Summer Camp Finn

#TheFinnDiaries

It’s been a long time since I did write for my blog. I have been so busy getting bigger and looking out the front gate when I’m allowed to play on the side of my house where the street is. I have still been going to my park like I told you before and when I go there, I go with my Dad because I can’t drive. My Dad drives us there.

This is me getting ready to drive us to my Emmarentia.

Driving

I also haven’t added to my blog for you because when I get bigger I don’t like homework because it is writing and I also don’t like girls or kissing them. I play with my best friend Matthew because we are boys and we can get wet when we go to my Emmarentia. When girls go there they wear white clothes and scream when they think I’m gonna make their clothes wet and brown.

I like it when they think that and scream.

It’s fun for me.

Look at me here. I am very wet.

Swimming

 

Then I had to be a big boy because I had to go to Summer Camp. My Dad did say he had booked for me because all cocky spaniels like me have to go to summer camp. Then he said that because I was going there and he didn’t need to feed me, he would go to his cousin’s party in Cape Town.

 

 

What they have at summer camp for cocky spaniels: 

  • They have children to play with (my Matthew!!!!!!!)
  • They have girls – yuk! (It’s Matthew’s big sister Hannah and she actually wasn’t so yuk because we played together even)
  • They have my cousin Milly there (she actually lives there even!)
  • They have running in the park with my aunty Niki (she lives there with Milly even!)
  • They have ladies in the park that I can shout at
  • They have my harness and my leash
  • They have no queen beds
  • They have no inside beds because cocky spaniels aren’t allowed inside at the Summer Camp for cocky spaniels
  • They have my bowls even
  • They have fancy food
  • They have more kitties than at my house where I have only one kitty only
  • They have a lot of rain there at summer camp for cocky spaniels

You see they have a lot of different things even.

photo

 

When I came home I was upset but I don’t know why because I was also happy. My Daddy and my Gogo and my Granddad said I must have been tired from too much fun. They always say this and then they say I am a cocky spaniel but I know I am a cocky spaniel always so.

 

Bandage

 

My arm was sore because I can’t remember why even. And then my Daddy did put on a bandage with creams and then I took it off because I didn’t like it on me.

 

 

 

 

Here’s me when I took it off.

Band off

I will try to write again when I feel like it.

My name is Finn. Summer Camp Finn.

 

HetEroGENeous

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 4.27.46 PM
Songs have a scent like the sea has its hug,
when I acknowledge these feelings as anything but smug.
I watch my mood file through space like floating kettle mist,
but I can’t recall what it felt like before I was kissed…

You flit like particles that glide on the sun’s streaming rays,
preempting some very long nights and some of the hardest of days.
I’ve tripped on this sidewalk, I know I should cross over,
where nothing will change still about our differences–polar…

Riding this out doesn’t need to be like torture,
and I’m on my way to learning that there’s design beneath disorder.
Freedom comes to you when you learn to embrace your part,
and know that there is nothing wrong with seeing the world through your heart.

The cycles are unbalanced bubbling under heterogeneously,
which translates into this whim that is not taken seriously.
The clock ticks and will turn my time on a dime,
when the heart forgives itself for the gravity of its crime.

The force of renewal starts when you decide to unplug,
and hear the songs that have a scent like the sea has its hug.
Nothing is by chance in the melee of complicated bliss…
as our lives file through space like floating kettle mist.

THINGS© Dylan Balkind

 

Stir the hot calm


I asked the Universe to run me a bath. Long day. Long week. Long year. Long in the blindness. Long in the silence. She obliged and we both waited while the salts bubbled, and together we stirred the hot calm.

Soaking in the warmth, I thought about the beginnings that follow funny endings. I reckon it’s like when you cut star shapes out of a lampshade and project the wonder and imagination across your bedroom wall. It’s new. And because it’s new, it’s fun. It’s electrifying, creative and full of the butterflies of promise.

Outside I could hear her summon the storm as the wind beat tree branches into webs like ocean spray. She had played along so far, so I closed my eyes to feel how I feel… She held her breath for just a moment and in this break, she let me see that raindrops can float toward the heavens sometimes rather than fall towards the floor…

It’s a magical madness.

It’s new. And because it’s new, it’s fun. It’s electrifying, creative and full of hope. Like us. Like life. We never stop. Our love never stops. We will meet again and again in different incarnations at different ages in different stages as we zigzag through this Universe on our own paths, crossing each other’s…

And then the sun comes out. It always does and together, we stir the hot calm.

