So long Ferrari. So long Aston Martin. So long the SUV.

So long Ferrari. So long Aston Martin. So long the SUV.

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS (3)Do you think kids want to own a big box with terrible mileage just like their parents drive?

Just because cars have lasted a century, that does not mean they’re here to stay, that does not mean they’re not ripe for disruption. Cars are the newspapers of today. Something oldsters can’t live without and youngsters can.

The basic premise is you’ve got to go. How you get there is irrelevant. Furthermore, the costs of car ownership…the insurance and the gas, never mind the maintenance, none of them appeal to a youngster who believes all costs should be baked in.

Hidden fees are anathema to the younger generation. They’ll pay, but you’ve got to be honest.

In other words, we live in a world built by baby boomers that does not square at all with the needs of their progeny.

You don’t hear kids clutching to their CDs, never mind MP3s. They don’t complain about sound quality. They don’t bitch about the way it used to be. – Unless you’re willing to question all your preconceptions, you’re going to be left behind.

It’s the sixties once again, with a giant generation gap that the self-satisfied oldsters just can’t understand.

But they’re envious of. Come on, a world where everybody’s interconnected, where few are lonely because even geeks and nerds can connect, and everything’s at your fingertips?

Fifty years from now smartphones will look quaint. Bandwidth speeds will be laughed at like floppy disks. The revolution we embrace will be in the rearview mirror.

Just like that machine you’re overpaying every month for to impress people who no longer care.

BOOMER CARS – WOW

Kids do not care about cars.

CAR2As for the freedom the automobile once represented…

You don’t have to leave your house to connect with your friends, you don’t have go to the mall, as for doing illicit things…sexting is more outre and volatile than anything baby boomers could ever cook up.

To the younger generation cars are transportation, nothing more. They take you from a to b. But appealing to the older generation, manufacturers don’t develop products that fit this appeal, they keep touting all the stuff that worked in decades past. Appearance, specs. They don’t even understand their own product!

Ever notice that every smartphone looks the same? Yup, a rectangular brick. And it’s about customization via software? Credit the car companies with putting apps in the dash, but if they want to win they’re going to have to move as fast as the tech companies, one of which is eating their lunch.

Imagine if Tesla had a 20k car. Yup, a utility you just plugged in, that didn’t harm the environment, something simple, futuristic… Then GM and Toyota would to be very afraid. Because kids embrace the new and care about the environment. All that brand equity in GM? A youngster cares not a whit about that.

Nor does he or she care about a Ferrari. If you buy one of these sleek automobiles, I hope you enjoy driving it, because your image is gonna take a hit. All the young girls you want to impress will be laughing at you, you wasted all your money on WHAT?

Boomer Cars

Kids Do not Care about Cars. We have BOOMER CARS

carYou mean I need a bigger engine and a swoopy style to get laid? I just go on Tinder!

Welcome to the baby boomer nightmare, wherein everything they’ve held near and dear becomes irrelevant. Like automobiles.

Cars are a utility.

It’s not the seventies anymore, no one ever bows out of an affair citing car trouble. I’ve got a AAA membership, but I only use it to get tires changed in seedy areas, the concept of a tow because my carburetor is clogged is about as foreign as the blue screen of death. (And new cars come with run-flat tires!)

Yes, remember how you used to need to know how computers worked to use one? Same deal with cars. Everybody had a modicum of expertise, having experienced flaws and shoddy maintenance. But today you just turn ‘em on and they go, you don’t have to even take your key out of your pocket. Sure, you might smash your automobile up, but Google’s developing an app for that, otherwise known as the driverless car.

Joy in driving? Taking a few weeks or months to drive cross- country? Why would anybody want to do THAT! Why do we have Boomer Cars?

Yup, the road trip is as dead as the western. You could recast “Bonanza” and no one under forty would watch.

My Captain, My Captain

My Captain, My Captain – Robin Williams

A_Single_Rose_by_oxclassxo“We all live so close to that line
And so far from satisfaction”

He was one of us. A baby boomer who seemed not to fly above the fray, but to be part of it. A man so gifted we wondered where he got it from, with a demeanor that had you feeling if you ran into him you’d easily enter conversation, you’d soon be old friends.

I don’t know what happened here. I don’t know Robin Williams. All I do know is when one of us takes himself out of the lineup, removes himself from the game, we’re all left with more questions than answers.

Being human is rough. But when it’s over all there is is silence. And as bad as it gets, it always gets better, if you can ride out the bad patches.

How the World Works

Mama never told me it would be like this.

Duck for DinnerAs a matter of fact, my mother, if she were alive, would still not know how the world works. Like most people, she wants to believe you work hard, marry right, put your nose to the grindstone and it all works out.

But it doesn’t really happen that way at all.

