Saturday, September 30, 2006
"Is 'No' the most popular word in the English language?" Yes Man
Dear Yes, Why do you feel that way? Do you happen to be in advertising? No, no. Please don't take it personally. Don't go away. Don't be miffed. Don't get angry. Don't hold it against us. We are asking only because we need to understand where you are coming from. We need to know why you feel the way you do. We're only trying to help. Yes, we do know that advertising is a no-no to most sane people in the world. We're asking only because your problem seems to be very similar to that of a copywriter who came to us in the not-so-recent past. This poor fellow felt utterly rejected because almost everything he proposed ended up being rejected. We told him not to take things so personally. That only made him even more distraught. He told us, he got into advertising because he wanted to do something he cared for. He didn't want to do something mindless. He wanted to take things personally. He wanted to create. He wanted to change lives. He wanted to make people feel. We laughed at him, very loudly, luridly and uproariously. And then, very seriously, told him to, immediately, get out of the business. Fortunately for him, he did. Unfortunately for him, he ended up going back to it. Desperately for him, he had little choice. We didn't blame him. We felt very, very sorry for him. We tried to help him. We couldn't. The bloody thing about this bloody business of dreams is that it ends up conning, even, the dream makers. Once you're in it, you can't get out of it. Worse, you can't stay in it, either. Spend a while in advertising and everything else becomes a complete no-no. Spend a while in advertising and advertising becomes a no-no. On second thoughts, don't spend any time in advertising. Spend a while in advertising and not only does everything else becomes a no-no, you end up being a complete no-no to everyone else. So fucking don't. Good thing you're not in advertising. That said, your query does seem very advertising. Hmm...we've got to do something about this psudonym business. Maybe we'll introduce name verification. But then, people will feel afraid to come to us with their problems. They will fear being exposed. They will have to reveal themselves. And in this world driven by advertising, that's a complete no-no to, almost, everyone. You must be from advertising. Your name says advertising. Your angst screams advertising. (In very bold and very large exclamation marks from advertising.) Your conflict says advertising. Speaking of conflict, consider the conflict of all conflicts in advertising: In trying to get people to say 'yes' to all that you peddle for all kinds of strange and shady peddlers, you end up having to subject yourself to a life of 'nos'. (Wah, wah, what a conflict! Waa, waa, what a conflict!) There is nothing else in life where you have to hear more 'nos' than in advertising. You're encouraged, urged, pushed to say 'no' to rules and then pushed, urged, encouraged to say 'yes' to all the rules. It's a strange, strange world this advertising. Thank God you're not in advertising. Are you? No, please don't tell us you're in advertising. No, we do not have a solution for your problem if you happen to be in advertising. No, you have no hope. No, we cannot help you. No, we will not try again. No, don't come back to us again and again. No, not another 'Yes man' and his angst. No, we will not go back to advertising. No, we can't take it anymore. No, we didn't mean to end up like this. No, this is too much. No, we're not getting hysterical. Good God, we are. Sorry. Very. We didn't mean to break down like that. We didn't mean to expose our soft underbelly like that. We are strong like this. We are lying like this. We have no choice. We must. Yes, we used to be in advertising. Yes, we're still in advertising. Yes, we are advertising. Yes, we are all those people who come to us from advertising. Yes, 'no' is the most popular word in the English language. (If you fucking, bloody, bullshit, crapshoot, whatever happen to be in advertising.) No, we will not ask ourselves another question. Yes, we will continue to hide behind other people's questions. No, we will not try to treat us. Yes, we will continue to cushion ourselves from the real world with more branded merchandise. Yes, we're ready for the next kvetchun. And no, it better not be from advertising. Your hidden Agony.