“Youth is wasted on the young.” “I hope I die before I get old.”

Everyone is worried about being old or young so I combined George Bernard Shaw(? some dispute) and Peter Townsend for this week’s column and the  solution. Don’t be young or old just hang around in the middle somewhere. I think 39 or 49 maybe?
These days the youth versus age is everywhere in our business. There are “web” pages for older practitioners of the art and science of advertising and there are “web” pages for the younger practitioners of the art and science of advertising. They all seem to be complaining about the other one. It seems that the biggest voices are coming from the creative side of the discipline.Actually overheard (although “actually” is a hard word to define):“One year out of portfolio school and they already have an ACD title. I had to train for years to get that title. Now, I have nothing to show for it. I can’t even get a job no one will hire me; they think I’m too old. I’m not old I’m seasoned and strategic. One day these people who run things will wake up and throw the brats out. I’m telling you, it’s going to happen.”

“I’ve been out of portfolio school for a year and can’t even get a junior title. I’ve had to train for years. Now, I have nothing to show for it. I can’t even get a job; no one will hire me. They think I’m too young. I’m not too young, I’m cutting edge and strategic. One day the people who run things will throw these oldsters out. I’m telling you, it’s going to happen.”

“No one knows how to draw anymore. No one can put an idea on a napkin and sell that idea. They resist ideas and depend on all these new tools they’ve been given. They only execute, they don’t have a concept; they just try to work rapidly and move to the next thing, which is what we have to do these days. It’s pathetic that at my age and with all my training that I have to work for these guys/girls.”

“All they want to do is draw and tell stories about putting ideas on napkins and selling multi-million-dollar campaigns. They resist all the tools that have been given. They just talk about concepts and have no idea how to execute them. They can’t move rapidly enough to get to the next thing, which is what we have to do these days. It’s pathetic that at my age and with all my training that I have to work for these men and women.”

It’s hard to define who’s old and who’s young, but there have been venues for people who love the Killers and watch them on Palladia and venues for the people who can remember Ed Sullivan and watched him on CBS. In any event, they are battling everywhere and each group seems to be unyielding.

But here’s an idea. It’s not much of an idea. It’s a list. Take a look, then put it all in perspective

  1. Vincent Van Gogh worked until only 37 and managed to come up with “Starry Night,” “Almond Branches,” “Sunflowers,” and more.
  2. Pablo Picasso worked until 92 and managed to come up with at least five different disciplines/periods/etcetera, etcetera.
  3. Doris Lessing was awarded, at 88, the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  4. Rudyard Kipling was awarded, at 42, the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  5. David Stuart was 18 and busy deciphering pre-Columbian Mayan hieroglyphics when he became a MacArthur Fellow.
  6. Matthew Carter was 72 and busy inventing typefaces when he became a MacArthur Fellow. He is also the man behind a Microsoft’s Verdana and AT&T’s Bell Centennial.
  7. The Symphony No. 1 in E flat major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was written when he was eight.
  8. Aaron Copland was on a sixth musical career at 88.
  9. Leo Tolstoy gave up his wealth and belongings to go on the road at 82.
  10. Jack Kerouac was 29 when he finished On the Road.
  11. Jimi Hendrix released “Are You Experienced” in 1967. He died at 27
  12. The Rolling Stones released “Between the Buttons” in 1967. They are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year, the same year that Mick Jagger turns 70.

There’s more, and as the man said, “You can look it up.” I don’t know how old he was.

Some people complain about kids skateboarding. Some people buy a skateboard for something to do with their kids. Some people complain that the old people are taking up all the good waves and breaks as the boomers are surfing retirement. Some people go out and buy longboards to see what it was like in ’65.

Ideas come at any age, and the only time to complain is when you run out of them at any age.

To old and young alike: get together, get it together, and keep thinking.

http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=13395

another amazing oddity by brian h. keller.

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