Tuesday, March 17, 2020

George Miscellany. An update.

Hi, socially distant friends and readers. I hope you're all holding up as the world coughs and wheezes to apocalypse. 

Since it's been two months and three days since I was fired from Ogilvy, I thought I'd give you something of an update from my sad little piece of schist smack dab in the middle of New York's tidal flux.

First, I've been working. 

A lot.
Every year around the Jewish New Year, millions of gefilte fish swim up the Hudson,
jump into tiny glass bottles and end their too-brief lives slathered with horse radish.

I've been busier than a gefilte fish making its way upstream to spawn, dodging carrots and gelatinous sauce along the way.

My ex-boss and Ogilvy's ex-CCO, Steve Simpson has been keeping my days and nights occupied. Steve is Chief Creative Officer at the Creative Lab at a financial services company and we've been typing our fingers down to the last knuckle.
The way to my heart. If I had one.
I've also been working to start my own little thing. Picking up assignments left and right--and sometimes center--to earn my daily kasha varnishkes.*

It's amazing how much work you can do when your day isn't filled with invidious meetings and the penny-ante preenings of puffed-chested pischy poseurs.

Oh, and when you aren't spending your days and nights in meetings because in most agencies meetings count as work when in reality, they're a substitute for work.

Oh, and when you don't have to go through 71 rounds of revisions to get to a creative product roughly 710% worse than where you started.

It's also amazing how much more money you can make when you aren't subsidizing the wood-paneled offices, limousines and Gulfstream jets of Holding Company chieftains. And lavish Cannes expenditures. And bonuses for those who say there are no bonuses.

It's been only two months since my fiery liberation, and despite some not to be unexpected bouts of sadness, loneliness and, yes, fear, so far so much better.

Mostly what I've discovered is what's hard for me to own up to. People like me and respect my work. A lot of good people have given me a lot of good help.

Thank you for your kindness.

Next for today, yet another advertisement for myself. Some months ago I reached out to Tom Christman and Paul Fix who run the vaunted New York ad school AdHouse. 

Paul and Tom were kind enough to allow me to teach a course at the school starting late May, pandemic permitting. AdHouse is pragmatic, hands-on and demanding. If you know someone who might benefit from some time with Tom, Paul or me, consider applying.

On a separate note, back when I was in high school in the early 70s, I had an English teacher who never quite came out of the 60s. One class, in a somewhat narcotic haze, he told the story of living in Greenwich Village during the dark desperate days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

"We all thought the world was ending in ashes, so we all debauched each other with anonymous and indiscriminate sex with strangers."

Today, we prepare for our doom by hoarding toilet paper.

Be that as it may, no matter how shitty things are in the moment and how shitty they're apt to become, do your best to smile now and again and keep the faith, even if you have none and never will.

Joe Louis, aka "The Brown Bomber," heavyweight champeen from 1937-1949.

More to the point, try to remember and try to keep ever-present, the words of ex-heavyweight champion, Joe Louis. "I done the best I could with what I had."

Do the best you can with what you have. Even if it's just a few rolls of toilet paper and a good recipe for Kasha Varnishkes.


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