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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Magazines and the Happiness Lie: How To Feel Discontent

~ October cover.. 'Jay-Z: From Petty Thug Drug Dealer To Entrepreneur and Obama's Buddy.. How To Be Like Him'  (our words, not Vanity Fair's)

Today's post is going to be a little different..

We're not going to focus on all this debt default nonsense or any other over-hyped and under-explained topic currently in the news..

Today we're going to focus our attention to magazine covers.

Originally when the Declaration of Independence was written, it was not simply meant to be a document to stress grievances to the British King George III but also as a marketing tool to motivate and inspire colonists to the cause..
~ Ben Franklin's '10 Ways to Love the Ladies' in next month's issue...

And back then the only selling points it needed were the future promises of 'Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness'

If the document was written today, it would probably also need to promise 10 ways for you to lose 10 lbs in 10 days and 20 handy tips for being a busy mom on the go...

The nation used to sell inspiration; the notion of individualism and success of the self made via hard work with the full understanding if you failed, only You could pick You up and dust off to try again..
Today.. in the last century more accurately, we sell hopes and dreams and wishes...   PR and appeals to emotion and illogic are used to convince people be as sexy as Kate Upton simply by eating more rice cakes..

Magazines don't entertain anymore.. they criticize and hold distorted mirrors as to how wonderful one's life could be if only following their simple steps . A contented person who feels satisfaction in their life doesn't buy magazines usually.. Its the restless, discontented spirits striving to alter themselves who does.

So we're going to briefly look at and comment on various finance magazine covers that one can easily find in their local bookstore...

Should be fun right?   Ehh.. We'll see..

Top story for their October issue:  'Top CEOs on what it takes to make it BIG'

Well no need to write 15,000 words on that one.   Just have the stomach to crush your competition into dust and be completely devoid of guilt especially when you are destroying upstarts and fledgling companies that appear to be a threat.

Gee, that didn't take long did it?

The previous month, the headline was 'Young Millionaires: The Next Generation's Fresh Take...'
What a joke!   Sprinkle a handful of twentysomethings who've made it rich without playing sports, acting or doing porn on a magazine cover and treat it like that's the norm...

Pretty insulting actually.. most twenty somethings today are more economically stunted than any previous generation since the Depression thanks to high student loans to repay, crappy jobs and poor wages.

Most are deferring moving out of their parents home out of mere necessity.  They're also deferring marriage, having kids, buying a home..

No mention of that you G-D Entreprenuer magazine...
Fast Company

The October issue is focused on design with among other things, articles about guides to design driven successes and creative lessons from corporations like Google, Nike,etc..

First, when focus is on design its a shortened way of saying to focus on style over substance.

How do you get a little gadget that does A, B & C to sell?  Just offer it in fun, edible-looking colors like hot pink and turquoise..  Or trim the edges so a square shaped object now looks hexagon

Then send the design idea off to China, Vietnam, India, Honduras, Jordan or 50 other nations where US corporations have their products produced then shipped back to US stores for selling.
 Drop the item in a few movies and TV shows as product placement or have a classless but popular pop singer dangle the item between her breasts and you have your exposure then sales will come.

Second, Nike's success involves zero creativity whatsoever..  They use child labor to manufacture most of their garments then spend tens of millions of dollars annually locking up the biggest sports stars in the world who are "In' to give the illusion their success is based on that shit swoosh..

Then the impoverished children around the world who live in the most rotten ghettos and tenements and need status desperately from clothing logos, have their parents spend their last precious pennies to buy the crap.
That's CEO Phil Knight's 'creative lesson'

Google's creative lesson is to never offend anyone with their daily search doodles.. well, except Christians on their holidays..

Google's Christmas doodle?  Depict 'Happy Holidays' because obviously everyone knows All religions celebrate their faith on December 25th...  And Easter Sunday?  Simply the perfect time to honor the life of Cesar Chavez

Their big story is '40 under 40: The Hottest Young Stars in Business

We can think of other words to replace 'hottest' like money (and/or power) hungry, ruthless, obsessed, greedy and unethical...  Oh yes.. ugly too since the term 'hottest' was used and most MBA grads male and female are simply vile people to look at (and speak to)

What does #1 Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and #2 Jack Dorsey of Twitter have in common, besides having lots of money, creating social media sites and being smug, unlikable bastards?

Yes.. they both work with the government (or caved in) to allow NSA to intrude and spy upon hundreds of millions of accounts and conduct censorship upon their own users under the guise of community standards.
Both social media sites are also the equivalent of screaming into a black hole.  There is a zero-percent chance you will ever meet anyone new on either site unless it is a friend of a friend.

Doesn't matter how interesting or creative you are..  No one gives a shit but for themselves and only interested in their statuses and tweets.  Most still have not understood this..

The point that needs to be made repeatedly is these individuals are not only the vast exceptions, they are not people to admire or aspire to be.
Steve Jobs was filthy rich.. Now he's dead.  Buried in a box six feet under or ashes spread into the ocean..

All that $$ didn't cure his cancer and he couldn't take it with him.. And in spite of the many puff pieces written over the years in magazines like Fortune, he left this earth with a lot of fractured relationships, especially among his kin.

Same thing will happen one day to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump and all the other soulless creatures who's sole passion every morning waking up is to increase their portfolios and make more billions than they possessed the previous night.
The cycle works like this:

1) Be young and hungry
2) Make as much $$ as humanly possible, destroying all competition along the way
3) Establish monopoly while underpaying most who work under you; do everything to prevent unionization
~ Auto workers beating up a 'scab'; 1941 Ford auto strike..  He almost permanently closed his business for good rather than give his workers a raise but wife interceded so his kids could have a legacy

4) Realize people see you as the bastard you are; start giving back all the billions you hoarded via endowments & charity foundations
5) Grow old and die
6) Thanks to charitable deeds, within 1-2 generations your image will be 100% positive

Hey, it worked for Ford, Carnegie, Mellon and countless others.. No one today knows what true wretched pricks these men were.  Only that Ford currently has a Foundation and Carnegie has a 'Hall'

Their cover story for October is 'The Indispensable Art of Persuasion: How to Make People Believe In You'

Hmm, guess the time tested adage of 'saying what you mean and meaning what you say' isn't good enough?

Or how about the notion that for people to believe, it takes trust and that doesn't come in 15min.. It needs time and can only come from proof.  

If you're supposed to call someone back at 10:30a then G-D call that person at 10:30a!  Not 11a.. not 3p..  not the next day... or never.   If you send a package that's misplaced, its up to you to show due diligence and help to track it down..
Show that you're reliable, a person of your word and you sincerely care and people will believe in you..  And does anyone really need a stupid magazine to teach people this?  

Apparently so..
All these magazines sell bullshit..  easy success; easy life..  Achieve anything in 5 or 10 steps..  Happiness is money... lots of it.  Contentment is power and authority and having special titles in front of your name like CEO or Dr.

You want the best out of life?  Simply buy it..and if you can't afford it, keep working and working and working until you're a physical shell of your old self then you will obtain it

If we ran a magazine it would be called 'Being' as in how to be a content happy human being just 'being'...

And we'd have topics like 'How to enjoy life even if you're a size 2XL or have a disability or make under $30k/year...'  or '50 ways to take advantage of your local library (and all for Free!)'  or 'How to feel good about yourself without the need to wear polo-playing horseys on your chest..'

We know.. we know..  we'd fold up in less than a year.