Nov 2017 08

A probably interesting-only-to-me day-by-day account of one freelance advertising copywriter’s transition back to civilian life as he takes time off, and gets back to writing other stuff as soon as he tackles a long list of domestic/life things to take care of.

So last night I was reminded that: after 6 months in ad agencies where life outlooks are liberal, language is shot from-the-hip, and there are no children present, I am not quite fit for normal, domestic-minded (AKA: vanilla), citizens yet.

What happened? Well, I was at my sister’s and in charge, solo, of waiting for my niece to arrive.  She’s 10 and was being walked home from Scouts at the nearby community centre by another kid, and said other kid’s father. Other kid’s father is apparently one of those adult helper Scouts whose titles slip my mind right now but are things like: Blue Owl, Wise Sensei, or Aged Cheddar.

Anyhow, doorbell rings – niece isn’t entrusted with house key, yet. I open the door to see my niece and her friend, both in Scouts uniforms. And…  Aged Cheddar in adult Scout garb.

ME: Hello niece!

NIECE: Hi Uncle!

Niece’s friend introduces herself. Good handshake. Nice, polite kid.

AGED CHEDDAR: Hello, I’m (AGED CHEDDAR’S NAME). Nice to meet you.

We shake. He seems like a very decent man. Kind eyes. Hint of English accent. 

ME: Thanks for walking her home. So niece, did you learn those Scout things tonight like I told you to?

NIECE: Like what?

In hindsight, I now know she was hoping I would just stop talking at this point. But I’m too me. Sorry, niece.

ME: Oh, y’know. Life skills. Like… throwing an axe. Or, how to pick a lock.

NIECE: Oh, Uncle. No, I told you. We don’t learn that stuff!

Aged Cheddar’s kid’s eyes go wide.

AGED CHEDDAR: Those… are interesting life skills you describe. Not sure where they’d need those.

ME: Oh, you just never know. Right?

Nodding. Silence. 

AGED CHEDDAR: Well, daughter. Um, don’t you have homework to do?

SPAWN OF CHEDDAR: Nah. Only a bit.

AGED CHEDDAR: It’s getting late. We should go do it.

More handshaking. More nice to meet yous. They leave. Niece and I go into the house to see if the dog and guinea pig will play together.

 

My acclimatization to this planet will be slow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 2017 07

Until I get fully free of advertising commitments (finishing up a project from home for a couple of days), I’ll just give interesting-only-to-me updates of how my transition back to civilian life is going. Then onto some real writing, hopefully.

So, I must be easing back to whatever mindset I was in back in April before returning to contract advertising work. Cause this morning on the dogwalk, I made mental notes to email my city councillor and the Mayor about the lack of SmartTrack progress, and the need for a GO Stop here at the bottom of Roncy. Also, I was outraged to find a lack of diversity in the people depicted in a piece of advertising mail I got from a Canadian Retailer. More on that one later, as I’m investigating.

Also, noticing there aren’t enough hours in the day to really get stuff done.

I have no idea how my neighbour, with 2 young kids, functions at home. Cause it’s taken me over 2 days to do a load of laundry. Respect.

Stay tuned. Sadly, no Cheetos Corn Twists for breakfast today.

Nov 2017 06

Well, after 6 months of being in the ad world, I’m taking a break. Gonna try to remember how to be a normal human and frustrated, under-performing writer. Stay tuned.

Day 1 – Eating Cheetos Corn Twists for breakfast and have gone through whole piece of leftover chicken unsuccessfully trying to teach Dog #2 how to give a paw. It is 10:15 am. It can only go up from here.

 

 

Oct 2017 18

 

Open social media this week and it’s hard not to notice #metoo popping up on, well, let’s face it, unfortunately, most women’s timelines.

I’m sorry to say that I’m really not surprised at how pervasive the experience of sexual harassment, or assault, or ultimatums for career advancement is. I’m just sad that so many women I know have gone through it. And a few men I know have posted the hashtag too.

