Sunday, 17 July 2011

Counting sheep

Can anyone please tell me how to do it? Can anyone actually count sheep to fall asleep? I know I can’t. And I've tried all my life.
The second I start to visualize the sheep jumping over the fence they go insane. The sheep will do just about anything but jumping over that goddamn fence. They step over it, run in another direction, they seat or lay down, or just awkwardly hang around bumping into each other. Some try to go around the fence or even have the nerve to stare defiant at me. Ah, the smart-arses! Are they mocking my insomnia?! Are your sheep also this insubordinate?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Literary Ad for Absolut Vodka

Absolut Blank

Days passed by and the paper stood blank. It wasn’t an ordinary paper, it was a paper that needed desperately to be filled. Even so, it didn’t matter, the paper stayed blank. Nights passed by and no words filled that blank. Despair started to spread.

He went for a quick run at the beach to clear his head. A group of children played pirates. The screams came from tiny happy adventurers ready to conquer the village, and steal all their gold with the simple weapon of their innocence. Their joy was catchy and soon enough he too drifted into their world of fantasy. He saw himself as a fearful pirate steering into the most beautiful beaches, with the most interesting people. He would come with his mighty ship and his mighty crew and would conquer all the great minds spread around. He would steal all the thoughts, the great ideas and all the imagination there is. He would be the biggest genius of this world and beyond its end.

Whilst in this reverie, the noon sun struck over the beach and he heard several indistinct female voices calling after their kids for lunch. The screams ended abruptly and with them the whole fantasy fell down. He was awake and back to reality. He didn’t have all the ideas of the world, he wasn’t a master of the mind and he sure was no genius. His mind was as blank as before, if not worse, and an increasingly anxiety took place.He went back home, apathetic eyes on the ground, back to the living room, back to the old portable typewriter, back to that insolent blank paper. Waiting for the secrets of the mind. He looked around, scrutinising every corner as if the solution was hiding behind the couch or that rocking chair by the window. Nothing.

The wind blew the curtain open and the sun came. It hit the pale glass of a bottle standing over the counter spreading all over in strays of sublime lights. Lights more grandiose than those seen through the stained glass of some majestic church. The light shone upon him and a strange angelic aura surrounded him. He didn’t believe in gods or goddesses but the atmosphere felt as if sacred, a holy kind of state. He gazed around and saw the white paper on the type machine. He started to see formations of words as if written with light. He looked astonished for a wee while. Yet, after that first shock, he sat and wrote. The paper didn’t seem as frightful anymore, it was pledging to be filled, submissive, and he knew now which words were to write.

It didn’t take him long to fill pages after pages. Looking at the pile of written paper, he then leant smiling on the chair. The light was long gone but that bottle over the counter still glowed, as if hiding stolen rays of sun in the dark of the night. He went to the counter and held the bottle in his hands. It was the perfect epilogue of long hours of creation. He poured it down in a frozen glass. The fresh Absolut liquid had the transparency of clear thoughts. And the taste… the taste was like an ode to the most ideal place on Earth, the place where dreams are kings, where ideas are born and fantasy is made.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Let me in

Let me in.
Give me a window, some fire escape ladder, the tiniest back door you can find and let me in.
Let me in and I promise you the world of me.
Let me in and I’ll show you all the passions I breathe. 
Let me in.
I've got seas and mountains of fantasy to spread.
I've got tons and gallons of energy to share.
Let me in.
The powers in me yearn to be free.
The powers in me need a reason to be.
Let me in… and you will see.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Forever Awake

All my life I've devoted myself to observe. My eye is sharp and my senses tenacious. I've been around, around Europe. There I saw and kept on feeling.
But then New York came. More than one year has passed and the city is still a virgin to my eager eyes. What I know from this new city of mine is that our first passion will stay forever a first passion for she will always look like a baby to me.
What other city is there that's constantly changing in thousand different cities at every little second of the way? New York City is not a city, it is but the summon of all cities and yet she is by far the youngest. Forever young.
To watch her breathe is to live through her. To watch her live is to grow through her. To grow forever young, to grow forever curious. To be forever awake.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Absolut Vodka Bottle Campaign

I'm a girl of many passions and therefore I never liked to answer the so-called 'top five' questions. My top five bands? Within so great music, made throughout so many centuries, how could that be even possible? I love too many, too much.
So the campaign I choose to write you about is by no means the very best of them all, it is merely one of the very best of them all.

The Absolut Vodka Bottle Campaign.
The possibilities are endless, it showed us the creativeness in its more pure state. How far and distinct can you go from one single starting point. We could even say it was the beginning of the neuromarketing yet with a very fast and refreshing reward for the viewer.
The Bottle campaign made the viewer reflect for a second while scrutinizing the art behind the ad, reinforcing his perception and observation skills. Waldo couldn’t stand a chance here.

