snubbed, slighted, rackets, backroom deals, cults of personalities.... the concept of fair...

Skully

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Also, you have to think about what constitutes a win. Some of the most miserable people are those who get it all and find that it doesn't heal them, it doesn't make them happy. I've told this story here and elsewhere a million times. One of my most memorable experiences as an interviewer was sitting with Doug Fieger of The Knack in an empty conference room at Rhino Records and listening to him describe one of the low points of his life: when "My Sharona" hit number one on the charts. His dream had come true, the thing he always wanted, the thing that he consciously or subconsciously felt would complete him, and he discovered he was still the same schmuck he always was.

And Fieger had game, man. In high school, he wrote a letter to producer Jimmy Miller and persuaded him to come check out his band Sky in the rumpus room of his house in Oak Park, Michigan. Miller signed them and flew them to England to record. They made two albums. They appeared on "American Bandstand." They opened for The Who, Bob Seger, Traffic, Joe Cocker and The Stooges. But the band never took off, and it broke up shortly after the release of their second album in 1971. He moved to Los Angeles, gave himself an image makeover, switched from bass to guitar, and a long eight years later he hit the top of the charts with The Knack.
 

rebelwoclue

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I think most of us go through that kind of thing in our young lives. It isn't fair but it almost never is. We just learn about it at that time in our lives. Mom's "you're special" only goes for so long until you realize that you're just another one in the crowd. What makes the difference is, how you handle it after you notice. To some, it's a driver. To others, you just shrug it off and go on your merry way. Others, its a nagging, "shoulda, coulda, woulda"...
 

imwjl

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I don't think most who met me in recent decades could imagine who I was when I was younger, and I believe I have shocked some who knew young me in those days when they learned I've been reasonably if not successful and have a beautiful family as well as significant job and leadership responsibilities.

All that can get me bitter or looking back these days is hate on topics where the person can't change that. Mostly growing up in a redneck area any of us were any sort of minority went through a lot of hellacious stuff.

I have a sibling who's been horrible towards me for about ever who recently moved by me. While my family was horrified, I've been kind and just ignore the crazy stuff. Why should my kids see that or any poor behavior from me???

Basically, a little before I met my wife I learned to bury stuff that won't do me any good vs go to war over it. I'm certain I'd have a pretty sucky life if I kept on with bitter and making so much a fight.

Maybe fear drives some of the bad stuff and wrong thoughts??? As I got better I SO observed and realized how fear makes people do stupid things and unable to think well or be data driven.
 

P-Nutz

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I became a teacher at 34 and an administrator at 52. Prior to that I had many careers, and have been marginally talented at athletics (swimming in HS, bicycle in college until I was 28, TKD from there on out). I was never "great" at anything, but good enough through hard work and determination. I also don't tolerate BS well ...

That said, I was the "super smart" kid in school, but also did my share of chemicals, played in bands, etc., so never really fit in with any one group. As a small kid when I was younger, and with a big-azz drunken father, I got the chit beat out of me regularly until I learned to use my brain and humor to get out of situations. I grew up dirt poor, so nothing was handed to me. Wanted to be a doctor, had the grades for it and even busted me arse to get an ROTC scholarship from the US Navy, but turned it all down for numerous reasons, the least of which was my take on "authority" figures.

Now that I am one of those "authority" figures, I try to be aware of the dynamics of of the cults of personality, which are strong in middle school. Don't kid yourself, as much as we can make fun of "kids these days", many of us never would have survived the shear BS they are dealing with. Trust me. We are going to have some long-term trauma for awhile.

I have no idea what I just wrote, but I think it somehow fits ...

Peace.
 

Killing Floor

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My wife used to say "do you want fair or do you want equal because I can treat you like your little brother if that's what you want".

Fair and equal are not the same. Little league is a good platform because the coach's kid is always the starter. Then again, where were the other parents at the meeting when the league was BEGGING for parent volunteers? I'm probably on the side of helping your kids and I'm probably on the side of helping your colleagues as well if they are as invested in their success as I am.

I don't agree that every kid deserves a trophy or that every adult deserves a promotion just because someone else got one. Competition is life. Some people are more intense about it. If my job depended on your job I'd want you to be motivated and you should expect the same from me.

Back to sports...
My son's birthday is July 31 meaning that where he started school he was early for the cutoff.
In his years of youth lacrosse the "age up" birthday day was August 1 and in football it was July 1.
And it's 100% true that coaches pick up on that DAY 1 in lacrosse. The flipside is he was always on the young side of the football cutoff since DAY 1 and coaches always overlooked him until varsity. The same lifts, the same track speed, the same work ethic, same birthday but one perspective is "older" and the other perspective is "younger". The end result is that 1 after another, lacrosse coaches always spent an 'unfair' amount of attention on him, giving him a distinct advantage.
But he also did more work than his teammates during the season and more work than his teammates during the offseason. And that advantage has grown to multiple division 1 scholarship offers. And he will attend a college that otherwise would have been an academic reach. And he'll have unlimited tutoring and mentorship that he'd never get as a traditional student.
So what starts as "unfair" often is a stepping stone or a nudge.

