To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.
The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977. George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie. The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.
The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring. In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch. For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.
The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication. Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.
Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.
There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens. Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility. There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.
The rest of Star Wars will be history.
There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer. Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way. Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q
In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.
If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky. I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.
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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. It is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle 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.
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 four were presented in a previous blog post. The remaining six are presented here.
Netflix is the leader of the pack, I believer, for video streaming. They devote an enormous budget to original content and their selection of existing content is good. That being said, Disney is entering the streaming video service market soon, as is AT&T, I understand. Netflix in my region is compatible with my TiVo, as is another video streaming service, the free video streaming site Tubi. The selection on Tubi is big, but they don’t offer original video. Both Netflix and Tubi are compatible with my TiVo, but the selection of videos on Netflix is good and for Tubi, not so much. I want to step out of the chain of logic to ask if that implies that Tubi is a weak link. Netflix is a completely enjoyable experience if you watch video and Tubi is an extra addition to the TiVo I watch TV with. It isn’t too hard to say which could be better assessed to be a radical success in the future. That being said, while Netflix needs to make a lot of important decisions before the day is done to remain ahead of the curve, Tubi is probably under far less pressure. Does Tubi’s relative weak link status mean that it isn’t a success? It is free.
Going forward with the theory that radical success means enormous difficulty, consider the contender that could grab much of Netflix’ market share, Disney. Disney is certain, given its weight as an entertainment brand, to include great films and shows, being known for its films, television, toys and theme parks.
Which of the two, Netflix or Disney, will be more of the radical success–that a good streaming service can be? Or will they both amount to great success? Disney has built in family-appeal given its products for both adults and kids alike; Netflix has been building that kind of appeal from scratch. Will either Netflix or Disney be a weak link? It seems important to me that entertainment be good when it is accessed or experienced.
It would be a shame, I think, for the bottom to fall out of Netflix if it were to become a weak link given competition. Netflix has a reputation for spending extravagant amounts of money on shows and films while not necessarily having a concrete plan in place to recoup its expenditures. As I said, Disney already has an enormous built-in capacity for success in the future, in addition to plans for its new streaming service
3. I started this post by saying there is a fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album coming 11/9. From what I understand about music streaming services, Spotify has a great conversion rate bringing customers from free use of Spotify to the premium version. I would ask if taken to task whether Spotify will be a “weak link.”
From what I can tell, the selection of music with Spotify is wonderful. I’ve never actually searched for The Beatles, but I am sure they are there. The selection is good. I have fewer specifics on hand, but I wouldn’t appreciate seeing Spotify become relegated to “weak link” status, as it seems to be an awesome service.
It is understood that The Beatles essentially recorded The White Album live to 8-track tape, and for everything they’d done in the name of their music they were in fact recording music that would be a bit of a farewell to their fans. If less scrutiny was being given to the music emerging on The White Album, would The Beatles have lasted longer and recorded songs for longer than they did? I think it is possible, for when something is intended to be “perfect,” it is often a departure the way a pinnacle climbed must then be descended.
4. If you are following this argument, you can guess that the weak link I’m referring to is the President of the United States. I don’t like to posit criticism of the United States or its politics, but an example of someone about who there is much to decry that could be a weak link is the President.
As he is someone who was a TV star, I think it is worth mentioning here the radical success that he is known for enjoying and how at the same time the President has mounting problems that he is both a radical success, being wealthy and commanding power, but also a “weak link” in that he could bring down the whole show if he is not effective. President Trump has a knack for appearing with ferocious emphasis again and again in the news, and yet he faces so much criticism and real-life repercussions and consequences that I think he makes a great example of a “weak link” who is at the same time a radical success.
The President brings to mind so many components and elements of radical success gone wrong that it is becoming clearer all the time that the President of the United States is an extremely divisive man. Donald Trump Says China Remix
Motivated to Entrepreneurship
5. The ninth reason I want to assert that a weak link can be very much undermining is the idea that if you begin to succeed as an entrepreneur you can find yourself under more pressure than you ever anticipated facing. Making money is many people’s idea of success, but you have to put in years of work to make dreams come true. And in this scenario, ironically, you yourself could be the weakest link if you don’t meet obstacles well.
Unless you keep improving, day in and day out, you could end up being the weak link in your organization simply owing to the fact that your luck could change. If you have found a strategy that makes you King Midas, turning everything you touch to gold, if all of a sudden your luck changes, you may now be suddenly in a seat of weakness. The Secret to Self-Motivation | Gary Vaynerchuk’s GREATEST Motivational Speech Ever!
You need to keep improving and being good. Everything that took you somewhere is behind you; you have to continue to make great decisions. I suspect you’ll see for yourself if you falter.
6. The final reason I want to take back to Geeks + Gamers. If you have someone, like Jeremy, who has more than one channel on YouTube, who is comfortable discussing games, films, and sports, a very articulate individual, who sees success coming from YouTube, from a Facebook group, from Twitch I suppose, who challenges who is at the top, as with The Last Jedi remaining a highly successful film, however vocal its detractors, I think it is a philosophical note to say that if you are at that pinnacle I referenced above, there is any number of reasons your descent will be hastened by those who come after you. You have to reach that pinnacle in excellent form; and you have to leave it in such a way that it endures, that there could be a fifty-anniversary, that there could be another billion-dollar blockbuster, that there could be a second term. This is all vital, from a philosophical standpoint, what must be done if radical success, like the kind that spreads all around the globe, is to be achieved and then preserved. CLICKBAIT : A YOUTUBE STORY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.