© Dylan Balkind

Brave

It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened or when it stopped, being affected by people who thought it was okay to push you into lockers, throw your school bag down three stories, call you things that you didn’t even know yourself were true… Well, that stuff sticks. It hangs around like sulphuric air because… well… that’s just how psychology works.

There are countless stories of people who haven’t won against the dark. It’s big and it can be debilitating. Being brave is something people close to you tell you to do with a back slap or a rushed hug but, if they haven’t had to pass a bully on a cold corridor and felt the fear of fright chill down their spine, then it’s not really something they’re ever going to understand.

Sometimes you wish you could do some disappearing because sometimes the shadow wins. But you are not alone…

“You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug…”

© Dylan Balkind

The Gays will ruin everything

Gay people are a malicious lot. Underneath our genial candour and hidden behind our ABBA collections, we are intent on causing dissension and decay everywhere we go.

It’s not hard to see why the lovely folk in the Mid-West USA, Russia or that worldly lot in North Korea all named Kim, have such outraged opinions about what the gays are responsible for. The Catholic Church themselves have spoken notably of a link between homosexuality and child rape. This must be true because everything the Catholic Church has ever said or done is transparent and of the highest moral accord. If I could be anything in this world, I’d be a Cardinal. Free gold lamé and I’m in.

But frocks and fashion aside, us limp-wristed lovers of Neil Patrick Harris and fine furniture are also responsible for specific dates in history when the world was changed forever. The list is incredible! There was 9/11 which I can’t deny because I personally taught Osama Bin Laden how to shimmy shake to Come On Everybody Won’t You Do That Conga, so I know his hips don’t lie and that when he was caught by the US in 2011, his rainbow flag was flying high and proud.

There was also Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, which involved some of the finest blowing our planet has ever seen. No ways the gays can deny that one! There was the tragedy that was Oscar Pistorius’ Valentines Day, the Economic Downturn in Post World War 1 Germany, Adam Lanza’s killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Marikana Mining Mass Murder and of course – AIDS.

I don’t know about you, but this seems like a long list of allegations and that’s not even the half of it. Bryan Fischer said that gays are responsible for the formation of the Nazi party and therefore must have been behind the Holocaust too. I for one think that there would have been a lot more use of colour in those God-awful Nazi uniforms and nicer lines to the shape of their trousers had we been behind it all. But, fair enough, if this is true then we must accept the blame like men. Maybe we could learn a lot from Bin Laden and his merry troops? They are the first to issue videos claiming responsibility for their actions of mass destruction. Just imagine the videos we could make. Show tune themed sing-alongs complete with step-by-step instructions on the step-by-step dance routines. Ah! Mazeballs!

We must be careful of slippage though! Dr. Patrick Wooden says that gay men need diapers because sperm is only intended to end up where it can fertilise an egg, and that because gay men are so insistent on putting their sperm in places where there are no eggs, we are therefore also going to be held responsible for the extinction of the human race.

Dealing with the guilt of all of our homosexual evils makes me think that the extinction of mankind may not be such a bad thing altogether. But… before we all die in our nappies, I think it’s important to note that it’s not all bad. Despite the long list of global irregularities that our jazz hands have manipulated, we should probably stop flapping and look on the bright side. At least we had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the Twilight Saga, Lindsay Lohan, Todd Akin, Lance Armstrong, Apartheid, Kanye West, Carnival City, Julius Malema, Donald Trump’s hair, The Bachelor series or Gareth Cliff. That’s A LOT to be grateful for right there.

lindsay-lohan-might-be-broke

I’m going to go count my blessings – and my sequins.

© Dylan Balkind

FOMO Finn

#TheFinnDiaries

I have big ears. Some of the humans say that they are like Dumbo’s ears. Dumbo was an elephant. He had big ears too and his could make him fly. I use mine for listening. Did you know that dogs can remember up to 250 words? Yup. I don’t know that many but I know quite a few.

The word they have all been talking about lately is FOMO. My humans say that I have a bad case of FOMO because I need to be everywhere and see what’s going on. FOMO is a short word for a four other words. It means Fear Of Missing Out.

When my Dad feeds the kitty, I am there to check that he does it properly. FOMO. When anyone goes to into the bathroom, I go with in case they need my protection. FOMO. When my Gogo sorts out the washing, I’m there to help by taking the socks outside. FOMO. When the phone rings, I have to bark and run to get there first and sit and wait while my humans answer it. FOMO. When one of my humans picks up their keys, I bark and spin around and run to the door and then around to the side gate to watch and see that they got into their car okay. FOMO. When we go to the park and my Dad puts me on my leash, I have to run ahead and pull him to show him where we must go because of where all the other puppies are. FOMO. When one of my humans comes home from the shops, I run to the front door to see if they bought a new squeaky toy for me or more Beeno’s or something for the kitty that they want me to taste first. FOMO.

