Thursday, October 25, 2007

The idiot’s guide to ethics

The holding company that I ultimately work for finally forced me this morning into taking an online ethics course. My old holding company never required such a thing. I guess it was just understood that as professionals and not idiots, things like telling outsiders and the media what we’re up to was frowned upon. I guess I always just figured it’s a good way to thin the herd. If you’re stupid enough to talk to the press or the competition then how sharp could you really be? I mean, would you really want someone that needs to take an ethics test on your squad? I don’t.

So we creatives have all been dragging our feet for months about taking this thing but they weren’t taking no for an answer. So I took it. Most of us have. And I gotta say it was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever been asked to do (don’t worry, I’d gladly tell them this too). It was like the "usage" section of the old ITBS tests where you had to determine if "me go to the store" was proper English. Only this was easier. And the whole thing was filled with hypotheticals about missing hard drives and overheard conversations and file transfers.

What are we, the CIA? I mean, I know there’s a lot of money involved but this ain’t exactly Michael Clayton here. I’m a writer, not a double agent. Like I want anyone inside the company to get their thieving hands on my ideas, let alone someone outside.

But to me, it’s more about the implications.

First off, ain’t no one gonna out ethics me. With a conscience like mine, you don’t have the luxury of busting the rules. I feel guilty taking a penny out of the take-a-penny tray.

Second, I just hate big corporate bullshit like this. There’s a reason I work in advertising and it’s because it allows me to creatively solve “business” problems but (ideally) without all the business bullshit. I also just feel like I shouldn’t have to swear my allegiance to any company. I like to think the check that drops into my account every two weeks is our little understanding: I like getting paid and you don’t like getting sold out. So we’re good.

And lastly, (on a personal rather than ethical note) as a purveyor of fucking awesome ideas, what in god’s name would drive me to ever share those with someone who isn’t paying me? Ethics or not, that’s just stupid. At the end of the day, we don’t make anything except ideas. So if you want one, bring your checkbook. Better yet, bring your wife’s too. ‘Cause you’re prolly gonna need both of them.

In other more exciting news, everyone's favorite coolest band in the world, the Raveonettes, have an album coming out soon that sounds goddamn incredible.

It's not out for a couple more weeks but you can listen to it on the MySpace of course.

And our man Ryan Adams dropped yet another EP Tuesday including a much cooler stripped down cover of “This is it” from the “Rock N Roll” album and a nasty little cover of Alice in Chain’s “Down in a Hole.” Not too shabby.

And is anyone else a fan of the Clientele? Wait, before you answer listen to “My own face inside the trees." Or "Bookshop Cassanova." Or "Losing Heringey."

Then let me know.


Blogger A said...

Howard! You should totally do this:

9:48 PM  
Blogger me jeff b said...

The Clientele are awesome. Have seen them live twice. One being with Peter Bjorn and John in which I felt bad for them because all the 16 year olds who were just there to hear Young Folks had no idea who they were or where jangly, depressive Monkees style rock came from.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

Yeah, I'd always heard their name around but just took a chance on them last week and got kinda hooked. Like fast.

11:54 PM  

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