Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Lurch. (Not About the Addams Family.)

For a couple dozen years now, advertising has been lurching.

Maybe (since advertising is just a polyp on the colon of life) all the world has been lurching.

It seems so much has changed so fast, between computers, the fall of empires, the rise of liberation movements, the splintering of communication channels, that much of the world believes we have to "re-invent" ourselves in order to stay relevant.

Even an ancient sport like baseball has changed its ancient rules to try to survive for the next ten years or twenty. Now there's a pitch clock, rules about extra-innings, and more. There's a new raft of statistics which make no sense to me, just as the rules that governed the game for 125 years make no sense for so many today.

Many institutions and people and, yes, agencies are so bent on being relevant that they've forgotten who they are.

That's what I mean by lurching.

They whisk this way and that, reforming themselves into the blank du jour, that in the apocryphal words of Gertrude Stein, they have no there there.

It seems the whole world is chasing the ephemera of what's cool and forgetting the solidity of what's permanent. What really matters. What makes us strong.

When you go back to the old Poor Richard homilies like 'neither a borrower or a lender be,' or 'you can't get something for nothing,' or the 147 Maxims from the Oracle of Delphi, you realize that most everything that attempts to change with the times neglects the timeless.

Sure some of the Maxims below have fallen out of favor. Their too religious, or gendered for the way we think today. But for the sake of the argument in this post, I'll highlight just a few and you can think of how the world would be better if we followed these 3000 year-old-ideas instead of some wisdom from some manufactured pop idol.

1. Follow God.
2. Obey the law.
3. Worship God.
4. Respect your parents.
5. Be overcome by justice.
6. Base your knowledge on learning.
7. Understand after you have heard what has occurred.
8. Know yourself.
9. Intend to get married.
10. Take care to know the right opportunity.
11. Think as a mortal.
12. Act as if you are a stranger.
13. Honor your family.
14. Control yourself.
15. Help your friends.
16. Control your anger.
17. Exercise prudence.
18. Honor divine providence.
19. Do not use an oath.
20. Love friendship.
21. Concentrate on education.
2. Pursue honor.
23. Seek wisdom.
24. Praise the good.

25. Do not accuse anyone.
26. Praise virtue.
27. Practice what is just.
28. Be benevolent to your friends.
29. Guard yourself against your enemies.
30. Exercise nobility of character.
31. Shun evil.

2. Be interested in public affairs.
33. Guard what is yours.
34. Shun what belongs to others.
35. Listen to everyone.
36. Be religiously silent.
37. Do favors for your friends.
38. Nothing in excess.
39. Use time in an economical way.
40. Look toward the future.
41. Hate violent and offensive behavior.
42. Respect those who have taken refuge in holy temples.
43. Be accommodated to all.
44. Educate your sons.
45. When you have, give freely.
46. Fear deceit.
47. Praise everyone.
48. Be a seeker of wisdom.
49. Judge according to divine law.
50. Think first, act later.
51. Shun murder.
52. Wish for things possible.
53. Associate with the wise.
54. Test the character of a person.
55. Give back what you have received.
56. Do not suspect anyone.
57. Exercise knowledge and skills in profession, trade or science.
58. Give what you mean to give.
59. Honor good deeds.
60. Be jealous of no one.
61. Be on your guard.
62. Praise hope.
63. Hate a false accusation.
64. Gain possessions justly.
65. Honor good men.
66. Know the person who judges.
7. Submit tο married life.
68. Believe in good luck.
69. Do not sign a guarantee when obtaining a loan.
70. Speak plainly.
71. Associate with your peers.
72. Govern your expenses.
73. Be happy with what you have.
74. Revere a sense of shame.
75. Fulfill a favor.
76. Pray for happiness.
77. Be fond of fortune.
78. Observe what you have heard.
79. Work for what you can own.
80. Despise strife.
81. Detest disgrace.
82. Restrain your tongue.
83. Guard against violent and offensive behavior.
84. Judge in just way.
85. Use what you have.
86. Judge without accepting gifts.
87. Accuse someone (only) when he/she is present.
88. Speak (only) when you know.
89. Do not behave in a violent way.
90. Live without sorrow.
91. Behave with gentleness to others.
92. Complete your activities without fear and without shrinking back.
93. Treat everyone with kindness and friendship.
Do not curse your sons.
95. Govern your wife.
6. Benefit yourself.
97. Behave with a friendly and courteous manner.
98. Respond in a timely way.
99. Struggle without losing your good reputation.
100. Act without repenting.
101. When you err, repent.
102. Control your eyes.
103. Think without time limits.
104. Act quickly.

105. Guard friendship.
106. Be grateful.
107. Pursue harmonic co-existence.
108. Do not reveal entrusted secrets.
109. Fear rulers (and ruling).
110. Pursue what is profitable.
111. Accept opportunity with pleasure.
112. Do away with enmities.
113. Accept old age.
114. Do not boast about your physical strength.
115. Your words should be words of kindness and respect.
116. Flee enmity.
117. Acquire wealth in a just way.
118. Do not abandon what you have decided to do.
119. Despise evil.
120. Venture into danger with prudence.
121. Do not get tired of learning.
122. Do not leave things undone due to thrift.
123. Admire the oracular responses (i.e. the responses of the holy men or women to questions put to them by anyone).
124. Love the people you feed.
125. Do not oppose somebody absent.
126. Respect the elders.
127. Teach the young.
128. Do not trust wealth.
129. Respect yourself.
130. Do not use insolence to govern.
131. Honor your ancestors by placing flower wreaths on their tombs.
132. Die for your country.
133. Do not be discontented by life.
134. Do not make fun of the dead.
135. Sympathize with the unlucky.
136. Gratify without harming.
137. Grieve for nobody.
138. Beget children from noble ancestry.
139. Make promises to no one.
140. Do not wrong the dead.
141. Be well off as a mortal.
142. Do not trust fortune.
143. As a child, be well behaved.
144. As a teenagercontrol yourself.
145. As middle-age, be just.
146. As an old man, be sensible.
On reaching the end, be without sorrow.

As a matter of fact, in the matter of trump running for president, Biden might want to run on these principles alone. Everything else is just a distraction when you're running against pure evil.

Worse than forgetting or ignoring or never-knowing the timeless truths are those who bang-on on social media and other forums about blindingly obvious things that they herald as epiphanies. Think about all the people who blare a trumpet and proclaim, as if it's profound, that brands must-be customer-centric, that stories must be authentic, and some tommyrot about kindness.

We're so busy keeping up with the times that we've forgotten what's timeless.

The point isn't that such things are irrelevant, it's that they're so obvious to everyone who hasn't been completely distracted and waylaid about the latest trend, thing that will change everything or best practice.

GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company has no theory about how to do effective advertising. I have no patented methodology. I have no MBA-derived construct that spreads over 128-pages of powerpoint and is more a cure for insomnia than a formula for marketing success.

I do something with clients I call the 4Ds. Nothing new here. Just simplified, clarified and codified. I guess you could call me a-lack-of-thought-leader.

I prefer it that way.

Less lurching.

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