And when me and my Dad go to sleep at night, I put my head on the pillow just like my Dad does. If that makes him have nice dreams, then I want to have the same too. FOMO.

I don’t mind having FOMO. Because when it comes down to it, YOLO.

My name is Finn. FOMO Finn.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

#TheFinnDiaries

There are five days in a week that my Dad goes away during the day and two where we have the whole day together. On the five days that my dad goes to his work, he sits me down before he leaves by saying “Sit!” and then he says he has something to tell me. Then he holds my face and kisses my cheeks and says: ‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important.’ Every single day he says this to me so I know it must be true. When I think about it, it makes me feel important like this.
I heard that my Daddy learned this from a movie. He learns things from all different places. On Saturday, the third day of November, he had to tell me something else he learned. It had been a very busy day. These happen a lot which I like because I like to be busy. This day was busy because we went to my Emmarentia park again and it was more special even because he let me off my leash as soon as we got into my park.

I ran and ran and ran and ran some more. To the left side of my dad and then the right side. And then far out to the front and then back to him faster and faster. We met a few other puppies that were also in my Emmarentia park with me and my Dad. We then met these two beautiful ladies that were there with their puppies. There were three of the puppies and two of the ladies. It was nicer in the beginning because the puppies came to say hello to me, but then the big boy one didn’t like me and started to fight with me. I cried. I cried a lot and very loudly like the day when I touched the electric fence. It wasn’t fun anymore. He was on top of me and biting into my neck and it seemed like no one could hear my screams. Soon the pretty lady got him off and my Daddy came to help me calm down on the grass in my Emmarentia park.

My Daddy checked my body and said I was just covered in dog spit and that there were no holes in my skin. Then we went on our way and when we got around the corner my Dad asked me to sit by saying “Sit!” and said he had to tell me something else that he learned once. It was a story he had to study that wasn’t amazing he said but had its place or something like that. He said he thought of it now because of what just happened. He said it was called A Tale of Two Cities, and the opening said:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

I looked at him. He looked at me. I think he was waiting for me to bark. But I just looked at him. My Daddy then explained that sometimes the good and the bad go together and that I just have to learn to pick up my body with no holes in my skin and carry on wagging my tail. Then he kissed me on my cheeks and said: “Don’t ever forget that you is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

Then I ran to the lake and jumped in. I like water a lot.

Because of the things that my Daddy has learned and taught to me, I know that it is important to have fun doing the things that make you happy.

My name is Finn. I is kind. I is smart. I is important.

 

Tell me I’m the only one you love…

After the incorrigible persistence of Steve and his banality for FNB, a banking ad that breaks through the clutter and makes us sit up and take note is more refreshing than lemonade. TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris has reinterpreted Standard Bank’s payoff line – Moving Forward – for their latest epic now flighting on TV.

Look again. It’s not just stock footage. The deft Kim Geldenhuys from Egg Pictures along with the help of Kobus Loots’ editing hands at Upstairs Post has brought the spot to life by (almost) seamlessly positing actual characters into historical moments – all singing the ever-catchy Sh Boom Sh Boom (Life Could Be A Dream), originally written by The Chords.

Nice work. We like.

Read more about this work here.

_DangerousNeighbourhood

This path is like a floor of translucent scales. Each one overlaps the one before it and I can see through to the underneath and what lay there before. It is remnant but no longer real. It cannot survive me because of this list. 

It lived for its successes of yesterday and its defiant goals for tomorrow… It hid behind its inner child because doing that allowed it to be a victim. It learned when to put on the right mask for the right audience and it hung out in the space between its temples – often the most dangerous neighborhood of them all. It never learned to deal with life on life’s terms, so it found solace in something cunning, baffling and powerful. Then… because it had such a low self esteem, it would have to overcompensate to prove that it was the first, the most, the best. And still, disappointments happened and it faced the devastation of rejection and wallowed some more in its own stinking-thinking. 

This path is like a floor of mirrored scales. Each one overlaps the one before it and I can see through to the underneath of what lay there before. It is remnant but no longer real. It could not survive me because of this list. 

It never learned to listen to today, and just for today. It never acknowledged that we are not saints so it never really came to terms with embracing a rigorous honesty with itself. It never tried to find serenity because it never understood that it is infinitely more than anyone might think. It refused to believe that it was a work in progress because it always had to be the first, the most, the best. And through all its strife and perpetual remodeling, it never grasped the reality that the idea is, simply, to get happy. 

