The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Davos Lessons

Revolution Not Reform



All the world's big movers and shakers were meeting this week at Davos, Switzerland to discuss the future. Much of their pronouncements were rather bleak, but Jeff Jarvis, formerly of the company that does Masslive, was there and found a ray of hope - as well as further sound reasons to defeat the awful Obama stimulus bill:



At one of the still-lavish closing parties, I said to a top banking executive what I’d said earlier in this space about the week in Davos: that the leadership here had to take responsibility for their failure. He sneered at me. There’s no need for that, he said. He will be the last to open up, the last to change.

But back at the workshop I was leading, the three dozen machers who came mainly from investment, technology, and education said something different: The stakeholder is taking control. That stakeholder had to be informed. And that requires transparency.

It was under those rules that they reimagined retail, education, and government.

The day before, I went to a session on educating entrepreneurs with Cisco’s John Chambers, Intel’s Craig Barrett, and other leaders in worldwide movements to train the people who will start businesses and create jobs and true value, in large economies and small. They recited statistics about the value that comes from giving young people the tools to start businesses. They argued passionately that we must change education to enable such creation. Then I hung out with fellow blogger Robert Scoble, who has been arguing that the way out of our mess is to start a million companies. And I went to Yossi Vardi’s annual sabbath breakfast with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who made a forceful argument that the future will be secured with investment in technology (including biotechnology) and education (which he as much as said was the next thing to come after the internet wave).

But instead, the governments that are flexing their muscles here to announce that they are now in charge are giving trillions of dollars to the incumbents, to people like that sneering banker. And he and his peers here in Davos are, as I said in my earlier posts from here, are circling their wagons, refusing to take responsibility, and change.

We should, instead, be investing our money in entrepreneurs and technologists, the people who will change old industries, reimagining them under new rules with new people - us, in the long run - in charge. I leave Davos thinking that more often than not, we need to look at replacing rather than just repairing these broken institutions. Entrepreneurs and educators do that.

We are bailing out the past. Instead, we must bail out the future.


Amen.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Meanwhile, the full ramifications of the stimulus bill are now becoming known, and we must quickly realize that we are hurtling towards a disaster of unprecedented proportions. We can't be afraid to face the tragic truth that President Obama is falling flat on his face right out of the gate and we cannot allow his failure to drag us all down. You must watch the following short but scary video to understand what I mean. Indeed you have a moral responsibility to do so.



Star Watch

The multi-talented Paolo Mastrangelo considers himself a paparazzi and here is a picture taken in New York City of his sister's friend with actor Steve Buscemi.



Steve Buscemi is the actor most people say I resemble, but I don't know whether to take that as a complement or an insult.

Family Affair

This afternoon I was at my nephew Brett's birthday party in Belchertown. He's 15, and damn that makes me feel old.



The anti-social Uncle Tom spent much of the time engrossed online.



Rebels for Romance

I like this bumpersticker on a car parked in Northampton.



Today's Video



One of the recurring controversies of the 1980's music scene was over the exact nature of the relationship between the chart-topping duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates. Were they gay? The pair themselves were always coy about it, neither confirming nor denying a sexual relationship. Their sexual ambiguity was brave, since in the 80's proof of a gay relationship would have ended their careers because straight people wouldn't buy a love song if they thought it was being sung to a person of the same sex. Rolling Stone came as close to outing the pair as they could without provoking a lawsuit.



What was John Oates' role anyway? On stage he simply danced around or strummed a guitar and sang harmony. Rumors persisted that his real use to Daryl Hall was not onstage but in the hotel room after the show. The mystery is unsolved to this day. John Oates eventually married a woman and had a son, but then so did David Bowie. In 2008 Daryl Hall marched in a gay parade in the Netherlands, but do you have to be queer to march in a pride parade? Whatever their relationship, no critic ever denied that Daryl Hall was one of the greatest white soul singers of his generation, as amply proven in today's video.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

They may or may not be gay, but they sure as hell never did anything to refute the rumours. Instead, they consistently posed for photos that left a question in people's minds. But in the end, who cares? If they are gay and in love, they are gay and in love. If not, so be that too. I personally find their shirtless photos together hot.

