An apology for giving offence to the 27 Dinners dudes — specially to Mike Stopforth

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Yo Mike (and everyone who creates 27 Dinners)…

I apologize for making my comments on Monday night’s 27 Dinner at Primi Piatti sound smug and blunt and horrid. They really weren’t meant to be that, and they weren’t meant to be an attack.

In my head, as I was writing, I thought I was being witty, provocative, informative, constructive. Reading back, I actually sound like a frothing dick. Hopefully I’m no syphilitic Mugabe.

I saw Vince’s post, saw the comments there, saw that people were offering feedback, and saw that the feedback was being received. So I wanted to add to the pot.

As you know, I’m a big supporter of the spreading of knowledge for free. Everything I write and draw that’s not under a commercial contract is open source. So for me, 27 Dinners is an awesome initiative.

My comments probably come from a primal part of my brainstem. I’ve encountered really bad presentations all through my business life. Even the MOST creative ad agencies and communication houses LOVE ‘death-by-powerpoint’. And it frustrates me that so many people continue to embrace poor visual communication.

It’s always reallllllllllllllly tricky for me to put my neck on the block by offering critical feedback of events. My income derives from the very people I’m being critical of. And I know nobody likes to come across as sucky. And I know that sucky is a completely personal judgement call.

When you mentioned my makeshift ‘screen’, at first I was jolted in a negative way. I thought, ‘Sheesh! I was doing my best!’ About one second later, I thought, ‘Fuckit. Mike was also doing his best. And everyone at the 27 Dinner also did their best. Including the drunk American.’ And then, about nine seconds later, I thought, ‘Mike’s right. I’m putting myself out there as a professional visual facilitator. And I didn’t even bring my own screen. Shoddy, Roy, shoddy.’

The only reason I didn’t buy the same screen you have from Makro on Sunday is that I found it won’t fit in my car (I’m in a Mazda MX5, and I need something a bit more portable to get in there along with my other equipment).

So I’m on the hunt right now for something that folds up, rather than something that rolls up. What I’m primarily visualising is one of those round screens, much like the sun guard you get for cars. You know the kind of thing… a metal rim that kinda bends into a small, flat disk, with the screen folded into it. Any ideas where to find such a thing?

So to everyone who I probably offended, I apologize for the offence.

At the same time, I do believe that we can all up our game. More than that… we MUST up our game. Myself included.

Blue skies