Happy birthday my fellow American patriots! And a hearty “Fuck you” to the asshole army of narcissistic bubble-life globalists who mostly seem to be running the deservedly dying advertising industry. My name’s Tom, I’m a proud American, and I’m here to burn this sanctimonious shit show of hypocrites and frauds down to the ground. 

That’s right: Burn it right the fuck down and salt it. And you know I can do it, too--which according to all the online chatter most people are still vain and stupid enough to think is secret (EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOU TO YOUR FACE OTHERWISE) already has all the right people shitting their pants like they just ate two double-wide courses at Burger King.


But before we start gathering up gasoline-soaked logs to throw on the propaganda funeral pyre, before we….

….bulls-eye the sagging agency holding company model, a once-decent financial strategy whose clock has well passed closing time on the dinosaur-meets-comet-scale, as the soulless bean-counters and Wall Street scum gradually but inexorably snuffed out pretty much every vestige of creativity and independent thought upon capitalism's moldy false alter of greed and rodomontade….


….splinter into a thousand pieces advertising’s obnoxious human centipede of the Cannes Lyin's to the Negative 3% Conference to Badvertising Weak, and poison all the profit-driven parasites leeching off the ad biz in its moment of greatest weakness, desperately struggling to create a diversity-free walled garden echo chamber of approved pay-to-play voices and muted outsiders, demanding fealty to a wrong-headed social engineering model that is being defeated by the day….


…..Shred to pieces the corrupt propaganda ad trade media of AdweekAdAge and Digiday, all of them floundering, all of them failing, all of them rewarding the usual rogues gallery of advertisers and sponsors, along with (or so I’ve heard) under-the-table bribes and blow jobs for favorable coverage, while getting rid of reporters who don’t demonstrably deliver the “data”  that suits the propaganda party line….


….Before we do all that, let me reveal a big secret, a secret that’s been right out there in your face, hidden in plain sight as Magicians are wont to do. Then I’ll make a supposition, a suggestion, and perhaps we can all go home and close up shop early before I spend the next year gleefully destroying you and all the happy-talk horseshit you stand for, stuck in place like scarecrows on the path to Enlightenment


As I’ve mentioned before, when trying to decipher WTF is really going on in our current corrupt media world of spin, hype, secrets & lies, it’s smart to look to someone smarter: The greatest thinker and de-occultist of bullshit in fictional history, Sherlock Holmes, who, in Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic short story Silver Blaze instructed his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson to watch for “the dog that doesn’t bark.”


Thus, let’s turn your attention back two years, five months and 15 days to January 20, 2017: Trump’s inauguration. Something very strange and noteworthy happened that day that nearly nobody in the media talked about, which immediately made it much more worthy of attention. 


Early on in Trump’s inauguration speech, one member of the military in razor sharp dress blues comes down the steps and gets something from behind the president. After he does, a member of each branch of the military lines up behind Trump as he's saying “We are taking the power out of Washington, D.C., and giving the country back to you, the American people.” When Trump was done with that segment of the speech, they dispersed. 


Nothing like that has ever happened before. Never has the U.S. Military participated in such a way on Inauguration Day. And, despite the fact that it could have been perceived as a massive fuck-up on Day One, nobody in the corporate media—which has clearly been gunning for Trump since Day One—bothered to mention it. The only places that did were fringe "mainstream" pubs in the UK, like The Express and The Sun, and the Holly Wood gossip rag TMZ.. There was no explanation from the White House or the military. 

Trump at his inauguration speech

How strange. Multiple branches of the military line up behind the newly elected outsider president, as if to say “We’ve got his back,” and nobody says a word. 

My personal feeling is that as this oddity was occurring, a lot of people sitting on that stage with Trump were shitting their pants. And not because they ate at Burger King on the way over. 


Maybe it’s nothing. I’ll just leave that public event there and say no more. But as you ruminate over what really might’ve been going on, I’ll ask you to consider a few more things:


Are you happy with your professional life? Do you feel “good” about being in advertising? Are you paid what you’re worth? Do you admire your boss and the company you work for? Do you think you are making America a better place? How about the world? And, most of all: Is this life worth it to you? 

Because, as I’ve spoken to people in advertising and the hacks who cover it over the past few years, it sure sounds like everybody’s fucking miserable. MISERABLE. Not just because you’re overworked, underpaid and probably report to an insufferable narcissist who isn’t nearly as smart as they think they are, but because it’s gradually dawning on you with creeping dread that you’re making the world a worse place. BECAUSE YOU ARE.

Which leads me to my next question: How many people in advertising would have to not show up July 8th or ever again to sink this godforsaken industry?


It would be nice to find out, wouldn’t it? And why WOULD you go back? Particularly the burned-out cynical types with nice houses in the tri-state area, which you could sell before the real estate collapse hits next year like a blood tsunami (oh, am I giving away the plot? Sorry!) and retire to some nice rural state where the people aren’t nearly as big assholes. Which is pretty much anywhere else. 


But most of all the young people, the people in their 20s and early 30s. WTF are you doing with your lives? You blew it. You missed the boat on advertising's heyday, when it killed your soul but at least the deal with the devil brought some fun during the escalator ride down. 

Today, the industry you’re in sucks. It’s made up of artistic failures and parasites and people who can't get a job at Google or some consultancy, and it’s not going to get any better. 

Plus, here’s the brutal capper: It’s sucking the best and most creative years of your energetic youth and soul, while trying to corrupt your idealism into materialism disguised as self-worth. It’s a lie, your job is to sell lies, pretty little lies, but the biggest lie you’re telling is the one you tell yourself: “This matters.” IT DOESN’T. 

Finally—and you can take this to the bank—the advertising business is gonna die, and it’s gonna take you and your soul with it if you hang around too long. It’s like the kids on Pinocchio’s island. You think you’re having a good time, but you end up looking like an ass. 


So over the next four days, maybe you take a serious look at whether this what you want to keep doing with your life. Maybe download the musical musings of another magician while he was going through A Period of Transition. Maybe consider declaring your own Independence Day, free of the fraud that's at the center of your professional life.  

Or do come back, and enjoy the Show. I’ll be directing the downfall. Any other Q’s? 

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Rhino-new's picture

What happened to your eye?

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Nilsson's picture

The Business is declining thanks to the beancounters but wtf does Trump have to do with it?

Coke's picture

The industry is always changing. Creativity is just moving to greener pastures.

Dabitch's picture

I honestly used to feel quite good about being in advertising.