10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part I

Puzzle game

December 2017 my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift for Christmas, a puzzle game celebrating The Beatles’ music The White Album.

 

Puzzle game
The Beatles

It is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle something I’d never seen before, an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

 

The other day the Stereogum music history website posted to Facebook about the fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album.  Stereogum has a Facebook page I like.  The Number Ones: The Beatles’ “Yesterday”

 

I thought of photographing my brother’s family’s Christmas gift for this post.

 

To read what Stereogum thought of the fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album, I inferred that The Beatles were steadfast into making music that suited them, rather than recordings songs intended chiefly to take the music charts by storm.

 

I think of The Beatles being a radical success in music history, given the enormity of their popularity, even decades later.

 

However, how does that view of The Beatles relate to contemporary ideas about success, and how it is won?

 

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for the individual to pursue preconceived notions of success and how it is misleading.  The first five are presented here.

 

Youtubers

 

Geeks + Gamers

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  1. I’ve been paying attention to a YouTube channel, “Geeks + Gamers,” that protests and dissects conventional scholar on media.  They tackle major film projects like the DCCU or the current Star Wars trilogy with conflicting points of view, as though the success, usually in financial terms, of studio film output, speaking to the conclusion that if a film is not fun, that it doesn’t “work” in terms of being appealing to a mass audience, the film is not so much a radical success as it is a weak link.
    Jeremy, for example, one of the Geeks + Gamers mods, reversed his positive opinion of The Force Awakens after seeing its sequel, The Last Jedi.  It didn’t matter to him that The Last Jedi is another splendid blockbuster in terms of the money it made for the Disney company; it was to him a complete letdown and something that was a disservice to the favorite films that remind him of his childhood, the Star Wars films.  Disney Has Concerns About Star Wars After The Last Jedi

 

  1. For Geeks + Gamers to become a successful YouTube channel, it meant starting from next to scratch and building a subscriber basis and becoming a success, of having people watch the videos and comment and so on.  If Geeks + Gamers were reviewing music, instead of films, and it was fifty years ago, perhaps they would have thought to speak publicly about The White Album.  Instead, they are speaking out, for example, about The Last Jedi in a way which of course makes it completely clear that they view Episode VIII of Star Wars as rubbish.
    When I finally watched The Last Jedi when it arrived on Netflix, I enjoyed it and even felt moved.  The mods of Geeks + Gamers had no such experience.  Instead, they despise the film and regale in making that clear rather than taking a positive spin on something that’s an extension to something they loved in childhood.

 

  1. I would guess that the mods of Geeks + Gamers take such a broad interest in film criticism that they feel they can succeed in terms of forging a successful YouTube channel.  The idea of success they have is different from the idea of success that’s reflected in something like the fiftieth-anniversary rerelease of The White Album, or in the success of the blockbuster film The Last Jedi.
    The mods of Geeks + Gamers don’t seem to see The Last Jedi as a success at all because they despise it so much.  Instead, their game plan seems to be to grow their YouTube channel extrapolating the message that Star Wars has been reduced to rubbish, or that the DCCU could similarly face a death grip.  They don’t desire or see any value whatsoever in success at the level of blockbuster films, for example.
    To them, The Last Jedi is a weak link.  They wouldn’t aim for that kind of success in their own lives, for example.

 

Mike Zeroh

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  1. Contrarily, an example of success peoples reacting to what’s been documented on Geeks + Gamers is the reaction of The Last Jedi film director Rian Johnson mean-spiritedly calling out a Youtuber who has a channel that is devoted specifically to exploring what’s going on in the Star Wars universe.  The Mike Zeroh channel is Zeroh’s speculation on what is going on “behind the scenes” of Star Wars.  The Last Jedi director Johnson referred to YouTube’s Mike Zeroh as being a zero himself, although Johnson later apologized.
    It is the same kind of weak link that exists when Geeks + Gamers tackles Star Wars because for all the enthusiasm Mike Zeroh puts into anticipating Star Wars, Zeroh has personally explained that he felt The Last Jedi was lackluster.  The fact remains that the Zeroh channel is basically a success because it is another big Star Wars -themed channel on YouTube and even specifically got the attention of Rian Johnson not long ago.
    For me, that raises the question of who is more successful of the two men, Mike Zeroh on YouTube or film director Rian Johnson with The Last Jedi credited to him.  Mike Zeroh Vs Rian Johnson… Thank you Rian Again!!!

