What I Learned This Year 2011 #25: Felix
The Denver Egotist didn’t ask me to write this. Sadly, for me anyway, the folks behind the scenes of your beloved ad blog know it’s much more interesting to read the revelations of real people doing real work. And while I may be real (more or less), I love to hide behind the warm blanket of anonymity. That means I am last in line for this kind of stint.
So, why write it? As I sit nursing a fine single malt, puffing on an imaginary cigar, I wonder what I can add that others can’t. Probably not much, actually. However, if what I write brings a smile to just a few people, well, that’s all I need. After all, it’s a free blog, this is written for free, no one’s out of pocket, and all you’ll have wasted is a few minutes of your time. If you’re perusing The Egotist though, I figure you can spare it. Right, then, here we go.
A Good Fuck Doesn’t Hurt Anyone.
I’m speaking here of the word itself, not the carnal act it represents. But hey, it’s just as true. (Well, unless you’re on the receiving end of some nasty wake-up call in a maximum security prison. But that wouldn’t be a good fuck now would it?)
It seems that my liberal use of words like fuck, shit, dick, piss, irks a lot of people. I get comments about it often. “Meh, you’re so ridiculous, why are you swearing like that, it’s not smart or clever, grow up, I’m better than you, whine whine whine.” You know, these are the same people who swear like fucking sailors in their own agencies. But hypocrisy being rife in advertising, I expect it. The fact that every respected comedian, and most musicians, resort to language from the gutter is neither here nor there, right?
Anyway, it’s in my nature to swear, and I won’t apologize for it. I have said, right from the start, that I’ll swear when I want to and sometimes I want to swear a lot. Sometimes, not so fucking much. I don’t think it ever gets in the way of my message, it usually enhances it. I like to hammer my point home, and there’s nothing like a good fuck, shit or, dare I say it, cunt, to really slam that nail in the coffin. In 2012, I will write more, and swear more. Live with it, you lovely fucktards.
Grammar Nazis Can Smoke a Tailpipe.
Seriously, fuck right off. That goes to all the people I work with (you don’t know who you are) who constantly correct my copy because of a misplaced semi-colon or the incorrect use of a dash or ellipsis. I DON’T CARE! And guess what. 99% of the people reading the copy DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK either.
The best and brightest minds in advertising have known for decades that the message is way more important than correct grammar. Speak like people speak. Write like people write. Consider this headline, inspired by my current position.
Where The Fuck Do Grammar Nazis Come From?
Ooohh, that’s awkward. Ends in a preposition, and that cuss word is just amateur.
How about this instead?
From Where In The World Do Grammar Nazis Come?
To be honest, I’m guessing now. I really don’t know if the second one is actually more grammatically correct than the first, because I stopped obeying the rules of English decades ago. All I know is, it sounds shittier than the first.
If you get your point across, you’ve done your job. If anyone ever pulls you aside for bad grammar, shove a dictionary in their puckered anus.
Same Shit, Different Place.
Every problem you have is going on at other agencies. That old phrase of the grass always being greener is so true. And nothing will change.
If you think life is tough where you are, you’re right. If you think other people in other agencies are having it easier, you’re also right. But remember, you’re also that other person in another agency having it easier. You have problems they don’t have. They have problems you don’t have. You have great perks, and so do they. They’re all different, and yet all the same.
You bitch about not working on great campaigns. But the people working on great campaigns bitch that you earn more money, or leave work earlier than they do. You envy the people winning the awards. They envy the people working on projects that mean more than shiny gongs. It’s all give and take.
Unless your job is to go into the ad agency boardroom every day and suck the sweaty cock of every senior manager, you’re doing ok. And even then, if you’re getting paid for it, you’re better off than 10% of the population. At least you have a shitty job.
People Lie. Right To Your Fucking Face.
I have stopped counting the lies I have been told this year. Shit, I’m even starting to tell them to myself. Advertising is one of those businesses that seems to thrive on lies, gossip and negativity. The very reason I started my rants was to give my brain a release valve from the pressure that was building. And now, years later, I am still being lied to by people who smile and pat my back as they do it.
No doubt you get lied to as well, probably every day. Account managers will lie about deadlines or things the client has said. Creatives will lie about other ideas they’ve had, or the time it will take to do a job. CEOs will tell you the company is doing great when they’re drawing up a list of names to fire. Lies, lies, lies. They’re everywhere. And the only way to stop your brain turning into Jell-O is to put it all in perspective.
