Selfie Sticks

The selfie stick is arguably the object most representative of this decade: a camera/phone extension to enable us to take better pictures of ourselves against various backdrops.

I saw this article on the BBC News app and it made me smile:

The science behind why we take selfies

I have a much simpler explanation.

We are just obsessed with ourselves to the exclusion of everything and everybody else.

In my humble opinion, it’s not a good place to be.

On a recent trip to Paris to promote my new album MY TITANIC on a radio show, I played tourist and went on one of those open-top bus sightseeing tours of the city with my wife, Brigitte. Wonderful spring weather, very agreeable. But what struck me as we went round the city was that people were consistently only taking pictures of themselves. Me in front of the Eiffel Tower. Me with the Champs-Elysées in the background. Me and Notre-Dame. Me.

I imagined these people sharing these pictures with their friends and the stultifying boredom of being subjected to 150 pictures of ME. Where people in the past would have been fascinated by the sights and taken pictures of the city to show their friends, Paris has now become simply a backdrop, a prop in the studio of me.

How did we get so obsessed with ourselves? When exactly did the outside world start to exist only in order for us to better show ourselves off? Will taking endless pictures of ourselves make us happy?

My advice.

Take one or two pictures of yourself on your smartphone with your selfie stick and then put it away and start really looking at the world around you. If inspired, take pictures of what you see. Much more interesting for you. Much more interesting for the people who will have to look at your photos later.

As Henry James once put it, “Losing yourself is the next best thing to dying.”

Have a great weekend.




Wanted: Soil Dead Or Alive?

I saw this thirty minute film on Facebook and I wanted to give you a heads-up about it, even though it’s in French:

Unfortunately, everything that is said in this film is true. Through the use of GMO crops and pesticides, we are gradually destroying the earth, making it dead instead of alive.

If your French is up to it, please take the time to look at this film. It’s important to understand that a natural product cannot be patented and therefore you cannot make a huge profit with it. If you play God with nature and create hybrids artificially, then you can patent the result and charge people for it.

The future of the huge agro-food industry relies on convincing you that you need to grow artificial food and spray it with lots of chemicals in order to feed yourself, your children and your children’s children.

The future of the planet requires us to say no, to return to natural ways of cultivating natural plants and trees so that the soil can be rejuvenated and life continue.

As the guy in the film says, the consumer is king. If you don’t want to eat crap, then stop buying it. It’s as simple as that.

Hope the film is useful.

Have a great week.




Healthy Fats

If the title of this post sounds like an oxymoron (compressed paradox), then the food industry has succeeded in brain-washing you.

If you avoid butter like the plague and always go for low fat or 0% products, you’re in for a surprise.

Just read this very clear and informative article from Dr. Axe:

The 5 Best Healthy Fats for Your Body

Did you learn anything?

Hope it helps.

Have a great Pentecost weekend.




Milky Voice

The View From Our Hotel Window
The View From Our Hotel Window

Here I am in Paris to promote my new album MY TITANIC on Radio Aligre FM in Jazzbox on Saturday evening. Wonderful weather.

‘I love Paris in the spring time….’

You may have realized that I’m a singer/songwriter amongst other things, but if you didn’t, no matter. This post, however, is for people who like to sing.

If you do take singing seriously, then you have probably heard that dairy products are not the best thing for your voice. This is because they tend to encourage phlegm which in turn makes singing more problematic.

But what to do if you like milk?

Ever since childhood, I’ve always been a great fan of cereals, preferably low sugar or no sugar versions. My very favourite is Bite-Sized Shredded Wheat. Curiously, this product is not available in Switzerland. I say curious, because the brand belongs to NestlĂ© since they bought out Nabisco. You can get the crappy sugar-covered ones but not the original 100% wheat variety. But I digress.

Anyway, you can’t have cereals without milk. And I’ve noticed that if I have a cereal in the evening and do a voice warm-up the next morning on my way to work, then there is more phlegm and this can cause problems.

But I recently made an interesting discovery.

If you like milk, then you have probably noticed that the quality of pasteurized milk is going down. When I went to England last year, I was appalled at how bad the pasteurized milk had become. And recent milk in France has also been bad. Even Swiss milk has deteriorated in quality.

Now as part of my health research, I recently decided for a variety of reasons to try out raw milk.

And guess what?

I’ve noticed that if I have a cereal with raw milk in the evening, then I don’t have problems with phlegm the next morning when I’m singing.

Isn’t that interesting?

So if you love singing and milk, you can heave a sigh of relief and continue with both.

It does, however, beg the question of the effects that pasteurization has on milk… but that’s another article.

Let me know if you try out this tip and discover the same thing. It would be great to hear from you.

Hope that’s useful.

Have a great Ascension weekend, wherever you are.