If you’ve ever been in a relationship, or in love, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time with your partner. It’s also likely that through mutual respect for each others’ idiosyncrasies, and having learnt what clicks between the two of you and what doesn’t, you’ve been assigned roles.
For example, not to dwell on sexual stereotypes, but it’s likely that if you’re living together, the girl is probably going to be more focussed on stuff like keeping the house neat and tidy for guests, while the guy makes sure the drinks bar is well stacked. Or, he’d probably do the laundry, while she took care of cooking. There are countless examples of these ‘arrangements’ across relationships, and even if I’ve picked the patriarchal ones as examples, you’d have to agree that they exist and can be somewhat fun.
I think I recently found the greatest one ever. Men, if you play this role, it’s probably going to give you the most fun out of your relationship. Putting aside sex, of course. I’ve recently become the Head of Programming in our relationship. In other words, it’s my role in the relationship I have with my girlfriend, to source out good television shows and films, and convince her to watch them with me.
One might wonder how to put aside personal preferences, and convince another person to share in tastes, especially when it comes to television. As much as TV networks would like to classify you into target demographics, you’re not a simplistic creature. Everyone has a certain degree of openness towards new shows. For my part, I’ve managed to tap into that with my girlfriend to great results. In the last month alone, I convinced her to watch Game of Thrones, Mad Men, House MD, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and tomorrow we’re going to watch AMC’s The Pitch.
I like hunting for new pilots and new shows to constantly add to our roster. I like pitching to her more sensitive side, the good aspects of these shows and more, and I like the reactions she has towards them, good or bad. And it’s certainly not exclusive. She’s introduced me to certain shows that I enjoy as well.
Why is this important, you might ask. Well for starters, there is a lot you can tell about your relationship, judging by what TV shows you both like. You know for a fact that if she’s going to be comfortable with massive amounts of boobies, incest and graphic violence, in a show like Game of Thrones, that she’s going to understand that primal call of masculinity that every man generally addresses at least once in his life. Well, not incest, but certainly the rest of those attributes. Reciprocally, we perhaps tone down and become more sensitive towards our emotions when we watch the stuff our girlfriends enjoy. Mutual respect, with tons of opportunity for banter!
I’m going to be good at this job, I feel. I’ve got supreme confidence in two major aspects of this role. One, that content and programming, i.e. TV shows will only get better in the future, and two, that with every successful pilot, followed by a season of mutual watching pleasure, we grow stronger together too. I love being a part of that. I love that job!
So what’s your role?
One of my online friends recently tweeted that she was on her last day at work where she was, and could not wait for the day to end. There’s a special kind of feeling one gets when one quits a team, despite the varying circumstances that might have led to it. Whether you’ve been fired, or you’re moving on to better things, made redundant or just can’t take it any more, those last two hours are probably the most liberating ever.
I remember quitting my first job in 2008. I had it for 4 months, fresh out of college and I remember being unusually calm for a kid with no prospects, no contacts in a media industry that grew by the second, and an impending recession round the corner. Maybe it’s the cockiness that only youth can answer for, but I wasn’t particularly worried about my future. I think that’s an important mindset to have, on your last day at work. It’s what keeps you going as a professional, and helps you maintain the bridges that you’ve built at the place where you’ve worked (however long) rather than burn them. It’s like the end of a chapter in the middle of a book, and you can’t quite move on without flipping through the last few pages, to make sure you can’t learn something new that might help you along your story.
I envy my friend. Last days are exciting. They’re springboards into a messy, repetitive way of communication. They ensure that no matter who we are or where we come from, wherever we go, we’re starting at the beginning again. I think we need that infancy, that innocent charm of the ‘new guy’ somewhere, in order to be successful, particularly in creative fields. We need to be the new blood at an organisation, the untested catalyst in a weird experiment. Okay, enough metaphors.
In my lifetime, I’ve had 3 ‘last days.’ I wonder if it’s unprofessional for me to want to experience some more in my lifetime. Well, maybe not my immediate lifetime, but somewhere down the line, surely.
Somebody very wise once said that a font created, is an extension of a point of view, a philosophy of the creator. In other words, you can tell a lot about a person, when you look at the font they create. This may not of course, be a literal observation
and judgment. That would cast perhaps too harsh a sentence on the guy that created Comic Sans.
As it is, I think the hype behind how unusable Comic Sans is, perpetuated by trolls on the Internet, is over exaggerated.
I don’t think it’s fair the way people treat font. As a copywriter, it might come as a surprise that I love typography. It would be a lie to say I fully understand it; indeed I’ve never met anyone that claims to. Typography has long held a special evil place in the heart of designers however. Don’t believe any designer that tells you that he loves type, unconditionally, for he/she is a bare-faced liar. Like any relationship with a design element, it’s fraught with anxiety, effort and long hours. I remember some of my ex-colleagues telling me horror stories about their days in design school, spending sleepless sessions trying to figure out a sense of congruence between two characters. Perhaps that’s why I love it. I can’t explain it. It might stem from the fact that I love words, and writing.
To me, it’s like a real relationship with real people. Anyone who has been in one, will agree that you can’t love just a part of a person, you need to love everything about them. In the eloquent words of Chris Rock, ‘you need to know the crust of the motherfucker’ to know if a relationship is worth having. No one enjoys just the white part of the bread, least not for very long. That might be why I love typography.
I’ve spent my career (short and growing as it might be) in the defense of my words, why should I not defend their characters? Seems a sensible thing to do.
I’ve decided therefore to construct my own font. Suffice it to say, I have no idea how I’m going to do it, but I feel compelled to try. I might fail, and given my recent penchant for distractions, it’s quite likely I will actually. But I’m going to endeavor to enjoy the process. I owe my words that much.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!