The Coca Cola experience

Pop! The promise of refreshment is near. My lips meet the cold glass, my tongue anticipates the sweetness. Gulp, gulp, gulp. Oh my God I cannot stop.

This black sugary stream of liquid is doing something strange to my body.

I get ahold of myself and put the bottle down. My nose is tickling and my body is shacking violently. Who made this thing? I think I want some more.

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5min Free Writing Analysis of Robots of Brixton

The individual components of the struggle matter not. The only way a revolution against the system can occur is by means of a collective awakening. Forces that we feel submerging throughout our everyday lives, forces that we know exist yet cannot name. Yet there will arrive a time when these invisible forces become visible actions. And these shall occur in such strength and power that whichever principles upheld the previous system will  collapse, trampled to the ground, and from the ashes of that system another will emerge. Only destruction can lead to creation, as only death can lead to life.

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”Story of my life P5”

”LAND OF SIN”

Its incredible what can happen in 24 hours, especially in Thailand.

I had been living on Phuket Island for two months, where I was training for my first Muay Thai boxing match. What Balzac said about our worst fears lying in anticipation couldn’t have been truer.

When the night of my fight finally arrived, I felt relieved. My coach had been kicking the crap out of me for weeks and I knew that my opponent couldn’t hit as hard as him. Besides, I had been training like an animal.

I jumped into the ring with unexpected confidence, only to find out I had forgotten to put on my jog strap thus leaving my genitals dangerously exposed. Quickly I stripped down and put one on, people thought it was funny, I didn’t.

My opponent was already prepared in the other corner and I could sense that he was more nervous than I was, so I took advantage of it. As soon as the fight started, I played the waiting game and let him come at me, which he did, kicking, kneeing and punching with fury. The first round was quite disputed, although I knew he was much more tired than I was, so for the next two rounds, I toyed with him.

I must have connected at least thirty low kicks to his knee and ten solid ones to his face. In the end I won by technical decision, it was a beautiful moment, but the story doesn’t end here. My good friend and travelling companion Kaspar had also fought and won that night, so we decided to go celebrate.

Along with several other fighters, we drove into Phuket Town for what would be one of the most memorable nights of my life. I recall being at a club that was arranged into square shaped bars, much like a Rubric’s Cube, only instead of colours these had strip poles. Inside each one of the bars, were the veteran dancers, who had long ago fulfilled their duties on the pole, or dare I say poles. There was a bell at each bar that when rang meant free shots for everyone, and I was ringing it. In fact, I was ringing it so much that the lady behind the bar delivered me a straight cross to the face that nearly dropped me. Hardest hit I took that night. ”No money no honey”.

I will leave out the rest of that night’s events just in case my mother ever reads this. In the morning, I headed down to a traditional tattooist and endured the most painful seven hours of my life while he engraved a mandala into my upper back. Until next time, land of Sin.

Story of my life P4

”BEHIND BARS”

Last year I learned a life-changing lesson while I was studying in my previous university. It had nothing to do with arts, politics or math, but rather with humanity itself. Here it is. Never, ever, under any circumstance touch an American police officer.

Like most valuable lessons in life, I learned this one the hard way. I was walking back from a party after having consumed copious amounts of Jungle Juice. For those of you who have never been in an American house party before, Jungle Juice is a highly dangerous liquid produced by the brothers of a fraternity in order to get the sorority girls, or as we affectionately call them, sorostitutes, in a state where socially imposed restrictions became less meaningful, thus favouring our chances of getting laid that night.

I didn’t get laid that night. Instead, I was lucky enough to meet an exemplary officer of the law, who after identifying me as a drunk nineteen year old, was prepared to charge me for public intoxication. I made my classic bullshit argument about how in Spain I had already been drinking legally for a year, and therefore should be excused for my belligerence and offered a ride back home. The man was inconvincible.

I was running out of ideas about how to persuade Captain America of my innocence, so I took two steps towards him and placed my hand on his shoulder so as to gain familiarity. This was my great mistake. Before I had time to react, the policeman shoved my face against his car and handcuffed me in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, I was fucked, and in more than one way now.

A few hours later I woke up in a jail cell. One of my five new cellmates told me that I had been dragged in two hours earlier, kicking and cursing in Spanish. Three of them were students from my university who had been brought in for similar reasons; the other two wore the orange jumpsuits of inmates. I was locked in the coldest cell imaginable, with the worst headache possible, five cellmates to share it with, two of them possibly dangerous and on top of that I had lost a shoe. The following twelve hours there were probably the worst of my life, so learn from my mistakes, when confronted with an officer of the law in North America, don’t argue, run, as fast as you can, and don’t look back.

Story of my life P3

”CHASING MONKEYS”

 

If I could relive one day from my year in Asia, it would be March 13th. It was the day I visited the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This marvel, which once stood at the centre of a mighty empire, remains today as the largest religious monument ever built.

At this point I had been in the East a little over seven months and I felt completely at ease with the land and the people. A few weeks earlier I had adopted one of the local customs and stopped wearing shoes. It wasn’t so much a fashion statement as it was an economical decision.

So there I stood, shoe-less, camera-less, worry-less, and looking more homeless than tourist. I spent the entire day chasing macaques through the temple, following them into areas that were closed to the general public.

