Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679

Thanksgiving dinner is supposed to be a fun family get together. At times this fall celebration of the harvest can erupt into ugly political and social disputes. Time for some ideas to flip the script in Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679.

Welcome To The Rollercoaster

Especially relevant is the fact that the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas, can be an emotional rollercoaster for almost all families. Whether you’re hosting the dinner or heading out to a relative’s house it’s a good idea to be prepared.

Freedom of Choice

In Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679 I share some personal thanksgiving and family experiences to get you thinking. Most important is to remember we all have the freedom of choice about what we think about social or political issues. If you want to hear an example of my own personal thanksgiving experience a few years ago, click here.

What He Said!

When it comes to politics these days, you can bet there will be discussion at the Thanksgiving table about much of the reactive coverage about politics. Add alcohol to the mix, and you will have to decide whether to engage or not, depending on your situation. Of course, give yourself permission to keep your mouth shut, or leave right after dinner, if necessary.

SeaChangeTone

Should you make the decision to engage your crazy uncle on a political level Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679 gives you ideas on how change the tone of the conversation.

In conclusion when it comes to politics and social issues we could all do with a change in tone. Do we want to be leaders or followers? Rather than fighting about what someone else says on a TV Show why not talk about what we are for? What kind of a world do we think is coming? Where does our energy and advocacy belong.

The Old World Is Passing

Moreover we are seeing fewer positive interactions with the age old institutions of our society like government and religion. What kind of world is coming and what is our role in it? Throw that out over the mashed potatoes and see what happens. Or not.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Ciro 3D Motorcycle Products and Accessories

Thanksgiving Thought Starters-Fight Starters-Fight Enders-Podcast 679

Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660

There is a sudden nostalgia for the 1970’s. New TV Shows. Fashion. Summer’s end is a time of nostalgia. Something about the drier air and State Fair time in Minnesota. We’ll talk about it in Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660.

Where Were You in ’72?

Back in the day, the week before Labor Day we went to Sears. New Jeans as hard as concrete. Some collared shirts. Heavy t-shirts. New tennis shoes. New Hard shoes. By the end of the next summer those jeans would be tattered and worn. The shoes unrecognizable. T-Shirts worn out.

Summer’s Long Goodbye

End of Summer also meant new school supplies. Pencils. Notebooks. Things like protractors. Cartridge Pens. Fresh paper. The first day’s of school were hot and uncomfortable. They were also filled with hope and the promise of new romance. In Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660.

Midwesterners All Share

As summer winds down you can hear it. Feel it. Humidity goes out of the air. Trees start to change. Temperatures cool off. Doesn’t matter which decade you grew up in. This longing for more summer mixing with expectations and excitement for fall is something everyone of every age in the Midwest shares.

Hip Huggers and The Road Runner

As far as nostalgia is concerned. Steve Jobs once remarked that the 1960’s actually happened in the 1970’s. There were two parts of the 1970’s. The early part was good. Kind of like a continuation of the best parts of the 60’s. Muscle Cars and Bell Bottoms. Hip Huggers. In Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660.

1970’s Weren’t So Great, right?

The second half of the 1970’s wasn’t so good. Vietnam. Nixon. Violence and Protests. AM Radio and Black and White TV was fading. Things started to go bad. Inflation. Gas Lines. Watergate. Urban Decay. Racial Strife. Drugs. Why is the 1970’s suddenly imbued with all this power?

Nostalgia For A Strange Time

New shows about New York City in the 1970’s. Times Square a cess pool. Garbage in the streets. Bankruptcy. Perfect for the all seeing eye of dramatic television. The newest fashions these days are all throw backs to the 1970’s. How did the people who came of age in that time feel about it? In Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660.

Spinning Out Of Control

There was a sense, in that time, that things were spinning out of control. The 1970’s were not a fun time economically, especially the second half. Yet there was a sense of innocence. If you were born just after the 1970’s perhaps the decade holds a little more sway in the imagination.

Winter IS Coming

Something to think about listening to the sounds of summer, mourning the passing of the heat and intensity, welcoming the coolness and color of fall but not thinking too hard of the inevitable winter to follow. Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Hollywood Brings Back 1970’s-Nostalgia-End Of Summer-Podcast 660

Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616

In Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616. March 29th, 2017. Noon Pacific Time. Burning Man 2017 tickets on sale. Already did my ‘burner’ profile. 2 weeks ago waited on line to register for the ticket sale. Third year in a row. All out for tickets to the biggest party in the universe. Out in the Nevada desert. August 27th to September 4th.

