Monday, 8 October 2018


The advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi said this in the 1970s. At the time it seemed an optimistic view of life but now it intrudes into counselling. To an overweight child:
“you could be an Olympic athlete if you tried hard enough … anything is possible” .
Only it isn’t. Except in a Japanese ad.

I was wondering if this made me a cynic recently when I got up early to catch a plane. As I put on the fa├žade of “I’m awake …I like it…I’m invincible…anything is possible …ha! No it isn’t”  I heard on the radio – “and now a piece on AI”.

Excellent …in a world of rapid change AI and robots we need to better informed. Time to pay attention - even though it’s 5.30am. A calm voice spoke to me “We think AI is the answer. Now we’ve subdued him and as you can see I have hold of his penis. I’m inserting it into the plastic vagina and yes…we’re good to go. Great , wonderful. Yes we have enough semen there for between 200 and 2,000 impregnations.

Strange how slow on the uptake tiredness can make you.  It was ‘Farming Today’ and they were masturbating a bull on air in the interests of AI. Artificial Insemination. I decided to give breakfast a miss.

My week has been full of little surprises. The piece in the Times about an undergraduate doing work-experience for a broadcaster and being told as an intern she would of course be unpaid. Her research project? “Modern slavery and the suppression of women”. You couldn’t make it up.

Talking of which if you haven’t yet seen Matt Damon’s impression of Brett Kavanaugh On Saturday Night Live (it’s on You Tube) please do. My problem (there are many) with Brett is he seems so unsuitable a candidate, his dodgy youthful escapades apart. Brett when, as they surely will, they confirm you remember to say “anything is possible.”

Much of my past week has been involved in exploring issues around change and culture. Most of us are immune to the thrill of change and increasingly we see evidence of our wanting things to remain as they were. To many the thought of a revival in coal mining would be wonderful.

But not to 10 year olds who see progress and inventions as a joy. To them anything seems possible. In the rich and verdant world of their imaginations great things happen. I heard a solution to world famine from a Formby High School team of 10 year olds on a Summer School. The solution is easy. Issue a jelly bean everyday to everyone on the planet, a special jelly bean which contains all the basic nutrients, vitamins and minerals a human being needs.  I love the simplicity of the solution and the sense of its being, well, possible.

Not everything is possible but amazing things can happen. So why not be an optimist?  Call this the week that I became a believer.

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