Sometimes that happens in business too.

It absolutely happens in the music industry.
 

Skully

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Cliques are social groups that aim to be exclusive. There are other groups that aim to be inclusive, but inclusive of whom? Society naturally self segregates into groups of likes, people of like interests, like skills. Cliques are generally small exclusionary groups. Those with even only rudimentary social skills eventually find someplace where they fit in well enough to belong.

I think humans evolved this way because it was always necessary to band together for survival. So humans banded together for protection from predators, to gather what the group needed to survive, and for defense against competing groups.

These once useful strategies can become divisive. Competition within a group can identify those with useful skills, but it can also sabotage group cohesiveness. Competition in the face of perceived scarcity or imagined threat is destructive of the group. Out experience with groups, teams, and cliques in high school should have taught us this but we know that some learn better than others.

I’ll stop at this point out of fear of driving too close to the guard rail and of admonition from the mods.

Are the "popular kids" in high school really popular with anyone but themselves? Personally, I was a part of that group more or less, but kept myself on the edges. The big jocks weren't even the best jocks. We had a baseball team that won the conference championship. Nobody cared. High schoolers don't go to baseball games. They go to football and basketball games. At least, that's the way it was at our school. The teams star pitcher was also a Golden Gloves boxer, but nobody knew it unless they picked a fight with him, and got surprised with a butt-whooping. But I don't think that happened more than once, and not because people were afraid of him. He was just a nice, modest guy who didn't bother anybody. I think most people didn't even think of him as a jock. He died of the thing that can't be named last year.
 

Skully

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My wife used to say "do you want fair or do you want equal because I can treat you like your little brother if that's what you want".

Fair and equal are not the same. Little league is a good platform because the coach's kid is always the starter. Then again, where were the other parents at the meeting when the league was BEGGING for parent volunteers? I'm probably on the side of helping your kids and I'm probably on the side of helping your colleagues as well if they are as invested in their success as I am.

I don't agree that every kid deserves a trophy or that every adult deserves a promotion just because someone else got one. Competition is life. Some people are more intense about it. If my job depended on your job I'd want you to be motivated and you should expect the same from me.

Back to sports...
My son's birthday is July 31 meaning that where he started school he was early for the cutoff.
In his years of youth lacrosse the "age up" birthday day was August 1 and in football it was July 1.
And it's 100% true that coaches pick up on that DAY 1 in lacrosse. The flipside is he was always on the young side of the football cutoff since DAY 1 and coaches always overlooked him until varsity. The same lifts, the same track speed, the same work ethic, same birthday but one perspective is "older" and the other perspective is "younger". The end result is that 1 after another, lacrosse coaches always spent an 'unfair' amount of attention on him, giving him a distinct advantage.
But he also did more work than his teammates during the season and more work than his teammates during the offseason. And that advantage has grown to multiple division 1 scholarship offers. And he will attend a college that otherwise would have been an academic reach. And he'll have unlimited tutoring and mentorship that he'd never get as a traditional student.
So what starts as "unfair" often is a stepping stone or a nudge.

Sometimes that happens in business too.

It absolutely happens in the music industry.

Your disadvantage can be your biggest edge. I mean, the guy who has nothing else to live for is always going to have a big advantage. A small success can derail a career. Getting fired could be the best thing that ever happens to you. What if that door hadn't closed, forcing you to try another?
 

aging_rocker

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...it is kind of chicken and egg, if he'd had positive things happen, might that have primed the pump for his reactions OR was it the negative things that happened that created the self fulfilling prophecy?
I've known kids who had rotten childhoods, who just assumed that nothing good would or could ever happen for them, because nothing ever had, based on their previous life experience. And therefore nothing ever did. I'd certainly call that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I've also seen people who seemed to 'have it all' make a complete sh**show of their lives.

I think the primary barrier is just not being the person who has the skills and, more importantly, the will to succeed in their chosen field. In other words, the barrier is you not being able to summon the strength to push yourself over the barriers...
This!^^^
In most fields, but especially sport and 'entertainment', if you have any talent you will sooner or later arrive at a point where a line needs to be crossed in order to continue progressing.

Crossing that line requires significant confidence, self-belief, motivation, skill, commitment and a realisation that usually sacrifices (e.g. time, money, etc,.) have to be made in other areas of life.

Many (most?) lack the necessary, or aren't prepared to make the required sacrifices, and so don't cross the line to the next level. Those that do are the seriously driven individuals that have the skill and equally importantly, the will to succeed.

And there will always be an amount of luck and 'right place, right time' involved too.
 

loopfinding

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Arts and athletics are the worst. Because in general life we can see what is fair or isn’t and correct our course early enough/see through the BS relatively easily.

But in the arts or athletics the messaging, especially when you’re young, drills meritocracy into you, and you gladly accept it as a refuge from everything else. “All that matters is if you can play.” But even when we realize rationally that it operates just like the rest of the world, the mentality of never doing enough, “that’s what’s to blame for your troubles,” is already sufficiently beaten into you and unshakeable.
 
