I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
Beck, love him or hate him, he said it. “With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being among the most idiosyncratically creative musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock.” (Wikipedia). But his father was a Canadian, so he can’t be all bad. Right?
Born in 1970 Beck is definitively Gen-X, that hapless, unrecognized bridging between the Boomers and the millennial generation who will steal our jobs. The funny thing is most millennials are in their mid thirties now and have children, mortgages, and serious jobs. Is Beck doomed to the life of Robert Cratchit of Camden Town, an under appreciated clerk doomed to the scrap heap of change?
Change? Yes, Beck desired change. He has musically encompassed folk, funk, soul, hip hop, electronic, alternative rock, country, and psychedelia. He has released 14 studio albums, far more than I have, including my 1972 adventure with the Monterey Elementary School Choir (copies available in the lobby). We all desire to leave our mark, whether it be an album, or a heart and initials carved into either a tree or a historical site, as did that mischievous PB Shelly into the glass of Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Warwickshire. Shelly’s love interest at this time was young Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. And so, we turn to rebellion.
Victor Frankenstein has a strong desire to understand the world. He is obsessed with studying theories of alchemists, though when he is older, he realizes that such theories are considerably outdated. At university, Victor develops an unmentioned method to reanimate non-living matter and successfully builds his creature. Though first designed to be beautiful and knowledgeable, the creature is hideous, yet still intelligent. The creation is angry with the father and threatens to kill him. The threats drive Victor mad and result in him chasing his creation literally to the ends of the earth. Canada, yet again, specifically the North Pole.
Where am I going with this, you ask? As John Lennon said, “You say you want a revolution; Well, you know; We all want to change the world” so you create a not-for-profit. The Millennials and Gen-Y are recognized as the most philanthropic generation ever. But the concern is that their creation gets away from them. It is not as if people are advising you not to do it. They are advising you to think it through before you begin. What is your mission? How do you plan to accomplish that mission? Build it and they will come, is frankly stupid.
I have met leaders who have raised hundreds of thousands to several millions of dollars from their passion alone, but it requires a plan and systems, and people, and headaches and … shit. Surround yourself with leaders and soldiers and people who can help to “carry that weight” (sorry, yes, another Beatles reference). But foremost, develop a plan. Seek to change the world.
Don’t become like Victor and his desire to seek “happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition.” Most of all, do not subscribe to Beck’s ploy, you are not a loser because you didn’t change the world. You’re just like everyone else, you tried. But, and, you can try again.