Until now, I’ve been silent on the issue. And quite honestly, I’m not quite sure where I’m heading with this piece that I’m writing kind of stream-of-consciousness from a perch at The Pilot tonight. A cardinal sin of a writer – to not know your end point of a story and be building towards it. But like the outcome of all this sharing of people’s experiences, I’m not sure where we are heading.

I guess until now I’ve been silent on this, because just like Black Lives Matter, or the Jian Ghomeshi affair, I felt that unless I was a part of these groups/victims and understand what it is like, I should frankly just shut the fuck up. Let people share and talk to each other and I can learn – in the background.

But then a couple of women on my Facebook timeline challenged men, and expressed how outraged they were that we had nothing to say – I believe one woman called out ‘CIS men’ specifically for their support and said how disappointed they were. Apparently if I wasn’t voicing my support for women, or outrage, I was part of the problem.

I can’t say I agree with this, but of course – all opinions are valid. However, my first of many issues with this is – what if I don’t use Facebook to voice my opinion to the world? And yet, here I am on another forum posting and talking about it.

I work in an industry where I have heard many, many, many stories of sexual harassment. Witnessed lots too. Lots of inappropriate comments to people’s faces and behind their backs. I’m not sure if advertising is different from other industries or not in that regard. I can’t count the number of times I heard of an inappropriate relationship between some male (and occasionally female) in a position of power and someone who was lower on the ladder. Does this make this ‘harassment’ or assault or coercion for advancement? I don’t know – I’ve always believed that what happens between two consenting adults is their business. Salacious and inappropriate or not.

In any case, I know the above isn’t quite what we’re talking about with #metoo.

What do I really have to say, as a CIS man? It’s this, first and foremost: I’d prefer to let women who have gone through this to have the floor to share how pervasive this problem is.

And also, a question. Is this really an issue about men vs. women or (also?) about the fact that there are just some terrible people in the world that use their power to manipulate, take advantage of, and bully people into doing what they want?

But don’t mistake my silence as support for the men who have done these things.

And also, just because I was born a CIS-man, don’t assume that all CIS-men even share their stories with other CIS-men just by virtue of having that basic thing in common. Some of us ‘CIS men’ have (happily) never been accepted into that world, or didn’t bother trying.

Yes, many men treat women badly.

And also, many men (usually these same men) – they treat certain other men badly, as well.

I have seen it all my life, and sometimes been the recipient of it. Certainly not in the sexual way that #metoo is spawning, of course.

As a small man, I think I’ve always identified more than other men with the plight of women – certainly in Advertising at least. I think it’s why my favourite jobs in this business have been working for women, or with women – by being their creative partners. It’s one of the reasons I quit the full-time business. I perceived a glass ceiling for me in some places in my industry since I wasn’t ‘one of them’, and I had no plans to change my behaviour and feign support just to get ahead.

Is it time to cut the head off this snake? Sure. But where is the head? Talking about it is a start, but where do we focus the energy for change?

Of course I’m listening. Of course I am horrified. And also, not surprised…

But #metoo is about the survivors.

Oct 2017 11

Budweiser Stage. Air Canada Centre. BMO Field.

Corporate Sponsorship naming rights are nothing new in the world of marketing to promote your brand. Buildings. Events. Public squares. If the money is right, we’ll put any name on it.

I’d like to announce that my new dog’s name is up for Corporate Sponsorship grabs.

That’s right. Your brand’s name can be my 2nd dog’s name.

As a rescue, she arrived with a name she doesn’t even know or identify with, so it’s going to be changed anyhow. Coca-Cola? Ford? Tesla? Home Hardware?

Imagine your brand basically walking through Roncesvalles, a vibrant neighbourhood and growing socio-economic pillar of the city.

“What’s your dog’s name?”

“Royal Bank.”

Corporate Canada, and heck, the world, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Email your offers to andrew@andrewbradley.ca

 

 

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