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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mistaken for Strangers by your old friends

Ever since I started listening to them about four years ago, I've always thought the National provide the perfect background music for growing up, abandoning your youthful ideals, and becoming part of the 9-5 rat race of the so-called 'real world'. If you've ever read Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road, you'll know what I mean.

It's good music, I swear. A little depressing, but so honest and so beautiful.


As I contemplate a career in the advertising industry, I can't help but think of this song. I don't mean to insult or put down my education in any way, but sometimes I stop and think of what I'm being trained for. In university I took classes that taught me to be critical of the media, to be aware of when I'm being advertised to and to take everything I saw on TV with a grain of salt.

In college, I'm learning how to market to people and how to draw on basic human instincts in order to sell a product or brand. Granted, there's nothing shifty about what I'm learning. My instructors are some of the most intelligent people I know, and they are in no way teaching my classmates and I to be evil, sneaky money-makers. Along with the principles of advertising, we learn about honesty, transparency, and the utmost importance of telling the truth.

Still, though. It's weird to think about sometimes.

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