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La Generación X - y la "X", ¿qué significaba?

Cuando de pequeño descubrí que los profesionales de marketing habían encasillado a mi y a los que nacieron en la misma época en un grupo denominado la Generación X, me preguntaba qué era el significado de esa letra. Por muy pequeño que fuese, sospeché que el significante tendría algún significado, más allá del sonido de ese consonante malsonante.Sin embargo, he tenido que esperar más de cuatro décadas para confirmar que aquella X, en efecto, representaba el vacío. O lo que es peor, el engaño. Y es probable que en los próximos años veamos con horror hasta qué punto nos vendaron los ojos a los de mi generación y con consecuencias trágicas para el futuro de la humanidad.Sí. Nos mintieron. Cada 11 de noviembre, a las 11:00 h nos llevaban a los de mi clase a un memorial levantado al final del campo de fútbol de mi colegio, al borde del río, en homenaje a todos los antiguos alumnos fallecidos en la "Gran Guerra". Aquella guerra, que mi profesor -un ex mayor retirado del ejército- …
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PR in times of cholera

How do PR professionals, companies, organisations or plain individuals cut through the noise in the era of social media? This will be one of the key questions in 2018, and even more so at a time when ideas and opinions are so easily misconstrued and a simple misthought phrase can lead to Trumpian noise and fury on Twitter or, indeed, elsewhere.

It would seem that this is not a time for pushing boundaries. A simple mis-step and you have a full blown global brand identity crisis. Yet somehow brands need to differentiate themselves and make themselves stand up above mediocrity and reflect something their audiences want to hear.

Step into the fray Virgin Trains, which this week performed some marvellous 'virtue signalling' by banning free copies of the Daily Mail for its First Class Passengers. This led to some to notice the irony of this occuring just at a time when this publication had been criticising the poor service quality of the British privatised rail service. In any event…

Peter Preston, a eulogy for a great editor

2018 is with us, and almost immediately those who follow the media feel a great loss. Peter Preston was the very personification of The Guardian when I started reading it in my early teenage years. His period at the head of the paper spanned a total of 20 years and he oversaw some of the most important changes in its history, including a major redesign, the overhaul of its editorial operations and the laying of the foundations for its subsequent global conquest -its online version nowadays has more readers in the US than in the UK.

Nevertheless, what I most recall from this period is the very different structure in the way news was reported around the world, and not least the relationship with foreign correspondents who, certainly in the case of The Guardian, normally had a very broad knowledge of the countries they were writing about. Not to mention the greater freedom to report from the perspective of what they saw on the ground rather than simply reinforcing their readers prejudice…

Is religion abuse?

Homeopathy is staring down a barrel. The European authorities have decided that there is no scientific evidence that it works, in spite of the anecdotal evidence of millions of patients who claim that it has cured their ailments. A placebo effect? Maybe. Worse than tobacco? Probably not.  In fact, given that using this kind of medicine is a free choice and the information about the risks or lacks of guarantees is so widespread that it is hard to suggest that anyone is being led down a blind alley.
Not so the case with traditional religions. I would argue that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to argue that religions are not imposed on their adherents in highly abusive ways and that they need to be combated with the same strength as other forms of emotional coercion.
Let's start with the scientific evidence. Obviously, there is no proof that any of the beliefs: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. have even a grain of truth to them or that they are anything less than inst…

Junk news

If we stopped reading mainstream news, would we be any more ignorant? My hypothesis is that the opposite would happen. For proper democracies to work, we need to be informed well enough to be able to take decisions as individuals. Nevertheless, as one can see from the political debate in Spain, the campaign by Donald Trump in the US and the Brexit campaign in the UK, the mainstream news outlets peddle lies, half lies and manipulation. There food is their readers partial or total ignorance.As citizens, we all have a role to play. However we are rarely well informed enough to make judgements on general issues. We read the news and mostly learn about terrorism, immigration, refugees, political corruption... Yet we only develop very superficial awareness and none of the deeper knowledge of the issues leading to these phenomena. We are thus ripe to manipulation from politicians who use sweeping statements and generalisation to carry voters with them.That is not to say that we should not wa…


The strange thing about being English and growing up in England was that sometimes you felt you had to apologise for it. Like when I was 6 or 7 years old and my Art teacher said, "Oh, Adrian, he's oh so very English!"
You could not get by without a sense of humour, so you developed that. And it worked. So you could manage the arrogance of those 'cool' guys who came from abroad and felt so exotic and sophisticated. They would tell you England was on the slide and they were the future. You would end up believing it, not really minding losing the football. It was all about 'being a good sport'.
Then you would go abroad and say you were from England and they would say, "Oh, the hooligans! The fish and chips". And you would reply, "Oh, but only the English are hooligans. Only the English eat fish and chips. I am from London, a whole different kettle of lobsters". The image everyone else had of your country was not one that you yourself rec…

En un sistema de partidos, lo democrático es el sistema, no el partido

He participado en partidos políticos en España y el Reino Unido y la realidad es que como afiliado no pintas nada en las decisiones que se toman. Votas con la tasa de afiliación, que puedes retirar en cualquier momento, y puedes votar a veces al candidato o al Secretario General, que es algo absurdo cuando la doctrina generalizada es que para ganar elecciones es mejor no hacer caso a la militancia. Pero influir realmente en la política del partido, a menos que seas estudiante o jubilado y tengas tiempo para meterte en esas batallas, está fuera del alcance de las llamadas 'bases' del partido. Reconozcámoslo. Pertenecer al PP, al PSOE, etc. es algo similar a unirte al Club de Kellogg's. Te defines en función de los valores del partido, no esperas a que el partido se defina en ti.

En este contexto, ¿por qué alza los brazos tanta gente con gesto de estupefacción cuando el ejecutivo de un partido decide destituir de manera fulminante a la dirección de una agrupación local? Los …