 

ArtistbyBeauty B l o g: https://artistbybeauty.blog

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  1. A third YouTube channel given the question whether enormous success is required to feel successful is the lovely blog and YouTube channel from Australia created by a young lady who goes by ArtistbyBeauty.  She is a little like the creators of Geeks + Gamers or Mike Zeroh in that she does feel drawn, I believe, to entertainment such as Tomb Raider, but essentially she uses her blog and her channel on YouTube to network, to express herself and how she does that includes art that she develops herself and how she makes it a part of her life.  Her message is that you should always be the best that you can be and further that a genuine interest in art can help you explore what matters to you and how that is going for her.
    Her channel isn’t as big as Geeks + Gamers or Mike Zeroh but I would argue that she represents a success because she does what she believes in doing.  She clearly doesn’t need to feel that pursuing conventional success goals is going to be a priority for her.
    What I want to note about that is that she definitely isn’t a “weak link;” she is actually quite good on YouTube and WordPress and I think that’s why she contributes value to WordPress and to YouTube.  She may not be at the helm of a project such as Tomb Raiderbut her authenticity does make her stand out as an artist.  Let’s Draw a Bat – Graphite Art Study

 

I was amused by the Christmas gift last year of The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  If you have read this, please feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

 

I wouldn’t explain this point of view if I didn’t think there was truth to it.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to share these opportunities.  I am glad if you have read this, that you have stayed with me this far.

 

October the second is World Habitat Day.  I am optimistic for the future of the planet that our only habitat will continue to thrive.

How Struggles Can Make You Sick

Abandoned supermarket cart

Too much stress, “bad” stress, can weaken you, deplete your resources and waste scarce time if you are not dealing with your lifestyle well.  Everybody endures stress.

 

Getting older, I believe that lifestyles of Generation Z are significantly common, but I am from a small town.  It is important to obey the Biblical commandment, to honor thy mother and father.  As the father did before you, if you are of a certain age, you too need to heed that you are following appropriately in his steps.

 

That being said, there is lightness.  I think with a touch of envy of the comparative ease of the generation of young people often collectively referred to as Generation Z.  That doesn’t mean that I can compete with the energy of the young and of the attitudes which characterize them, different than for someone my age.

 

Someone like me, I feel, is part of a culture that values stress, that putting a great deal of work into a lifetime is a necessity.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Abandoned supermarket cart
Shopping cart

However, it means fulltime people endure an enormous amount of stress.  The more hours of work we take on, to make ends meet, the more stress we cope with.

 

I believe stress can easily bend one to its will rather than the other way round.  It is all very hard to manage.

 

In the film sequence preceding the climax of the 1978 feature film Superman, Lex Luthor conquers Superman with a chain of Kryptonite, until Superman makes a personal promise to Luthor’s beautiful assistant in order that she remove the powerful amulet–but a promise that puts at risk the woman who has his heart, Lois Lane.  All in all, it is an excellent film.

 

What I did, in my life, is an irregular passage through the years.  In 2008 when my employer closed its doors, I went on to work a part-time job while reflecting on what to do with my future  Then I went full time on government disability, as it was felt that I’d been “compromised” enough to give up on making a living through the avenue of work.

 

I had been reading some books on self-management and I didn’t think the stress of a new workplace was going to benefit me enough to do it.

 

A few years later, my father, perhaps frustrated by my reluctance, had an idea.  He was retiring from many years with a municipal cemetery, where he’d helped manage it from its offices.

 

A small cemetery in our town was searching for new operators.  It attracted him, and the trustees of that property were pleased to turn it over to him, so that he could direct it, pleased to have a focus in his retirement.

 

To my surprise, my dad invited me to help handle the operation of the cemetery.  We commenced in 2011.  The church at the cemetery, formerly of the United Church of Canada, had disbanded in 2006.

 

Headstones under repair
Important headstones of family generations in Maple Lawn Cemetery

We maintain the property ourselves, and work in the interior of the church in dire weather, setting our sights on attending to the cemetery once a week.  We made a not-for-profit out of it.  While I am junior, and there is no certainty how matters will proceed, in the seven years or so, lucky seven, that we’ve handled the cemetery, it has been a luxury of time and experience for me and an opportunity to enjoy the company of my father in his golden years.

 

We have had outside help from brothers of my father, my uncles.   On a few brief occasions we have talked about growth, but I don’t know if I can turn this venture into something in which I can continue in the long-term.  This post is intended to be expository writing, but working for a not-for-profit, when financial gains are generally hard-won, can lead to burnout, and to a minor degree that is what I am experiencing.

 

You see, I contribute several hours a week of work to the cemetery, and as my dad has spoken reassuringly of the flexibility to set our own hours, I have lately started to reduce my workload to a four-day week rather than a five-day.

 

I can’t help, for example, but want to relax on Saturday.  I think the decision to work less on Fridays is somewhat deleterious in that if you want to get ahead, you should probably be hustling with the same energy on a Friday that you do on a Monday.

 

I couldn’t help, in the past several weeks, to admit that the stress of putting nonprofit work at the center of my life, was making me feel a touch sick, by which I mean I was experiencing burnout.  I am sure this is common.

 

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Whether this transition, to four days of focus on the cemetery rather than on each and every business day, will contribute to a soul-searching decision by my dad to relieve me of my work, I don’t know.  I think what will determine my chances of staying on are the quality of work I can produce in the time I devote to the not-for-profit.

