On my Millennial journey I was fortunate enough to recently speak to journalist and author Mary Daheim, whose Bed-And-Breakfast and Alpine Series have captured many mystery lover’s minds.
When I initially approach Mary to do an interview, she was with great humor and energy albeit a little hesitant, saying that she comes from The Silent Generation, therefore didn’t know what could contribute in terms of commentary on Millennials.
It was then when I informed her, what really appeals to me is getting all takes and hearing from all people of various ages and generations to share in the conversation, which only fuels what Bottlerot is about, which is unity of the generation and beyond!
Sure enough (which I never doubted from her vibrant spirt) she contributed to the conversation and then some. We talked her generation, my generation, and her work in the process…
Did starting out as a journalist help inform your fiction and or writing?
Any kind of writing helps any other kind because a writer is always honing his/her craft. Working for a newspaper is a great discipline for a writer because there are deadlines and there are also space limitations, which means you have to give all the information but learn how to keep it brief and to the point.
What would you say are some of the main differences between your generation and Generation Y or my generation of Millennials?
I can only answer that by observing my three children who are all Millennials or Gen Y. They were born between 1966 and 1980. The obvious difference is that they are very quick to adapt to new technology. I am not. I consider the computer/laptop as a fancy typewriter with pictures and some information I can use for research.
In your opinion, does an Artists have any responsibility to society through their work?
The only responsibility that I have as a writer is to entertain my readers with my two mystery series. It was a bit different with my historical books. I did a ton of research and wanted to make the events, the settings and the real history as accurate as possible.
What do you make out of our ever evolving technology? (iphones, laptops, etc.).
I don’t have an iPhone, I do have an older model cell, but I rarely use it. I’ve never been on good terms with technology. When I was working for the phone co years ago in PR they introduced computers. The first—and only—time I tried to use the computer I blew out the entire system at 1600 Bell Plaza. Nobody there ever asked me to use a computer again.
What drew you to writing as a creative expression?
I started telling stores as soon as I learned to talk. Oddly enough, grown-ups seemed to be amused by then. I decided there might be a future in telling stories as soon as I learned to write. I wrote my first mystery when I was 11 or 12.
From your debut Love’s Pirate to your Bed & Breakfast series, Romance and Mystery seem to be the mainstay in your work, what draws you to these genres?
Romance novels never were my sort of thing. My first published book was originally written as a straight historical novel, but when I got an agent in New York, he told me the historical novels were out and romance was in. The solution, was to keep my original more or less intact and to add some sex scenes along the way. I wrote the first 85 pages of the B&B mystery on a whim. I was tired of writing historical romances (did 7 of them) and told my agent I wanted a change. He said NO, the money wasn’t in mystery, but in romance. On the sly, I managed to sneak those first 85 pages into an editor at Avon and was offered a 3-book contract two weeks later. Then I had to call my agent and tell him what I had done. After the first B&B book came out I heard from an editor I’d worked with earlier on who had now moved on to Ballantine/Random House. He wanted to know if I could write a second mystery series for him. I hadn’t thought about it, but suddenly I thought of the old abandoned logging town of Alpine where my parents and grandparents and other relatives had lived between 1916 and 1929 before the logging was finished and the town was shut down forever. The result of that series has been that Alpine is now on the state register of Historic Ghost Towns.
For Millennials, if you could impart any piece of advice, perhaps something that has always served you well from when you were starting out, what would it be?
Never take on a job you don’t like. I never did. And for writers, I quote Hemingway: The art of writing is applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. In other words, you can’t wait for inspiration.
I want to personally thank Mary and encourage you to check out her website.