Why could one monkey enter and not the other? Perhaps the better question would have been: How long can a white boy survive in a Cambodian prison? The guards however seemed more concerned with finding shade than chasing shoe-less Spaniards. Luckily for me, I was in Cambodia, a place where the Sun shines with so much ferocity that you actually see monkeys fanning their nuts.

Story of my life P2

”ART DEALER”

There comes a point in everyone’s life where you start to appreciate the value of money. I was seven.

The new Game Boy Colour had just been launched into the market and I was eager to get my hands on one, nevertheless, my mother flatly refused to spend 100$ on such a trivial device.

Far from giving up on my goal, I began to cook up a plan that would provide me with a Ben Franklin of my own. The ingredients to set plan were a small paintbrush, a box of watercolours and some fifty sheets of paper borrowed from my stepfather’s printer.

I spent the next three hours producing some of the most exquisite artwork of my life, executions varying from three minutes to thirty seconds.

Once my work was finished, I set out on my quest to make ends meet. A couple of hours later, I returned home with 150$ and having sold more work at the age of seven than Van Gogh in a lifetime. The look on my mothers face, priceless.

STORY OF MY LIFE P1

”I AM BORN”

I arrived into this world the night of October 28th, 1991. Personally, I have no recollection of the events that took place during the hours of my birth, however, there are certain things, which I consider worthy of mentioning.

I was the unexpected result of a passionate love affair between my parents, Iciar & Gabriel. I used the plural term, but the fact is my father was never present during my birth or the ten years that ensued. He was an adventurer who spent the majority of his days roaming the seven seas on his ship, a lifestyle he embraced until his premature death in 2001.

Due to Gabriel’s absence during my birth, I took my grandmothers surname Arbex, and was exclusively entrusted with its survival as the only remaining male in my family to carry it. Perhaps my family had foreseen this situation considering my fathers reputation, although I was told that my name wasn’t decided until after I was born.

The decision came from my older cousin, also called Iciar, who had lost her father in a motorcycle accident earlier that year. Therefore, I was named after my dead uncle Ignacio, or Nacho, as his friends called him.

Tom Eckersley

Tom came into the world at the turn of the 20th century and began producing artwork the same year the Great Depression hit. Needless to say, these were complicated times for anyone, not only designers, however, Tom found a loop-hole through which he could still develop his work. The hole I am referring to is Advertising.

As a student of Advertising myself, It didn’t take me long to realize why he chose such a path. Tom, along with his partner Eric Lombers, produced some incredibly simple designs, and simple is hard. These uncomplicated designs were accompanied by a functionality which made his work ideal for advertising, particularly in a time where mass media was still developing and posters remained the preferred channel to reach the masses.

In 1939 Tom and Eric split up to join separate regiments of the British Army. In my opinion, it was during his solo period that Eckersley created his best work. Mostly posters for the RoSPA, the Royal Air Force and the General Post Office. Tom’s emphasis on geometric shapes and the balance or tension they created depending on their positioning, was a style well suited for these companies, all of which were involved in the war in one way or the other.

If I was to put Tom’s work into two words: Shocking-Simplicity.Image

Two brilliant poems.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

–    –    –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –

De quince a veinte es niña; buena moza
de veinte a veinticinco, y por la cuenta
gentil mujer de veinticinco a treinta.
¡Dichoso aquel que en tal edad la goza!

De treinta a treinta y cinco no alboroza;
mas puédese comer con sal pimienta;
pero de treinta y cinco hasta cuarenta
anda en vísperas ya de una coroza.

A los cuarenta y cinco es bachillera,
ganguea, pide y juega del vocablo;
cumplidos los cincuenta, da en santera,

y a los cincuenta y cinco echa el retablo.
Niña, moza, mujer, vieja, hechicera,
bruja y santera, se la lleva el diablo.

The first of these two is Invictus by William Ernest Henley. As a child, Henley was physically weak and prone to illness. A condition that made him understand the harshness of life at a very young age. However, children who overcome difficult childhoods multiply their strength tenfold, and that is what Invictus speaks of.

The second is a piece by Francisco de Quevedo called A la edad de las mujeres or About the age of women. He wittily describes the way women behave from fifteen to fifty five, categorizing them in five year time spans.It’s written in a cheeky yet charming way, using language that borders between playful and offensive.

Self Reliance.

I’d like to begin this blog by talking about one of my favorite thinkers of all time. The man I’m referring to is Ralph Waldo Emerson, born in 1803 Massachusetts. Emerson was a champion of individualism, an ideal he promoted through dozens of essays and public lectures. Self-reliance is widely considered to be his seminal work. The main argument of the text, centers around the necessity of cultivating an independent mind and having the courage to pursue your ideals above all others.  I was tremendously moved while reading his work, as it reconfirms an attitude which I already posses. 

I find it crucial for us advertisers to follow Ralph’s advice in being great men, ”who in the midst of the crowd keep with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” 

This may sound rather cold and detached, yet to me it speaks of being an unbiased and observant person. Social restrictions fueled by class, religion, gender or ethnicity are slowly fading into a world where we are all interconnected via technology. 

What the future holds for us is impossible to foresee, yet for us advertisers who will be in charge of defining cultural aspects throughout the next century, it is important to stay true to our own ideals and surrender them to no one. 

”Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind”. 

”Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

”Prayer looks abroad and asks for some foreign addition to come through some foreign virtue, and loses itself in an endless maze of natural and supernatural, and mediatorial and miraculous. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness.”