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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Photographer: Suzy Hazelwood
  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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Photographer: Rawpixel.com
  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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Photographer: Studio 7042
  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.

Asking if Secularisation of a Society is Bad

Leonardo da Vinci

Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad.  She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.

 

https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/debate-is-the-secularisation-of-modern-society-a-bad-thing/

 

This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel.  I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.

 

If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.

 

Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.

 

If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact.  Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book.  The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.

Leonardo da Vinci
Imitation of The Last Supper

There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.

 

Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.

 

The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available.  It is a story of apocalypse.

 

The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces.  I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.

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Photographer: Iryna Tysiak

I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.

 

I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.

 

I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.

 

I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation.  The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.

 

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