Monday, April 22, 2019

Youth vs. Experience | Lefsetz Letter

I saw Mayor Pete on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

I was not impressed.

Actually, this is the first time I’ve watched the show. And now I get it, it’s appointment television for those who still remember appointment television. Oldsters. Youngsters expect the world to operate on their own schedule, on demand.

I’ve got nothing against Pete Buttigieg, it’s just that he lacks EXPERIENCE!

There used to be two threads in the music business. Overnight sensation pop stars proffered by the major labels and radio, and acts which practiced, rehearsed, wrote their own songs and made it over time.

Now we primarily have the former. Overnight sensations. Who we’re supposed to give credence to because they are young. Let’s take Billie Eilish. The youngest performer we had in the classic rock era was Peter Noone, aka Herman. It was believed you had to have experience, you had to have lived in order to have something to say, in order to be great.

Let’s be honest, America has lived through a tech revolution in the past thirty years. And most boomers are not up to speed. They can post to Facebook, they can iMessage, but they don’t know how the software works, as a matter of fact, they’re still into hardware, gadgets. Whereas youngsters have grown up in an era of no tech help, where you figure it out by yourself and the landscape always changes. The youngsters don’t know everything, but they ride the tiger, unlike the ignorant congressman who complained to the Google exec that his iPhone didn’t work properly. The answer was obvious, it’s a different OS, Android vs. iOS, but this oldster didn’t get it.

And Joe Biden doesn’t get it, he doesn’t realize that unwanted touch is taboo, he’s just saying he didn’t mean it, and that it was meaningless. Kinda like someone who employs epithets against blacks and Jews and claims as an excuse that they’ve never met one before.

And Bernie Sanders has experience, but he’s old too. Let’s be honest, if you’re in Congress you don’t have time to play Fortnite, you’re so busy you oftentimes don’t know how the world truly works. You’re aware of the big concepts, but not the little events that burgeon and change society.

So where do we go from here?

Somehow, experience has been denigrated, and fresh and new exalted. Oldsters can’t get their music heard, no matter how good it might be. The system is biased against it. Then again, so many of these acts do boffo at the b.o.

In other words is Mayor Pete Lil Nas X, someone who captures the public imagination for a moment but has very little beneath the surface?

Come on, being mayor is not like being governor, or a congressperson, but our nation has changed. It’s a combination of veneration of the new and young and the lack of hope. We’re holding on to hope wherever we can get it.

I understand the appeal of Mayor Pete. Especially in the way he stood up to Pence. But you listen to him talk and you realize Trump is gonna mow him right down in the debates. We need someone battle tested. Not in Afghanistan, but government.

As for the right, the CONSERVATIVES, they just want to go back to the past. As if iOS 2 was as good as iOS 12. As if electric cars are not the future and coal is not fading. The right criticizes, but has no new ideas.

And the media wants eyeballs. They want action. And if you’re boring but great, no one cares.

Now boomers are not going to live forever, but there’s no plan for handing over the baton. In the live business, it’s almost all alta kachers, no one’s letting go. And at the labels, there’s a dearth of young talent because there’s no upward mobility. The youth are unnecessarily stifled.

But the youth are the ones who oftentimes push the envelope, unaware of what they don’t know, and change the world. But when they’re on top, like Mark Zuckerberg, they’re out of touch with reality, they can’t manage what they’ve built. Never forget, Steve Jobs wasn’t the man you know until he went off into the the wilderness and lost with NeXT and gained some experience, especially in how you deal with people.

Government is a job. Not anybody can do it. But the public and the media think everybody’s able. Do you want Oprah flying your plane? Doing your taxes? Defending you in court? OF COURSE NOT! You want someone who’s been in the field for decades to handle those jobs. Why do we think anybody can be President? Why do we think anybody can be a pop star?

And the truth is experienced studio musicians played on the pop hits of yore. And the Beatles slugged it out in Hamburg before anybody knew who they were, playing essentially all day.

Now you get to the 10,000 hour rule. But those who are truly aware of it know it’s 10,000 hours of HARD PRACTICE! Not dicking around. We want pros behind the wheel.

Which is why so many oldsters can’t understand the music of today. The players/singers/rappers have so little experience that they don’t resonate with them.

So if Mayor Pete goes to Congress, or becomes Governor, maybe he’ll be ready. But what’s next, the student council president running for Senate? Or maybe the Presidency itself!

But that’s America, there’s no center.

There used to Rockefeller Republicans, who were fiscally conservative, but socially progressive.

There used to be the fairness rule in media. It all wasn’t about clicks. The press was a public trust. Now it’s oftentimes no different from reality television, and the wankers at home can’t tell true from false.

Which is why a strongman like Trump appeals. He’s gonna boil it down to those damn foreigners and a few other bogeymen and tell you if you give him all the power, he’ll eliminate the problem.

And the left is so busy fighting over everybody’s personal rights that they’ve lost sight of the big picture.

It’s like we’ve got all this technology, but it hasn’t been integrated into the world. The major labels run their operations like it’s still the twentieth century, radio too. There are just a few hits, which are either pop or hip-hop, when the truth is there are more scenes than ever but they just don’t get major traction. And the irony is those fighting it out in the trenches survive on experience. Because you’ve got to be good to survive all by your lonesome.

But that’s not the game anymore. It’s all about flash. As if we’re supposed to take the influencers, whored out to the corporations, seriously.

We need new vision, we need hope, but it can’t be based on a rickety foundation. You’ve got to give the Republicans one thing, they think long term, like with the Federalist Society. Why is everything so immediate when life is long and we must think of the future?

We’re just investing in pop stars.

But people want to see holograms of dead musicians.

But we’re supposed to be convinced the new acts are nascent Frank Zappas or Roy Orbisons.

I don’t think so.


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