The Absolut Vodka has now the most recognizable bottle in the world. The campaign was definitely an overachievement amid an overload of information. And although the attention span has decreased to '140 characters', the key to success remains the same: to give the viewer the feeling that he takes more from it than the brand itself. And so assuredly create the life-long emotional relationship that every brand aims for.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The lying hearts of the truthful souls

The heart is free and running wild
One sparkle with each drink delight
The night renewed, the night in style
Who's gonna pick it up tonight

You better get some drinks along
Lust is back and clear to stay
The night carries desires in a song
Whilst all the troubles flow away

The night renewed, the night is fuelled
The heart is free and running light
And every smile and act unruled
Who's gonna pick it up tonight


These are the souls of the free in spirit
These are the souls of the restrained hearts
Yet every night, every drink and every limit
Another delusion in their minds departs

NYC's Square Suns on Wheels

Once around Herald Square a guy, with a hint of southern accent, was surprised with so many cabs and asked me if it was always like this and I "Pretty much, but isn't it great that they're yellow, it sure lights up the city, don't you think?" And he "Oh yeah, it brings the sun down here between all these crazy big buildings!"
Picture in my mind: a lot of happy square suns on wheels rolling all over the city.

Copyright 2011 Paul Falardeau

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

17 futures

I heard the future would come some day in the future. I don't know if that's true for I can't see in the future. One thing I can do though is to believe in the future. And I truly believe in a future that's bright whether it is because of an unfiltered sun or me laughing with you.
The future will remain the future and it is this unknowing the future that makes the future so darn special. If I knew the future, the future would be boring. To know it all is to have no future. To not know the future is to keep dreaming about the future. And dreams are the fuel of the future. Then I'll keep dreaming and I'll keep creating and I'll keep writing for the brighter future.
For believing in the future is rock and rolling in the present.

Monday, 28 February 2011

My first encounter with Lou Reed

John Zorn himself was counting us in with an old small palm held counting device. John. Zorn. The punk jazz avant-garde performer and great saxophonist. In flesh.

Running directly from school with laptop and all I got my 10 pm ticket at the very last second. The first show at 8 pm was naturally sold out by then. After me just three others got in and already over the limited number. I couldn’t believe I was going to experience a performance of Lou Reed in such an independent atmosphere like taken directly from the '70s of NYC. C'mon, Lou Reed in NYC in the most underground and experimental place you could possible imagine! I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole world!
The quintessence of NYC rock and roll was right there. Something surreal for this era, something so special that someone like me born so much later could never ever experience. But there I was.

It wasn't even a ticket, just the normal stamp on my wrist plus a red circle around it. The most expensive ticketless stamp of my life but for sure the most handsome of them all.
I needed to go back in line soon enough for the second show at 10 pm if I wanted to take a good look at Lou. I left my backpack at home just a couple of blocks away, and went for a quick beer at a nice bar nearby.
The venue place, The Stone, is incredibly small, no sign, no bar, no nothing. Just a few rows of chairs aligned with the performance being at the same level. Do you see it? It's like they're all only boys just starting the whole revolutionary movement of Warhol freaking pop culture! Holy moly guacamole! And I’m right here in the city where everything happens. I don't want to leave. Ever.

While waiting in line, the people from the first show were leaving the place with big smiles spread all over their faces. The thrill of anticipation was rising to the point of no return. Excitement was the word of order in that line of ours.

I got front row for I was the third to enter the room.
The first sound tripped down the spine while Lou seated right next to me. Laurie was already seated at her place. At first it was hard to concentrate on the young musicians but they were good so I gave them all my attention. Buke and Gass, he played a guitar-bass hybrid and she a modified baritone-ukulele plus ankle bells. She sings high but softly, kind of prog-punk anthems, and has a sweet presence radiating a constant smile. Comprehensible as she told us how dreadfully excited they were to be there with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

And then it was time for the Valentine’s special duo to play. Experimental prog-jazz music with Laurie’s electric violin, Lou’s keyboard and guitar, a pianist with long smooth fingers and with Buke and Gass joining later along too.

Like John Zorn was the new Warhol, that tiny space the new Factory and Lou Reed was simply jamming. And I, a mere rock and roll lover in trance.

Pictures of the performance:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Quotes #1

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

This is probably the quote that better defines my person. I'm always afraid I might miss something. I want to know it all, to experience it all, to see and feel it all. I could almost say: 'I have the simplest tastes. I'm satisfied with the' most of everything. And it's exhausting...
But I had my share of boredom. It is one of the worst things one could possible feel and it literally drives you insane. Then let me be mad so I won't go mad.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Michael Ende’s Momo and the Men in Grey

Momo is a little orphaned girl of no determinate age, anything between 8 and 12 years old is possible. From unknown origin, she chooses the ruins of an amphitheatre at a remote unnamed small town as her new home.
Although Momo does not have many possessions, she does have a unique gift. In return of the locals’ help, she simply listens to them. For when Momo listens, people become instantly inspired, comforted and enlightened, finally able to easily solve their own conflicts, doubts and fears, all by themselves.

