Ad-man Howard Gossage doesn’t get as much lip-service as some of the other giants of his era, and probably for good reason: he didn’t keep his mouth shut when it came to voicing his opinions on the industry. When asked if advertising was worth saving, he replied:

“From an economic point of view I don’t think that most of it is. From an aesthetic point of view I’m damn sure it’s not; it is thoughtless, boring, and there is simply too much of it.”

And a few more Gossage gems:

“The only people who care about advertising are the people who work in advertising.”

“People like to be treated as human beings rather than consumers and they react very well to it.“

Worth picking up - The Book of Gossage.

“I just felt suddenly like I had to write and say craft is the enemy! You could labor your whole life perfecting your “craft,” struggling to draw better, hoping one day to have the skills to produce a truly great comic…If this is how you are thinking you will never produce this great comic, this powerful work of art, that you dream of. There’s nothing wrong in trying to draw well, but that is not of primary importance. What every creator should do, must do, is use the skills they have right now. A great masterpiece is within reach if only your will power is strong enough (just like Green Lantern). Just look within yourself and say what you have to say.”

— James Kochalka, Craft is the Enemy

“Perhaps the most impossible thing we all want is for the things that happen to us to make sense. Our most tragic impulse is the one to make meaning when life is just a series of contingencies. It leads some people, like myself, to have a hard time getting over being wounded.”

— Brandy Jensen (via)

“All you need to do is write truly and not care about what the fate of it is.”

— Ernest Hemingway

“Even if you make a mistake by liking something that you shouldn’t, for whatever reasons, there’s much more to love than in hatred. I mean, what’s the use in hating? You’re just using up your energy, and die sooner.”

— Marcel Duchamp, The Afternoon Interviews

Nobody Knows Anything


From 1974, BBC comedy script editor Ian Main’s memo to the head of television comedy concerning the pilot script for Fawlty Towers by John Cleese and Connie Booth. It reads:

I’m afraid I thought this one as dire as its title. It’s kind of “Prince of Denmark” of the hotel world. A collection of cliches and stock characters which I can’t see being anything but a disaster.

“It just shows you people have no idea what they are doing.” — John Cleese

“You can’t screw up when you’re a woman. One little mistake, and you’re done. Like Senseless, they kept rewriting it and rewriting it. And I’m like, “Dude, you guys, this is not working. Don’t keep rewriting it. Let me just do the movie I signed up to do.” But they kept rewriting it, and it’s in my contract that I got to do what they say, you know? And at one point, I said to Bob Weinstein, “I don’t think this works,” and he goes, “This is my fucking money and I’m going to spend it any fucking way I want to.” And how are you going to argue with that?

So I had to do the movie, and it didn’t do very well. And as a woman, when you do a movie that doesn’t do well, then you’re done. You’re in director jail.”

— Penelope Spheeris (via)

“Step five is delete. Keep the two percent that isn’t shit and delete the ninety-eight percent that’s shit. Rewrite it. Within your re-write, there will be two more percent that isn’t shit. Then just keep tossing the shit and replacing it until the ratio is tolerable.”

— Andy Bobrow (via)

“We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

— Umberto Eco

“Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash - the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes.”

— Orson Welles (via)