I watched the Netflix documentary "The Creative Brain" and was fascinated by Nathan Myrhvold, who excels at anything he does.
Myrhbold looks less like a genius and more like a paunchy Boomer grandpa. But I'm a paunchy Boomer myself. So much for stereotypes, eh?
I loved Myrhbold's thought, which I've paraphrased: "The world rewards specialization. The problem is that specialization becomes narrower and narrower until you know everything about nothing."
Yep, that's a clickbait headline. But lists are all about being clickbait. People love them. Here's why I loathe lists, in a list of my own:
Are there really only 7 deadly sins? Or 12 wonders of the world? Or any other finite way to measure what life offers us? Even the elemental table can't be considered final, for all we know.
Consider again the 12 wonders of the world. Yes, the Pyramids are an impressive mystery. No one knows how multi-ton blocks of stone were dragged through the desert and hoisted into place. But a sugar ant, who can carry 50 times his own weight, is just as wondrous.
Well, let me clarify this. Some lists are useful ways to summarize knowledge. These include checklists, such as "24 SEO Tips." Maybe "10 Celebrity Marriages That Didn't Last A Year" falls in this category. But most blogger lists are just silly compendiums (like the one you're reading).
Lists suggest that the world can be sliced and diced and ordered. Things are not that certain. Reality is completely unpredictable and ultimately unfathomable. We can't allow ourselves to forget that.
Lists, like tabletop decor, work best in arrangements of odd numbers. That means you should have 5, 7, 9 things in a list under 10. Above 10, you can begin at 12 and continue with ordinal numbers. But if a list is short, winnowing it down to an odd number of things to include may not come easy.
Do you love lists? Please refrain from commenting.
Age has its drawbacks, especially in the workplace. Age discrimination was outlawed in 1967, but that doesn't prevent stereotyping of people over 50.
A 2009 survey by Richard Posthuma and Michael Campion of available research shows that, in general, older workers are stereotyped as having lower ability, less motivation, and less productivity than their younger peers. Because these stereotypes are so widely accepted, older workers are the first to be laid off and the last to be hired.
Younger managers have already heard the politically correct reasons to hire geriatrics for meaningful jobs (i.e., not as Walmart greeters). They remain unconvinced. Maybe politically incorrect reasons will do the trick.
I just watched "Marching Orders," a documentary about the Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats, on Netflix. If you want an inspiring show about kids with the passion to try harder, this is it.
Marching bands, like step dancing, are a big deal at historically black colleges. Several movies have been made about them or include them. "Drumline" and "Head of State" come to mind. None of these movies are blockbusters, though. They made a modest of money but not enough to demand serious support from Hollywood.
Netflix is introducing marching bands to a much wider, mainstream audience. And that's a good thing. Black culture deserves recognition and support from America as a whole. Black marching bands have been around for a century, but ESPN did not begin broadcasting their events, mainly Battle of the Bands, until just recently.
"Now, wait a minute," you say, "marching bands have been recognized for eons. Just look at the band programs at the University of Texas and University of Michigan."
Sure, bands have been on the field almost as long as football. But there is a huge difference between the traditional, corps-style bands at predominantly white colleges and the marching bands of historically black colleges.
That difference comes down to showmanship. Black bands have pushed the genre's limits, creating a higher level of musicianship, athleticism, and artistry.
Marching bands and writing have nothing in common, right?
I sit on my arse all day, clicking the keyboard. I'm not lugging a 50-lb tuba (more accurately, a sousaphone) in the sweltering heat, high-stepping to precision choreography. I'm not doing splits in a sexy outfit with the 14Karat dance squad. And there is no way I could spin a flag well enough to be on the color guard.
No, I am an overaged, overweight white lady who, as Riley Smiley says, would leave my seat during halftime to get nachos. And use the bathroom. Heck, I wouldn't even go to a football game in the first place.
But yeah, I get it. The Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats consistently outdo other marching bands because they consistently put in more effort. Talent is just the starting point. Winning competitive band events comes down to having the drive and passion to outwork everyone else.
Bethune-Cookman's band director, Donovan Wells, defined it: "Being the best is doing what no one else is willing to do."
So yes, I spend 80% of my time either copywriting or learning about copywriting. The other 20% I spend watching Netflix and YouTube videos.
Thank you, Bethune-Cookman, for inspiring me. To use your school catchphrase, "Hail Wildcats."