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Decency Wins Over Cultural Decay

Aug 17, 2007
I will admit I was getting a little worried about the recently nixed Fox interview with O.J. Simpson as well as Judith Regan's decision to publish his book.

The short lived media frenzy regarding the O.J. Simpson book, If I Did It, as well as Judith Regan's ridiculous defense for why she decided to publish it intrigued me very much. Judith, if you were looking for a voice to heal then why not anonymously volunteer somewhere?

I applaud Rupert Murdoch and the Harper Collins Publishing House for the courage to make a decision that obviously cost them a great deal of money.

Personally, I had thought this publishing company had gone mad, but thank God they came to their senses and actually pulled the project -- or, perhaps more to the truth, they listened to the American people's response and realized this was not what the average citizen craved for at all. So the average person does have a voice after all...

I left the corporate world twenty years ago basically because I wanted to travel the road less traveled and, as old blue eyes sang, 'do it my way'. All the myths about advertising and publishing are true but there still needs to be standards and accountability. On a small scale, I receive at least thirty manuscripts a day and from those I usually choose to work on only one or two books a month. Unfortunately, although everyone wants to write books today there is not a great deal of quality.

Associates have often questioned me about my selection criteria since I primarily work with self-publishing authors. Usually the thing that matters most within the self-publishing arena is getting paid and moving on. Well, gone is the stigma of 'vanity press' and that is not why I work with self-publishing authors. I work with them because I know they would never get the attention or respect they deserve had they gone through a traditional publishing house and they are usually not experienced enough to realize that.

At my last corporate gig, I was an Art Director within the music industry and I loved my job enormously. I traveled, had freedom, respect and was making good money. My personal choice of music is show-tunes, swing and 70s rock but, ironically, I was placed within the heavy metal genre.

I knew my days were numbered one evening when I had to make a moral choice that was not good for the company but was, in my opinion, the right thing to do. In the eleventh hour I boldly decided to pull a very expensive, full page, 4 color ad from a then famous rock band and replace it with a filler ad. The band was notorious for simulating graphic abortions on stage and I could not support that as art for vulnerable teenagers. Of course, twenty years later, I realize it would have been best if I just quit that job but, in my youth, I was a bit of a rebel.

My duration within that company lasted one more month and then I was laid off -- interestingly, not fired. I went from making a six-figure income to nothing and many people thought I was crazy 'for not going with the flow' but I knew better. Whether I believe in something or not, as long as my name is associated with it and I am getting paid I basically am endorsing it. There is no way around that and the solution, for me, was quite simple: only accept work that I can back up morally and responsibly.

Over the years, I have been offered tremendous opportunities that could have been incredibly rewarding financially but morally inept. I consciously do not work on projects that can influence people in an unhealthy way because within my field there is too many smoke and mirrors. Because I am brought in on projects to pull it all together and make it happen, I discern each project to its true meaning.

Forty years ago movies still showed values, prayer and reverence and today, unfortunately, it is unfashionable. The other day as I was driving, I heard an advertisement on the radio that ended with: 'Jesus is still the Reason for the season.' Well, I darn well almost ran off the road with that one but inwardly felt joyful and hopeful. Although probably not politically correct, New Line Cinema has gone back to the fundamental truth to which this great country has turned it's back on. Jesus Is the Reason for Christmas and He should be invited back in America.

Perhaps if we combined the morals of yesteryear with the technology and knowledge of today we would have the world each of us dream about. Personally, I have seen enough guts, gore, sex and destruction and I would bet that a great many more are as bored and disgusted by it as me. People do indeed have a voice and the time is now to use it if only for our children who are our leaders for tomorrow.
About the Author
Judi Lynn Lake successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding, videos and websites while continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. To learn more visit http://www.judilake.com
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