Read Me

I bought a book called Read Me. I’ve read a bit of it, and looked at some of the pictures too. It’s making me happy, and do you know why? It is the voice of the copywriter, pretentious but mindfully so. That’s the best pretension: I know I sound like a bit of a douche saying this but that very awareness makes this so much more clever and I’m right anyway so screw you. Tea?

Read Me by Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood

That’s what we do. We all contribute to the glowing fallacy of this fabricated guild of craftsmen, The Copywriters. The Purveyors of the Word. The Brotherhood of the Word. The Fellowship of the Word. The House of the Word. The Cult of the Word.

But you know, this book isn’t even douchey really (this is in a tone of admiration, if you can image that). It is as down-to-earth as it’s possible for a book on copywriting written by copywriters to be.

Today I got stuck on an unexpected bus, with but pen and paper and this book to busy my mind. Like it was fate’s fair hand intervening. I set aside the book and bashed out the first two writing exercises contained therein. Long copy these days is like doing up my shoe laces; having just finished a nigh on 7000-word report, 150 to 300 words is shorty short.

Read Me Workout One:

Why everyone should commit an imprisonable offence some time in their life

Morality is the measurement of good against bad. We have an easy game with morality: it is largely dictated to us by the law, by society, and by our parents.

It’s inherited, with not much conscious decision-making involved. So are you really a good person if you’re just following the rules?

I put to you that making a conscious decision to do the wrong thing (wrong legally, socially and morally) will cause you to question your inherited comprehension of ‘good and bad’, and allow you to choose the right thing mindfully. One more time with feeling, we could say.

I’ve done it. Not a day has passed since that I haven’t thought of it. It instilled in me a healthy fear of the law and broke my belief in my own immortality. Useful lessons for a teenager.

My only advice: do it while you’re young. Breaking the law is much less cute when you’re 45 and caught with a packet of Richmond sausages in your briefcase.

Read Me Workout Two:

The case for cheating on your partner

Controversial topic. Most people worry about it and the others are guilty of it, all avoiding the subject like it’s a gay son at a Texas country club.

Let’s look at it scientifically, since we feel the need to distance ourselves. It’s just not natural to stick with one jaded-faded partner for years, especially if all you’re procreating is Habitat nesting tables.

But that’s a lame argument. Humans don’t go in for the whole ‘natural’ thing much these days. My hair isn’t really red. The vanilla latte next to me has never heard of Madagascar, let alone been a part of the island scene.

I’m beating about the bush – as I said, it’s a controversial subject. So here’s the crux…are you ready for a dose of the Word?

We only truly value what we have when we think we might lose it. And never are we more in danger of losing it than when we’ve ridden roughshod over everything it believes, hopes and has been promised.

It’s a refresher by fire. You’ll feel physically sick that you did this thing to the one person who matters above all atomic constructs in the universe. And every day that they still look at you and see the human you used to be is a GIFT, one you don’t deserve but are desperately grateful for.

You can’t live as if it’s your last day until you’ve had a gun to your head.

To wrap up

This book makes me feel things. You know, the things?

When a book speaks so directly to the shimmery essence of who you are – you stroke the pages lightly with the pads of your fingertips, tracing the words as if you hold that forgotten folio whose secrets are the rock upon which you built your shaky church.

Yeah, those.


2 responses to “Read Me”

  1. Of course you’re right! Not that there’s any real right or wrong here. I’m just pleased someone’s actually read and absorbed the damn thing. And can I say how much I like your exercise answers? Best yet. Well done you.

    1. ~dies~

      Thank you Mr Horberry, sir.

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