Politeness. Now there's a poor man's virtue if ever there was one. What's so admirable about inoffensiveness, I should like to know. After all, it's easily achieved. One needs no particular talent to be polite. On the contrary, being nice is what's left when you've failed at everything else. People with ambition don't give a damn what other people think about them.
Every really good creative person in advertising has always had two noticeable characteristics. First, there was no subject he could not easily get interested in. . . Second, he was an extensive browser in all sorts of fields of information. For it is with the advertising man as with the cow: no browsing, no milk.
I feel like a lot of the stuff coming out right now just feels really inauthentic to me. But apparently, people don't seem to see through it. And this makes me sound bitter, but it's just my perspective. I'm not bitter. I just feel like there's a lot of stuff that doesn't feel like it's coming from a place of any sort of integrity. It just doesn't feel like it's coming from the heart, basically. It just feels like it's being produced because people know it's a formula that will work, or it's easily digestible and fun to look at.
Literature gives us models of living human beings who may not agree with us and even be our enemies. D. H. Lawrence said that the purpose of literature was to expand our sympathies. To be a human being is to be in a state of tension between your appetites and your dreams, and the social realities around you and your obligations to your fellow man. And this conflict cannot be easily reconciled. The tension is always there as a kind of a pain in the human condition.
When you say 'Yes' or promise something, you can very easily deceive yourself and others also, as if you had already done what you promised. It is easy to think that by making a promise you have at least done part of what you promised to do, as if the promise itself were something of value. Not at all! In fact, when you do not do what you promise, it is a long way back to the truth.