Part one in a long series on Obvious Faces and their Obvious Places..
I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked at some very popular, well known places– AT TIMES when they were reaching the peak of something. Most of the time I had very little directly to do with these moments– but the truth is, most of the people around me didn’t either.
For ABC News (I’m picking on this one now its an E-Z target, but clearly Obama’s 2008 campaign was incredibly obvious, but its obvious issues are still being played out) — for my generation, I fashioned myself as someone who at least gave a fuck about the specifics of the history of that institution, with most of its mandate was derived from a Three Channel Era and nice brown hair-dos. It came from a time & place when even in third place, they garnered recognition by default and you could not avoid knowing them.
The way people got jobs there when I started there about 10 years ago this month, was not often based on talent, but because either they knew someone or were related to someone or they interned there, based on being known by someone, coming from a really known place or being related to someone known– the obvious ivy league was big then(I dont think its a place those obvious graduates would bother much with anymore). This employment process and particularly the process for advancing your career at that place produced the results we see today of an institution that even when they put all their smoke together all at the same time has a hard time making a cloud anyone would notice on their own block.
ABC News, in its time, was an obvious place. A household name of all household names! In certain parlance an OMGAA place!
It was easy to find. A Paul Rand Logo to boot! It wasn’t where you would really find anything interesting going on. And normally, once a place is that obvious there really isn’t much further upwards it can go (google sounds like this to me, in some cases its worse because of the implied expectations for greatness, at the end of the day, even people @ ABC in its day knew they were often “SSTM” or “Shoveling Shit to Mules”).
Obvious places attract obvious faces. They have great PR departments because they are the ones who can obviously afford them. And the faces they attract, if they had less obvious things to do, they still wouldn’t go to those places because those dark things are scary. A lot of an obvious person’s self worth, whether it be from society, nature or nurture, is tied into being OBVIOUS.
This is all well and good and the obvious people wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t enforce the OBVIOUS so hard core and in doing so, prevent more obvious places from being created out of obscurity so they can have more places to work at, defend, be proud of and utterly ruin(thus the cycle of life and capitalistic economic concerns).
They can also really become a problem when their obvious place is really obviously wrong, such as the SS during World War II(oh but they didn’t know it was so bad @ the time). By nature, the obvious faces tend to make it harder to see the truth at all costs. They’re so well invested in these places, they’ll ignore just about anything to keep things obvious!
We’ll go into this further about what happens at a COOL PLACE, when the obvious people show up (well there isn’t much further to go into there, its time for you to leave!). Obvi.!