 

How this has me feeling, perhaps, “sick,” is that I do care about working and I do feel some prestige enjoying the privilege of doing work that is shaped by our own efforts.  This is in contrast to working for a firm that is structured in predictable ways, with employee equity and positions and demands which could easily contribute to a high-stress load.

 

I am taking this risk because I believe I can do better work if I make strategies to cope with the burnout before there are related consequences.  I am counting on my own experience and abilities to do the same quality of work in a four-day structure than I would be getting done by committing the entirety of the work week to headway and progress.

 

I am sick to think of losing what I have worked for, and I am sick to think of bringing shame onto my father if the quality of my work does suffer because I am having trouble being afield of all that we do.  I feel like I should write something about feeling troubled by what I have to do to manage my role as operator, and maybe even think on how I could express an appropriate apology for how I am feeling.

 

Writing is the act of discovery. – Natalie Goldberg

 

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If my father does finally decide, which I know he won’t do lightly, that I should be dismissed, it will be a sad day and for that, I will pay a price, of having the failure on my shoulders.  If that scenario comes to pass I will take time to mend.  It may be a self-centered attitude, but the best that can be done in the face of failure is to learn from what happened.

 

Everyone has experienced failure, and usually many, many times, sometimes with adverse consequences.

 

If you have never failed, you have stayed well inside your comfort zone.  Life needs to change and grow.

 

If my role in the not-for-profit does end in failure, I will at least have work experience.  I think I can draw on the time spent at this to draw conclusions that will inform my life in the future.  The situation that I think could result, however, is not going to be completely ideal.

 

It will be back to being “sick,” resorting to making ends meet with the help of a pension for disability, and with the support of my mom and dad.  Ain’t no one got time for that.  I will have then have the opportunity to look for a job if I feel I can weather the stress, or return to freelancing and try to find my niche doing that.

 

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Many members of Generation Z work as freelancers in the digital economy, and I would be competing with all of those people, which is daunting.  That being said, there are a few paths ahead for me to take and I will have to ask for guidance from fate and the intentions of The Lord.  I know I shouldn’t emphasize feeling sick about all this and I know I shouldn’t take on a job post that gives me more additional stress than I can handle.

 

For now, I will bide my time–for as much clarity as I can muster.

 

You are welcome to like, follow, and/or comment if you have feedback.  Lately, the blog has been fairly quiet, in terms of visits it receives, but you never know when some I’ve published here will pique the interest of a reader.

 

I appreciate the time of those who are visitors.  I have been tying my blog to the not-for-profit, and also trying to be jovial as I know it is as yet an amateur effort.  I feel blogging will continue to play a role in the time I have to write, as it is a splendid little spot of fun that has a pragmatic purpose.

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

2018-06-17

October 17, 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

“let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice.”
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

A few weeks ago Facebook faced a big data breach, which isn’t helping, I understand, in efforts to keep people’s trust invested in the social media platform.

 

I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post this summer.  I meant to say that the volunteers who run Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I work, don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have the budget with which to work.

Facebook’s Big Data Breach Could Benefit These 3 Companies

Perhaps in the future, but admittedly unlikely, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business (and in recent news the data breach).  I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business.  I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our work on Facebook.

 

Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better.  A little more money could certainly serve our needs.  I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Source

Facebook Fundraising Tools Now Allow Monthly Giving

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I am involved with a small business.  We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.

 

This blog is nominally tied to it.  I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.

 

I am the junior employee, and I help with grounds keeping.  I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here:  www.maplelawncemetery.org).

2018-06-17
Peter and Linda

The senior employee is Peter.

 

Occasionally volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work.  We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.

 

We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time.  The cemetery is small.

 

To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits.  LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.

What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought about making donations.

 

  1. One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity.  In Canada, it is my understanding that only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit.  This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.

 

  1. This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters.  We can’t return the favor of a donation with an income tax deduction.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations.  Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
2018-06-13
Abstract expressionism
  1. Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations.  While we are a touch cautious about the possibility of a federal audit, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November.

 

  1. I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy.  Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday.  We’re working at a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others.  As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery.  That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.

 

  1. CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations.  They work with thousands of charities.  They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.

 

Source

Charitable Donations: Top Ten Canadian Tax Tips

 

David McConkey found inspiration in the pages of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton.  Three points specifically raised that David McConkey emphasizes are explained below.

 

  1. Most people on Earth live in a democracy.  Bill Clinton emphasizes that involvement in civil society is quite accessible to more people now than ever.

 

  1. Globalization and technology have made the fortunes of powerful millionaires and billionaires, Clinton writes.  These same individuals are frequently prominent philanthropists.

 

  1. The Internet is certainly steadfast in the opportunity to make civil action. Together, small donors can have a huge impact.

 

Source

Review of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

 

Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working until any set point in the future.  I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church.  I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.

 

Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them.  I invite you to visit us on Facebook.  You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.

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If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit.

 

To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a couple of stock photos intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose.  Thank you for bearing with me.