Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Thinking last.

I read something the other night, I'm not sure where or what I was reading, but it was about the origins of many last names in the western world.

There are a lot of Coopers, Sawyers, Carpenters, Smiths, Farmers, Cartwrights, Brewers. All last names that indicate the profession of the patriarch of one's particular family. Somewhere, I suppose in the past of my blighted family tree someone was either from Tannenberg, Germany or cut fir trees for a living.

Maybe there's a word for this kind of genealogical etymology and I just don't know it. But it struck me as a somewhat interesting and harmless diversion.

Then, all at once my social media feeds were taking over by the shocking brilliant revealing of a new Burger King logo. It's so different and so brilliant that it seemed everyone and their cousin was having it their way. 

When I looked at it, I saw no big deal. I certainly didn't see breakthrough. I saw a slight revamping of a logo from 1969 and that was about it. I saw nothing that would make me think about going to Burger King and having a meal. In fact, if everyone wasn't gushing about it, I wouldn't have noticed at all. And if I happened to see the new logo on a roadside litter-basket known as a QSR, I'd have probably said to myself, "oh, they never updated their logo from 50 years ago."

Of course, my point in bringing up the old/new/old Burger King logo is to illustrate how much time we in our industry spend on things that make no difference to people, sales, organizations--anything.

Think of the late nights you've spent in edit suites. Or rewriting something that was shorter, sharper and better two weeks earlier. Think of all the hours we spend listening to the Gregorian chanters of opinionizers--each one who has to be heeded or you'll be accused and damned for not being collaborative. Think about all the minutia that takes up our lives, that fills our timesheets and empties our souls.

I wondered if all our last names were wiped out in some celestial conflagration, if all at once we were without last names, and were to be assigned by the socialistic anarcho-syndicalist Biden administration new last names based on our current occupations--how that would go.

Not George Copywriter. Or George Adman. They'd have to be more specific than that to be identifying.

"Hi, George, I'm Fred Framefucker, nice to meet you."

"Hey, it's Pete Powerpoint."

"Dave Deck."

"Mary Incomprehensibleandcontradictorycomments."

"Hi, it's James Throwmyweightaround."

"Hi, I'm Katie Timesheetpolice, this is my assistant, 
Mia Kissmyass."

"Bill Corporatejargonese."

"Ernie LetsstayallnightbecauseIhategoinghome."

"Tom Bigworduser."

"Pam Pontificator."

"Shelly Notinuntileleven."

The list goes on and one. But I'll end with my two favorites.

"Mark Harkenback."


"Mark Decreasingrevenuebytwentyfivepercenteveryquarterdestroyinggreatadvertisingbrandsandfiringeveryoneovertheageofthirtytwo."

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