an essay by Laura Storch
It seems as if the large majority of the world is under the impression the internet is going to destroy us all. As if it is something humankind didn’t create. Although to be fair, it does seem to be larger than life these days, and growing in power. Generations that came before the millennial generation and did not grow up with the internet like millennials did, seem especially susceptible to paranoia and misuse. This is apparent in everything from the music industry’s inability and almost refusal to adapt to the changing listening landscape (such as streaming sites), to every time a politician or other prominent social figure forgets that hacking is a thing and sends something that they wouldn’t want public via email or social media , and are surprised when they are hacked and held accountable. That is not to say the younger generations don’t have their fair share of internet idiocy, but in general they have adapted to it on an almost evolutionary level since the internet grew up with us.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard a similar lecture from older relatives reflecting on “their day” as if nothing bad ever happened prior to 1980. And although I can accept the fact that the birth of the world wide web changed things, I just don’t always see that as a bad thing. For starters, I can’t help but think how much easier it could have made things for everyone from earlier civil rights and feminist activists to the punk movement of the 1970’s. I don’t see how it is wise for anyone to underestimate the power of a global forum where virtually anyone and everyone from around the world can connect. I find that overwhelmingly powerful, in the same way the sky or the ocean is bigger than us, the internet and its contents is as well. It’s hard to fathom a world where one could not find a seemingly infinite stream of information. Especially as a student, it makes self-educating more possible than ever. And anything that gives the power of knowledge to the people is something I can’t help but condone.
That isn’t to say there aren’t some negative aspects to rise of the internet. The cliches of people who’s phones have become somewhat of an additional appendage, one that is essential for existence, isn’t completely inaccurate. The internet also can be a magnet for every loser with internet access to flood otherwise worthwhile content with negativity, ignorance, and propaganda. As social media rises it is crucial for culture and society to not see that as the only means for communication, but rather a meeting spot to further develop relationships of all kinds in a more personal way. In the grand scheme of things, the internet and social media are very new phenomena that have not been an essential part of life and culture for very long. Naturally, there is going to be an adaptation period that we might very well be experiencing right now. This is evidence in the misuse, misrepresentation, and constant debates involving all things technological. We see some of our art contemplate such philosophical questions as well. Shows such as the British show “Black Mirror” (brilliantly) depicts such paranoia in such a way that seems a little futuristic yet just feasible enough that it makes the viewer think in such philosophical ways in terms of technology and how it could potentially impact our lives. To go back to my prior comparison of the vastness and infinite appearance of the ocean and the sky and now the internet, there’s one key difference. Humankind made the internet. Some see it as our baby, others as our Frankenstein, but one thing that can’t be denied from either side of the debate is the substantial potential the internet has for good. This is our creation, our super power, it’s just up to us to use our power for good.
Location: Brentwood, NY
Dream job: Astronomer
Current job: Cheesecake Factory
“I rent a one bedroom for an arm and a leg, work at a job where I need to make more, and am currently going to have to take on a second job just to make ends meet,” Kerri expresses frustrated, though accepting of his current situation.
“When I was a child I used to look up at the night sky, see the stars and the moon, and be completely moved by all of it. No matter how bad things got, I could always escape by looking up at that miraculous sky,” she makes note very emotionally. In the meatime however, she is currently staying focused as she hustles in her position as a cashier and on-call at her restaurant, a place she’s worked at for almost a decade. “The people are great and it really is like a second family to me,” she says when referring to her job.
She is working toward accomplishing becoming an astronomer, owning a house, and one day starting a family. As she sees these things as being a source of wonderment but achievable nevertheless, like in her childhood, looking up at that miraculous sky. It’s only a matter of time, and with the optimism and hard work she clearly displays, it really is.
Location: Coram, NY
Dream job: Oncologist
Current job: Assistant
“It’s always a struggle to live every day,” Toniann says from the dwellings of her miniscule apartment.
All things considered, that would definitely seem like the case for her, being the soul breadwinner for herself, fiance Brian (33) and her two children, both of whom have learning disabilities.
Initially completing a one year program to become a medical assistant, she was hard pressed to actually find employment, and does not personally recommended it. “Go to school to get your nursing degree,” she urges others considering to take a similar course as she did, adding, “medical assistant is a hard thing because there really aren’t any jobs after.” However, her positive altitude still never waivers as she continues to push on. She has wanted to be an oncologist, working with cancer patients since her grandparents became stricken with the illness when she was a child, and took solace taking care of them, wishing to one day have her dream profession of being able to do the same.
