The students have turned in all their work and there is really nothing more to do. All the children are restless and the teacher decides to have an early dismissal.
Teacher: "Whoever answers the questions I ask first and correctly can leave early today."
Little Johnny says to himself "Good, I want to get outta here. I'm smart and I'll answer the question."
Teacher: "Who said 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'?"
Before Johnny can open his mouth, Susie says, "Abraham Lincoln."
Teacher: "That's right Susie, you can go home."
Johnny is mad that Susie answered first.
Teacher: "Who said 'I Have a Dream'?"
Before Johnny can open his mouth, Mary says, "Martin Luther King."
Teacher: "That's right Mary, you can go."
Johnny is even madder than before.
Teacher: "Who said 'Ask not, what your country can do for you'?"
Before Johnny can open his mouth, Nancy says, "John F. Kennedy.."
Teacher: "That's right Nancy, you may also leave."
Johnny is boiling mad that he couldn't answer any of the questions.
When the teacher turns her back Johnny says, "I wish these bitches would keep their mouths shut!"
The teacher turns around: "NOW WHO SAID THAT?"
Johnny: "TIGER WOODS. CAN I GO NOW?"
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:32
Well, at 4:30 this morning the love of my life went off to Italy, having parted with an arm and a leg to fly Alitalia, who have the rare distinction of being the worst airline in Europe with among the most overpaid staff - and have been bankrupt for years.
Could these matters be related, one wonders? Anyhow, Alitalia cancelled their flight - even though BA were still flying there. So it seems Alitalia also have cowardly pilots (who are chauffeur driven to the airport, by the way).
While waiting and praying with other stranded travellers, one girl fainted. So everyone - except the BAA staff - rushed to help. They put her on the ground with her legs up in the air. Finally the BAA staff intervened. Not to help, but to put a screen round her lest other passengers be shocked by her disarray.
When the other passengers wanted to seat her on a chair, they were told it was against health and safety regulations.
How is it possible for grown up people to concentrate with such manic intensity on all the wrong things whilst ignoring the right ones? Even at Christmas, fuckwits rule everything. Which reminds me: the last time I checked the boss of BAA was an ex advertising man, like the twat who gets paid a million a year for failing to run the Royal Mail.
Angels and Ministers of Grace defend us!
Posted by Drayton Bird at 06:45
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Five years or so back I was staying with my friend George Machun, who is some sort sort of professor at San Francisco State.
I managed the unique feat - remarkable even for someone as technologically asinine as me - of trying to boil water by putting a light under an electric kettle. I nearly burnt the place down.
George forgave me, and sends a regular flow of good jokes and vitriolic political comment.
I liked this one.
A man boarded a plane with six kids.
After they got settled in their seats a woman sitting across the aisle from him leaned over to him and asked,
"Are all of those kids yours ? "
"No. I work for a condom company. These are customer complaints.. "
DAMN, I WISH I COULD THINK THAT FAST.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 13:11
Friday, 18 December 2009
My paper this morning gave me not one, but several good laughs.
First there was a picture of Her Majesty the Queen getting - "almost unnoticed" it said - on the train at King's Cross to go to Sandringham.
Unnoticed by whom I wondered? By the photographers who had sod-all to do yesterday, so thought, "Tell you what, guys, we've got nothing much on, so let's just go down to King's Cross Station round about 11.30 just in case something interesting happens."
God, the media make you puke, don't they?
But they're just taking us all for idiots; a revealing contrast with the Copenhagen antics of The Obscene Toad who yesterday gaily gave away £6 billion of your money and mine to poorer countries so they can fight global warming and he can feel good.
What a financial wizard the man is! Here we are, the worst placed of all advanced economies because of him, pissing away money hand over fist, printing banknotes, in danger of losing our AAA credit rating ... and what could be more sensible than to throw another few billion in the direction of countries run by people whose main skill is stealing money from stupid Western Aid donors?
