The Problem with Buttons is They Always Fall Off

Bachelors lose buttons. Kids especially lose buttons. Mothers and grandmothers still sew on buttons the old fashion way. This Christmas get the new automatic Buttoneer 2; it attaches any kind of button instantly.

[musical interlude: Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down. Letting the days go by, water flowing underground. Into the blue again, after the money’s gone. Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground.]

Over the course of my lifetime (I grew up in the portable radio and color TV explosion eras), I have seen more changes than I can remember. Some stuck and some didn’t. Some you knew would stick around and some you knew would never last. But once in a while we all got fooled. Sometimes the least likely changes stuck around and sometimes the most likely changes disappeared.

Things like civil disobedience (college students and civil rights activists marching in the street) and Frisbees. I got my first skate board (it was a chunk of wood shaped like a mini-surfboard with metal skate wheels attached) in 1968 and abused it until it fell apart. That same year I let my dad throw away an entire shoebox full of baseball cards (actually, I kept some to clip to my bike forks so they would smack against the wheel spokes while I was riding).

[And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful home with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself: Well, how did I get here?]

During the mid-1960s some of the kids in the neighborhood got portable radios (small enough to squeeze into your pants pockets) with earphones! They were called transistor radios. What a cool name. What cool kids. And then they just got smaller and smaller and we all began to lose our minds over the possibilities. Then something happened: our black and white TVs turned color. Pretty soon the transistor radio fever died and the color TV fever started. You can watch the World Series in color? Shut up!

In time, our attention shifted to VHS and Beta video record and play equipment; making our own movies and watching Hollywood movies at home! But movies would soon be bumped by this company called Atari and a game called Pong. Game consoles? I swear to God I played Pong until my eyes bled.

[Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down. Letting the days go by, water flowing underground. Into the blue again, after the money’s gone. Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground.]

Today we have the World Wide Web, iPods and Blackberrys. We have Segways, Viagra and Roombas. We have blogs, YouTube and Twitter. We have $4/gallon gas, organic food and a serious environmental movement. We’ve got war and natural disasters and global warming (sorry, climate change).

Some of it will last. Some of it will not. Some of what you think will stick, will go away and some of what you expect to go away will stick. And time alone will tell.

[Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was…]

Jim Sweeney

Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.