“I’ve always loved helping people,” she says modestly. What’s interesting to note is the irony in being her job, allowing her to help patients but not in the hands on capacity as she’d like, staying at a distance as an assistant in an eye care center. Increasingly enough, with a heavy heart she states,”ever since I saw my grandparents suffer from cancer, I wanted to be able to make their dreams come true, but, as she seems so close to things that become so far away, when do her dreams become a reality?
a personal essay by Chris Guzman
The state in which we find our generation in today is a very ambiguous one. We find ourselves between a rock and a hard place when all our lives we’ve been told to go to schools that are less than adequate and have been for quite some time. We eventually further our education that’s too expensive, to earn a degree that leaves you at a losing position with an insurmountable debt (at least, depending on the degree), and the jobs that pay less than adequate money to effectively live a stable lifestyle, which is the burden we are left with once we graduate from these institutions. My personal experiences are not unlike what I’ve described above, and because I know better, I choose not to follow in with the whole trap that society has blindly accepted as the be all end all to life’s problems. I myself at 27 years old have been through a roller coaster of job search, job landing, of all kinds, from the physical, laborious jobs like moving, and stocking, to clerical office jobs, like mail and file clerk positions. I haven’t been able to hold these jobs for very long due to my ever-curious nature together with gauging which jobs are better suited for me in the long run and a few not-so-nice personalities. My motto is, what’s the point of living life if you can’t experience all that it has to offer?
To me it’s very important that I not be tied down to one path because there is so much unexplored territory that we constantly miss because we as a society are too into our careers and too encumbered by the stresses of life. This goes for my work life but I realize that I carry it over into my general life, as a life philosophy. I feel that society, especially in this country sees your career and associates that with power. Power is thought to last forever when we fail to realize that this power has been given to us through people in higher positions than us, and powers above them, and that they can be revoked, at any time for no reason. We buy big houses, big cars, big screen TV’s, basically shit we don’t need to keep up with the Joneses to prove to others how good we’ve got it. Yeah we’ve got plenty to show for all of our hard work we did in life, but I guarantee you, it’s all because someone in a higher position than us decided to give it to us and just as fast as they gave us that $50k or $60k job, they can take it away. It’s the illusion of power.
As soon as we come down from the euphoria of the “American Dream” or the life we’ve always wanted which is usually by a firing or lay-off, what does all of your “hard work” mean then? Why is it that you get 20k less at the new job you find than what you were making at the job you were laid-off from? People play with your worth, your monetary value. These are things I think about when I philosophize about American life and what it means to me as a young adult in my generation. I’ve also developed this perspective when I changed jobs very frequently and realized the frail reality of what it means to have a position that someone gives you because you have credentials they find valuable at the moment. In the end, when we’ve lost what we’ve worked for, experiences are all we have. People commit suicides over these losses. To me that resembles how closely some people can identify with their belongings and lifestyle. Who gives our experience value? We do, but that doesn’t pay the bills to afford our most basic needs lest we go back to our hunter/gatherer roots.
Tyler Durden in Fight Club had a point when he said “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” To me, that quote rings very true in general and especially when it comes to what it means to work for a seemingly secure position that affords you privileges that can be revoked at any time for any reason. What I’m saying with all this is that we have to live in a more reasonable way that doesn’t involve so much pressure on our very existence. Why is it that other economies can thrive with less money, but less stress, low to non-existent suicide and murder rates, lower tuition rates and we can’t? Eventually I myself will come up with my own conclusions to my own questions but they should only be the foundations for newer questions, but that is what I find exciting about life.
There is always something we can learn about our environment and why we are here on earth to do so. This is what I think about as a man in my generation, and I feel like it gives a very accurate picture as to what I feel should be the very issues that should be talked about more in the general public.
Written by: Louis Falcinelli
Tagline: Males… in the Millennial Age!
Synopsis: Four buddies navigate through all the trails and tribulations of adulthood while trying to maintain what it means to be a man under the microscope of social media.
Running Time: Half Hour
Enclosed in an attached PDF below is the pilot episode.
For press or representation inquiries regarding the show and its development, please email: email@example.com
PAUL LAFARGE, AUTHOR. ACADEMIC (RESPONSIBLE FOR INCORPORATING A HYPERLINK IN HIS NOVEL LUMINOUS AIRPLANES, WHICH TAKES THE READING EXPERIENCE TO A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE) DISCUSSES HIS WORK, HIS GENERATION, AND THE FUTURE OF MILLENNIALS…
For your novel Luminous Airplanes, the immersive text or hyperlink was ingenious as a literary device. How did it initially occur? I think in the age of the Millennials, a more multimedia experience could definitely benefit us. In term of expanding the readership. How do you feel about this?
