I have just entered my eleventh-month of independent-business-hood.
I've learned more in eleven months, done more, made more friends, won more business and made more money than ever before in my life.
I won't say it's more fun.
It's hard to dance with the notion of fun today.
Ours is a funless and mean world. And as I am out of New York City, the well-spring of humor, life and vitality in the world, it's hard for me to calculate if my dour mood is due to being independent or being in a dark, Trumpian, anti-fact, Covid-ridden world.
That said, I've learned a lot.
A lot of what I learned can be summed up by a stray line by a Langston Hughes poem I probably read almost fifty years ago.
"My soul has grown deep like the rivers."
I read those words today differently than I ever have before. I read them believing that Hughes knew of the resiliency of nature. That every time we think we've done it and finally destroyed the earth, there's a force that through green fuse drives the flower.
We come back.
Rivers, oceans, skies, cities, countries, freedoms, creativity come back.
Even independence will come back.
We don't stay buried forever.
I've come back.
I have good friends.
I have good accounts.
I am doing good work.
I am winning good amounts of business.
The impecunious and hate-filled technocrats who run the agencies and holding companies my brains and sweat helped build, are ticks on the body of humanity.
They suck. They disease. They cause pain.
And that's the good news.
I've learned more.
I've learned I don't need those people. Nobody does. My friends, talent and reputation beat your bullying. Hands down.
As opposed to your hands in my pockets.
I've learned you can take a flying leap and no one would miss you.
I've learned that you couldn't tell the truth from a lie if your mother's life depended on it. Assuming you had a mother. And weren't born of a chemical reaction between sewer sludge and old french fry oil.
I learned that you may have giant offices, golden parachutes, and expense accounts as thick as a Katz's pastrami, but when it comes to soul, well, you have about as much as the tick I described above.
I don't give a fuck that I'm angry.
I am angry.
We all should be.
You've come in with your corporate mafiosoing and ruined companies, legacies, lives and livelihoods. In our pusillanimous age, people are too cowed to speak. Serfs. There are no longer any journalists independent enough to write. There's Hoffman. Siegel and me. And we're tiny. So you're safe.
But we'll outlast you motherfuckers.
I remember a stray quotation from an old Borscht-Beltian, "He hasn't an enemy in the world--but all his friends hate him.”
And this one, "He lights up the room the minute he leaves it."
Those will be on your tombstones--whether they're engraved there or not.
That's all for today.
It's the end of the year.
The end of a long, dark year.
Maybe some lights will come on in America in 2021. Maybe in advertising, too.
But, I've learned things.
I'm a dumb, naive, idealistic dope tilting at windmills. The ones Trump says cause ear-cancer and kill birds.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
And I don't care who hates me.
That's a sign that I'm doing something right.