The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Is This The Ultimate Metaphor For Modern Creativity?

I recently saw this very disturbing video.

When I say ‘disturbing’, it’s not bad … in fact the person in it has CHOSEN to be in this situation … however watching it absolutely freaks me out.

I find it hard to watch.
I find it hard to breath.
I find it hard to comprehend.

In fact, every time I watch it, I start jiggling my arms and neck because I need to feel I am free to move rather than be trapped in the most contrived of spaces.

Have a look at this …

However after forcing myself to watch it a few times, I realised it could be seen as more than just a deranged man wanting to increase the odds of death. It was a perfect metaphor for so much of working in the modern creative industry.

Yes, we could talk about the quest for craft and rigour. The painstaking approach we take to find an idea that will unlock a whole world of change and opportunity. The commitment to doing the right thing rather than the easiest.

I could talk about that, but …

1. I don’t know if that is true for a lot of what goes on these days.

2. It feels far more a reflection of dealing with corporate politics, committees, toxic positivity, arrogance and ego or – worse of all – workshops, specifically those designed to let people ‘feel part of the process’ despite the fact they created the problem you’ve been asked to solve.

I know all this sounds massively arrogant of me.

It’s certainly not the case all the time.

But the fact that when it isn’t, it’s like a revelation means it’s far more present than many like to admit. And that’s horrific. Not just in terms of the wasted energy and time … but in lost opportunities. Which is why the best relationships are built on people who want the same thing.

That doesn’t mean they will always agree on how to achieve it … but it does mean you trust and respect each others opinion, talent and expertise rather than thinking the other party is out to screw you over. Though the way the procurement process is often handled, it’s not hard to see why that happens.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Not if you really want something to be great.

Not if you truly value the work the other party brings to the table.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about costs – of course not – but as I wrote a while back about how Metallica’s management dealt with me when we started working together, their view was when you pay someone well, you’re not just showing respect for what they do, you’re ensuring they want to give you their best in all they do.

Which makes an even more cost effective arrangement.

A more trust-worthy relationship.

A more productive partnership.

Who knew?

Oh yes, the people who understand the value of living up to quality, not purely down to a price.

18 Comments so far
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That video made me hyperventilate.

Comment by Bazza

Me too. And he chooses to do it. Freak.

Comment by Rob

How does someone discover they have this talent?

Comment by Lee Hill

You’re right though.

Comment by Bazza

He seems much happier than most people who work in creative industries.

Comment by John

and less fucked.

Comment by andy@cynic

And better hours.

Comment by Rob

what do you know about working?

Comment by andy@cynic

This -> “Oh yes, the people who understand the value of living up to quality, not purely down to a price.”

Comment by Pete

less than 3% of fuckers think that way.

Comment by andy@cynic

Data analyst!

Comment by John

just one of my exceptional talents.

Comment by andy@cynic

i hate when I agree with you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good job it doesn’t happen much, then. Ha.

Comment by Rob

safe for another 1000 fucking years.

Comment by andy@cynic

Really like this post Rob. It amazes me how many companies and agencies still don’t seem to understand you have trust without transparency. But then most don’t really want it because they think it means they’re weak.

Comment by Pete

Sadly, I think you’re right Pete.

Comment by Rob

Excellent post but I could only watch a few seconds of the video before I felt I couldn’t breathe.

Comment by George

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