Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You are not a rebel

This may come as a shock to some of the creatives out there, but no one in advertising is a rebel.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “But I’m an artist! I’m a writer! I come up with out-of-the-box-ideas! I wear shorts to work! I play drums in a punk band! I shaved my head! There’s a poster of Che on my cubical wall! I smoke pot every morning! I ride a motorcycle! I surf/skateboard!”

Those things are great, but they don’t make you a rebel. If you work in advertising, you are a part of the capitalist world. You’re a big part. It’s your job to make people buy things. Things they might not need. Things that might be dangerous. Things that might be turning the world into overheated garbage dump.

Now that doesn’t mean that what we do is evil. The best of us work hard to make our advertising interesting and artistic. And most of us have a list of things we would never do. (Sell cigarettes to the under 12? Uh, fuck no.) But to suggest that we are anti-establishment, while pulling in a paycheck, is just nonsense.

Now if anyone out there is thinking about becoming true rebel, more power to you. But I would I like to remind you that that is a lonely and dangerous path. And it doesn’t start with a new shirt or a new band or a new car.

It starts with a letter of resignation.


Anonymous said...

being a rebel is overrated. they usually live short, brutal and uncomfortable lives. so what if your on a t-shirt NOW, you died for a cause ... and you are on a fucking t-shirt! i bet che is pretty pissed off in communist heaven

1Letterman said...

True dat.

Of course, there IS such a thing as rebelling against the bullshit advertising. Even from the inside.

Which would make you a rebel of sorts.

the girl Riot™ said...

and there are ways to rebel that don't cohabitate, but do coexist, with the 9-5. i am not telling what i do on my own time. ;)

Joker said...

Words to chew over and over. Trust me it took a lot not to quit this past saturday but also trust me, I'm not going to stay in advertising for many more years.