My father knew. And always got in trouble for it. No one wanted to hear what he had to say, except the people who made a lot of money on his words, lawyers and property owners.

But regular people did not. Because my father always wanted to lift the end of the carpet, to uncover the truth.

As he told me more than once, “there are no miracles.” The person driving a hundred thousand dollar car with no visible means of support… He’s inherited millions, or is on the way to bankruptcy. Because if it looks inexplicable, it is.

So they tell us to work hard, get into a good college and it will all work out.

Only it doesn’t.

Let’s forget the losers. Those who drop out, who watch reality television and dream of winning a hundred grand. Because a hundred grand doesn’t go far, and it certainly doesn’t last. Winners don’t only score once, but again and again. Which is why the smart people become record executives, not recording stars.

So you graduate from college and take a job at the factory. Call it the law firm, the bank, the brokerage house. You think you’re winning, but you’re afraid of risk, like Jennifer Lawrence’s character in this movie you don’t like change.

OD is not OK

Methinks he O.D.’ed.

OverdoseI understand the use of drugs musicians use on the road, but it’s hard for me to glorify them. As much as I believe marijuana should be legalized, along with the harder stuff, it bugs me that we lionize inebriation, as if the highest state of being is to be high. Because personally, my greatest experiences have all been natural.

I don’t want to lock you up. As I get older, I veer towards the libertarian philosophy of we’re all individuals and get to make our own choices, but when someone dies of drugs, I think of the waste involved, it taints the legacy. Yup, even Jerry Garcia. Wouldn’t it be great if we still had Captain Trips around, if you didn’t use him as your personal Jesus, forcing him into a drug habit retreat.

It’s hard to be famous. Not that only famous people do drugs, never mind O.D. But most musicians are not well-adjusted, they play for the love of the audience, they get high being on stage, and then being off is positively awful. First, the comedown from the gig, then the endless travel/boredom.

The truth is every career is unique, would the Beatles have licensed to corporations if they broke today? I’m sure Pearl Jam would. You’re a product of your place and time.

It was so different from today. No one thought they were entitled to instant stardom, never mind a gig, whereas today pre-teens are stunned that no one wants to see them live.

But today no one’s lonely, you can always find your tribe online.

But back then the loneliness was overwhelming, especially if you didn’t live in the city. You were an outcast if you didn’t play sports. Girls didn’t pay attention to you if you weren’t cute. You got bit by the music bug and woodshedded until you could break out. And Johnny did. Although his career was thwarted by high expectations that were initially unfulfilled.

Bottom Line

BOTTOM LINE

It’s not the sixties anymore, nor the eighties or nineties.

bottom-lineToday life is rough. There are winners and losers. The middle class is shrinking. Which is why all those with a brain want to ensure they don’t end up on the wrong side of the divide.

As for those who create breakthroughs, it’s always by not playing the game. In other words, if you’ve got no college degree, your music better not sound like anybody else’s. Same deal with tech. We don’t need a new smartphone OS, we need something we can’t even fathom.

Baby boomers were drifters. Part of a large, egalitarian “Woodstock Generation” wherein unions still existed and we were all supposedly equal, we could all get a job and pay our bills.

Now a lot of these boomers have been laid off and can’t get a gig, never mind their children.

It’s every man for himself in America today. If you’re coasting, you’re losing ground. You’ve got to decide on your goals at a very young age and then work tooth and nail to achieve them. You’ve got to separate yourself out, you’ve got to rise above.

And know that today everything comes down to money. The rich people who make it and the poor people who desire it. Sure, you can be an itinerant musician known by few, but just don’t bitch that you can’t make a living, because the problem is you, you didn’t understand the game.

And the game, once again, is money. That’s all anybody cares about. That’s all anybody bitches about. Everybody wants more.

There is no safety net, no haven for losers. You’re either on the road to success or the scrapheap.

And the winners know this.

ARTISTS

ARTISTS

Mixer-Apple_Qurre_TeacherAn overused word frequently employed by those who have not succeeded/won in any other category. Once upon a time it was a reasonable career path. Today, Rivers Cuomo becomes a rock star and THEN goes back to Harvard!

So you’ve got a mixtape. You’re good with beats. But what separates you from everybody else?

That’s what an Ivy League education does, separate you from everybody else. In a country of 300 million, you don’t want to be limited to your good looks and charm, those are a dime a dozen.

Furthermore, since these “artists” are not in school or working, they’re all over social media developing their “brand.” Trying to up their YouTube subscriptions, believing if they just try harder, they’ll make it.

But most won’t. Because they’re not that talented and they don’t understand the game.

It’s a business. Companies don’t need you, they just need someone. George Michael got into a fight with Columbia Records, the company won, both in court and in truth. Because Columbia survives and George Michael never had another hit. The company had to teach artists a lesson. Tommy Mottola needed to get rich.

