Americans often take their measure of a leadership candidate by deciding if he’s a guy they’d like to have a beer with.
Maybe not the most scientific mode of assessing character, but it definitely lets them know how he rates in the –- just how cool is this guy –- category.
And let’s face it, “Cool” matters.
Whatever your physical, intellectual or strategic skills, you’ll accomplish more if people relate to you in a positive manner; if they feel you “get” what’s important to them personally and yet still have an immutable handle on the zeitgeist.
For it’s those kind of people who truly can lead us where we most want to go and forge the kind of world we’d be excited to live in.
In my day, all the cool kids wanted to get into cultural endeavors. Maybe that’s because we had dads like Don Draper and felt while selling the sizzle earned a good living, owning it would be better.
Thus, as I watched the CRTC hearings last week and the parade of Cool kids of my generation asking for dispensations from the Canadian public regulator of all things media, I began to wonder which of these guys I’d still like to have a beer with.
Or maybe more to the point, to which I’d entrust one of my scripts or productions, feeling that under their tutelage it could surely find its own place within the ever-shifting zeitgeist.
But what I saw instead were people who had once been world beaters, eager to take on all challenges and above all “cool”, insist that it all just hadn’t worked out the way they originally envisioned it would.
I saw broadcasters who insisted they deserved 7 figure salaries whine that their networks were struggling financially. I listened as programmers explained that the audiences they’d failed to attract could be found if attendance were required –- with payment in advance.
And I wondered if some of those kids were not so much cool as just the same fast talking, “you wouldn’t believe how connected and with it I am” guys I’ve met at used car lots and investment seminars.
And I started to imagine what kind of movie or TV series these guys would make to not only reflect their presumed continued coolness but would fit what an audience hungered to embrace.
And this was it…
Enjoy Your Sunday.