Gonna Get My Burning Man Tickets!

Tick tock. One minute to 12 Pacific. Count it down. Here we go. This won’t take long. I won’t have to cancel the big client meeting at three in the central time zone. I’ll get on. Get my tickets. Smooth as silk. A friction free transaction. Forty-Five minutes later I’d canceled the meeting. Oops, tickets sold out. In Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616.

Scalpers

Quick Internet search. Stub Hub has tickets at double the price. Frustrated. Angry. Must have done something wrong. Maybe I should register for the STEP program like last year. Yeah. Or maybe call some ‘burners’ in Chicago. If you ingratiate yourself with the ‘burner’ community you might be able to score some tickets from someone who isn’t going to use theirs.

Jeff Bezos Party of 20? Come right in

Remember. Tickets to burning man in the general sale are 400 plus dollars and nearly 100 dollar for a vehicle pass. There’s a final sale coming up. Those tickets are 1200 dollars. What’s under my skin is the way Burning Man is sold. Over Sold and Under Delivered. Clearly there’s a lot of people who want to go and can’t get tickets. Fix it. Find out about my experience trying to buy tickets in Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616

We’re Hippies. Really rich hippies

This year Burning Man will gross 43 million dollars from ticket sales alone. They say It’s something you need to experience. A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers. Oh wait that’s the commercial. Reality is you’ve been waiting for 30 minutes for the kid with dreadlocks who can’t remember whether you ordered a strawberry smoothie or an emerald peanut butter…for the third time.

Not Radically Inclusive

Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616. Burning Man still sucks because if you’re wealthy enough to buy a thousand dollar ticket from some ticket reseller, which I am told Burning Man ‘doesn’t endorse’, you’re a ‘burner’. Part of a ‘radically inclusive experience’. Yeah. No. “A citizen of the worldview that is Burning Man. May it be encountered everywhere”. It won’t.

Drive a Maybach Motor Home? Coming out from Santa Rosa for the week to do some acid? Like the old days before, you know, all the corporate stuff. You’re in! Welcome Burners. And all your cash. A unique and distinctive culture awaits people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but not us working stiffs.

Welcome To The French Revolution

Ten principles for Burning Man: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification (which basically means no sponsors), Radical Self Reliance, Radical Self Expression (although any and all media ‘projects’ have to be pre approved), and on and on. It reads like the French Revolution’s ‘Rights of Man’ Declaration. You know the one where the peasants are crushed and everyone ends up living through Thermidor II.

Stupid Rules At The Radical Burning Man Festival

And the rules. Don’t run that noisy generator at night. If your truck is old bring plywood to catch the oil dripping from that nasty crankcase. Watch out for the undercover cops checking up to see that you’re not trafficking. Be careful of your carbon footprint. Oh by the way, Burning Man has a bigger carbon footprint on average than the dirtiest of the dirty polluters. Don’t worry about that though. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

Burning Man is a symbol of the possibilities of Silicon Valley. That’s why I wanted to go. A temporary society built on the ‘No Rules’ Punk and Anarchist pathos. Sadly the Burning Man approach to customers is basically ‘so long suckas’. So yes. Sadly, Burning Man is in fact a symbol of the possibilities of Silicon Valley.

America We Have A Problem

Yep All this tech. We’re On It! Really good at customer service. We give you an experience. We’re here for the environment. We use cloth bags. We Care. The truth is you wait on the phone or on line for service for hours. You can’t get a seat at the Genius Bar and they’re just going to tell you to buy a new iPad. No one cares about your problem because you’re not Jeff Bezos. Steve Jobs is turning over in his grave.

I thought these burning man guys were really smart savvy artists and computer geniuses. Turns out they’re just a bunch of idiots. Despite all the tools available they can’t figure out how to create an event with a seamlessly positive experience for people from the first contact and ticket sale, to the event itself, to heading home happy after its over. And then there’s the police state thing. Customer satisfaction? Oh wait. That would be capitalism. Let’s talk about it in Why Burning Man Still Sucks 2017-Podcast 616.