The Entrepreneur

The entrepreneur.

BarbieEntreBillboard_v3It’s a personality, you love risk. Entrepreneurs are no different from extreme sports stars, they do what most people will not, jump off cliffs without a net. So just because all your friends are entrepreneurs, just because you’d like to be one, that does not mean you can be. It’s in the DNA more than a choice, but a choice is involved.

Entrepreneurs are willing to fail. And the most successful have had wins when competitors haven’t even been playing. They’re the ones who not only had lemonade stands, but sold baseball cards on eBay. Entrepreneurs know how to make money, they know it’s all about money, and it’s not about education as much as personality, and smarts.

Today’s entrepreneurs are the artists of yesterday. The best and the brightest who will their success. Sure, entrepreneurs look for investment, but they rarely cry “woe is me.” They know the game is hard, they work ’round the clock, they sacrifice lifestyle. They’re everything today’s musicians say they are but are not. And they know they could fail completely. But they’re willing to take the risk.

PROFESSIONALS

May be every bit as smart as the entrepreneur, but their lives are ruled by fear, they want insurance. That’s why they become doctors, lawyers or accountants. If you truly want to work in one of these fields, more power to you. But if you’re doing it to be higher on the leaderboard in the financial and status game… Beware, the foundation is crumbling. This is not your baby boomer profession, wherein a doctor or lawyer is a winner as rich as anybody. MDs still make a good living, but the sky is not the limit, the goal of the government and insurers and patients is to keep costs down, and you’re caught in this bind. As for attorneys… I hope you like the background, because your odds of getting a good gig are low. Legal research is farmed out to Asia. Corporations don’t want to pay. It doesn’t matter how much hard work you’ve put in, if you want there to be no limit, you’ve got to go into finance or be an entrepreneur.

SECOND TIER PLAYERS

Everybody who doesn’t go to an Ivy, is not an entrepreneur and is not a professional. You’re sold the bill of goods that a college education will improve your lot, when the truth is it will only get you the job when you’re competing against high school graduates.

Chances are you’ll get out of school with no opportunities and be living in your parents’ basement. Which is why so many of these people go to graduate school, increasing debt for just a marginally better chance to get a job.

If you’re going to college to get a job, take a series of courses that are practically applicable. Sure, you can win if you’re a liberal arts major, but it will be much harder. Graduate in computer science. Take the hard courses. Because the truth is the hard courses weed everybody else out, and if you make it through you’ve got opportunities.

COLLEGE DROPOUTS

Kanye made it, that does not mean you will.

What are you thinking?

Furthermore, how do you expect to succeed in life when you can’t even complete community college?

Everything your parents told you is true. Life is long. High school winners are oftentimes adult losers. So, it takes years, so you’ve got to go into debt, welcome to reality. If you can’t get a college degree, you’re a loser forced to work for minimum wage or become an entrepreneur. And chances are, you’re not the entrepreneur listed above. I’m just telling you this for your own good. To give you a leg up. Before you burden yourself with so many obligations, a spouse and children, that you root yourself to the past and cannot succeed in the future.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE

You didn’t get the memo. No one in your life told you how it is, how the game is played. Or maybe you’re a rebel. But there is no cause anymore.

But you believe you can win the lottery. That’s what a Top Forty music career is.

In other words, just because you can try out for the “Voice,” that does not mean you’ll win, never mind have a career.

Sure, some people do. And some people win in Vegas. Do you feel that lucky?

Old Mean WORTHLESS

Old means worthless in America, Barbieover the hill old man, we don’t want to hear your opinions. And the hilarious thing is the old people buy it, they diet down to nothing, wear their children’s clothing and imitate their lifestyle. Why else to get plastic surgery other than to evade the aging police. It’s like the whole country’s living “Logan’s Run,” but no one will admit it. And they also won’t admit that with age comes wisdom, which grows from experience. You live and you learn, but most people don’t learn to let the epithets of the youngsters slide off of them. They feel inadequate themselves, when the youngsters say they are they don’t own their identity, they change it.

Income inequality. But it’s a television third rail, because of “class warfare.” Huh? There’s already class warfare, why worry about the moniker?

America’s inane optimism, wherein if you’re not a winner, or on your way to victory, you’re a base whiner who must be shouted down and removed from the debate, you’re a hater trotting out facts without concrete solutions so please get out of my way as I delusionally work twenty hours a day pursuing victory at a casino wherein the house always wins.

It’s like an album where all ten cuts are winners, where there’s no bait and switch, where when you’re done you want more.

It turns out that we’re not interested in exterior, but interior, that everything being told and sold to us is wrong. You don’t have to be beautiful, your father doesn’t have to be rich, but to triumph you’ve got to be smart, experienced and creative.