Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On my reading list

Last week I found myself working at my alma mater, TBWA Chiat/Day. A lot has changed since I first entered the Creative Department on April 27, 1990. I believe two of the new Art Directors were actually born on that very day.

One thing that has not changed however is Lee Clow. He's still there, albeit much more sporadically. He's still sporting the cargo shorts. The T-shirt. And the flips flops.

I was fortunate enough to run into Lee. And though it has been many years since I worked there on any regular basis, I was also fortunate enough that he didn't call me Brian.

Two weeks earlier the agency released his new book, leeclowsbeard. It's a collection of pseudo-Lee aphorisms that have been tweeted since 2009. Still fresh from the excitement of having a new shiny, published book, Lee insisted I have a copy.

Moreover he took the time to personally inscribe the book.

Not with anything mushy like, "Remember the time we pitched the ABC account and won? That was fun." 

Or, "Wasn't it great when we leased a private Lear Jet and flew in and out of Tampa in one day?" 

Or even, "Brian, you were one of the funniest writers to ever come through Chiat/Day. I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I enjoy reading your blog everyday without fail."

No, as the consummate boss always trying to extract as much as possible from his employees, even his ex-employees, Lee wrote, "Rich, You owe us something for free. Love, Lee."

Well according to Google analytics, a page view on this blog is worth .00003 cents. And his book retails for $24.95. Which means I'm still in the hole for $24.94997.

Of course there was that one time we checked into the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta for an Earthlink meeting. Lee got the last vacant room. And I was forced to sleep on a broken cot in a cavernous banquet room.

How about we call it square?


After paging through the book, I have spotted my favorite faux Lee maxim:

The art of compromise includes knowing when not to.

Oh if only that were true.

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