Anonymous said...

I laugh at the big, fat azzed, hard core female fans who get all bent out of shape about the gay issue. Geez. It certainly doesn't seem to bother Hall and Oates because if it did, Hall and Oates certainly wouldn't have posed for the Rolling Stone cover as if they were a loving couple.

Anonymous said...

When the middle aged, dowdy housewife type, female fans get upset about people questioning Hall and Oates' sexuality, it shows that they are ignorant homophobes and it shows that Hall and Oates are very obviously NOT ignorant homophobes because they could care less if people think they are gay.

Espresso Martini said...

Hall and Oates are too sexy to care if anyone thinks they are gay.

Anonymous said...

Well, it doesn't help when Daryl Hall goes on HOward Stern and talks about knowing how big JOhn's thang is.

Anonymous said...

Who the heck are Hall and Oates?

Anonymous said...

thank God everyone saw that the sexual orientation of hall and oates is far more important than "an inconvenient debt". close call there guys, almost had some intelligent feedback.

Anonymous said...

Hall and Oates die hard fans are WAY too preoccupied with the sexuality of Hall and Oates. They get incensed whenever any one makes comments about them being gay and feel they have to rush to their defense and let people know that Hall and Oates are NOT gay. They act like Hall and Oates are delicate, dainty, damsels in distress who need to be rescued from being thought of as gay. That tells me that Hall and Oates fans are bigoted, ignorant homophobes.

Anonymous said...

Hall and Oates are still around?

Anonymous said...

CACA!

Anonymous said...

Yes. Hall and Oates are still around. They just aren't relevant anymore. Not that they ever really were. You know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

How are we supposed to care if Hall and Oates ARE gay when we don't even care about Hall and Oates?

Anonymous said...

Time to get up to speed on the Hall and Oates front. The gay rumors were put to bed decades ago, not that they or I would have any problem with them being gay, but it just happens that they are not.

And, one of Daryl Hall's pet peeves has been the label "blue eyed soul". He is quite a historian and very well versed on the unique blending of European and African influences in Philadelphia, factors which contributed mightily to the evolution of the Sound of Philadelphia. My point is that Daryl Hall was not one of the best "white soul singers" of his generation. He was and is one of the best singers of soul, without any racial qualifiers needed.

Anonymous said...

Someone sounds racist. Listen, the reason they are labeled "blue eyed soul" is because they just don't have the same soul as black people. Sorry, but Daryl Hall is no Marvin Gaye. Marvin would never have written Private Eyes. He would have jumped in front of that bullet willingly, instead.

Anonymous said...

Maneater, soul? Private eyes, soul? Rich girl, soul? Adult Education, soul? Say it isn't so, soul? Pseudo soul, maybe. Pop definitely. Where does hall get the idea that he's a soul singer? because he pops a smokey album in once in a while?

Anonymous said...

Oh kerri, so cool and so clever...NOT.

Justin Timberlake's Girl said...

Don't say anything bad about Hall and Oates or I'll sit on you! I'm their biggest fan and I mean that literally and full figuratively.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to listen to them when she was young. She's dead now. She died of old age a few years back.

Blew Angel said...

The person who wrote this and is perpetuating the gay myth should be thrown in the Hudson. I mean it!

Anonymous said...

Well, I tend to think it's kind of gay when singers have female fans defending their sexuality all over the internet. So, we are back to square gay again.

Anonymous said...

Belch.

Anonymous said...

Belch.

Janey said...

I'm looking at the Rolling Stone photo and I think they are absolutely adorable together. They've been together a long time too. That's fantastic! Good for them!

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Hall and Oates are gay or not, I love their song
Baby Come Back!

Anonymous said...

Baby Come Back was the only real soulful song Hall and Oates did. The rest of their music was pure pop.