I wonder if there's a Human Resources professional anywhere who's ever read "The Iliad" by Homer.
The extraordinary wrath of Achilles entails an insistent, deadly refusal to accept any of the traditional forms of compensation for the various losses he experiences.
In the first stage, Agamemnon insults Achilles by robbing him of a female captive, Briseis. Agamemnon later realizes his mistake and offers to give the woman back untouched, along with a lavish set of gifts as compensation for the affront. But Achilles adamantly rejects the offer, insisting that even an infinite number of gifts—as many as the sands of the sea—could never be adequate compensation for his original humiliation."
In Homer's words, Achilles says:
I'll admit--and I'll take the compensatory damnation that comes from it--I am with Achilles. I am, like most good creative people are, entirely too immoderate.
I am too angry.
I am too funny.
I am too driven, passionate, competitive, ornery.
I don't stop.
I don't let go.
Fuck two steps forward, one back.
The blanderization of advertising and the blanderization of our agencies and our work is because we've been told to collaborate, find compromise, cooperate, get along, build bridges.
Discontent--the ab ovo spark of creativity itself--is to be HR-banished from our "tool kit" of pablum-flavored placid responses.
We are supposed to burn not hot, but beige.
Four years ago, I ran across the article above in “The New York Times.”
I read the article and liked it. Agency “career discussions” were going on at that moment and I thought the article was valuable enough to share with some people who had the letter “C” in their title.
How fucking naïve of me.
” might be great for a family vacation. It’s not great for a creative endeavor.
Can't we all just get along and mediocreize our way to an unemployed future.
This is, isn't it, what Ginsburg was Howling against when he wrote, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..."
Minds are destroyed by compromise and concessions. Junk emotions.
And we're forced into complacent smiling acceptance of crap, notarized by plastic trophies that we pay to receive, as a sop of recognition for the crap we make.
The agency business has lost its way in so many ways in the holding company error-era.
Ignoring the lessons of Achilles may be the worst.
It might be better if we cared a bit more.
And gave up a little less easily.