Of Crotchety Old Men and their Winning Ways
Get off my lawn.
A few days back George Tannenbaum, the crusty old copywriter behind Ad Aged, wrote about the box of good ads he ripped out of magazines and carried with him from job to job. These good ads became a starting point or a kind of measuring stick to gauge his own practice of the craft. To have a box of ads you consider good is itself a positive statement. Most folks in advertising are quick to point out what is bad, what doesn’t work. What is worthless. Copyranter does this constantly, so every once in a while when he says something positive, his readers sit up and take notice. To say something is good is also to say something about your taste level. Doing most anything positive opens you to criticism. Maybe that’s why most of us prefer to not step out of the crowd. I locate myself in that passive crowd.
I’m a fan of George Tannenbaum’s blog. So are a bunch of other people, which is why his blog appeared on somebody’s top 100 list of influential bloggers. He may be the very definition of a crotchety old man, but his near constant kvetching holds lots of secrets about how a person makes it through life as a creative person. What I like about his raw, scenic and often obscene musings is that they give insight into a person and an industry. In a sense, to follow his posts is to follow a story. Not everyone has the courage to tell a few successes, complain about useless meetings (in real time) and the people who organize them, and tell of his own screw-ups.
There are a couple other of these seasoned, old-guy blogs I like and keep returning to, including Dave Trott’s blog and Hey Whipple. It would be a crazy fun party if all these guys showed up. I would not invite my grandmother.
My only point is to express thanks for these vets who share their experiences so willingly and so poignantly. Nearly every day there is an actionable thought to come from their writing. And that is saying something.