Miranda Leslau PR

PR in Black and White

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Miranda Leslau PR - PR in Black and White

Fast Love

 

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I have been thinking about the content of this post for a week now. The theme is derived from Adele’s recent live tribute version of ‘Fast Love’ by our beloved George (Michael). Adele was pretty bold to take on a slow version of this iconic track at last week’s Grammy’s and was criticized for doing so. Power of the people, right?

I think elements of this brave testament were haunting and powerful, particularly within the strings’ section. Other parts were slightly ‘off’. Nay bother. The message for me was the fact that I could actually hear the words of the song, when it was slowed down. And powerful words they are too. And this got me thinking about ‘Fast Vs Slow Life & Love’.

George is well-known for having been as self-deprecating as he was shocking about his lifestyle. He lived life to the full but he also respected where he came from and gave back, without seeking publicity or comment. He was “brought up well”, as our grandparents would have said (or “like a nice Greek boy”, as the father would have said in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ (the JOY of those two films).

Modern day life is fast – call it ‘The Tinder Effect’, if you like. George’s life was fast. We seek the fastest route to our destination; the quickest download speed; the most time-efficient workout or weight-loss plan; the path of least resistance when it comes to love and sex and seem to be obsessed with our lack of time, without appreciating the moment of time in which we exist. When we slow down the backing track of our life, the lyrics can be heard…

We have no control over time. It passes, regardless. The sun rises and sets as a ritual. And we tend to rush about trying to cram as much into our day without stopping to appreciate the view. None of us know when our time is up. And with the best technology and all of the money in the world, if it is your time, it is just that. As George can now tell us, from up on high.

I know myself that some of my best friendships and relationships have evolved over time. Not because I am getting to know someone else but due to the fact that we each find ourselves as much on our own as through the eyes of others: our colleagues, our friends, our lovers and our family. We are each mirrors and levellers. Quality over quantity (except in the case of roast potatoes or chocolate, I might add).

Generation ‘Tinder’ makes us impatient. It makes us look around the next corner, the next timeline or ‘Swipe Left’ and the next ‘Google’ search. George knew the difference between ‘Slow’ and ’Fast’ Love. You just have to listen to some of his other lyrics to appreciate the magnitude of this parallel.

I suppose we each fear ‘fear’, feelings and rejection. So speeding up our lives reduces the need to feel anything at all. We NEED fear in our lives to survive; to succeed in business and to grow. For anyone who has experienced heartbreak or loss in one form or another, it is a fate worse than death (particularly for teenagers, LOL). Because you have to deal with it and carry on (or sink)! George knew this and it inspired some of his greatest lyrics (‘Cowboys and Angels’). So ‘Fast Love’ becomes the quick fix and short-term Elastoplast. I too have been there.

The irony is that most people who live their lives in the ‘Fast Lane’, usually opt out at one point or another – burnt out high rollers and City wonder boys and girls. We all know at least one person like this. I could say that I too CHOSE to slow down my life by moving to Spain. Spain is like a spiritual, emotional and physical ‘tonic’ for me. I know far too many people who have crashed and burned through life, work, drugs or alcohol. And then they HAVE to slow down, rather than choose to do so.

If you can’t slow down or stay still long enough to ‘look up’, once you reach a certain point in life, what is the point? For the oligarchs and internationally acclaimed business leaders, if they can’t enjoy their hard work, why bother? Richard Branson regularly posts simplistic posts on his Instagram feed about life on Necker Island and the joy of being a grandfather. None of his great joys happened overnight – babies take nine months (or so) and his business success was borne out of a lot of hard graft, selling great and trusted products and understanding the power of PR.

It is timely that I post this blog on a Sunday - Spain’s day of rest, when the shops are closed, families take four hours over lunch and chatter abounds through the Paseos and Plazas within every Community and Pueblo. And I suspect quite a lot of Slow (and Fast) Love is going on too. ‘Fast Love’ is fun but ‘Slow Love’ is amazing. In George’s words, at the end of ‘Fast Love’… “I miss my baby…”. Hurting from some ‘Slow Love’, no doubt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SADele… #25

25

According to Forbes.com, Adele’s new “25″ album sold over five million copies in three weeks. Not too shabby. But what does this say about us, Adele or the record company that produced and released it?

Firstly, I am renaming ‘Adele’ as ‘SADele’ as every song is loaded with sad emotion. As someone who memorises song lyrics after just one or two listens, I am walking around in a pool of SADele despair, without even realising it. I used to annoy an ex boyfriend as I sang along, pretty much word perfect, to most songs that came onto the airwaves. I love Adele and her talent but I never feel happy after I listen to her music. Am I supposed to feel sad and reach for the nearest bar of chocolate? Should every album or download come with an on-pack promo of Dairy Milk?

As an aside, I didn’t consider the number 25 as a direct link with Christmas until I watched a film with Will Smith called ‘Focus’, last week. Will Smith plays a professional grifter and explains to Margot Robbie (his love interest, OF COURSE) that a ‘mark’ can be manipulated subliminally, with numbers, images and repeated visual or audio references.

So, on this basis, the title ’25′ may be a direct association with Christmas in relation to the calendar date and so that we ‘buy, buy, buy…’. On the flip side (oops pardon, don’t mention the flip phone… more later on this topic), however, the evidence might suggest that we are all a bunch of closet depressives, masking our inner demons and hurts. And that Adele is clearly a ‘skint stalker’ (more reference to the flip phone debacle). I am not sure which part of this tale is most depressing.

