Podcast 592-New Era

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62

While the media ‘predicts’ the future of the new Donald Trump Era, I’ve been under a self imposed news blackout. I prefer to see what happens with the Trump before I comment. It seems to me an unpredictable personality as President is going to make it very difficult for pundits to tell you what kind of presidency it will be. Why not just wait and see? I think there are bigger trends at work.

Big Changes

We’re living through the dawn of a new industrial revolution. It seems to me, as everything around us changes government is changing too slowly. Technology is changing work and trade despite all this talk of returning America to 1950’s greatness. The biggest transportation company in the world owns no cars. The biggest hospitality company in the world owns no hotels. One of the biggest retailers in the world doesn’t own that many retail stores. It’s often difficult to determine the difference between a national export or an import.

Most of the jobs lost in manufacturing in the United States have been due to IT not outsourcing. Then there are the markets. One-size-fits-all mass markets are transitioning to mass specialization markets. Many new manufacturing plants will be automated and located close to markets they serve. It’s sad to me that in the midst of all this technology development we have a government designed for the 1950’s. Maybe this is something that will change.

In Podcast 592-New Era Day One-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62 I discuss what we need in the future. It seems to me this is more important than what someone said about Trump’s big speech. As a so called conservative takes power, I want to know whether Big Government Republicans will reduce the pernicious power of government. It seems to me we should be asking ourselves what will be required of us. What do we know? How do we know what we know? How did we learn what we know? Why do we fear competition? Why do some of us we fear change?

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship-When The Famous Become Gods

Fame. Notoriety. Our fascination with famous people. Our fascination with those who are famous. One of the things I like to do in podcasting is to focus on the first thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. You might think podcasting in this manner is easy. Unfortunately sometimes these first thoughts turn out to be a lot deeper and complex than first imagined.

Two thoughts ignited Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship. First, the concept of fame itself. Where did it come from? When did it start in the United States? What makes someone famous these days? How is that different from what made someone famous three hundred years ago? Second, we form a bond with famous actors and musicians because of a movie or a song we connected with at a certain time in our life. The performer is forever part of our life because of a performance.

The kick off for these first thoughts is the HBO documentary ‘Bright Lights’ detailing the relationship Carrie Fisher had with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Both of these women are recently deceased. Carrie Fisher from a heart attack and her mother from a stroke shortly thereafter. Some of the content in the documentary has to do with Postcards From The Edge, first a book and then a movie about the relationship between Carrie and her mother, in which Meryl Streep played the role of Carrie Fisher.

All of this connected for me because Streep’s recent comments about the President-Elect at the Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes usually has lower viewership than the Academy Awards and would be forgotten save for unsavory comments from Streep this year. While any citizen has the right to say what they want about political events, stars seem to think they can use their fame to tell the rest of us what we should feel, how we should vote and how to live our lives

Back in the day, people became famous for doing something. They discovered a continent, or won a big naval battle, a war, or saved western civilization. One became famous for building a bridge, mass producing an automobile or opening the east to western trade. Great artists and performers became famous for work that changed the world. Today it seems like people become famous for being famous.

The roots of this kind of fame, or notoriety go back a long time. Dime store novels, traveling road shows, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the movies. It wasn’t long before you could become famous for just playing someone who had actually accomplished something. Actors who played western heroes, Pharaohs, and Great Leaders became associated with the accomplishments of someone else.

2016 was the first time I’ve seen the media tally the deaths of ‘Celebrities’ as they might natural disasters. We ‘mourned’ the loss of people we did not know as though they were part of the family, and seemed to forget the thousands who have been killed in America’s violent big cities, or in war zones across the world.

Prince, David Bowie, Carrie and Debbie Fisher and many others. Oh! What a loss!

Some people who are famous for a role they played in a movie forty years ago have insights into how fleeting fame is. Carrie Fisher reluctantly came to terms with her connection to the character she played in the original Star Wars, comparing it to her mother’s performance in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.

Fisher considered herself the ‘caretaker’ of the Princess Leia character, and felt she was irrevocably connected to her. A fact fans sometimes did not seem to understand. Or did they? We wonder what fame and fortune is like because we think of people who are famous and rich at the height of their powers. What is it like when people who live every day of their lives in scrutiny begin to age and decline?

We all love our movies and TV shows. We love our favorite music and performers. Human beings need entertainment. We all love a good story, told well. Great artists don’t do what they do because they want to change the world. They do what they do because doing it is what makes them happy. Sometimes the result of their work is world-changing. I don’t think they know this when they are creating these world changing works. Sometimes too, a movie is just a movie, or a song is a one-hit wonder, or a show only airs for two or three seasons. We want to know the people who write and perform these works, and some of us put them up on a pedestal.

Do we mistakenly worship these people and their works and believe they have some insight or power to be able to tell us how to live our lives or what kind of political system we have? What happens when the works of Hollywood form a bond with the works of fame-seeking politicians in our capitols? Are the performers worthy of our worship? What happens when powerful media mechanisms make politicians famous for being famous?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbings and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

Podcast 302

Mass Markets and Politics. As the death rattle of the Mass Market echoes through the land, why do politicians, specifically those on one side of the spectrum continue to attempt to appeal to it? In discussing the rhetorical and organizational challenges of the politics recently, it was suggested that the reason some politicians make lurid comments is to ‘appeal to the mass markets’. If you were born at a certain time in the US, you became very familiar with something called ‘The Mass Market’. From Elvis, to the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy Debates, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, favorite TV shows and songs and the radio stations people listened to, there was a collective experience. Millions had to wait a week for the next episode of their favorite show. You had to go to a big department store to examine consumer goods. It was an era of shared experience; one after another, from Johnny Carson to Star Trek, to All in the Family and Miami Vice. Radio multiplied from AM only to AM and FM, but all still served a mass market and provided a mass experience. First came cable television, which brought scores of nationwide channels into the home, then the VHS machine, the DVD, Netlfix and very recently, on-demand audio and video, You Tube, Google Hang Outs, Vimeo, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and more to come.  Now people can have the experience they want, when they want it, how they want it. They can research characters, content and what it said. Now, the experience is between the content provider, the retailer, politician, entertainer or writer and the individual. While we still have shared experiences, we may have it at different times, we may binge listen and view, we may not have the same experience as someone else. Why then, do politicians insist on lining up and yelling at each other, say ridiculous things to get publicity, why do political parties insist on mass promotional orgies called conventions be televised on the ‘networks’, when the era of Mass Specialization is upon us, and growing stronger every day? Are candidates that play to the mass markets making a mistake? What new tools are there and how can they be used to win. 1965 called, and left a message. It’s not coming back. Ever. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating