To care, to pretend you care, or to not care? That is the question…

Interesting pair of comments on the blog today:

Anonymouse says…

Dunno why but all these advertising self-references put me off the industry. All the tumblrs, the virals, etc. I just hate them.

I think it’s because they always make out like we do a stupid job. Which doesn’t have to be the case. It used to appear quite cool. Now we position ourselves as childish and moronic.

To which Crappywriter replies thus…

I think you’re right. But, with our collusion, we have allowed a once reasonably noble industry with clever people doing wonderful things to become moronic. We are moronic. You only have to go to a tissue meeting with a client to understand that we are now cunts.
Maybe you don’t like these things because they are true.
I no longer give a fuck. I have been in it a long time and they’ve won. We have lost. If you give a fuck you go mad. Just take the money, say “leverage” at meetings, write their stupid ads that make them happy and laugh at them behind their backs.
That’s what I do.

I think that’s a fascinating subject/point/area.

There’s a lot of truth in what Crappywriter says about the state of the industry; the job has changed enormously, and now the days in which the swashbuckling genius of a Carty and Campbell was hitched to a maverick visionary like Kaye or Glazer, seem as distant as the days in which Greece produced the world’s entire supply of enlightened thinking. Our stock has fallen and, like a climate change denier, you’d have to be wilfully bloody-minded to be under any other impression.

But what to do about that?

Relatively good work and/or salaries are still possible, of course, but the 90s don’t appear to be on their way back, and those days of helicopter shots in the Mojave have indeed been replaced with huge numbers of tissue meeting wankathons (for most people. I’d just like to say, for the avoidance of doubt, that my job genuinely involves none of that stuff and I’m quite delighted about it), but can anything be done about the seemingly inexorable slide to further dreadful hours in Slough pretending to give a shit about brand equity?

Well, the short answer is always ‘yes’. How can it not be? If Gandhi kicked Britain out of India, and Mandela led his country after 27 years inside, then you – yes, you – can sure as hell take a once-great industry back to its halcyon days. And the moment you think it’s impossible it will indeed be so.

So the question is do you care enough to put in the effort to change it, or would you rather be pissed off with your lot and see out your days Slough-bound?

There’s no right or wrong answer. All I’d say, as Gandhi would, is ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.

But of course, if you don’t really want to see that change, carry on as you are. Nothing bad’s going to happen, except you could well get to the end of your life and reflect on what might have been in a way that makes you cry quite a lot in front of your grandkids.

Seems like a bit of a waste of your time here…