Most of you will not understand what follows. I apologize in advance.
The culture that shaped me (skateboarding) and the language it created, is finally being recognized for the impact it has had on the culture at large. A pioneer and hero of mine, who today would have been marginalized because the language and substrate of our culture doesn’t make sense to a mind like his (it doesn’t make sense to a mind like mine), is finally being recognized for what he is…brilliant. That is, of course, Rodney Mullen.
It’s only now that we are able to decode the language his story is written in.
Those of us marginalized by ‘normal’ genuinely see a different world. I can already see it in my son Steele. He even takes in the world around him the way I do. Rather than simply looking at reality, he feels it with an inner sense I still can’t describe, even though I understand it. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have another soul with which to journey the plane of alternate reality I hover in. Over our 13 years of marriage my wife has learned how to connect with me, speak to me and hear across her world and mine.
Enter Rodney Mullen. I’ve been tuning into his journey since the beginning when I first stepped foot on those seven plies of hard rock maple set upon urethane wheels. The skateboard has been my brush and the street my canvas for more than 25 years. It gave me a language and substrate by which to communicate with a sub culture and a culture at large that I truly believe kept me from doing countless other destructive things in search for a way to hear and be heard in this world.
Rodney Mullen is a kindred spirit who sees the world in a way that I see it and was at a loss in terms of how to connect our world with ‘theirs’. He didn’t understand their words and their rules. Often written off and outcast for being counter to culture; it is actually a case of loss in translation that we simply didn’t have the time (or care) to decode.
But through the years of creating a language and finding others who could ‘speak’ it and build upon it…a new culture was built and people like Rodney could be viewed as normal in that new society.
The take away here is for the creative among you. At it’s root; being creative is coming up with a new idea that is useful. But new is scary. New might not fit within the language of the culture you’re trying to create in and for.
The finite content and context of the culture or sub-culture you’re working with can create an environment where you literally can not even speak or hear when your mind is truly free to create because you have moved onto the new and out of the current system. Think of the last time you had a brilliant idea from deep inside and all you got back were blank stares. It’s not that it wasn’t a good idea; it’s just that the language and substrate were not in place for normal people to hear it. You, quite literally, may as well been speaking another language.
If you truly are a creative soul…then you understand this pain. If you made it this far in this post and you haven’t made sense of what I’m talking about than let me look at it from the other side. I’ve been talking about the conditions in which real, true creativity happens. Let me quickly point out the opposite of it. The infertile desert of creativity; what does THAT look like?
Once you have made something, built something, developed an organization and a plan then what? You defend it. You protect it. Instead of your goal for building this thing being the main thing the institution is now the main thing. N+1 where N equals ‘maintain the institution’. True creativity can’t happen here when you have to spend all your energy on feeding the machine. The solution, I think, is to create space, a team, a department for you (or your team) to be completely free of worrying about the N in N+1 and instead focus on the +1. This is where creativity happens. I recommend getting the most ‘out there’ people you can find.
So with that; you should watch Rodney say it:
If you don’t have a person like this in your life; find one. Care for them. Work to understand them and then ask yourself;
Am I continuing to create or am I simply defending what it is I have already created?
I’m still amazed by the number of church leaders who don’t see the reality of how God is perceived by culture currently. It’s not 1850 anymore. No, God has not changed but culture has.
So there’s Ikea, minding their own business one day and someone discovers that a trace amount of horse meat is found in meatballs served at their cafe. I never knew Ikea even served food; do you have to assemble it yourself there at the cafe?
Ikea probably isn’t known for their food nor do they depend on it to have a thriving business model, after all they sell furniture. Yet a lack of transparency from one of their venders, who probably accounts for an immeasurably small line on the Ikea balance sheet, was found to have used horse meat in meatballs supplied to Ikea.
And in a flash Ikea has a PR fire to deal with.
Transparency is everything in our new, real time, communication world. Your organization simply does not have the resources or the power to control the message the way you once did in years past.
The only thing you can control about the message is how transparent you are and in that transparency you better have a good message because we can see right through you.
The old adage; sell for what the market will bear just doesn’t ring true anymore. No longer can you and your team scheme and strategize for how to game your ‘target’ into acting on your pitch. You have to have a real story that provides people with real value, because if word gets out you’re trying to slip one by, game over.
Remarkable. It’s a simple word when you think about it. Worthy of making a remark. When something is of paramount remark-ability it will spread like wild fire. Case in point, this video from PSY. Break it down to the sum of it’s parts and it is not remarkable. The song sounds like all the techno songs I’ve heard the last 10 years. The dance moves aren’t that good. It’s not even in English.
But take Park Jae-Sang (PSY), the mastermind behind the Gangnam Style song and video, he gets it. He knows that if he turns it up to 11 and goes into each scene with complete commitment, he’ll achieve what he is looking for. A video that you simply can’t stop watching because each new visual experience is remarkable in every way.
He’s not trying to achieve timeless art. He’s not trying to change the course of music history. He just want you to watch. And you will. And you will tell others of it because it is remarkable.
I’m going to come right out and say it; since I’ve been a registered voter I have never voted for the winning president nor have I ever voted for a Democrat or a Republican. I’ve always listed out the issues that matter to me and found the candidate that matched up the most for me. Without emotion.
The internet has actually made this real easy and I would encourage everyone to do it. You may say; “Vince, aren’t you throwing your vote away by voting third party?”
I think I’m throwing my vote away when I compromise. I would love to imagine a world where everyone voted based on issues they cared about and not personality, emotion and certainly not a political party.
After some searching I came up with these sites and went through the process of picking who I will vote for.
Vote Smart has a cute interface that isn’t exactly intuitive but I figured it out. You click through various categories and answer 1 – 3 questions in each. The sweet ‘signs on the White House lawn’ thing will help those of you not that into reading. I would also add that I’m not really sure what ‘Shows/Lacks Courage’ means.
**UPDATE glassbooth.org now has a splash page up indicating a relaunch. Stand by…I’ll get on it as soon as it’s ready.
I like the way GlassBooth.org started off by asking me to rate the issues I care about. It then put together a series of questions and seemed to give me more questions related to the issues I gave more value…nice! Then I got my results only to find out GlassBooth.org decided I should vote for Ralph Nader…who isn’t running. Looks like GlassBooth.org hasn’t updated from the 2008 presidential election. But it still had me voting for the Green Party.
This one pretty much sucks because it only considers Republican and Democrat to be options. Which is kinda sad. I’m not even sure what the results mean. Personally I reject the labels of liberal and conservative as dead fictions of an old system. Don’t waste your time on this one.
One of the better user interfaces of the bunch. Each question had a slider next to it where you can rank how important it is to you. It also has an option to write your own answer should none of the options be quite right. I felt, given the quality of the UX, there could have been a few more questions to drill down to a result.