Sunday, August 15, 2010


It seems to me that part of the problem in the world today and therefore, in our business, is the worship of heroes.

Heroes are unnatural and mythic. The heroes we create and worship have no warts and flaws. They fly through the air like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Or fly up mountains like Lance Armstrong. Or they can part the seas and walk on water like Barack Obama. They are the pinnacle and the people we model ourselves after.

Then, of course, comes reality.

We learn that our heroes are nothing but finely-tuned and well-muscled humans. Complete with dents, flaws, shortcomings, hatreds, prejudices and, yes, even horrors. We learn they are juiced up on drugs, that they slap women around, or they demonstrate some other forms of distemper.

We "heroicize" different forms of media too. TV will solve our marketing woes. Or online. Or social media. Or four square.

They are heroic, without flaws. They will be the answer to our prayers. They will uplift us, edify, make us money hand over fist.

We also heroicize agencies and creative directors. We extol and then we imitate. We create an award show mythology around them. What they create must be great. It must be smart. When often it is drivel.

Heroes make it easy for us. They provide an ideal. They give us something to shoot for. They also make it easy for us to not be introspective, for us not to examine with a critical eye, for us to accept without questioning.

For those reasons, heroes are dangerous. As is over-simplification.

Of course it's ok to admire people's work. It's not ok to put people on a pedestal. It keeps you from looking them in the eye.


Dave Trott said...

You said it George, 'over-simplification'.
It stops us thinkin.
For instance, everyone repeats the famous quote as "Money is the root of all evil".
The actual quote is "THE LOVE OF money is the root of all evil."
World of difference.

幸平平平平杰 said...


Anonymous said...

jesus Christ Geo, don't become a mega curmudgeon like Parker. You've got much more going on.