Closing of JWT Chicago unearths countless trolls aka “pundit/confessors.”
April 8, 2009
“Wanna know what I think?”
The fallout from the JWT story continues. For one thing the blogosphere won’t leave it alone, including yours truly. The need to explain what happened (in some cases pointing fingers) and speculate about the future (with that agency, this city) is far from over.
The eulogies for JWT were just the beginning.
Other agencies (here and elsewhere) hang on for dear life. In many ways, the notion of advertising is dying. Was JWT a last gasp for an old model? If so, what’s the new model? Where do we go from here? Ahhhh!
We need closure.
Regarding the “we” it’s fascinating and a little scary how fast & furious people are with their comments. A troll named Yusef hit my blog with a scud-missive: “JWT deserves better than this AWFUL post.” But that’s nothing compared to the debate on other blogs. Scroll through the 50+ comments on Adscam. Or go to the source material itself: Mullman’s piece on AdAge.
Among this commentary, you’ll find the vigorous, virtuous and vitriolic.
But is it more than closure that drives them (us)?
Has talking about dysfunction become a national pastime, part and parcel to the emergence of social networks and online forums? When people can turn invisible they are a lot more courageous and/or cowardly, depending. Either way, the operative word is more.
Essayist Steve Almond has a great article in the April issue of GQ. While discussing a website (SideTaker.com) that settles marital disputes via online forums (!) he writes that “it appeals to two peculiarly American impulses: the desire to publicize our own dysfunction, and the desire to sit in judgment of others publicized dysfunction. We have become a nation of pundit/confessors, mocking the morons who populate reality TV shows even as we dream of being them.”
A Nation of pundit/confessors? In Ad Land we’re all talking about JWT.