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WORDS 
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September 19, 2017

written by Adam Faust

Humans are amazing buttheads.

I’ve been thinking about what to post post-Harvey and here are my two major observations: our generosity and hearts are so big, and ironically, we are also amazing buttheads. I am referring to humans.

Before, during and after the “800 year storm,” I paid attention to the behaviors on social media, of my friends, and, of course, myself. Housebound and bored (but safe), I immediately began to brand the storm and attempt to save the world with a t-shirt.

“Are you branding the storm?” my wife asked.

“No, I’m trying to help!” I rebuked.

“Be careful, babe,” she said knowingly.

I came up with “Houston Rises” as a play on words and reflection on how Houstonians immediately rose to the challenge. I became obsessed. I acted as if the most important thing was to get these shirts out into the world. Was it a good cause? Of course. But was I passionately promoting it for the greater good or because I was in love with my own idea? I even mentally poo-poo’d the countless other shirts that were raising money for the exact same cause. I was being competitive in a situation that needed compassion. That’s weird. I was being a bonafide butthead.

Social media is a great place to share pictures of tearing down drywall, passing out water and giving back to the community we care so much about. It’s awesome. But are we just volunteering so we can show others we are helping? Maybe, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think we all want to help and feel a tad guilty and lost on how to help. Almost everyone I know was fine except for a few. One was my buddy, Aaron. He’s one of the nicest and all around best people I have ever known and he lost everything. EVERYTHING. I headed over and helped demo his house. I was most impressed that over half of the people working on his house were total strangers. Those people rule. It was a back-breaking four hours for me when I decided to head home. Really, my energy is best used designing t-shirts.

 

I didn’t take a ‘helpie,’ but this image is a good illustration of how I looked.

What’s more dangerous than ‘helpies’ (a selfie when you’re helping) is questioning the motives of those who do help, picking on people who take a picture of their demo crew in action, ridiculing celebrities for not giving enough money, harassing pastors who should have opened their doors sooner and sitting on our keister, arms folded, casting judgement on total strangers. That’s butt behavior.

Houston and the surrounding areas absolutely rose to the occasion. I know my little 5 + 8 team got after it. Jeff went full on Cajun Navy rescuing people from their homes. Paulina handed out snacks at the city’s largest shelter. Housebound Linda Ho assembled mega-couch (all her sofas pushed together) and watched all of Big Little Lies (which is a darn good show). As soon as the water dissipated, Linda went out and demo’d a total stranger’s house.

Everyone I know that could do something, did something.

I don’t actually think humans are butts. I think we’re self-absorbed and we feel guilty that we’re not doing enough. So, we act butty about others. I think we just need to give ourselves and everyone else a break. We’re super imperfect. Nobody has to do anything for anyone else. Still, in the last month, I’ve never witnessed so much generosity, care, sacrifice and goodwill toward others in my entire life. We are amazing buttheads, but every 800 years or so, we’re simply amazing.

 

August 4, 2017

written by Adam Faust

Everything is just a lot right now

Last week, I think I had a panic attack. Either that or my blood sugar was just running super low. I treated myself to a sausage biscuit sandwich to see if it was the latter.  I felt better, but a biscuit with sausage will make a lot of things better. It was an uncomfortable combo of light headedness, body fatigue with an unhealthy amount of anxiety. It was intense for 30 minutes and then kind of lingered like a inconsiderate party guest.

I wrote down “Everything is just a lot right now,” something my wife said months ago. I also wrote down, “Life is hard” roughly six months ago. I didn’t know what to do with these statements, but I knew they were universal and important and not addressed enough. My dad has a nice sermon he shared with me about how hard simply maintaining a regular life can be. I’ll paraphrase, “Just getting up and paying your bills, exercising, performing well at work, day after day, after day, is hard. It’s hard to just doing all the normal stuff you’re expected to do.”

He’s right. I am not even touching on the big problems like poverty and illness and loneliness – the really big stuff. I don’t have those kind of problems and I pray I don’t and I pray for anyone that does.

I am addressing only the daily crapola. I am talking about when your AC stops conditioning the air. I am talking about when you look down and your body looks kind of mushy. I am talking about when there are ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife (I figure why fight what Alanis already perfected).

This doesn’t have anything to with advertising or graphic design. It just has to do with being a human being with a job and a family and a head full of worry. It sucks and it’s hard and there is no easy answer (But, there is a truly breathtaking song called, Life is Hard that is worth the three minutes). There is only the comfort that you’re not alone and everyone else is stumbling around right alongside you. No one has it figured out, and the only true answer is to keep going. Keep writing, and keep learning, and keep following something YOU deem worthwhile. Because, if you stop, you’re no good to anyone.

The more you want from your life, the harder it gets. You want to follow your dreams? Well, you better be ready to take a pay cut. Interested in a career change? They’re going send your buttocks back to the bottom. The more you want from your life, the more that will be asked of you. So, there’s that.

I’ll take that deal. Because, as my pops repeatedly reminds me, “If it was easy, everybody would do it.”

July 25, 2017

written by Adam Faust

Good Marketing Can Do Some Good

Meet 11-year-old Chris Holland. I met him last week as he held up a sign that said, “Raising Money to Get to the Junior Olympics.” It was over 100 degrees and this cat was out there marketing himself like the internet doesn’t exist. I pulled over and told him there was a better way. Kudos to Chris for getting out there and at least doing something.

Houston for Holland

Chris’ mom and I started talking. He needs $2,000 to get to Detroit and they need to leave by Friday. They’ve raised a little, but not nearly enough.

This is not a handout. This is an investment in a athlete representing Houston and Texas in the Junior Olympics. He’s competing in three events (800 meter dash, 200 meter dash and the 4 x 800 meter relay).

Anyone who sponsors Chris for $40 or more will get a limited edition “Houston for Holland” shirt with a hand-illustrated lion representing strength, speed and pride. It just so happens to be Chris’ favorite animal.

Here’s how to support Chris Holland:

http://www.gofundme.com/houstonforholland

#houstonforholland

Advertising and marketing get a pretty bad rap. And, of course, it often deserves it. It actually eats away at me. So, when we saw an opportunity to do something worthwhile using marketing, we pounced.

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