Another Tooth Bytes the Dust

Getting old is not pretty.

And it’s pretty damn weird.

So many of those albums I drooled over in the sixties and seventies will never be heard again. Certainly not after I die. Yes, you’ve got a better chance of lasting if you’re an artist, but that does not ensure longevity.

Kind of like this summer’s movies. I read a great article about them. How you can’t even remember this summer’s hits! It’s not a whole hell of a lot different in the music business. Top Forty songs are fodder, they go up the chart, fall off, and deleting them from your hard drive is even easier than trashing the physical product. Then again, with streaming you never have to own it, you’ve got no investment, so if you abandon a record or an act…c’est la vie!

But when you’re younger everything’s so damn important. You’re still figuring out how the world works. It’s all brand new. Then it gets old, and you die. Would it be different if we lived to 120? Would the arc change, would we still be invested in the evanescent or…

The bottom line is you age and your body just can’t do it anymore, never mind your mind. You’ve got aches and pains. And the reason the original band can’t get back together is someone is sick. It’s like we’re all Yugos, built to fall apart, in a zillion different ways. And some people can’t even afford a mechanic.

So I’m trying to figure out where I’m going. I ain’t got time to waste. And there are plenty of people doing just that. What’s important? 

You were expecting something about the tooth… TOMORROW..TOMORROW

The Amazon Effect

I just finished reading “Fast Company’s Amazon story. Amazon’s goal is to eliminate all competition, under the guise of being your go-to retailer, charging you for Prime, so you’ll spend even more, thrilled with faster delivery and some bells and whistles, like free books and movies, and getting you to pay even more, $299, for same day delivery of groceries.

The company never sleeps. Because it’s seen the movie.

What turned Apple into a juggernaut was the iPod. Which was not a good portable music player, but the ONLY portable music player. The company cornered the market on flash storage, no one could buy it as cheap, and hooked people into their ecosystem, i.e. synching and buying via iTunes, and no one else could even get a toehold.

Relationships

“Everyone I’ve ever known has wished me well
Anyway that’s how it seems it’s hard to tell
Maybe people only ask you how you’re doing
‘Cause that’s easier than letting on how little they could care
But when you know that you’ve got a real friend somewhere
Suddenly all the others are so much easier to bear”

“The Late Show”
Jackson Browne

Story Telling

We’re seeing a change in the nature of storytelling. Used to be TV series were strung over such a long period of time that it was hard to maintain continuity, and two hour movies were king. Now movies have sacrificed story for explosions and these new extended dramas are king. People are hungry for story. He who delivers it wins. That’s the power of entertainment.

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM KILLS

It killed the L.A. “Times.” The publication looked at the circulation numbers, thought they told the truth. Whereas the reading public suddenly realized there was nothing left in the newspaper and gave up.

“It’s important to note, especially for parents, that there just isn’t a straight line between what you do at school and what you go on to do it’s like being on the ocean. You keep correcting your course according to things that happen to you. And we end up writing a resume, which makes it look like it was a plan. There was a study by a professor at Duke University looking at the degree majors for leaders in 500 companies in Silicon Valley. Forty percent were in math, science, or engineering, but 60% were in the arts and humanities.”

Be happy with who you are.

 

Summer – Money is Forgotten – It’s 2013 – Getting Older

SUMMER

Is highly-anticipated and then it wanes.

All the good thinking is done in the fall, after we’ve gotten our ya-yas out. When the days get shorter and the nights get cooler and we don a sweater and spend time indoors, reading, watching…

MONEY IS FORGOTTEN

David Geffen did an interview in “Fortune.” It’s behind a paywall, so it got no traction. But the most interesting thing he said was how Bill Paley had been forgotten. Everybody with money has been forgotten. So enjoy it while you’re here, because there will be no lasting monument, unless you give your alma mater a hundred million and then students will know nothing but your name, they’ll have no idea what you did.

Art can last. But very little of it does.
IT’S 2013

And they still don’t call it the “teens.” I don’t know what they’re waiting for. But it’s almost fifteen years since the beginning of the new millennium. Classic rock music is even further behind us in the rearview mirror. Today’s youngsters don’t remember the eighties, never mind the seventies.

GETTING OLDER

You can’t remember who’s alive or dead. So much time has passed that your memory is clouded, if it can be penetrated at all. But they say those who let go of the past live longer, let that be your prescription.

Power – It’s about surviving.

That’s the difference between those who still have jobs in the music business and those who’ve been cast aside.

It’s a skill. – And it emanates from power.

And you think you know the game because you read the trade magazines.

You’ve got no idea.

Power.

That’s what the artists used to have. That’s what they’re leaving on the table. It’s as if Napster was started by the Fortune 500, in order to divert artists from their true calling, delineating the human condition and wielding the sheer numbers of their audience to exact change.

But that’s the Internet age. Wherein everything is thrown against the wall and very little sticks but that which does lasts forever.

Sure, money is power. But if you pursue it and it only…you end up with your bank or your corporation or your daddy’s business, paying lobbyists to ensure your future, when the real power lies with those who put up roadblocks in your way.

In other words, you can learn a lot about the game by watching “House Of Cards.” Just like Mike Ovitz educated his troops with Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War.” If you don’t study the game, you can never win. But Ovitz made a mistake, he tried to be bigger than he was, someone he was not groomed to be. Ovitz was an operator who specialized in extracting spoils from the manufacturers of entertainment. Put him in as number two on the other side of the aisle and not only does he fail, he’s forgotten. Because it’s not what’s in front of you that will kill you, but what’s behind. While you’re playing to your “fans,” everybody you screwed on the way up is out to get you, it’s the way of the game.

And “House Of Cards” is no “Sopranos.” It’s one-dimensional. It’s about the story of power, not nuance. Sure, there’s some evidence of the human condition, but really it’s a cold, hard look at the sausage factory. Almost too scary to watch. You think you want to screw Robin Wright, because you’ve seen her visage on TV, but she’s a cold-hearted bitch.

Quotes….

-For fast acting relief; try slowing down.
– Lily Tomlin

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned,
to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.
– Will Rogers

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo da Vinci

I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.
– Pablo Picasso

A man once asked someone with wisdom, “How can I find the right man for me?” and the person of wisdom replied “Don’t worry about finding the right man, instead concentrate on becoming the right man!”

Gradification

MOVIES

Have left the public conversation. That’s what’s killing everything but the blockbusters. Used to be you had to go see the flicks so you could discuss them at parties. For all the publicity about “Blue Jasmine,” nowhere I go is anybody talking about it. It appears it’s a press story, kind of like Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s banjo folk tour.

People talk about television because it’s accessible. Music doesn’t last because it’s too accessible. Your track can be trumped by another with a click. We’re all grazers looking for something superior and spending more time in transit than at our desired location.

MOBILE PHONES

Are mature. It doesn’t matter whether you use Android or Apple, they both do the same thing. They’ve become commoditized. Future breakthroughs will not be in mobile phones but in another, heretofore unseen area. In other words, if your phone has LTE, you may not need to upgrade for years. Which is kind of what killed computers. You had to have the latest and greatest chip and more RAM to utilize the new applications, and now what you own is good enough and you’d rather not spend the money.

If you’re still excited by mobile phones, you probably can talk for an hour on bathtubs.

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

I wish I were born yesterday, so this present, cacophonous world, was all I knew. A baby boomer didn’t realize three networks and needing to go to the theatre to see a movie were restrictions. We liked cable and VCRs, but now we’re stuck, lamenting the passage of the good old days, the seventies movies and the seventies records. And we want to be hip and glom on to what’s new, but we just don’t know how to play. How do you make sense of a world with endless choices?