All entries for Thursday 02 June 2005

June 02, 2005

Rant of the week

Writing about web page

I was happily doing my work, then heard on the radio news about the above story.

I can simply say: what the fuck?!

Seriously, what the hell is going on. Can noone do ANYTHING without treading on toes these days. Surely to call something "hideously white" is racist in itself.

I sometimes think that people try to create a ruck just to prove a point and not just in this particular case. There are countless incidents, like companies having a target of how many people they want to recruit that are from certain ethnic minorities, probably to the extent of not taking on white people who are clearly more experienced/better at the job to prevent themselves being accused of being racist.

Maybe I'm idealistic but I like to work with the theory that if you've worked hard enough and you're good at what you do, stop seeing yourself and others as a colour. It won't get anyone anywhere.

Slaying the Dragon

5 out of 5 stars

This is a book I first came across in Texas last summer. With a foreword by none other than Muhammad Ali, it's an inspirational autobiography and a very very good read.

For those of you that don't know or can't remember, Michael Johnson was a world class sprinter (I think he's a world class business man now!) Who ran in the 200 and 400m sprints in the Atlanta Olympic Games of 1996. He broke his own world record in the 200m final by one of the largest margins in history – almost a third of a second and got the Gold for the 400m as well.

Here is an extract from the introduction. The book seems to be out of print now so I got mine for the princely sum of $4. Check the link above.

"To me, that is the ultimate responsibility and challenge of being a role model – not to sign autographs in a timely fashion or to live a stainless life, but to offer up a life or a philosophy, flaws and all, to help other people negotiate their own way. That's what I hope to do in this book.

So I have not set out to write about how you can be an Olympic champion or how you can break world records. Those are rarely attainable goals and, honestly, there are more worthy ones for most people. Especially in the beginning. My main goal ten years ago was to go to college. Yet the Atlanta Olympics would never have happened for me without that first goal. It is the same with you. You'll never know how far you can go until you shave off that first hundredth of a second, until you run ceaselessly toward the edge.

And so this is a book about how to identify what you really want and how to get there; to set goals based upon realism and confidence; to work with discipline and resolve; to learn from the requisite failures and the too-early successes; to achieve a cliarty of focus and a sense of purpose; to stick to your plan; to deal with pressure, thrive on it, and make it your own; to carve away the distractions that slow us all down; and, perhaps most important, to keep going after you lose the biggest race of your life. Because you will. I did several times.

I will show you what I did after each of those terrible losses: how to retool your machine, regain your focus, and find another biggest race. And another. And another.

Finally, I will show you what I have only now realised: Even in the best race there will always be a slight stumble, a shudder, a hitch, always room for a hundredth of a second improvement. That is the great thing about being a human being. You can always go just a little bit faster.

I wish I could teach you how to achieve perfection, how to slay the dragon every time. Instead, I hope to show you something far more valuable: how to chase it.

Consider this, my informal complaint

Writing about web page,3605,1476175,00.html

This didn't come out that long ago, but as a non-avid Guardian reader (though I do plough through several copies a day just by walking through our house, CRAW) I hadn't seen it.

Don't act like it came as a surprise

Follow-up to Coldplay revoo from Hub of Creativity...

Right, so I've now watched the season finale of The O.C. Having watched the season finale of Desperate Housewives also (though I think that was on telly yesterday anyway): boy there's a lot of drama around!

I found a website that lists all the music played on each episode of The O.C. Them're trendy tykes I tell you. Not least with You're Not The Law by The Dead 60's featuring on the season finale: for those of you that don't know, I'm a Dead 60's groupie…or at least I've turned into one. I've seen them 6 times now I think (not always intentionally) and chatted with them most of those times, so it was quite crazy to be hearing them on The O.C.

Other recent cool tracks are several from Beck's Le Onda Guero album (or is it just Guero?), from the new Gorillaz album (Demon Days), The Cribs, Deathcab for Cutie and lets not forget other past episodes that have featured appearances from the likes of The Killers getting paid probably less than they did for supporting British Sea Power in the union.

So y'see, as if beautiful people and high drama wasn't enough, the music is damn hot too.

The next natural progression of tension drama is to watch the first series of 24 (finally) but better wait 'til I'm done with my project.

June 2005

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