I used to always be early, but now I’m afraid of being late.

I used to always be early, but now I’m afraid of being late.

early_or_late
Being early is a curse in a world where everybody is late. Not only do you waste time waiting for people, you end up being the greeting committee, making small talk, introducing people. Almost no one is on time., so I’ve trained myself to…be on time, as opposed to early. But now with so many time-wasters, most especially the smartphone, I’m finding it hard to even be on time.

I’m old.
I remember when my mother was thrilled when she qualified for the senior discount. Baby boomers are horrified.

Henrik Ibsen trained to be a pharmacist. Henrik Ibsen was the artistic director of the Christiana Theatre and it went bankrupt.

It’s hard not to take the easy way out. Used to be our parents told us to be doctors or lawyers. Now college graduates go into finance because they want a safety net. But to wake up and decide to follow your heart…everybody talks about it, very few do it. Because it’s just too risky, especially in the arts.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

The pen is mightier than the sword.?

brookins

With the recent attack on French satirical newspaper the writer Charlie Hebdo has exposed some risks to Humor….

First we had the sword slicing off of a hand holding a pen and then a cartoonist was shown in full body armor with the slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

The world has been doing satirical humor for centuries and previously things against the “monarch” were dealt with and could have ended in death… TODAY everyone seems to be offending society….

The internet… is causing… well…. COLISSION of the MINDS….

From Islam to North Korea.

North Korea’s response… “unpardonable mockery of our sovereignty and dignity of our supreme leader” seems light in the wake of killing of 12 people at the paper’s office when then stating “We have avenged the prophet.”

I guess we just simply need to remember that sometimes humor has …  consequences.

I applaud the declaration “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie). But is this causing censorship?

Then there was this from Mad Magazine….

“By the simple act of appearing on camera denouncing the terrorists and defending the rights of cartoonists and satirists, would I be drawing a target on my back and the backs of my colleagues?” he said. “Unfortunately these days, those are not unfounded fears.”

“On the other hand, come Monday morning, my staff and I will be back at work on the next issue of Mad.

“What, us worry?”

 

Right and or Wrong

Here’s a simple arithmetic question: A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Right or WrongMost people will respond quickly and confidently, insisting the ball costs ten cents. This answer is both obvious and wrong. (The correct answer is five cents for the ball and a dollar and five cents for the bat.)

Decisions seem to depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead to foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether. In the above arithmetic lesson we tend to default to the answer that requires the least mental effort.

In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

Your first response is probably to take a shortcut, and to divide the final answer by half. That leads you to twenty-four days. But that’s wrong. The correct solution is forty-seven days.

 

Lessons LEARNED…. so far

Most of what you learned in school you’ve already forgotten.
Lessons Learned
You lament they didn’t have calculators in school when you were forced to use a slide rule.

If you’re working for the man, it’s just a matter of time before you lose your job.

You probably won’t make as much money as your parents.

You probably drive a worse car every time you get a new one. Once upon a time you could afford a Volvo, now you drive a Camry.

People are dying to tell you their story. Ask them questions. They’ll tell you everything.

You’ll become more comfortable in your own skin.

You’ll be happier.

You’ll stop doing things you don’t want to do. Actually, this happens not long after you move out of your parents’ house.

You’ll stop being fascinated by that which consumed you previously. Sports may become meaningless.

You won’t know who the people they’re talking about in “People” and the rest of the gossip rags are, and you won’t care.

You’ll realize no one leaves their mark, except for a few people who didn’t know they were doing so, so it’s a futile pursuit.

Wrinkles only bother those who have them. Beauty changes when we get older. We’re looking for a glint in the eye, a sense of satisfaction and adventure.

If you’re up for anything, we’re attracted to you.

No one can keep a secret.

There are truly rich people and chances are you’re not one of them. Unless you’ve got a friend, you’ll rarely get the best seat, you’ll rarely get preferential treatment. You don’t want to see yourself as one of the unwashed masses, but you are.

You don’t want to be President.

Life is topsy-turvy, just because someone’s successful today, that does not mean they will be so tomorrow.

Even the best and the brightest have kids who screw up.

Not everybody has to go to college to be successful, although this is impossible for parents to accept when their children drop out.

What I’ve learned prior to 60

What I’ve learned prior to 60

European dirty 60km speed limit traffic sign

Death is not distant, it’s inevitable, and ever-closer.

No one knows anything. Confidence is a front. Everybody is insecure.

No one cares about your SAT scores unless they aced the test.

We’re all lonely looking to be connected.

You’ll want the decade back when you were lost and drifting.

You’re never going to recover from some physical ills, aches and pains are part of the process of dying, and that’s what you’re doing, every day.

Women inject their lips to look good to other women, the same way they buy and wear trendy outfits and shoes. Men just want someone who will listen to them, soothe them and have sex with them.

Being good-looking is overrated. Sure, it opens some doors, but it stunts you in other ways. Character is built by challenges, if you avoid them, you’re at a loss.

Having friends is better than having money.

If you were never on the path to riches, you will never be rich.

Doors are closing every day. If there’s something you want to do, start now.

Acceptance is no easier than it was when you were five, but it’s necessary in order to soldier on.

You really want to be involved with someone your own age, because no matter how attractive a younger person might be, they do not get the references.

People let you down.

Some people were dead at thirty. It’s a full time job trying to stay alive.

Grazers

Back to Grazers. grazingThere are some who sit home self-satisfied, saying they know what’s going on, when that’s damn near impossible.

And then there are those who not only yearn for the days of yore, they keep bitching about what is lost in the new era.

