Friday, September 18, 2009

MIke Rowe is wrong, and probably so are we

Mike Rowe is the man. He's smart, honest, direct, and just has a down home nature to him. His experience, insight and work ethic have lead to some very interesting perspectives and stories.

He also knows what it's like to be wrong and how the many things we have all held as sacred truths, so often, simply just are not. And once you find a truth to be not, suddenly many of the other truths are up for grabs. What else are we wrong about of which we were sure we were right?

Here also are Mike's "Seven Dirty Habits," each gleaned from a worker he met on the show, and bolstered by true stories of personal enlightenment and lingering humiliation.
  1. Never follow your passion, but by all means bring it with you.
  2. Beware of teamwork.
  3. Vomit proudly and whenever necessary.
  4. Be careful, but don't be fooled--safety is never first.
  5. Think about what you are doing--never how.
  6. Ignore advice such as "Work smart, not hard." It's dangerous--and moronic.
  7. Consider quitting.
Oh, by the way, if you want to see the Dirty Jobs episode that Mike talks about in the video above where they castrate the sheep, CLICK HERE. Baaaaa.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Full Apologies

My son is getting his learner's permit this week. I was looking up some information online about driving in other states on a learner's permit since we're in NH & CT often. I came across a site called Full Apologies. Odd name, got my attention, so I checked it out.

OMG, want to rip your heart out? It is a site of video apologies by teens who have driven drunk and killed other kids. Just painful to watch. You know there is also a family that is part of the story and has lost their son or daughter and feeling their own unimaginable pain, but if you have any compassion, you can't help but feel for these teens too. "It changes everything", some said. Doesn't it.

Nobody wins here. It is a tragedy from every angle, except maybe one. Maybe it changes some else's thinking. Lots of maybes.

What do you think about this? Feel free to comment. I'm curious about other perspectives.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Larry King - Softball Pitcher & a Dope

Larry King is perhaps the worst interviewer on TV today. He is basically a stage manager. He provides the venue, brings the guests on stage, and monitors an interview as if he's having an out of body experience. He never probes, the doesn't ever ask the hard question. And if the question is something the guest doesn't want to answer, Larry never comes back with a re-ask to force the guest to answer the question. It is softball after softball question.

Why is he so successful? He gets great guests and who wouldn't want to come on the show. It's so safe. It's a platform for the guest to talk about what they want without the interviewer getting in the way.

Now there are plenty of tough interviewers that most guests would never get near. But the best was Tim Russert, smart, fair, skilled and a gentleman still. I watched him at work interviewing Hillary Clinton once. Hillary side-stepped a question, Tim re-asked. Again the side-step, again Tim re-asks. Three times he went back at the former first lady, finally acknowledging to her that she simply refused to answer the question, not even a polite "we'll have to agree to disagree". Larry King simply doesn't have the stomach for it.

Also, check out his interview with Jerry Seinfeld. Jeees...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Can't Old Guys Write Songs?

Where does the creative spirit go in musicians when they get older? Take the writing machines of Elton John, Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Phil Collins. When they were in their 20s and 30s, they cranked out not just music in volume, but hits in volume. I'm not a song writer so I don't understand the creative mechanism for writing music. But it seems these guys got into their late 40s, then 50s and 60s and can't write a lick of music that's really popular. The albums get bought because of the marquee name, fans looking for just a little more from their favorite artist. But it's drab, is ok. It's not like McCartney had only one hit with Hey Jude or Let It Be, and he was successful with Wings after the Beatles. He was in a creative groove for 25 years and then, BANG, nothing. Sure Flaming Pie was nice, but nothing we all cranked on the radio or our iPods. It's not just a common occurance, it's almost universal.

My thought is that as these guys got older, they'd have amassed such experience in writing and life and collaborated with other megastars that they could in their "slower years" sit at the guitar or piano and bang out something worthy of superstardom again. I don't think they all have to return to the full glory of their glory days. But why can't there be another big hit from the icons of music in their silver years?

I just don't get it.