Monday, December 31, 2007



There’s a “Baby Boom” retirement trend that is emerging as a mainstream news item, and it IS huge. A massive population hub entering the post work years. I guess I’m closing in on that age….soon. But an interesting thing about this demographic is that so many are healthier, hipper and more engaged that prior “upper demos”. Hell, I can’t IMAGINE retiring! I feel like I’m 30, and act like I’m 10. Doesn't hurt that I went on a major health kick and am close to fighting weight again. And I’m not alone. There was once the “Great 25-34 scare of ‘78”. All of these FM radio stations that owned 18-24 year olds back then we’re buying into the panic that the baby boom was over and soon there would be no teenagers left on earth by 1980. And these 18-24 targeted stations would be left with no listeners as the typical 18-24 rocker, would wake up on his or her 25th birthday and say “To hell with Led Zeppelin…I’m 25-34 now…bring on The Captain & Tennille and Bread oldies. Never happened. Goes back to the fact that 16-20 are the musically formative years…the music you are into then, sets the stage for your musical life. I’d chuckle at big name radio guys suggesting back then that Hendrix and Dylan were “fads”…

I just went flying with Skip Finley, a radio mogul, one time client and all around good guy. He's about 60 going on 30. There are a lot of those out there that cancel out the traditional view of demographics and lifestyle. Anyone over 50 gets these AARP welcoming kits. AARP? Maybe when I'm 90...maybe.

Ever watch those Time-Life informercials hawking the “Summer of Love” CD’s? Induces severe nausea as there’s the obviously paid “star” of the 60’s” interacting with very un cool people fawning about how “If you’re Going to San Francisco wear Some Flowers in Your Hair” was the voice of the generation and ‘changed their lives’. If THAT song changed their life, they are not finished changing.

Quality is what creates timelessness. Junk fades. Quality isn’t an economic or demographically defined term. I think “The Chipmunks” were quality. Done very well. Lovable rodents that stand the test of time. I’m glad to see that they’re film is doing well and that their Christmas song still gets played. I used to take a Chipmunks 45 and slow it down to 33 to see how they REALLY sounded. They’re better fast.

When I watch the Time Life thing, I want to scream out: YOU FOOLS! You can buy an I-pod and download the songs…or get an XM and actually HEAR and re-discover ALL and MORE of the songs. Symbolizes how few marketers understand how 50+ thinks. Weather it’s those goofy Fidelity ads with Rock Stars or the trivializing of the culture back then…most “Baby Boom” marketing efforts are laughable. Missing the purity and essence. Bob Dylan’s radio show talks to the mindset better than anyone---because it’s natural. Not forcing it.

We used to have a term called “The Weekend Hippie”. Coat & Tie Monday-Friday, then jeans and mild partying on the weekend.

A massive market opportunity is not very sexy, but VERY rewarding---Old people who still think like kids. BIG.

Musical acts whose debut recordings were made three decades ago dominated the North American concert business in 2007, with half of the top 20 grossing performers having started their careers in the 1970s. When an Apple figures out tapping into this audience…look out!

Back in the 60’s, it was Cold War time. The Ruskies were supposed to bomb us at any second. Later I realized that Russian products other than Vodka and Caviar sucked. If they launched an ICBM in ’63, it probably would have blown up on the pad. I toured an old Aeroflot Russian jetliner once…it made Greyhound look like the Queen Mary.

So, I’ve always had this question mark about Russia. Ememy? Good guys with bad leaders? Last week I saw a very impressive interview with Vladimir Putin. Time made him “Man of the Year”. Hmmmm. Need to look at this guy in a more unbiased way. It showed a high level of intellect that made a lot of sense. Compared to some of the stupidity of our campaign, it was eye opening. It was very truthful, intelligent without being elite. Of course, the guy may be a complete scumbag engineering a completely rigged election…then again maybe not.

(Time interview)

How do you see the relationship between Russia and the U.S., going forward?Russia and the U.S. were allies during the Second and the First World Wars, which allows us to think there's something objectively bringing us together in difficult times. Today to be successful, one must be able to reach agreements. The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness but rather taking into account and respecting your partner's legitimate interests.

Can you give an example?The North Korean nuclear issue. We treated the issue very seriously. We were thinking about each other's interests and about the interests of the country in question. In the end we resolved the issue to a large extent.

What should be done in Iraq?From the very beginning, I considered that it was a mistake. As for what we do today and in the near future, overall I agree with President Bush that everything must be done so that the Iraqi authorities are able to deal with security issues on their own. What we differ over is that the U.S. believes it is impossible to impose time frames for the withdrawal. In my view, that would prompt the Iraqi authorities to be more proactive.

Americans wonder why the recent Russian elections could not have been more open and why, for example, Garry Kasparov was put in jail.Why did Mr. Kasparov, when arrested, speak out in English rather than Russian? When a politician works the crowd of other nations rather than the Russian nation, it tells you something.

Do you think the U.S. wants to see a strong Russia or a weak Russia?I believe the U.S. already understands that only a strong Russia will respond to the genuine interests of the U.S.
What is NATO's purpose today? If Russia were invited to join, would it do so?I wouldn't call NATO a putrid corpse of the Cold War, but it is a leftover of the past. How can NATO efficiently fight terrorism? Did it stop the terrorists on 9/11? Where was NATO then? Russia has no intention of joining military-political blocs because that would be tantamount to restricting its sovereignty.