Yes, I know this is sacrilege but…Sponsored by 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 426

How Media Has Changed. I’m about to go to my high school reunion, but for me, it’s a different kind of high school reunion. At over a thousand in my graduating class, it was way to big and impersonal for a full reunion. So, we’re having a reunion of graduates of the school’s ‘radio lab’ program, which included the high school radio station, where the ‘radio bug’ first bit. In a mid fall relaxed conversation on the deck with a fire, on a warm midnight, it’s time to talk about how television and radio have changed over the years giving way to social media, time shifting, video games, You Tube, cable only series and now serial dramas, really produced exclusively for viewing on line, or on specific sites. We used to have a collective experience — watching the same shows when they came on or watching events as they unfolded in real time. Those shared societal experiences don’t happen very often these days, aside from sporting events or monolithic breaking news stories. We do have collective experiences, but they happen at different times. What are you watching these days? Dramas? News? Comedy? Documentaries? Most people aren’t watching commercials anymore, taking the feed direct from the line, but they’re time shifting, watching more TV, consuming more information, but in a different way. How have opportunities to message the public changes. Besides, its fun sometimes to talk about what we’re watching. What is media? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Eric and Erum Lucero of Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.  

Podcast 317

Scary Scott Walker. A year away from the first 2016 presidential primary and more than a year from the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, the so called mainstream media – which really doesn’t reflect mainstream America – is terrified of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This week, the Washington Post conducted an ‘investigation’ of Walker’s college years. The paper discovered the future governor didn’t like French class, campaigned for class president, wore a suit on campus and was kinda geeky. The big mystery? Why did Scott Walker leave college in his senior year? Was it because he did not have enough credits to graduate anyway? Did something happen? Funny, do you remember any big investigation of why Apple’s founder and muse Steve Jobs dropped out of Stanford? What about Bill Gates. What deep dark secret drove these men? Will we ever know? How can any man or woman without a college degree become president of the United States of America? Let’s see, William McKinley withdrew, William Henry Harrison withdrew, Harry Truman withdrew, and gosh so did Scott Walker! Should the president have a college degree? While the smartest man ever to hold the office – Barack Obama – has a degree and spent a fair amount of his formative years enfolded in the warm embrace of academia, some might submit he has not been helped by those smarts on the policy front, since his presidency is pretty much a disaster, even with all those degrees on the wall. Oddly enough, Governor Walker is in good company. Abe Lincoln dropped out after a year and taught himself well enough to get a law degree, Andrew Jackson was homeschooled and became an attorney with no formal education, Coco Chanel never went to college, advertising maestro David Olgilvy was kicked out of Oxford, Henry Ford did not attend college, nor did John D. Rockefeller. Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were all drop outs. Is college a good thing? Absolutely. It refines, teaches people to write well, exposes them to other cultures and ideas they might not have experienced otherwise, and gives them training to become officers, teachers, managers, scientists. That these are good things is not argued. That such an experience is necessary to be the President of the US is. Scott Walker terrifies the democrat AND moderate republican because he has won 2 elections, one recall election, and a bruising fight with the most potent force in American politics; Unions. Specifically, unions representing public workers. The mighty left wing Wurlitzer is just getting warmed up as it ‘investigates’ Walker, asks whether someone who does not have a college degree can actually be president, and lionizes the ‘legendary’ capabilities of union sponsored political pressure groups that opposed Walker (and lost … 3 times.) Will the Governor surprise everyone in 2016? We Shall See. Sponsored by Complete Basement Systems