Yes, you’ll get lied to. Think carefully, though, before getting pissed off. Is it worth getting so angry because your shitty CD told you he (or she) fought hard for your ideas when they did, in fact, bend over immediately and take the client's dick right in the ass? Has anyone died as a result of this action? Do you still have a job? Are you still working on other things that could be great? Are you just being a whiny bitch? Good, then get over it and concentrate on being the better person. Or lie to yourself that you are.
Men Are Morons Around Pretty Girls. And Women Are Bitches.
Boy oh boy, this one never fails to amuse me. Everywhere I’ve been, in different countries with different cultures, it’s the same story. When a genuinely stunning young woman comes to the agency, men lose 50 IQ points and women sharpen their claws. What the fuck is going on, people?
Married, engaged, single, divorced, separated, it doesn’t matter. Men become complete fucking morons in the presence of a big-titted blonde with a penchant for mini-skirts and perfume. And it happens instantly. I was in a meeting with a bunch of guys who were tripping over each other to make the new girl laugh. They laughed at everything she said. They couldn’t wait to be on a project with her. And all because somewhere in the back of their heads, propagated by decades of shitty porn, they think they’ll have a shot at screwing this girl on the office photocopier. Or at least, she’ll want them to, and that’ll be enough for their egos.
And then, the women who surround this nubile young goddess realize that they’re not quite up to her level, and so they have to do everything to bring her down. I’ve seen more pleasant comments come out of the mouths of drill sergeants.
But what’s more annoying than all of this is that our Victoria’s Secret model hasn’t been given the chance to prove herself yet; at all. She could have the mind of Einstein or Dan Quayle. She could be a natural creative or account manager, or she could suck balls. But people see her body and face first and forget the rest. To be honest, this is all a complete distraction. But big clients, the majority of whom are men, like to see pretty girls. And these clients will buy a risky campaign from a gorgeous woman. What are we to do? Nothing. Unless we castrate all the men and pluck out the eyes of the bitchy women. But that wouldn’t make for a very effective ad agency would it?
Criticism is Fine as Long as it’s Constructive.
Here’s what I’ve been listening to all year…
“Nah, I’m not liking anything. No good. Can’t say why though. Try again.”
“This is a good start but can you give it more personality.”
“Can you take another shot at it? Why? Umm, because this one isn’t working.”
“They want to see more ideas. More. Just more. And not like the ones you’ve been doing, just new ones.”
And so on, and so on, and so on. God almighty it’s infuriating. And it’s really fucking easy to give that kind of critique by the way. It takes skill to dissect a campaign and list, categorically, what is working, what isn’t, and where the campaign needs to go. But most people are lazy. So they drop the ball in the court of the creatives, who have to go back to their desk, slam their nipples in a desk drawer, and try to figure out what’s good and what’s not.
You can tell me all day long that my work is shit. Just tell me WHY! Is that too much to ask? Really?
Finally, Opinions Are Just That.
They’re not facts, and they’re not truths. They are simply a collection of words that spew out of someone’s mouth, and they change constantly. My column gets negative opinions, and positive ones. It gets slated; it gets revered. Do I take any of it to heart? Not really. First, this is a persona. A big fat fuckoff persona. I’m not nearly this brash and abrasive in real life. I’m like that douchebag Christian Slater plays in Pump Up The Volume. So how can I care what people think?
But in my real life, it’s also worth remembering the same thing. Opinions may make your job tougher, or easier, or longer. But they are not outright facts. If you’re an accountant, it is not someone’s opinion that your figures don’t add up. It’s a fact. In our business, a creative campaign may suck to one person and be the child of God to another. And the next day, those opinions can be reversed. What’s more, opinions can be influenced by other opinions. They can be infected, like a virus infects a healthy host. They can spread. And they can also be destructive. Unless, of course, we all remember that they’re just opinions. Just electrical impulses generated in the brain of one man or woman who, at the end of the day, worries about their sexual performance, the money in their bank account, and the color of their shits.
So, that was my 2011. Of course, this is all just my opinion. For what it’s worth.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2012 for the Denver advertising industry. Shit, we could really use it.