Lefsetz: Individuality is Everything

jim-morrison-hair-style-the-doors-album-deathThe Doors could never replace Jim Morrison and Apple can’t replace Steve Jobs

They teach us to get along, tell us institutions are king, but the truth is America succeeds because it’s the land of rugged individuals with a vision who need to do it their way.

You see the true revolutionaries just can’t help themselves, they want their ideas to be realized. Anybody can get lucky once, but if you do it twice…

Did anybody expect Apple to burgeon after the passage of Steve?

There’ve been enough movies since his passing to completely assassinate his character, but people love his devices and those left in charge can’t seem to come up with a new one. I torched the Apple Watch, and now former New York Times technology columnist Walt Mossberg has too). And after app developers abandon it you’ve got a dead platform, kinda like Google Glass.

I still hope Apple gets it right, because I want something to believe in. I need something to believe in. Musicians used to fulfill this role before their goal was solely riches and fame, they keep telling us they’re entitled to success, but they don’t take a different road, they keep plying the one already trodden upon. Come on, did you ever hear the Doors song “The End”? Who came up with that stuff? We always want new people who can come up with stuff that will surprise and amaze us.

But millennials are all about getting along, being a member of the group.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates could barely have friends. He handed Microsoft to Steve Ballmer who nearly buried it. Buying the worthless Nokia. Only Gates could steer that ship.

We’re jealous of the envelope pushers, we keep criticizing them, saying they can’t get along. But they’re the ones we secretly lionize.

july-2-2015-macy-s-has-now-severed-ties-with-donald-trump-and-will-no-longer-carry-his-menswear-collection-it-gets-worse-petco-will-no-longer-carry-his-shampooWe don’t need entrepreneurship courses in college, we need to teach creativity, we need to tell people it’s okay to be unique, to think different. Instead of focusing on the bullies we should look at those they attack and build them up. No one in America wants a nonconformist and then they end up supporting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Trump’s a joke.

Born on third base with a checkered business record, he thinks just because he’s rich and can finance his own campaign that he knows best. At least give Bernie credit, he comes from nothing and has never wavered in his views, never done what’s expedient. The people have come to him. That’s right, the leaders are always one step ahead, we play into their hands.

The future is coming, but it’s just that half of America has decided it wants it to look like the past.

Inane Democrats want manufacturing to come back to our shores and ridiculous Republicans want to get rid of the safety net and have “those people” work, meanwhile wanting their Medicare protected and benefiting from a disproportionate amount of federal money given to their red states.

But that’s arguing over what’s been, what’s in the rearview mirror. The cutting edge individual wipes the slate clean and creates something new. And he needs to get it exactly right. We all know what a horse created by committee looks like, an ass.

Sure, individuals don’t triumph in a vacuum. Steve Jobs needed a team and Jim Morrison needed a band. But Avie Tevanian left Apple and the company experienced no hiccups. I’m all for paying these individual creators billions, it’s when the game-playing corporate lifers ascend to the throne and pay themselves a fortune that my dander gets up. What did they build? All they can do is manage!

The New York Times believes its masthead is bigger than any of its reporters, but the Op-Ed page still hasn’t recovered from the loss of Frank Rich and the Gray Lady is still feeling the sting of Nate Silver‘s absence.

Meanwhile, our society keeps looking to the organization, the political parties, the judges and the system to solve our problems.

I hate to sound like a right winger, a Libertarian, but we’ve got to empower those who can truly make a difference, those dedicated to their ideas who will stop at nothing to see them realized.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a supply chain expert, he can never fix Apple. And Apple’s Jony Ive may be a great designer, but without Steve Jobs he’s nearly irrelevant. He’s like a great session musician without a song.

They don’t like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

They don’t like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

They didn’t like Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Isn’t that interesting. Everybody revolutionizing our society is disliked, and all of them made tons of money but ultimately considered it to be secondary. It was about the product, the vision.

Which is why music is a backwater, we’ve got the spoils but no stars. Shake me up. Hell, Frank Zappa’s documentary is the talk of Sundance.

Who are they gonna make a doc about today?

No one.

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8 Responses to Lefsetz: Individuality is Everything

  1. old grey mare aint what she used to be says:

    yet another extended ranting of an old, tired man who is 40 years past cool. this blog is the worst in kc

  2. krislke says:

    Yeah, I heard “The End.” I thought way back then that it was overly pretentious, self-indulgent album filler, far beneath the talents of The Doors.

    But have you hear the stuff kids are listening to today? I know it’s harder to find than back in the day, when WHB and later KY102 told you what was good. The back of commercial radio has been broken, and more musicians are able to get great stuff out through the Internet.

    That you are too lazy to search for it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  3. glenn says:

    While social media is extremely important to millennials, they do not, as a whole, get along with one another. They, more than previous generations, have not had to learn or value cooperation with others. Telling them that they are unique and special snowflakes horribly backfires in the workplace.

  4. Newbaumturk says:

    Robby Kriegar is playing the Voodoo Lounge, wondering what that will be like.

  5. chuck says:

    I subscribe to and read Vanity Fair. Love the advertising and James Wolcott. I hate everything he says and stands for, but I love to read it.

    “I still hope Apple gets it right, because I want something to believe in. I need something to believe in.”

    Look in the mirror Lefsetz. Believe in yourself. Your on fire with passion for music and the Liberal cause de jour and I like your articles.

    I believe in you.

    Hell, I believe in Bernie too. I wouldn’t vote for him, but I know he won’t lie to me. He is wrong, and I am sure, like me, he flunked math, but I like him a lot.

    A vote for Trump is a slap in the face to the condescending, lickspittle 4th estate and establishment politicians. It’s not an endorsement of anything in particular, just rage at the machine.

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