And then there are those who do their best to keep up. And they’re the majority of the population. They’re trying to cobble together a life. Trying to decide what is necessary. Whether to look for love online or in real life. Whether to turn off their devices to enrich the experience or be fearful of missing out.

It’s the culture stupid!

You might think it’s about money and quality and marketing, but the truth is the culture has changed, and those who do not adopt their companies and their products to the new culture are bound to be forgotten.

Today you can truly be famous for fifteen minutes and forgotten shortly thereafter.

The key is to sustain.

And you do this by being in front of everybody with a quality product on a regular basis.

And that’s damn hard to do.
Beyonce may be famous, but few know her new music.

And “Orange Is the New Black” may get great reviews, but who’s got 25 hours to dedicate to the show when there’s so much else to experience? Or, if you do, what else are you sacrificing?

So stop bitching and start figuring out how to play the new game.

Everybody else is.

Grazing – Bottom Feeders

Grazing – Bottom Feeders

bottom-feeder-capWe’ve got the bottom feeders, the lowest common denominator sites with traffic and ink that are all about clicks, like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post. And now even the “New York Times” is worried it’s not playing the game right, it wants its writers to promote their words on social media, believing if you don’t join them, you’re dead, but that could not be further from the truth. Do you remember when “Rolling Stone” remade its magazine into bite-sized chunks when “Blender” made inroads with that style? Turns out “Blender” lied about its numbers, and the magazine is extinct today.

But stories keep getting shorter in the belief that people have a short attention span.

But the truth is people are overwhelmed with grazing, there’s so much information, that they can only go deep in a few areas, and those in the arts just cannot fathom this.

Nobody wants the album because unlike the artists who made them, they don’t care that much and don’t have enough time, they’d rather listen to ten tracks by different people than ten by one. Of course there are exceptions, but that’s just what they are. Some acts have deep fanbases, they’re the iPhones of the world, the rest are Windows phones or BlackBerries, with a few diehard fans who keep trumpeting their features while the rest of us ignore them, because the truth is we all want to be mainstream, we’re all afraid of being left on the scrapheap.

GRAZING – We know everything and we know nothing.

GRAZING – We know everything and we know nothing.

Grazing Cow-grazing-001We’re grazers, we’re surfers, according to Google, we pull our smartphones from our pockets 125 times a day. We want to be on the pulse, but no one is quite sure what the pulse is and everybody purveying is battling for mindshare, unaware that total domination is a fool’s game, unless you’re an element of a shocking news story or provide technology we can all use.

That’s right. Everybody can debate the merits of the iPhone versus Android. Some may only know you can get the latter cheaper, others know further deep details. But that’s because you use your phone all day long, you don’t listen to the same record all day long, you might not listen to music at all!

And everyone’s so overloaded, no one’s got any time. It’s all about the headlines and a few verticals. It may be the golden age of television, but who’s got the time to watch all those shows? And, if you are, you’re not listening to music.

And movies are a dying art form. My recommendation of the day is Bert Easton Ellis’s podcast, wherein he intellectually dissects issues of culture, film and TV. Michael Tolkin said his twentysomething children never go to the movies, Ellis said it’s hard to get his twentysomething boyfriend to watch a flick, and Tolkin said that just because Kevin Smith watches a movie every night, and discusses film with his brethren online, that does not mean it’s a mainstream pastime.

Huh?

Push – Pull

PUSH – PULL (output)

PushpullWe live in a pull economy. Nothing pisses off the audience more than pushing something they don’t want and didn’t ask for to their devices. Even if you don’t download the album, it’s sitting there in your purchases, pissing you off.

NEWS FOR A DAY

In today’s world it’s not about making an impact, but sustaining. Could it be that Bono’s been living too long in the echo chamber, hanging with forty and fiftysomethings who think they rule the world but truly don’t? Yes, older people build the tools, but it’s young people who utilize them. The older bloke will lament the loss of the record shop, the younger person has never been. If you want to make it in today’s marketing culture you must be online 24/7, picking up the nuances. Because it is about cred and it is about cool but if you think the old rules apply, you probably can’t name a YouTube star.

Money Culture

MONEY CULTURE

money-culture

It’s the number one aspiration. Religion is down, the arts supposedly self-satisfy, but the truth is everyone is pursuing money. The Ivy Leaguers go into finance, anyone with money or who desires some is conversant with the stock market, and if you’ve got money, you’ve won, no one can say a bad thing about you. Going public is the new record release. Not only is there a big initial splash, as well a run-up thereto, unlike with most music there’s an afterlife, as people see whether the stock goes up or down. If a company makes money, it doesn’t matter what their product is, what other indicators say, in the eyes of the press and the public they’re winners!
PERSONAL BRANDING

In the money culture, everybody’s selling. They’re establishing their brand from middle school, if not before. Everything’s on the permanent record and you’re either on the right track or not. And if you don’t have something to sell, you’ll never be a successful entrepreneur, the number one aspiration. Yes, in a nation where the corporation does not care about you, and most people have numerous jobs in their lives, the key is to work for yourself and make millions.

INSTANT ACCESS

If your product doesn’t fit this paradigm, you’re destined for the scrapheap, you’re being ripped-off, if your product is desirable. Everybody expects what they want when they want it. It’s not only intellectual property, but goods. Amazon, et al, are now delivering on the same day. To fight this expectation is to be delusional. Movie windows will collapse.

DIGGING DEEP

Everybody’s an expert on something, if only a TV series. Now you can sit at home on a weekend and devour the entire history of a production and go to work and pontificate on Walter White. In a virtual world, where products are fluid, it’s not about what you have but what you know.

INFORMATION ACCESS

Everything’s at your fingertips online. LTE has given most people instant access to information. So if you’re uninformed, you’re going to be busted.