That's enough rubbish for today, folks, before I throw up.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:20
Thursday, 17 December 2009
This has been a funny old day. Actually, a funny old month, mostly spent scrambling desperately to do all the things I've stupidly agreed to do.
This is not a new state of affairs. I'm always agreeing to do more things than any sensible person, let alone one of my advanced years should, then spending days and nights trying to catch up.
So today first I did a webinar on the old Guinea Pig Trail which went down a treat according to the delegates. Then I did another which was an utter catastrophe as NOTHING worked the way it did when it was tested last night. Utter humiliation.
God, I hate technology.
However, things seemed to be looking up when I heard that TanishaBrewer is following me on Twitter. Now what made me think someone with a name like that might be young enough to be my grand-daughter and have silicone tits? I don't know - second sight maybe - but so it proved. I see little future in our relationship, though. Can't stand silicone.
On another matter, my friend Denny Hatch sent me to http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/146138 which does a good old demolition job on the climate change loonies. I know little about climate change, except that 35 years ago I was paid to write part of a book about it which was mainly concerned with the likelihood of a new Ice Age.
What I do know is that the whole thing seems to be little more than an excuse for a lot of wankers to spend millions of our money to go posturing. And what concerns me far more is that we've made a dreadful mess of our countryside. There aren't as many birds, butterflies, bees and such around as there were - anyone who remembers will agree - because the country has been filled up with the most dreadful rubbish.
Talking about dreadful rubbish, last week when I was in New York I saw a poll revealing that members of Congress are regarded as being even less trustworthy than used car dealers. I imagine the same would be true here.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 17:05
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
I just read that a choreographer called Freidman, "fears X-factor winner Joe Elderberry's debut single The Climb could lose the Christmas number 1 spot to the re-released Killing in the Name by Rage against the Machine. "It could happen," he warned.
Meanwhile, for those of you who read books, here are two that gave me great joy in the last week.
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" by Paul Torday is equally good. It's funny, touching - and contains a wonderful description of a government that is quite clearly based on the Bliar's. There is an odious press secretary, and the end is most uplifting when the character in that role gets killed as a result of a lunatic photo-opportunity. If only ...
Posted by Drayton Bird at 10:03
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Readers may be astonished to know that in my fiery youth I came close to being a communist.
One of my mentors was a wonderful man called Rufus Leven who had been on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and I was greatly moved by "The Common People, 1746-1946", by G. D. H. Cole and Raymond Postgate**.
This book described how ordinary people in this country had been right royally, disgustingly and comprehensively screwed for centuries by the upper and mercantile classes.
What has changed? Today everyone is being screwed again, but the positions have changed. I am not referring to the obscene and murderous Bliar or the Fatuous Toad, now off to Denmark to save the world, the conceited buffoon. No: I decided this after watching the man who leads a union laughably called Unite (clearly a misspelling, as Dis is missing from the start of the word) explaining why his British Airways members are going to strike over Christmas.
The point at issue is that they refuse to agree to changes at Heathrow which they have already accepted at Gatwick.
His reason is that these changes were "imposed" upon them by management. This is just linguistic sophistry and - far worse - stupid.
What is this man doing? He is mortgaging his member's futures to make a point. It is quite similar to the situation at the Royal Mail, except that the Royal Mail is badly run by overpaid, clueless idiots, and the union leader there is fatter and uglier than the man at Unite.
But both are screwing their members and neither has to worry about his future, because their pensions are secure.
**Small world: Postgate went on to found The Good Food Guide, which did so much to transform British cooking. I have always been proud that my parents' pub restaurant was in it from the very first edition in 1952.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 09:26
Monday, 14 December 2009
Latest despatch from the wonderful world of Google - plus monkeys reveal why social networks are so popular
I feel like shit today after whizzing over from the Land of the Free, but I was amused when I read this phrase from David Naylor about Google's new “real time search”: "I don’t think ‘clusterf**k’ is too strong a word" - see the rest at http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/google-real-time-search.html
This was brought to my attention by Michael Rhodes, who showers me with good stuff - in fact if you go to his blog you'll see a hilarious piece about an unbelievably smug, condescending Australian bank commercial. That's at http://www.happydude.co.uk.
My last little nugget before dat ole jetlag gets me in its spell came from KenMCarthy over lunch yesterday in Montclair, Noo Joisey. It seem someone did some research with monkeys which revealed that they preferred snorting cocaine to attending to what they should be doing. No surprise there; they would do well in advertising creative departments. Then when the beasts were given a choice between drooling over pictures of very good-looking monkeys (as seen in the simian equivalent of Hello or Grazia) they preferred it to doing coke.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 16:32
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Two people in the last 24 hours have told me that whoever among my motley crew does the optimising has got me down as Drayton Bird Ass.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 16:07
Friday, 11 December 2009
A friend wrote (very amusingly)about the blog written by someone close to her - and asked me what I think he should do - as follows.
He has been writing what he thinks - and as she put it -
It has landed him not just in hot water but in a scalding vat of oil.
He has managed to get himself barred from his local pub, alienated half the local female population (admittedly not hard, given the touchiness of this breed of woman), embroiled himself in somebody else’s employment tribunal and, last but not least, have the editor of the local newspaper phone and scream ‘Libel’ down the phone (he just expressed the very valid opinion that this particular rag was a pile of steaming crap).
Yet if you read the articles, you would think them fairly harmless.
One good thing – he is getting plenty of traffic in his infamy.
However he is quite bewildered by the buckets of vitriol being chucked at him from different corners.
Does he continue to basically say what he really thinks and hang them all? Or should he adopt a more anodyne, a milder approach and stick to subjects such as bronze age monoliths (where the only people you could offend have been buried for 3000 years in stone cairns)?
As you can all imagine, I was flattered to be asked. My view is that if there is nobody he has his eye on among the local witches and the pub is nothing special he should take the advice given by Polonius in Hamlet: This above all: to thine own self be true.
He should do what he thinks is right. And it certainly will continue to get him more and more readers, which I guess is why he is writing.
My view is that if you're not offending someone you're probably boring everyone. Which is why most blogs are not read.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 20:38
Yesterday started at 4 am and finished at 2 am today, if you see what I mean.
I woke at 4 am, all too keenly aware that I had no idea of how to get to La Guardia from Brooklyn. Panic, panic. (I’m good at that).
Got on the internet and found I could go there for $2 on the subway and bus. Yippee! It did take an hour and half though ... then an hour waiting to take the flight to Charlotte, N.C., then another wait to catch the plane to Ashville... then a cab to the Biltmore Hilton.
Things improved as I waited to see the lady I was to meet. I had lunch in the Roux restaurant. Nothing to do with the famous French chefs, but - guess what? – the food would not have disgraced them. Though they would NEVER charge as little as $30 for a light meal with wine.
I cheered up no end, and cheered up even more during my meeting. This is a smart lady I am doing some work with for my Commonsense Marketing, and she talks real sense. Also she agreed with me a lot. I like that in a woman.
But then began the journey back, with a long stopover at Charlotte ... and half a rack of excellent ribs at the airport ... and me missing my first flight because of the misleading signs ... then arriving at Newark after midnight ... and finally Brooklyn and bed.
What was all that about? Just another day in Paradise? Relief at having survived?
Anyhow, now you know where to eat in Asheville.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:23
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:00
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Sir John Scarlett who was the intelligence boss at the time - and had the grace to look guilty himself yesterday - says The Grinning Turd's claim that spies had 'established beyond doubt' that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was 'quite separate from the text of the dossier itself' and that he 'sexed up' the strength of the intelligence with an 'overtly political' foreword making the case for war.
What came out of this? Well, £15 million and counting for Tone and Cherie. Countless thousands dead, troops betrayed by general incompetence and the Monstrous Toad's unwillingness to spend money on what was needed - as opposed to what is not. Also counting.
The shamelessness of these wretches almost defies belief. In earlier times they would have been beheaded. Now they get paid squillions for autobiographies, lectures, consultancies and so on. Mind you, the Turd's autobiography will be filed under Fiction in the Obscene Publications section
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:10
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
An friend who works for RAI - the Italian equivalent of the BBC - commented on how they bury news over there.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 08:38
Monday, 7 December 2009
Cherie "never stops worrying about money". Where it came from? The Bliar's ingenious tax arrangements? What?
The Bliar's friend Berlusconi was, as all the world knows, funded by the Mafia, employed at least one Mafioso killer, works hard to frustrate the astonishingly courageous work of the Italian magistracy to fight the Mafia and only stays out of jail by changing the law at regular intervals.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 07:58
Sunday, 6 December 2009
That was what they used to say on the dear old BBC before the corporate buffoons ruined it.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:19
Friday, 4 December 2009
This is just to thank all of you who took the trouble yesterday to wade through the techno-chaos at www.draytonbirdlearning.com...
And an even bigger thank you to the 20 'live' guinea pigs who signed up yesterday on top of the original six.
I just have room for four more on top of the original six, then the site will be "turned off" on Sunday evening. I don't understand all this, but it seems you'll still be able to see it, but you won't be able to join. I don't want to inflict too much of this cruel and unusual punishment, but i
Posted by Drayton Bird at 12:55
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Every day we are all subjected to small irritations ... like my bloody Drayton Bird Learning site which would have me tearing my hair out if I had any left.
Like the dreary email I got today from the semi-literate person who is, when not making tea, amazingly paid to write the messages that sell railway tickets,
Dear Mr Bird, go further with your Senior Railcard.
Get into the festive spirit this year with a trip to one of many Christmas markets using your Railcard. As well as finding some unique presents, you'll be able to listen to carols, roast some chestnuts and sample some delicious mulled wine.
Alternatively take a winter walk and discover some of our beautiful countryside.
With the 1/3 of all Standard and First Class rail fares - including Advance fares, you can afford to treat yourself this Christmas.
I appreciate this is one of the bi-products of the great Bliar's commitment to "education, education, education". It didn't make me throw up - just cast a pall on my life for a few seconds, just as every sight of words like " iconic", "robust", "holistic"," strategic" and "vision" do.
And goodness knows it's not a big deal compared with the misery we'll all face in the years ahead because of the despicable reptiles who run the banks and our lives - but if you're going to do a job, why not do it properly?
I have found that rewriting little messages like that can actually double sales ... thus, in the end, getting more out of the money spent on marketing ... and, I suppose, keeping those fares down.
These are small things, rather like cleaning toilets, that nobody thinks about, do they?
But they matter. Because if you get the small things right, you may just - barely - have a chance of sorting out the big ones.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 22:24
A London Lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a Glasgow Copper.
He thinks he is smarter than the Cop because he is a lawyer from LONDON and is certain that he has a better education then any Jock Cop. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Glasgow Cops expense.
Glasgow Cop says, 'Licence and registration, please.'
London Lawyer says, 'What for?'
Glasgow Cop says, 'Ye didnae come to a complete stop at the stop sign.'
London Lawyer says, 'I slowed down, and no one was coming.'
Glasgow Cop says, 'Ye still didnae come to a complete stop. Licence and registration, please.'
London Lawyer says, 'What's the difference?'
Glasgow Cop says, 'The difference is, ye huvte come to a complete stop, that's the law, Licence and registration, please!'
London Lawyer says, 'If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my licence and registration; and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket.'
Glasgow Cop says, 'Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.'
The London Lawyer exits his vehicle.
The Glasgow Cop takes out his baton and starts beating the f*ck out of the Lawyer and says 'Dae ye want me to stop, or just slow doon?'
Talking about slowing down, my Commonsense Marketing site had some glitches yesterday -- but should be up today. Still not perfect, but that's why I want little furry animals ...
Posted by Drayton Bird at 06:08