Podcast 234

Market Plunge. If it wasn’t for Ebola, this week’s Market Plunge would be the top story and we’d all be talking about it. Was it really less than a month ago that President Obama said the market and economy had come roaring back? And this week the market gave back all the gains so far of 2014. Will it come back. Analysts aren’t so sure. As the rest of the economies in the world contract, all hope was placed in US economic growth which the fantasy world created by the media hyped. Bad retail sales numbers this week dashed those hopes. Meanwhile the world’s governments and central banks that depend on inflation to wipe away debts, are very concerned about disinflation turning into deflation. Are lower commodity prices a good sign, or a bad sign? In the final analysis, the US economy will probably not be enough to act as a counterweight to fading growth in the Euro Zone and China, even with lower commodity prices. The worry on Wall Street? Faltering demand among consumers. Surprise! While the President touts economic ‘recovery’ the number of Americans on SNAP benefits (in other words Food Stamps) skyrockets, the clearest indication yet that the newly employed are in low wage part time jobs, and those out of the work force may stay out as long as government programs pay them to. Not a good combination, and certainly not one that indicates dynamic growth. What’s going on? Steve Forbes has five suggestions that are pretty good. The upshot? We’re a long way from the kinds of radical reforms that will change the scope, cost and size of the Federal Government and get things back on track. It isn’t gridlock causing the problems, its the people. It’s our politics. How do we put away creaky old Keynesian concepts moderate Republicans, democrats and progressives have championed going back to the New Deal? How do we cut away regulation, spending and taxation and reduce government power, so that new decentralizing technologies can empower the individual to innovate, generate tomorrow’s successes, and power the US out of the malaise we find ourselves in? Yes, there are Republicans afraid of radical change just as there are democrats afraid to reduce the size and power of government. We have to stop expecting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial instincts from politicians. News Flash! Your congressman is not Steve Jobs. Not by a long shot. Some ideas to consider when thinking about the other major story chronicling the failure of ‘big government’ these days; The economy. Sponsored by Depotstar

Podcast 217

What’s on Your TV? Sometimes, when you look at the day’s news, it’s hard to tell whether the news is real, or whether it is season 7 of some show on Netflix. So why not talk about what you’re watching on Netflix, HBO GO, Apple TV or some other distributor of content. And why not wonder whether the development of time-shifting whole seasons of TV shows might eventually replace the constant thrum-thrum-thrum of nonsense from the Cable News Channels, TV Networks and Network News Shows? Sitting out on the deck, with a fire and a cup of coffee, enjoying an early fall night to talk about how the lines between what is real and what is make believe are becoming more blurry. Like the lines between real acting and drama, and porn. How do we know what we ‘know’. How do we tell the difference between what is real and what is make believe, when politicos, pundits, politicians and reporters are appearing in movies and movie-like TV shows, which sometimes include situations that are oddly predictive, or reflective of what ‘really’ happens. Compare your viewing habits to the host of the Bob Davis Podcasts viewing habits. Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, The Last Ship, Tyrant, Revenge, Reality Shows, Californication, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Mob City, The Stand, Weeds, Russian and Swedish Crime Movies, Hong Kong and Taiwanese Chinese Mafia Movies, documentaries, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s network series, You Tube, Torrents and more. There’s so much to watch, and so little time. Who needs reality? Besides, there’s only so many more evenings we can sit in our lounge chairs with the warm breeze blowing through the windows until 5 AM, watching and watching…and watching more. Season 5 of ‘whatever’ is on! Sweet! Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 206

Boardwalk Empire and the 1920’s. A new guilty pleasure and obsession is HBO’s award winning ‘Boardwalk Empire’. 1920’s America was a time of great upheaval, social change and prosperity. Innovations like Radio, telephones, automobiles, commercial flight, electricity and mass production enabled some to make enormous sums, but also created a burgeoning middle class. As the nation’s wealth doubled, the Jazz Age began. Prohibition, depressed crop prices, waning unions and progressivism, the shift of population from small towns to cities gives this era real bite. What’s not to like about the 1920’s. ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is doing a great job showing the good – and the bad – from 1920’s America. If your image of the 1920’s is crowds milling around Wall Street in October of 1929, you’re really thinking about the 1930’s. In fact the 1920’s was an era throughly embraced by its young people, for its raw growth, music and opportunity. But it was also an America that had not been fully transformed by a national ‘image’, a time when cities were smaller (Chicago only could claim 2.5 million citizens), and every place still still claim some level of ‘uniqueness’. Even train travel as we know it today was still relatively new. Still ahead was the depression, the run up to World War II, and the post war world. Behind the 192o’s was World War I. It was a time of peace and prosperity. Generally speaking, good times. How does this era compare to the 1920’s? What kinds of discoveries, innovations and developments are on the horizon to explode, and transform our world – for the better – if and when prosperity returns? Sponsored by Autonomouscad.com

Podcast 122

Technology disrupts and decentralizes central powers, and amplifies the power of the individual. We’re just entering the second industrial revolution. Making this technology revolution work for us will be a tall order. To avoid being pulled down by the partisan bickering these days, liberty loving people need a mission. What if the vision of a strong central government – sold to us over the last 150 years – is exactly the wrong vision for dynamic growth and American leadership in the world? What if the long forgotten Jeffersonian Vision for America, is the vision we need in the 21st century. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul