|Art by Fady Chahine and Tarek Chemaly|
Dear advertising community,
Yes, now that I wrote this in my otherwise almost curse-free blog, I feel better.
There you have it, I am still waiting for you to phone, mail, get in touch, meet regarding my current circumstances.
Don't pretend you do not know what I speak of. You know them well, they are now in the public arena, amusing water-cooler conversations for you. But the joke is on you, let us not forget.
Strange, you always managed to get hold of me (even sometimes in between classes) to ask me if I can help post this or that, or to explain your position as to whatever campaign you did, or want to recruit someone for whatever position. You have my phone number and email and that you "would consider it as a personal favor" if I did such and such.
I did such and such, I still cannot see the personal favor returned.
You must have forgotten it. Your memory is a one-way street. Or a dead end one.
Strange, your PR teams though still email me. Mostly to invite me to a happy hour sponsored by one of your clients, or to ask me to give you my readership statistics for the last year, because apparently, if I have a blog and the tens of thousands of readers who get to me monthly have committed the sin of logging on to my page, then they should suffer being subjected to your silly promotions - because you know, it has been proven that everyone is a whore in case they have a blog (what I previously termed SharmoutAD or whores of the ad agencies).
I have not changed my phone number. Nor my email.
And if you can get hold of me for some reasons, you can bother to get hold of me for others.
But of course, you have no idea what I speak of. No one knows the story, even if everyone gossips about it maliciously.
You know that poem by Pastor Martin Nienmoller "first they came for..." - and it ends "Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me". So you see, if you are not speaking for me, I guess they already came for you (unless you are one of "them"). They came for your minds, and consciences. Your freedom of thought and expression.
Odd how much corporate social responsibility you want to do to your clients to make them look good but end up forgetting being human yourselves towards someone you know personally who is in a predicament.
But the fault is mine, I am the one who had great expectations - and I am not speaking of the book.
I am still naïve that way, I still stand up to injustice. Still try to make a difference one student at a time, one ad campaign at a time, one blog post at a time.
I am actually ashamed of how naïve I am - yes, I still say I am as opposed to have been - since I am incurably naïve.
I know that when one of you or my fellow bloggers will be unjustly accused, I always tried to do "the right thing for the right reasons" (that's Emmanuel Kant and his deontological theory!), and sheepishly I thought everyone worked the same way. That's at least how my mother sitting in her chair explains it to neighbours.
And still I wish to believe in the goodness of people despite all proofs to the contrary. Still I want to believe people care about others, not just "theoretical" others such as Michael Jackson and "children" or those periodic campaigns to help "Syrian refugees" (vague anonymous entities which end in the realm of slacktivism). No, I mean genuine care for other people and what happens to them.
Oh you know the story of the professor, the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.
I am still waiting for you to call and inquire, not just about my blog readership and statistics. Just in case you wanted to do the "right thing" (God forbdids - but then again what sort of God do you believe in if you ended up this way!).
Of my whole database, only people I can count on the fingers of one hand have bothered to know what is happening with and to me. Those who did not I can count on the middle finger of the other hand.
As you go back to your offices following the holiday and do your check on the blogs, you will find this message. I am not expecting anyone to touch base, because if you do now it would be out of shame and guilt, not out of genuine concern. So save it, after all "yiii, I had no idea this was happening to you" you would say.
"Take people for what they are" said a friend when her one time best friend did not invite her to her wedding.
And that is what I shall do. I am just sad that what I thought were cordial, even friendly relations have amounted to "this". But hey, that's the whoredom of the ad industry "bar abou di3aye" with red lights all over your luxury-store bought clothes.
And sorry I said "F**k you". Not because it was impolite to say so, but because you are a waste of a good tool.