One single incident serves as a perfect illustration of just what an extraordinarily unusual and charismatic person the US musician Frank Zappa, who died in 1993, must have been. In 1968, a year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, a man turned up on the doorstep at the Log Cabin, the ramshackle, open-all-hours-to-all-comers crash pad in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, that Zappa and numerous other weird people called home. “My name is Raven. I brought you a present,” this stranger announced, handing to Zappa a transparent bag, apparently filled with blood, before pointing a revolver at his chest.
Calmly, Zappa cajoled and manipulated Raven into walking with him, and numerous spectators, including Zappa’s 24-year-old English secretary, to a nearby lake. He then persuaded everyone present to start throwing things into the water, including Raven, who threw in his gun. The secretary, Pauline Butcher, threw in a twig, which “floated on the algae” causing her to look round “apologetically”. After that, Zappa, shoved the bag of blood back into Raven’s hand, saying: “You must leave now.” Raven did. Immediately exhorted by the many witnesses to call the police, Zappa refused. Why? “Because if I call the police, the police will arrest him and he’ll go to jail and no one deserves to go to jail.”
[Jeremy Clarkson’s] fondness for wearing jeans has been blamed by some for the decline in sales of denim in the mid-1990s, particularly Levi’s, because of their being associated with middle aged men, the so-called “Clarkson effect.”
Being so lame that you make cool things lamer by way of sheer proximity is called “The Clarkson Effect.”
Earlier this week, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and underscored the need for the aging Silicon Valley Internet giant to attract more users from the coveted 18-to-24-years-old age bracket. Along with more marketing, he explicitly said Yahoo needed to be “cool again.”
“One of our challenges is we have had an aging demographic,” said Goldman at the Boston event. “Part of it is going to be just visibility again in making ourselves cool, which we got away from for a couple of years.”
According to sources close to the situation, that could mean a strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of perhaps the coolest Internet company of late: Tumblr.
Sources said the talks were serious, but any kind of deal — of course — could come to naught.
Nothing is less cool than the belief that you can become cool by buying cool things.
I managed over 12,000 people at Groupon, most under the age of 25. One thing that surprised me was that many would arrive at orientation with minimal understanding of basic business wisdom. ”Haven’t you read any business books? Good to Great? Winning? The One Minute Manager?” I’d ask. ”Business books? Not really our thing,” was the typical response. I came to realize that there was a real need to present business wisdom in a format that is more accessible to the younger generation.
It was with this in mind that I spent a week in LA earlier this month recording Hardly Workin’, a seven song album of motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce. These songs will help young people understand some of the ideas that I’ve found to be a key part of becoming a productive and effective employee. I’m really happy with the results and look forward to sharing them as soon as I figure out how to load music onto iTunes, hopefully in the next few weeks.
Is this a real thing or a joke thing?