Is this your spine?
I just glanced at a front page story in The New York Times about the raging debate in Europe over the efficacy of castrating sex offenders. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/world/europe/11castrate.html?_r=1&hp
Unfortunately the re-Depression, or the Mega-Recession, or Depression 2.0 has already rendered that debate moot in the advertising industry. Castration, or attempts thereof, is rampant.
I explained it this way to my wise-beyond-her-years 21-year-old. For my generation (I am 51) it took a certain confidence, outspokeness, zeal and, yes, perhaps, pain-in-the-assness to make it in this business. Now, as the specter of fear looms larger and larger we are expected to be more easy-going, more compliant, less confrontational, more amenable.
When the client or "management" says, "I have concerns," you prick up your ears. And yes, that is as painful as it sounds.
"Do not go gentle into that good night," Dylan Thomas wrote half a dozen decades or so ago. Maybe now he'd have writ, "Do not go gentle into unemployment."