My attorney is a crusty, arrogant, smart, son-of-a-judge, who comes from a long line of lawyers.  He’s in his late fifties and recently got married for the first time.  They’re so happy, I wanna puke.  When he represented me, (I got sued by an ex-partner…long story) I got to see him in action… vitriolic, aggressive, sharp….better than a Law and Order episode.   

So when I watched them cry as they exchanged poetic vows during their civil ceremony, I couldn’t help but wonder.  Now he’s happy.  I wonder if he’ll still be a marvelous defense attorney?  Will he lose his edge now that he’s warm and snuggly?

Don’t you think when we’re miserable, under pressure or backed into some emotional corner, creatives tend to perform better?  Many of the creatives I’ve known have a bit of a self-destructive, angry, “gotta prove something” passion about them.  They’re fearless, with a “screw you”, “I’ll show you” attitude. Some stronger than others…but it’s there.  I have it.

In my over 26 years in small town advertising, I’ve worked with two partners who were damed good, but both drank too much and one dabbled in bad drugs.   One actually died from alcoholism, but man, he was an amazing creative.  He almost put us outta business, but we all learned a lot from his big city experience.  He had that “Screw You, I’ve earned the right” attitude.   We’d do the work, then with a “little bit here and a little bit there”, he made it better.  And we thought it had been pretty good, but damn it, he DID make it better.  He was a tormented and sad man, who did his best work when he was miserable.

I gotta admire the brave Art Directors who walk in, slice up all that good work and expect you to take it.  Who the hell do they think they are, anyway?   (oooh, wait.  I’m THAT person). But being satisfied doesn’t cut it in advertising, big city or small town.  Not being complacent or “good enough” ….that always makes it better.  We don’t get to do that as often as I’d like here in Hooterville, but when we do stir the creative pot, it IS better.  And like Adscam says, we don’t give clients what they want, we give’ em what they need. 

My lawyer  is extremely literary, articulate and obviously a Democrat (one of his finer qualities).  I benefited from his misery.  

We won the case.images-21


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2 Responses to “miserable=good?”

  1. JEtpacks Says:

    OK – where is Hooterville? If you don’t want to say publicly, email me. The mystery is murder.

  2. Paul McEnany Says:

    You have to be the right kind of miserable. Maybe not miserable for miserable’s sake, but more just an annoyance with inferiority. That’s good misery. 🙂

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