Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ah, a new year has begun.


Raining. Gloomy. Looking rather miserable so far.
Not even the kids are up.
They cuddle up in their beds with their Nintendo DS games.
Pokemon's their cure against unfriendly weather conditions.

The house is quiet.
The entire neighborhood is quiet.
I don't even hear the birds chirping.
Either they partied too hard last night, or they too don't
find the weather
conducive to song.
No squirrels on the lawn.
It really is a gloomy morning.

2007 left with a bang.
People were killed. Bhutto one of them.
Headlines.
A death that will be felt in 2008. Some way or the other.

Phil Dusenberry took his last breath just about a day short of 2008.
Who's Dusenberry you may ask?

Well, I didn't know him that well.
I knew OF him very well.
I met him at a couple of so called worldwide meetings held by BBDO
for their key people around the world.
Phil was at the top of BBDO in NY.
One of the most impressive creative leaders of our time.
In advertising.

Advertising is what I do.
I never got to the top of the heap though.
Sniffing at it a couple of times.
2008 will be a year I'll try hard again.
My kids need this house.
They need bread too.

I wasn't ever really interested in money.
Never worked for money alone.
Money? To work for money? It felt somewhat dirty.

Ha, what a joke.
How I have been deceived. Self-deception.

I'm in advertising and has treated it like a call of sorts.

I have bought and swallowed the myth that if you just do
as good as you can prosperity will follow.

I bloody did as well as I could.
Which was not necessarily always the best work possible.

By doing as good as I could I included loyalty.
Loyalty towards those who'd hired me.
Loyalty towards those I'd in my turn, in my position,
hired to work for the places I was hired to run.

I have fought for other peoples ideas.
Sometimes against better knowledge.
I have negotiated on behalf of big, rich companies.
Helped them stretch their money and get the most out of their budgets.

I have taken risks and challenged convention.
Little of it payed off, on a personal level, for me.
Quite the opposite really.
Even though the actions succeeded.
Problem is that challenging as such attracts attention.
The only thing left when success follows is a phew.
And the bad air left by those who never believed or trusted and fought against everything.
They're always against. They fight new. They fight ideas. They fight risk. They fight people with passions.
They don't fight for anything good. Other than their own prosperity.

Those are of course people on certain high levels. More politicans than doers.
They make your life miserable. And they tend to live long lifes.
Way longer than you'd ever last if you try to break the rule of "this is how we always do it".
Some of them started out well, but got honed and shaped, and let themselves so be.
Now they're essentially useless. But it's too late. They hold the strings of power in their hands.

At the end of the day, the first day of year 2008 A.D., I can simply
conclude that the only thing that would have had any value would have been selfishness
However. When acting in self-interest, remember to act as if it's not.
Don't let your words betray the real meaning. Good liars know that. Saying is one thing, doing is quite another.

Advice for those thousands of you younger readers:
Only spend time and energy on the actual work. The actual final work that can be seen and win awards.
Don't waste your energy on anything else. Avoid like the pest anything that can distract you from that.
Let the losers do the heavy lifting. For you, if possible.

And by all means. Go for the money. You'll need them. Save as much of it as you can. Or invest wisely.
The fact is: Nobody's going to fight for you.
It may seem as if someone might be fighting for you at times.
Remember, it's rather likely that's something is in it for the guy seemingly fighting for you.

Now, of course, there are some truly noble hearts in our industry.
Some of them are naive. And well meaning. They tend to come across as wiser than they are.
I've come to know a couple of them.

I've also come across some brilliantly smart people.
I never learnt a thing from them. To my regret.

There are also some real people. Even in advertising.
But that is so rare I don't think they have much
of an influence over anything or anybody really.
It's not that most people are bad.
It's just the way most people are at the end of the day.
Everyone's got to live and try to survive.
Most people are sheep. Just a number in a herd.
Whether in advertising or any other function.

It may sound stupid, and it probably is: I've been a bit of an idealist.
In bloody advertising. Man, I surely wasted my energy,
When I was much younger I thought of being a journalist.
Exposing the world for what it is.
I never did.

I got into advertising. Treating it like an art form.
Trying my bloody best not to pester the world with crap.
I've even declined working on some accounts
as I thought of the products as being destructive.

So.
This morning.
The first in 2008.
I made myself a cup of coffee.
Took a couple of pictures.

It all looks pretty much the same as last year.
The fireplace is there.
It does work. But we never use it.
Maybe we should this year?
There's something about fires.
It talks to something very ancient and deep in us.
Now we just keep a handful of large candles in there.
Looks nice when lighted.

Oh, do I have any resolutions for the new year?
Well, not really.
I know I don't have the capacity, or personality traits, to keep them.
They are always against my nature.

But I have a wish that my family will be happy and healthy.
I wish my friends the same.
I wish no evil on anybody other than those who are evil.
Yes, I know, I should wish everyone well. But I'm not religious in that sense.
The evil that lives within many people is simply evil.

Just one more thing.
One I always wondered about.
Well, it does tie in with my thoughts above.

Why is it that someone who's constantly uncomfortable to his surroundings, dominating, downright evil on a small scale, or even large for that matter, always gets forgiven and praised they day he does the tiniest of good?
It's like it really pays to be an asshole. Because you only have to crack one little crooked smile now and then to be embraced and praised.

And why is it that those around us who are constantly good and decent and well-meaning never get recognition?
Rather do they suffer, as people take advantage of them, taunt them, and use them as spring-boards. To cover up their own fears and shortcomings.

2008 will most likely not be very different.
But we can hope.

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