I’ve never much cared for the musical genre broadly known as Americana, and lately I’ve been thinking about why this is. I suppose it’s acceptable to say hey, I’ve listened to a lot of these artists and most of them just kinda bore me, but that seems unsatisfactory for a guy who thinks about music like I do.
After some reflection, I think it comes down to a couple of issues. The first one, I admit right up front, is objectively unfair of me, but there is a part of me that associates Americana with the Baby Boomers, and in particular sees it as a late, faint attempt by the post-Reagan iteration of the cohort to recapture lost authenticity. Read more
The story: Tape analysis: Pistol shots preceded 1970 Kent St. shooting deaths of 4 students.
Let me be the first to wade in with a caution here.
- I need to know a good bit more about the person doing the analysis and
- I would be interested in knowing if he’s being compensated.
- If so, by whom?
- There’s allegedly a 70-second gap? If I think I’m under fire it won’t take me that long to shoot back.
- And let’s not forget that in the hearings it became clear that the soldiers fired in the opposite direction of where they said they thought they heard fire. Read more
Here’s another in our occasional unsolicited shout-outs to people and groups we like.
You’re probably hooked into a variety of social networks, but Rock & Roll Tribe is a little different. It is, as the tag line suggests, a “community for kickass grown-ups.” Music is at the center of most conversations, but it’s more than that. It’s a social net that’s by, of and for those of us whose spirits are younger than our knees. That’s how I see it, anyway. In addition to the online activities, RnRT is also pushing local get-togethers and inviting meaningful contributions from folks like you.
One of the founders is the eminent Bruce Brodeen, he of Not Lame renown. And that alone makes it cool.
Drop in. Sign up. Rock out. Read more
If you’ve been off-planet for the last few months you may have missed the news: Jon & Kate have split, and in the process migrated from the relative banality of the TV listings over to the hyper-banality of the tabloids. I’m still not sure what the future holds for the popular “reality” show, but whatever it is, Gosselin family 2.0 equals Jon minus Kate.
It occurs to me that these events represent something significant in our culture. Since about 1980 or so we’ve been in one of our periodic “childrens is the most preciousest things in the whole wide world” phases. (For more on the generational cycles that produce this dynamic, see Generations, 13th Gen and Millennials Rising by William Howe and Neil Strauss, two men whose work I have referenced a number of times in the past.) In the previous generation (Gen X), children were an afterthought for most parents, who had been socialized in far more self-centric times. Read more
In the past I’ve written about a variety of generational issues, and have often focused on the Millennials. At times I’ve been construed as dogging them pretty hard. As I’ve tried to explain, my criticisms of them (for being entitled, for lacking critical thinking skills, etc.) haven’t really been criticisms of them, per se – a cohort that’s 75-100 million strong doesn’t get to be a certain way all by itself. The blame, if we want to use that word, falls on those responsible for educating and developing the generation.
Further, some have erroneously interpreted my critiques as somehow suggesting that my generation – X – was without flaw. Which, of course, is ridiculous. Every generation has its relative strengths and weaknesses, and X has been a trainwreck in some respects.
All of which leads me to the other morning, when fellow scrogue Brian Angliss forwarded along the link to a Washington Post column from Neil Howe, the man who co-authored, along with William Strauss, the finest series of works on America’s generations I’ve ever encountered. Read more
Part one in a series.
During its 36-year run, LIFE Magazine traversed a period of technological innovation and peril unsurpassed in the recorded history of humanity. As the first issue was released in November of 1936, a resurgent Germany was constructing the most awesome war machine the world had yet seen, a development that literally threatened the very future of the hemisphere. LIFEâ€™s final issue went to press at the end of 1972, roughly three weeks after NASAâ€™s last manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17, closed the books on a program that proved — theoretically, at least — that humanity was not inevitably bound to this planet.
The technological distance between these two moments is mind-boggling. Read more
Something big happened a few nights ago in Iowa. Barack Obama began the evening as one of the top two contenders for the Democratic nomination and by the time people went to bed he was John F. Kennedy.
This might sound like hyperbole – and to be sure, the race is far from won – but if the results we saw in the Hawkeye State last Thursday are replicated in New Hampshire and beyond, then what we are seeing may be a defining shift in American politics and culture. The key factor is the emergence of the 75-100 million strong Millennial Generation as a political force. Let’s look at some of the evidence.
The Young Voter PAC’s roundup provides ample data for consideration. Read more
Last week on SVR we looked at some of 2007’s top female artists, so this week it seemed appropriate to offer props to some of the guys responsible for outstanding CDs this year. We’ll start with CD of the Year candidate The Good, the Bad & the Queen, fronted by former Blur and Gorillaz auteur Damon Albarn, who’s shaping up as one of the true geniuses of our age.
Next, another CD of the Year frontrunner. Read more
[UPDATE] Hunter’s widow, Anita, has a nice post on Hunter’s birthday at Owl Farm Blog.
You may have noticed that Hunter Thompson is back on the masthead. Today would have been The Doctor’s 70th birthday (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005), and we thought it appropriate to honor the memory of a journalist who was an incredible influence on a number of our writers.
I originally wrote the piece below when he died, and since I think it addresses a number of issues that are as important today as they ever were, I’ve chosen to offer it up for reflection.
Happy Birthday, Hunter, wherever you are…
HST: a champion for social justice cashes his check
â€“ I heard the news today, oh boy…
(February 22, 2005) â€“ One of the brightest lights in the American firmament blinked out Sunday. Read more
I’ve written recently about some generational issues facing companies – most notably the “macro-succession crisis” that I suspect very few corporations have even thought about in meaningful detail. In that post I examine how the coming Baby Boomer retirement explosion is going to engender all kinds of crisis, especially in larger legacy corporations that are so top-heavy with Boomer leaders that their Gen X successors are ill-prepared for the transition that must begin taking place in the next five years.
But if you’re a different kind of company – say an entrepreneurial outfit started and run by front-edge Xers (people now in their early to mid-40s) – you’re in good shape, right? Read more
I wrote a couple weeks ago over at Black Dog how companies across the US are flying headlong toward a massive macro-succession pile-up, and the collective personality of the Millennial Generation (born from ~1980-2000) is going to play a major part in mid-management breakdowns in the next few years.
If you’d like a glimpse of the stress the Millennials are already exerting on organizations, you’ll want to read a new analysis from the Wall Street Journal‘s CareerJournal.com site. In it, Jeffrey Zaslow chronicles how businesses are addressing the Mills’ excessive need for praise: (More at Black Dog Strategic…)
I was reading a Seattle Times story earlier today on how men in their 30s are earning less than their fathers did. An interesting story top to bottom, but the concluding section drew me back around to something that I really haven’t talked about enough lately – the looming generational macro-succession nightmare facing corporate America. (Read the rest at Black Dog…)