Dec 26, 2008

Bah to the humbugs

Christmas day has past and quiet in the morning, a little Joker decided to write a post. Any special purpose or reason? Maybe, maybe not, but for some reason I felt the need to do an end-of-the-year reflection. It's been an insane year for many, including myself but like some would be Shawshank Redemption ending, after crawling through the shit, I smell of golden flowers and the air of peace. I've been told I read much more at ease as of late and what can I say, it's true. I've had some silly days but nothing remotely near to the levels of frustration, dejection and anger I've felt throughout most of 2008. Seriously, I would have never thought normalcy in the work place would be the panacea needed to cure my constant anger.

I look back on the year and there's quite a few things in my personal experience that are definitely noteworthy in the sense that I'm pretty sure I'm in a situation a bit more uncommon than most. For starters I'm on my third job for the year and though I started out the year in an agency, I ended up in a Public Relations Department. Who would have thunk it?

While this insignificant timeline was passing by though, incredible things have happened, and by incredible I don't necessarily mean good, I mean, impressive, historic, or whatever other adjective or descriptive phrase you choose to paint it. A black president was elected, the stock markets have crashed, fires have burned a large percentage of California, a super power is looking to come back into the fray, China has sent over more tainted products than we can count, record setting high's and lows show the world is changing, a new Joker was born and died, bailouts have passed, and been rejected, and passed, and been rejected, a woman had a very legitimate shot to be president (by the public's choice or natural order). Pirates of the Caribbean have competition in the Indian Sea, and notable people were lost, as always is the unfortunate case.

After all is said and done though, it brings me to one observation, we might ask ourselves where the time has gone and some people might theorize that time is moving faster than what has been the case in the rest of human history, but I have a different take on it. Though I do believe it's possible that time now is faster than time before, subjective perception renders any empirical evidence null if you ask me, I think that our main problem as a world society is that we look to occupy every second of every day so much that we rarely have the chance to truly appreciate a moment. We're too busy multitasking to do one thing and appreciate the function and value of that one action and instead we delute the entire experience. I recently wrote about Blackberry junkies but to be honest, most people in every context of life suddenly have a lot more to do than a couple of decades ago. I'm not saying people weren't busy back then, I'm just saying that in most contexts, people have way too much more shit going on to even internalize a 10% of their yearly experiences.

But look how productive we are. Yay... Trust me, if having a new job slightly retracted from advertising has taught me anything, it's that even though many people are highly skilled at multi tasking, they truly don't appreciate any moment and later turn to Xoloft to cope with that empty feeling that cringes in their stomach when they don't have forty things on their to do list. For some reason, being busy has become synonymous with being important. The more things we have to do, the more valuable we are as workers and even people.

Think about it, whereas materialistic people were defined simply defined on the amount of crap they owned, today's average white collar person is defined by how many things they have to do. While shopping used to be the drug of choice of most people, doing shit and working is one of the new drugs trying to bite on the buyer's market.

It's not to say that people don't love to buy shit that they don't need anymore. Far from it, but the focus has changed or been modified to include constant, incessant activity as a way of life, and I can't say I think it'll lead to anything better. Amidst a struggling economy, people are looking towards doing more instead of doing better, or at least that's the vibe I sense. In a company's typical mindset, quantity often outweighs quality and you just have to work in most ad agencies to see that this statement DEFINITELY holds water. We don't have enough time to ever do shit right, but there's always time to re-do things 8 times over. Do those 80 artworks in a two week span even if they suck rather than do 20 right and perfect (btw, 20 is still a ludicrous number but it's just a numeric example).

What I guess I'm trying to get at is that all too often we have time to splurge a multi tasked moment, but we fail to really value one moment. So on behalf of the WAS crew, thank you for all the moments you've spent on us. Thanks for taking seconds, minutes or hours to read what we have to say or rant about. Thanks for the love. Thanks for the hate. Thanks for taking time to post a comment. And thanks for letting us share our lives with something endlessly more gratifying than a diary. Our best wishes to all and have a great 2009.


Ps.: Fret not, dick jokes will be presented shortly.



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