I met the Anti-Christ and I made him a nice box

Thursday, 24 October 2002

I changed jobs at ******.*** not so long ago. Now I’m doing straight design and almost no programming. Doing design again after all these years seemed like a dream come true. I am an ad designer. I design advertisements. But that is way too generous. I don’t design much. I execute. I do what I’m told, how, when, and why.

I do exercise quite a bit of my own professional style where allowed though. This is almost exclusively when it comes to kerning. There has rarely been better kerning seen on the web! A dream come true — that’s for sure!

So, yesterday I found the dreaded email. The one that was inevitable from the moment I unpacked my new desk. I was asked to design… I don’t know if I can even say it in public. There’s no proof right now that I did it. Why commit it to Google’s elephantine caches?

I have to get it off my chest though. It was a request for an X10 advertisement. That X10. The Anti-Christ of the Internet. The horror that spawned a million-billion pop-up-your-unders. The one that Ruined It All.

I should have quit on the spot. Instead I went to their pathetic website for a long look at what they were after. Then I carefully evaluated the relative content of my soul, estimated I had enough to spare, and I did it. I made them another ad.

It’s not a great story, I admit. I wanted to write something else. I wanted to write about the worst thing in the world aside from X10. The thing worse than X10 is someone who takes comfort in the loss of another’s dreams. It can only be because it justifies one’s own meanly buried dead. Beware that comfort. You see I don’t want to quit to write my first novel. I want to quit to write my fourth. I don’t want to quit to take painting lessons. I want to quit to get back to where I left off. I don’t want to quit to write poems. I want to quit to write another 1,000 poems. I don’t want to quit to write a screenplay. I want to quit to finish my next 2 and finish a set of 30 teleplays. I don’t want to quit to learn guitar. I want to quit to write another 300 songs and add trumpet to the instruments I can play. I want to write another 50 short stories. I want to design another 40 fonts. I want to write letters to my friends all around the world. I want to identify a new species of spider. I want to add another 1,000 terms to my dictionary so I can publish it. I want to get back into real fighting shape and maybe learn a new martial art. I want to fill another 3 filing cabinets with notes and journals. And I want to be able to do it all the way I used to do — in the space of a few months — not in the acrid years it’s taking via these dot-com issued coffee-spoonfuls of free time awash in vaudevillian office politik.

It doesn’t make us brothers that you think I’m losing my dreams like you did. It just makes me angry and you’ll have to be the judge of what it makes you.

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