Tom Waits On Being Different

Take a look at this classic piece of wisdom from Tom Waits.

My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other Dads."Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the other day.

I told them this story:

In the forest there was this crooked tree and this straight tree.

Every day the straight tree would say to the crooked tree "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you."

And they grew up in that forest together. 

And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." 

So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. 

And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.

What's this all got to do with the price of fish, then?

Well, I think it draws a pretty accurate parallel with the innately conservative and increasingly commodotised nature of most advertising agencies where industrial quantities of forgettable me-too, invisible wallpaper advertising is being churned out on a daily basis.

The advertising business desperately needs more mavericks, more outspoken voices, more troublemakers, more free spirits.  And not just publicly on the forums of the blogosphere or the private world of the pub snug bar.

We're in danger of the lunatics taking over the asylum.

Be different.  Be that crooked tree.

1 comment:

  1. I like that the straight trees were the tall ones - at 5"1 it gives me a bit of hope :)