So there it lies underneath this path that is like a floor of reflective scales. I can see it for what it was before. It is remnant but no longer real. 

It will not survive me because of this list.

 © Dylan Balkind

Fareness

 

Satan’s red anvil has been left on my chest,
and with vehement restraint I withhold my disgust.
A betrayal of faith and your pawn to become,
you will soon hear rendition of our fat lady’s song.

Little boy, last born and instigator of pain,
I guarantee you will suffer from this – your own mind-game.
The lines you draw boldly with your fury-filled fist,
are blurring under the crumbling weight of your tryst.

This is going to implode on itself by dint of decay,
and only your blurred vision will see you finish this your way.
There are no more white flags for me to want for– or from you,
your malice makes me know I’m done with this shit, we’re through.

Don’t ever forget how you fueled this poison and my disgust,
as you claim back your septic weight from off my chest.
A betrayal of faith, you’ll wish this pawn be sooner gone,
as you try block the chiming of our fat lady’s song.

 

© Dylan Balkind

Unblind

(Open in a new tab to listen while you read – It Rains In The End)

 

There are places with heartbeats in memories I’ve forgotten,
ways that this gift is polluted by the mundane and the rotten.
There are people I try to think like and impress on these days,
and in so lose sight of my light on this Milky Way.

I lose patience. I forget the inner. I misplace the magic and the wonder,
and everything-me that I’ve built up gets smothered and washed under.
I separate from the Intelligence of Strength and Love in Poetry,
while I ask for permission to play on their playground of alien-symmetry.

Unblock. Unblind. Unconstrict and see,
this planet and how to live with glitter inside its periphery.
It doesn’t take a long time to become the person you want to be,
but a headless chicken ‘till I know it, lost in unscheduled purgatory.

There is no braver beauty than what lives in your mind and your soul,
a dynamic that can slay that which makes you feel anything less than whole.
The real way to add value starts with how you see what you see in the mirror,
marinated in how you realize your passion and the allure of your splendor.

It is your own enchanted mind that creates your comedy and your tragedy,
which makes wrestling with your darkness seem such a terrible waste of energy.
Imbibe power from the view of places you thought only God could see,
and acknowledge that recognition and feedback is just your own lock-and-key…

So…

I know that the path ends and begins with where I am standing right now,
and that this is truer than true when I see that I know how…
To unblock. To unblind. To unconstrict and to see,
this planet and how I am living with glitter inside its periphery.

© Dylan Balkind

 

Ballsy advertising makes a comeback

Here’s hoping the (predominantly) coma-inducing bore of television commercials that have monopolised our flat screens of late will die off in the upswing of talent and daring that ads like this show.

Not so long ago, you would have had every Bert and Betty at their local tribunal, punching fists in the air about the supposed violence that a commercial like this one (may) insight. Truth is, no one is likely to buy a Dodge, get dressed in corset and haul ass through the desert from a man who proposes spending the rest of his life with your daughter. God knows, men are all trying way too hard to do the opposite. So off to Bingo with you Bert’s and Betty’s. People in Advertising have personalities and a pulse and work like this is why most of us get up everyday. Oh, and it suitably resonates with its audience who the ad happens to be aimed at. Which is not you, we promise.

From casting to performance and chase sequences to stunt work, Steve Rogers from Biscuit Filmworks knows what he’s doing when it comes to what he puts in front of the camera. Creatives and Director were clearly all on the same page here and what you have is something memorable for Dodge Charger.

I was going to go to Bingo now, but I think I’ll stay and watch this some more.

What do you think?

iPad2: Some just get it so write

I go green when I look at work like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyEpaPEbjzI

Industry-people understand that a lot goes into the production of a commercial like this. But before the iPad2 Director was briefed, the animation genius was told he has to deliver a big commercial within a budget of $3.50, or the art director found out that he had to shimmy-clean the real iPad2 product after every take and that, no, after 16 product samples (and 747 takes), none would be left behind (for him); some guy had to be responsible for what you see here: the concept.

The Copywriter.

Yes! Production people work! And work hard at making it happen. But before all of this got to pre-production debate, a Copywriter sat in his favourite place to write. He enticed words to dance along printed lines of the page, concepts to pirouette from the margins right-ward – and thoughts about the iPad2 to commit themselves properly so that pictures could be formed for clients to understand. Sure, it can be easy when the product speaks for itself. But when is it ever really easy?