"Momo was there and joined in, that was all, but for some reason her mere presence put bright ideas into their heads."

Momo becomes a little miraculous hero for everybody. The expression “Go see Momo!” has turned an all answer to all problems, the perfect panacea.
Unfortunately, this idyllic scene doesn’t last long. Suddenly, people start to be obsessed with work to save as much time as possible. Soon enough, the town grows cold and sad, without any activity for mind and spirit, for they are now seen as time wasting.
It all started with the arrival of the sinister Men in Grey who promote the idea of timesaving. Yet the more ‘time’ people save, the less they have. The Grey Men consume the stolen time in form of cigars, made from the dried petals of hour-lilies, as this is how they survive.
If Momo has any other form of wealth than her ability to listen, that is time and while the Grey Men can’t rob her, she is determined to help her friends who’ve succumbed to their power.
Momo must overcome the odds and find the Keeper of Time, Professor Secundus Minutus Hora, with only the singular help of a tortoise called Cassiopeia, which can communicate through writing on her shell and predicts thirty minutes further into the future.

This is the fascinating yet terrifying story of Momo and her friends. Terrifying for its so very real analogy.
The 'almost could be non-fiction' fantasy novel was written by Michael Ende, who is best known for his "Neverending Story".

Michael Ende has a way of illustrating deep meaningful themes such as the importance of time through amazingly simple words and fantastic imaginative worlds that also children can fairly understand.
Written in 1973, the main theme couldn’t be more contemporary.
The world we’re living in has become an insanely busy little sphere, the modern society is unhealthily fast-paced and consumerism driven. People rush in a frenzy that doesn’t allow them to stop and feel.
The loss of values has increased with the loss of time, the time to truly appreciate all the small pleasant moments that are in fact what life is all about. People live to work instead of working to live and with all the hassle, time simply vanishes in smoke.
Furthermore, we tend to forget how important human connections are. Ende too illustrates beautifully this theme, the powerful value of listening to others, probably the most important value within friendship.

The grand moral of this remarkable tale is that enjoyed time is not wasted time, it is but the sum of true life’s values, the importance of every single satisfying moment. Time where happiness lies.

"Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart."

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The dark side of my Imagination

My Imagination and I have huge fights all the time. I mean, all the time. Yesterday she was probably right for I knew already I shouldn't have seen horror movies so late at night. The thing is, she, my Imagination, only allowed me to watch horror movies when I was already in my early twenties.
I remember one time, before these twenties, that after a friend of mine told me about a movie my Imagination gave me a whole month of nightmares. And do you want to know what movie it was? The Fly! Just The Fly! An innocent science fiction movie, where a man mixes with a fly. What's scary about that? To actually mix anything you'll have to have this machine first. Did I have this machine? No.
What scares me when it comes to horror movies are those things we can't see, can't fight against. Ghosts, spirits, dark forces. That's what really scares me.
When I was 14, 15 years old I lived in a student residence under the week for I was studying arts in a different town than my parent's. I had three other roommates - miss you guys - that used to scare me with ghosts and such before sleeping. And they knew nothing else could possible scare me. Back then, I was afraid of nothing. Ever. I would always be the one diving further into the unknown dark searching for adventures. Still do. I would always be the one defending everyone till the last big bad guy was down. Same ho.
But when it came to sleep I would turn into the most afraid little girl in the whole world. All my life I've been having nightmares, all my life my sleep has tired me, all my life I’ve been afraid of my subconscious.
Time passes by though and I am learning, even when I know I will never sleep like normal people do. And that in order to have this amazing Imagination of mine - love you girl - I will have to accept all that she brings. For better or for worse, right?
And so, night after day, we will keep on fighting, my Imagination and I, and she will still remain one of the best friends I will ever have.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The very last quarter

Here I am. The last quarter of this journey. What a ride it was. I'm going to miss it for sure but I never felt before this urge to start working. It's a passion and I wouldn't know how to live it differently. I know how fortunate I am.
And how fortunate I've been with these many great teachers pushing us students further up the advertising hill. They are as passionate and this energy among us is almost visible and highly contagious.
What I never understood though is why some teachers, very very few, systematic "warn" us about how awfully hard this industry is. Why do you have to tell us continuously how many weekends we're going to lose? Or that every time you stay late at the agency or have a rough client you have to come the next day and ask us if that's what we really want. If I didn't know better I would think you were having second thoughts about your own path and that's not what you want to transmit to your students.
Nobody said there's a work somewhere that's perfect. There will always be downsides in every single industry but the ups are what make us pursuit a specific career.
Don't complain. Instead, fuel our dreams, let us believe we are going to accomplish great things for the ones who dream are the ones who actually accomplish great things.