Friday, August 19, 2011

The Charge of the Light Brigade.

I am reading a book by the great historian Orlando Figes called "The Crimean War." Esoteric, I know.

Last night I got to the famous "Charge of the Light Brigade," where incompetent generals bid their men into almost certain death. 600 cavalry-men charged the Russians. About half returned alive and unwounded.

I thought about this battle as I was going through roughcuts with the client yesterday. Reviewing roughcuts when world-wide markets drop between 4% and 6% is not propitious.

We were fairly eviscerated.

That was in the morning.

We talked to them again in the afternoon, after they had had a bit more time to think.

Suddenly, we were basically ok.

Here's what I've learned from the Light Brigade.

Keep moving forward.

Don't back down.

There are arrows that come your way.

There's nothing you can do about those arrows.

No way you can really avoid them.

But you keep moving forward.

That's the key.

Don't stop moving ahead.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


Dinesh Bhadwal said...

Last night i finished watching 'War and Peace', a BBC production (1972). Your blog reminds of the Battle of Borodino. It was the bloodiest day of Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

dave trott said...

You may have already seen this old photograph.
It's of that valley after it was all over.
All the little things that look like stones are cannon balls.
I think the emptiness makes it very poignant.

george tannenbaum said...

I never meant to diminish the titanic cost of Borodino, the Crimean War or any real struggle with what we do in advertising.

But the qualities of fortitude, perseverance and personal integrity usually carry the day, regardless of your pursuit.

george tannenbaum said...

Dave, have you read Errol Morris' take on this?

dave trott said...

I work in advertising so I agree with Churchill:'Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."