Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Showing up.

As I've written about over the past few weeks, just about everyone in my agency is burrowed deep inside a World War I style trench, cowering for protection, covered in mud and filth, keeping their heads down and writing reviews.

Like most things in our technocratic age, questions are asked and answered in reviews so that they are as abstruse, obtuse, diffuse and confuse as possible. When I read reviews they make me think of my new "least favorite" politician, Newt Gingrich who calls, for example, Barack Obama the "food stamp president" because you can no longer call someone a nigger. Though the effect and purpose is the same.

In any event, having nearly finished writing my reviews, I am now reading reviews others have written. In other words, reviewing reviewers. Which, of course, begs the old Roman question "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards?

It occurs to me that maybe the best review you can possibly give is a version of the old Woody Allen line: "80 percent of success is just showing up."

Today, we are infected with choice and many people simply choose not to show up.

They turn up missing by attending and scheduling meetings that produce nothing but wind. They are absent when the phone rings and someone is looking for help. They are present when sweeping and grandiose proclamations are made but they're missing when the campaign needs to sold by dint of the small, but important pieces that bring it to life for the client.

Thomas Paine, the great essayist (today we would call him a motivational speaker) called such people "summer soldier(s) and ...sunshine patriot(s)..."

An ex-boss of mine called them--in a phrase I'll never forget--people with "Titanic attitudes and minnows in the engine room."

Woody Allen called them people who don't show up.

1 comment:

Ciaran said...

True that, true that.