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David Barnett

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Don't kid yourself, as much as we can make fun of "kids these days", many of us never would have survived the shear BS they are dealing with. Trust me. We are going to have some long-term trauma for awhile.

I am eternally thankful that social media didn't exist when I was a kid. It would have been brutal.
 

Skully

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Arts and athletics are the worst. Because in general life we can see what is fair or isn’t and correct our course early enough/see through the BS relatively easily.

But in the arts or athletics the messaging, especially when you’re young, drills meritocracy into you, and you gladly accept it as a refuge from everything else. “All that matters is if you can play.” But even when we realize rationally that it operates like the rest of the world, the mentality of never doing enough, “that’s what’s to blame for your troubles,” is already sufficiently beaten into you and unshakeable.

I think sports really is a meritocracy, when all as said and done. That's not the way it is in the arts, but it just can't be, because taste is so personal and not even the most well-compensated professionals can really say what is good or predict what will be successful, unless the year is 2022 and the project in question is a Marvel movie. Some of the best -- and, often, most successful -- pieces of popular art were dismissed, discounted and rejected multiple times before they became the cultural touchstones they are today -- "M*A*S*H*," "Star Wars," etc., etc.
 

Killing Floor

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Your disadvantage can be your biggest edge. I mean, the guy who has nothing else to live for is always going to have a big advantage. A small success can derail a career. Getting fired could be the best thing that ever happens to you. What if that door hadn't closed, forcing you to try another?
My God, there are jobs I was so disappointed I didn't get and I thank the Lord every day.
 

aging_rocker

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I am eternally thankful that social media didn't exist when I was a kid. It would have been brutal.
Indeed. At least when I was at school, you could 'respond' to bullying and abusive behaviour in person.

It might not have been an 'approved' reaction then (and certainly not now...) but I was always told by my father and grandfather that the way to respond to bullying was to strike back. Hard. It may have got me into difficulties with the 'authorities' but it stopped the bullying pretty quick. I took a few battering's but once they realised I was always going to fight them back, they stopped. No one wants a smack.
Sadly, they just went looking for 'easier' prey. I saw kids destroyed by bullying and abuse. It makes me angry even now, just thinking about it.

I have a really strong memory of being about 7 years old, and running into my grandfathers' house covered in snot & blood after being knocked about by a bunch of local youths. They also stole my football.
He asked what I was doing "in here snivelling about it" and told me to go back out and "deal with it or you'll be in here snivelling forever".

And yes, I grew up in 'that' kind of neighbourhood. I got out as soon as possible.
 

Telekarster

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he always hoped that people would pick him for things and that he would be chosen and was even more dubious about them when they passed him over... it was (and is) a tough watch.

it is kind of chicken and egg, if he'd had positive things happen, might that have primed the pump for his reactions OR was it the negative things that happened that created the self fulfilling prophecy?

Yeah.... I dunno man. I gave up a long, long time ago trying to please other people. When I was a little kid, I was bullied. Then one day, just like the scene in Christmas Story, I had simply had enough of his BS. I wollop'd him and his little todie in front of everyone in the hood. I had to be pulled off of em LOL!!! I left him in a sorry state I can tell you. After that, things were vastly different for me i.e. I was treated much different by everyone afterwards. I suppose in that moment I had a completely different outlook on life, and for the better. If I could meet that bully that I beat up today, I'd shake his hand... cause whether he and his little todie know it or not, they taught me a valuable lesson that day that's served me well ever since. I don't know if this relates to your thread, but anyway that's my take on it all ;)
 

getbent

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I think sports really is a meritocracy, when all as said and done. That's not the way it is in the arts, but it just can't be, because taste is so personal and not even the most well-compensated professionals can really say what is good or predict what will be successful, unless the year is 2022 and the project in question is a Marvel movie. Some of the best -- and, often, most successful -- pieces of popular art were dismissed, discounted and rejected multiple times before they became the cultural touchstones they are today -- "M*A*S*H*," "Star Wars," etc., etc.
yeah, I don't know. I went to high school with a guy who got cut the first day of tryouts for football and baseball... in his tryout hitting he hit a ball in to the tennis courts (like 460' away) a bomb. He was big and fast, but he was weird. Goofy. Heck, he could make grades, but, cut. Coaches just didn't want him around.

He went to Cypress College and went out for football. His first year he was an all conference tight end, he played on the baseball team and started. He was a beast. He always had fast cars and got into some trouble and they did not allow him to play the second year.

He started playing softball and has spent the rest of his adult life as an adult softball player. He still plays on the senior circuit.

But, had he gone a more traditional route, he would have been George Kittle AND Manny Ramirez...

there are so many things that happen along the way outside of the 'merit' part and I don't mean players getting into drugs or legal stuff, I mean just not getting the opportunity when other guys do.

I saw it all along my own athletic journey and watching my kids grow up and their friends. One of my sons friends just went on a rule 5 to the Cubs and the circumstance may be good or it may end what should be a pretty good career.
 




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