For a start, anyone who “must have called a 1,000 times…” should be sectioned or just move on. I for one would NEVER call a man 10 times, let alone 1,000 times, to say sorry for breaking his (or my own) heart. If he ain’t picking up love, he don’t wanna speak. And, if he does want to talk to you, it will only be when you stop calling that he will wake up and call you back!

As for the inclusion of a flip phone in the video for “Hello”, according to the Director, he said that he didn’t want to focus on technology or detract from the message of the video. But having a shit phone just brought more attention to the fact that SADele, poor lass, can’t afford a decent phone or is telling a very old ‘sepia’ story that might relate to her as a teenager, not as an adult.

If you think about sad music, some of the richest song writers in the world write and have written, in the main, tracks about heartbreak or love lost: Lionel Richie (SADele has usurped Lionel’s “Hello” throne) and Elton John are two prime examples. Are we all sad and wallowing in memories? I do wonder…

In spite of my musings and blog-friendly observations, I do love Adele’s exceptional talent. I also (quietly) enjoy going into my person and digging out the pain and hurt that passively consumes me from time to time. Maybe Adele is a new type of therapy for us all, regardless of our age or where we live. Five million people (plus, plus by now) all have something in common. ”It was just like a movie, it was just like a song… my g-d it reminds me, of when we were young…” gets me every time!

So if SADele’s transition from 21 to 25 is encapsulated in her music, my own is translated into typed words: Throughout 2011 and 2012, I was a bit of an emotional wreck on and off and, at the time, ”21″ took me through my roller coaster ride. I struggle to listen to the album now.

By the end of 2012 this is probably the time that the dreaded ‘C’ word took hold on my body. Just after Christmas 2013, I had was just about to find out I had been living with cancer for a year plus and would need an operation, cancer treatment and lifelong health restrictions.  One year ago, at the end of 2014, I had an hysterectomy. This year, I will be in Thailand for NYE, fulfilling a life long dream and enjoying my first holiday without work for about 10 years.

So SADele and the rest of us have so much in common…. nothing stays the same, albeit good or bad. We grow, we shift our perspective and we heal: emotionally, physically and psychologically. I wonder where we will all be by the time SADele releases her next work, I guess in 2019. Hopefully, by this time, she will have a decent mobile for the video and her ex will have answered the phone.

Merry Christmas and the best of everything to you and yours for the New Year 2016.

 

The Meteorites of Life – As the rest of the world goes BACK TO THE FUTURE, Miranda is going back in time…

meteorite

The other day, whilst browsing my Facebook timeline before bed, I came across a clip of Adele’s new single. The title of her new song is “Hello” but listening to the lyrics it should actually be “Goodbye”! Adele’s perfect pitch, heart-rendering performance and carefully chosen words, pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I hadn’t listened to Adele for a very long time and it took me right back to my past.

So while the rest of the world goes BACK TO THE FUTURE this week, this PR is going back to the past for a short while, reminding her about life meteorites. So what is a life meteorite you might ask…? Well, if you consider the concept of the life curve ball, the thing or person that appears from nowhere in your world and catches you unawares, the life meteorite is similar. But intense, powerful and much more destructive.

Over the years I have experienced a few life meteorites but none so powerful as one that was combined with a curve ball: a person who came into my life some years ago, hurling me around the constellations and leaving me in a pile of meteorite dust.

At the start of my descent into space, the Adele album, 21, was my staple diet. For one whole month I sat and stared into space, more or less. And cried. And turned into a very morose Bridget Jones. And I haven’t met a new man whom I allowed to even get close since. The dust is still settling. Bowie would have just slapped me around the head and told me that “We know Major Tom’s a junkie…” and it might have made perfect sense.

The night I met this life meteorite and it was a man (of course) I wasn’t even supposed to be going out or going into ‘that place’. I went in for one drink. At that time. On that day. And there he was. All bright white like a meteorite in his tight t-shirt.

And like a meteorite, he lit up my sky for a while and then came hurling, crashing back down to earth to strike me. And there I was, with my Adele album sitting in a (useless) therapist’s office, trying to understand what had just happened to me. Me, the ultimate survivor and Sabra, disintegrated into dark ash.

This meteorite completely broke me. He changed me and turned me inside out. I allowed this, I do not type these words out of blame. I don’t point the finger at other people for my life or circumstances. They are MY life lessons to deal with. And what was even weirder… the night I saw the new Adele single on Facebook, a sponsored ad also appeared on my Facebook page for a clothing company with the meteorite’s name. It was like Facebook was reading my thoughts or thoughts by association.

So whilst most of the world will just carry on with normal life once the BTTF statuses have become non-consequential, I wonder where all that ash has left me. I also wonder where the ash has left Adele and the millions of other people who have experienced life meteorites but shut themselves away and listen to Adele rather than vocalise or move on from their pain.

Adele’s voice still ripples with hurt and fragility. She has a new family and is ‘happy’ but her meteorite ash still clings to her soul and ultimately fuels her creativity and bank balance.

For me, the brave warrior who has won more than her fair share of life battles, ash still sits on my heart and on my fingertips. Regardless of whom I meet or what I do, that meteorite dust touches all of it. But I always look forward… only a Phoenix can rise from the ashes. And now, for the first time in years, my wings are about to take flight. And I look forward to my own movie script, entitled, FORWARD TO THE FUTURE. Move over Michael J, Fox… I really AM an 80′s blockbuster.