Those in Decline.

Glenda Jackson
Glenda Jackson

Drinks after work are revealing when it comes to personal opinions.

Recently we heard complaints about both young and older people ad agencies.

‘Young people in the business are not trained to a high enough level. Few know how to write.’

That got an affirmative nod.

‘Yeah, tell me about it’, one guy said. He’s fairly young himself, but successful.

Then seniors were in the crosshairs.

Energetic, open-minded, risk-taking, provocative — not!

More to that, we heard, ‘those in more senior positions are in decline and s%!t when it comes to effecting change.’

‘Pass 50 and you’re passed it.’

A bit harsh, of course, but maybe it was the Jack Daniels talking. In any case, someone said it’s no wonder clients are unhappy with agencies and business is shifting to consultants.

The thing is, why complain if you don’t have a solution. It’s just ear bashing.

So, how about better training programs? They’re bound to help young art directors, writers and account people. Agencies could invest more in courses to bring staff further along.

But what about seniors, those who could be well set in there ways and not exactly open to change.

The imperative could be ‘remake yourself, make a clean, new start’.

It’s easier said then done, but a model for that is Glenda Jackson.

Remember Glenda Jackson?

The great actress is coming out of retirement to play King Lear in an Old Vic production.

A woman in the King Lear role is intriguing as a re-imagination of Shakespeare.

But gender swapping is not unheard of in Shakespeare productions.

Women have played Hamlet.

And in the role they’ve come across as virile, manly and tough. Especially Sarah Bernhardt who played the role in Paris and London in 1899.

We’re wondering if a man could play Joan of Arc as well in George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan.

Chances are you know Glenda Jackson’s work. Academy Awards for Best Actress, Emmy Awards … the list of her abilities is as long as your arm.

But imagine giving all that up to follow your political convictions.

Jackson did just that.

She retired from acting to stand for election to the House of Commons in 1992.

She became Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate, served as a shadow minister and was appointed as parliamentary under secretary of state by Tony Blair.

No doubt we’re forgetting half a hundred other accomplishments including railing against Margaret Thatcher’s policies in order to redress the problems of unemployment.

Now Glenda Jackson is back.

She opens as King Lear on October 25th.

For those in decline, here’s a thought.

The Old Vic box office is open. So fly to London.

It’s bound to be inspiring, motivating and more to head for the Old Vic to see Glenda Jackson stage.

She’s a living example that you don’t have to be in decline and s%!t past 50.

Did we 50? Glenda Jackson is more like 80.





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