Never.

And neither is a blank page. So massive-kudos to Copywriters Ted Kapusta and Jamie Reilly from TBWA\Media Arts Lab, USA. Sure, I don’t know what your agency culture is like, nor how much control your client, or CD Demian Oliveira exerted, but your final product is worth pretty pencils. Because no matter how sexy the product is, I still don’t belove the iPad2 made work easy for you!

I am a Copywriter. It is awesome though it is never easy. But it is times like these I feel green, because people like you just got it so write!

Credits: Advertising Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab, USA; Chief Creative Officer: Duncan Milner; Executive Creative Directors: Eric Grunbaum, Scott Trattner; Group Creative Directors: Chuck Monn, Steve Turner; Creative Director: Demian Oliveira; Associate Creative Director: Simon Cassels; Art Directors: Melinda Keough, Mark Sloan; Copywriters: Ted Kapusta, Jamie Reilly; Agency Producers: Anne Oburgh, R.J. Pomeroy, Chelsea Larner; Production Co: Green Dot Films; Director: Mark Coppos; DP: Rebecca Baehler, Fernando Cardenas; Editorial Co: Nomad Editing Company, Inc.; Editor: Jared Coller; Post Co: d train; Artists: Ben Gibb

Can viral marketing beat the bullies?

Would you think it ok if boys threw your pencil box from the third floor balcony at school or pushed your head into a locker? Would it be ok if you were hospitalised from a beating based on your sexual orientation? Probably not. But there are horrible, angry people out there and bad things happen to good people.

So? What makes an ok day for you?

What makes an ok day for Casey Heynes is not being beaten up or duct taped to a pole. Who is Casey Heynes? Right now he is the hero of every underdog ever pushed, beaten, ridiculed or taunted. He is the Australian schoolboy who fought back at the cowardly runt who picked on him one time too many.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWiI6RVXBbA&feature=related

Because the set-up was malicious from the start, the altercation was filmed (with a different outcome expected no doubt). The video has since gone viral and can be found on YouTube, embedded within online news reports from around the world and featured in interviews with Casey Heynes himself. Here the power of viral marketing is obvious and while teachers and bullies alike are backtracking and preaching innocence and shock, the fact is, it took the explosion of this issue in this boy’s life for the bigger picture to be seen – by a MUCH bigger audience.

It has been shown that when one person has an impactful online experience, he or she will tell 12 more people. This is the dynamic that powers viral marketing. This is the dynamic that makes for fast-track superstars like Lily Allen and Justin Bieber. In this case, it is the dynamic that brought this young man some help – from around the world.

It’s staggering to read worldwide statistics on bullying and the connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide in children and teenagers (according to a new review of studies from 13 countries by the Yale School of Medicine). How this happens is beyond me. We all come from something so beautiful. Still, because of this disease, organisations like the Give a Damn Campaign and the Trevor Project have been formed – with every superstar and figurehead known (including Barack Obama) getting behind them. The message to bullied, lost or suicidal kids out there? It Gets Better.

Singers like P!NK and Taylor Swift (to name just a few) are using their medium to wage war on bullies and celebrate the beauty in being different. So if you’re too school for cool, and you’re treated like a fool, you could choose to let it go… or you can go viral. It’s your channel to use. The world is online. The world is listening.

So now? What makes an ok day for you?

If there is somene out there to whom you now feel you have something to say, get in touch.

It will make your day more than ok.

Even losers can be cool at the High School Reunion

 

Most people would rather read the phone book to their incontinent grandmother than go to their high school reunion looking like the loo-hoo, ze-her that hasn’t made-good since graduation. There are options however; you could say you invented post-its, or you could let your ride talk for you by making sure you pull up in something swank. Lucky for some, Avis will give you that leg up (to get your leg over) with a tidy ride from their rental-for-show-off’s range.

Ireland/Davenport is no stranger to making car-communication look cooler than cool. Their work for BMW is nothing short of flawless, so the choice couldn’t have been hard for this account. The Luxury Car Rental print ad for Avis shows how it’s not only an 1100 Yaris or silly Atos (toasters on wheels) to choose from when renting a hire car – and if you haven’t made bank by the time Reunion rolls around, you can always pretend you have.

Nicely shot, styled and treated, the Class of 2001 Reunion print ad for Avis says what it needs to without having to say too much.

I like! Do you?

Credits: Creative Directors: John Davenport, Philip Ireland; Art Director: Lida Fourie; Copywriter: Anthea Weber; Photographer: Clive Stewart; Retoucher: Marko Mandusic.

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