One of the perceptions that Americans have about Russia is that corruption is endemic. How do you handle that?Badly. I must say that in the transitional economy, it is difficult to address such problems. But I'm fully convinced that down the road, [they] will be tackled more efficiently.

What role does faith play in your leadership?First and foremost, we should be governed by common sense. But common sense should be based on moral principles first. And it is not possible today to have morality separated from religious values.

How does a lifelong KGB man raised in the Soviet Union become a believer in free markets?One doesn't have to be a particularly bright highbrow to see the obvious, that the market economy has major advantages over an administrative system. We have had GDP growth of about 7% a year on average over the past seven or eight years. We have paid off all our debt. Real income growth is about 12% for the population, and for me, that is the main achievement.

You must feel lucky that the price of oil is so high.Fools are lucky. We work day and night!
The government has arrested some ?Russian industrialists and seized their assets. Why?Well, "Thou shalt not steal." They didn't have difficulties with me. They had difficulties with the people of the country and with the law.

Has your KGB training helped you as President? There's an old saying "Once a spy, always a spy."Well, those are lies. Naturally, some of that background can be of help. They taught me to think independently. They taught me to gather objective information, first and foremost. The second thing, from working in intelligence, is learning the skill of working with people. Above all, to respect the people you're dealing with.

In Russia, a number of journalists have been murdered. Is there some kind of pattern? Is there something that you or the government can do to prevent it?First, many people, including journalists, are tempted to make a little bit more money here and there, which means they get involved with entrepreneurs, sometimes with criminal businessmen. Then there are genuine fighters against corruption, against the criminal elements. Where such losses have occurred, I take them personally.

What do you think are American misconceptions about Russia?Well, you know, I don't believe these are misconceptions. I think this is a purposeful attempt by some to create an image of Russia based on which one could influence our internal and foreign policies. This is the reason why everybody is made to believe, like, it's O.K. to pinch the Russians somewhat. They are a little bit savage still, or they just climbed down from the trees and probably need to have their hair brushed and their beards trimmed.

Can you tell us more about Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev?They moved toward destruction of the system that no longer could sustain the Soviet people. I'm not sure I could have had the guts to do that myself. This is a very important change. It gave Russia her freedom.

What about the conflicts you've had with former Soviet republics on gas prices?What conflicts? There are world prices for gas. Why should we sell to anyone below the world-market prices? Do Americans? Could you come to a store in the U.S. and ask, "Well, I'm from Canada. We Canadians are close neighbors. Give me that Chrysler at half price"? What would you hear from the salesman? "Go away!"

President George W. Bush said he looked into your eyes and got a sense of your soul. Have you gotten a sense of his soul? I consider him a very reliable partner, a man of honor. Yes, Iraq was a mistake, but he is a fair and honest man.

Do you think there was a missed opportunity after 9/11 for the U.S. and Russia to work more closely on the anti?terrorism front because of Iraq?We could have acted in a more coordinated and therefore more efficient way. That is true. But cooperation between our secret services is happening and is achieving results.

Can you describe this cooperation? Are there institutional structures that exist between American and Russian intelligence in the field of fighting terrorism? Yes, the so-called partnership channels. And recently the work has been quite successful, including cooperation to prevent terrorist acts against the citizens of the Russian Federation and the U.S. I recently discussed this with President Bush over the telephone.

Earlier you used the phrase Thou shalt not steal. Have you read the Bible?Yes, I have. And the Bible is on my plane.

Do you use e-mail? Do you blog?Well, it's a big shame. I don't use these technologies. I don't even use a telephone. My staff do it for me. But they do it wonderfully.

They still make shit products…but I kinda like this Putin guy,
…I like looking to other world leaders. There’s something wrong here…it’s a time of change. Not only in Media…but in EVERYTHING. Is it GOOD change that improves lives…BAD change that screws it up more…or INSIGNIFICANT CHANGE that is change without resonation?

….Some words for 2008 from Einstein:

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.

It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.

The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one's own efforts.

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.

We must find a way, or we will make one.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -Albert Einstein.


At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Gary said...

I'd be very careful on Putin, Lee. There's a decent chance he's a murdering thug.

Also, Einstein saying, "Imagination is more important than knowledge": Isn't that like a rich man claiming money isn't important?

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Mike said...

The age demographic is dead.

I'm 37 and I will keep The 80s, Fred or Lucy (my 16-20 music) playing all day, but I will also crank Squizz to the point where significant other is screaming for me to please turn it the fuck down. And I don't just do it to annoy her. Society now allows us to listen to the music we want to listen to, not the music we're supposed to listen to. Simon LeBon even said something like that during Artist Confidential this week ... sure, the people that were in the 80s during the 16-20 years still want to 80s tunes, but we are still hip to the new sounds, which is why Duran Duran keeps up with the times and still turns out some damn fine recordings.

I think the new demographic will be some sort of pairing on income and hours online. Not everyone has seen YouTube, and its not always because of age. Its because they can't afford a computer or decent internet access or because its been blocked at the public library.

And Time-Life collections suck. They have no soul.

And Putin is a puppet of the new communists in Russia.


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