Friday, June 26, 2009

Bob Geldof is angry.

Yesterday, in the cavernous Hall Debussey of the Palais du Festival, Kofi Annan and Bob Geldof spoke about the end of the world. Kofi Annan spoke first. He was very sweet and gentle and diplomatic, which has probably stood him in good stead for the past decade. After all, you can't come on too strong when you're chatting to a Sudanese government-backed rebel with a rusty bread-knife between his teeth and a Kalashnikov.
After Kofi a well-meaning gent from JWT spoke about their new ad campaign, which is designed to make everybody convince the politicians to sign the Copenhagen agreement. It was crap. The mere fact that we have to do something to convince politicians to sign the Copenhagen agreement, thereby setting in motion a chain of events that, just maybe, might save the world, well, that's just sad beyond belief. As it is they'll probably all arrive in Copenhagen and meet over coffee and collectively sigh and then say "oh, lets not save the world today, we can deal with global warming for a bit longer, ta ta." That's the sort of insane decision politicians make every day. Then Bob Geldof spoke. Bob Geldof is very, very angry. He is also very, very smart.
First of all he slagged off the guy from JWT for his naff ad campaign. Then he turned to us and laid out a few facts about global warming and the end of the world as we know it.
The cynical ad guys, who obviously know everything and don't really care about saving the world unless it can win them a Silver at Cannes began to sit up and listen.
It was, without a doubt, the most compelling, moving, inspiring and powerful speech I have heard in years. Go Bob.
It was a bit of a celebrity studded day actually. I saw Spike Lee talk a bit earlier in the day about user-generated media. Then I spoke to someone who had seen Roger Moore having lunch. While this does not technically count, I think the mere fact that Roger Moore, the James Bond of my youth, was here is significant.
I saw the film shortlist yesterday and it was great, as it always is. It was shorter than previous years too, which meant only 5 hours of viewing, ending with a series of social services commercials that left me wandering the sunny streets of the Riviera feeling all dark and gloomy.
There's nothing like 7 Australian Road Safety ads to mess up your mood.

I will be leaving this morning. I am going to miss it. I will miss having handfuls of Maltesers for breakfast, my wife won't let me do that. I will miss the unhelpful concierge, who has actually helped me a few times now. I will miss all the incredible work and the lovely, smart people from all over the world I had the privilege of meeting.

It will be good to get home to my tolerant, patient, beautiful wife. And see my tiny boy who is bravely pushing out his first tooth and needs his daddy to dance with him again to Louis Prima in the kitchen.

I have liked being the Good Guy Across the Street, even though I stole the name from my friend Gordon, who was going to use it as the name for his start-up agency. Sorry Gordon.
I hope a few people have been reading.
I may even carry on when I get home.
Although I'll have to ask Gordon if I can carry on stealing his name.
Here's hoping.


  1. I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.


    We're looking forward to seeing you back home. I hear that in your absence James has sprouted his first tooth (and a few others), learned to crawl, and say "Mamma" and "Dadda" (when addressing the neighbour). His twin buddy Sean is well - we're off to the Olympia Cafe for breakfast and some pre-rugby hype.