Throughout your work, I keep coming across a theme of DISAPPEARANCE (e.g. Frank’s parents’ in The Artist of The Missing, Charlie in The Night Ocean) and OPEN CREATION (Like The strong presents Lovecraft plays in The Night Ocean or the painter and Frank Himself in The Artist of The Missing. Not to mention Haussmann in Haussmann or the Distinction, being a sole creator and destroyer and the story setting around the repercussions of such a duality). I mean the examples are numerous. Does this derive from a conscious effort or the stories just unfold how they do? I feel there’s more at play here, subconsciously maybe?
Where do you feel the form of communication in terms of relaying artistic expression will evolve into?
As a GenXer yourself, was there any pieces of literature you felt inspired by growing up, and any that relates today in regards to my generation of millennials?
Where would you say we have gone as a society, from a literary standpoint and in general in the form of what we digest, and where are we going, and how will that effect, either positively or otherwise for Millennials?
Anything you wanna promote?
REX PICKETT author, filmmaker, fellow artist, revealed underlying message in his work, openness of the generations, and bearing one’s own being
I feel in your novel Sideways, Miles is indicative of a passive figure who’s also self-serving in his own right while Jack is more of a dominant, impulsive force. Do you see a parallel from your generation?
There is no question that he is the classic Jungian introverted/thinking type and Jack is his polar opposite: the extraverted/feeling type. I don’t think about this when I’m writing, but I see it after the fact. There is no question that Jack is more of a force of nature.
I see the wineries representing a bliss or a haven if you will. Almost metaphor for relaxation, where you going for this? Also, ironic how that same sampling of wine has a consumption aspect that plays into their bliss, again, done deliberate? By the end of the book, I’m feeling no matter what they’ve consumed, vis-à-vis; wine, women, adventure, it never amounts to much, as the characters themselves still aren’t satiated. Almost like you’re saying we’re never fulfilled no matter how much we take in which is why we just need to be content within ourselves?
“There is no question that Miles — like me at the time — needs to get away. He’s leaving with little or no money, but on a minor high: his book has a chance at publication. Everyone’s dream. Jack is leaving on a high, too, because he’s got one last week of unadulterated freedom to be whomever he wants to be, drink, get down with his friend Miles, maybe get a dose of life lessons from his intellectual — and recently divorced! — friend. Miles is too smart to think that wine, or a one-week trip, is going to be an anodyne to any of his life’s worries. He may want to indulge, he may want to get away from the pressure cooker of his life — different in the book than in the movie, by the way — but his life is always there. No amount of wine will make it go away, even if it appears at time that neither know the meaning of insatiate. Nothing anyone does will ever prevent anyone from expunging the obvious: we’re all going to die. It doesn’t matter how much success you have, or whatever, that fate is inevitable. And Miles is keenly aware of it. Jack doesn’t think like that. Miles wants to get away from his life. And Jack needs an escape before he begins his life.”
Do you feel Jack and Miles’s journey is really a vacation, never an exploration?
What starts out as a vacation, and turns into a disaster of sorts, is really, as I wrote above, in retrospect, a great crimson blot on the trajectory of their lives. And Jack gets this! He says it in the book and the play. Miles will one day write about it and make him and Jack famous, as I did. But at the time, in the moment, it’s Jack who has this revelation. In the movie, it’s in Jack’s wink to Miles at the wedding. But, in the book/play it’s in dialogue, and eloquently expressed by Jack, even with his limited vocabulary. To me, it is an unbelievable exploration of their whole beings, their entire souls. They descend into the proverbial realm of Persephone and make it back, transformed. The comedy maybe undercuts this quasi-hero’s journey and, if viewed only as a comedy, can seem trivial. But, if it were just a comedy, and not a journey of the soul, the film would not have stood the test of time. Okay, maybe they need the wine to disinter those deeper feelings — uninhibiting them, as it were, to get there — but it’s only in going to the dark side that they realize something greater. In that sense it is way more than a vacation, but I never wanted to hammer anyone over the head with some ham-fisted, sausage-fingered message-mongering story. In the end, to sell despair, and psychological growth through despair and desperation and deprivation, I needed the via regia of comedy.
I feel like at the heart of Sideways you’re conveying human connection, in various forms, was that the underlying statement?
Was the Sideways trilogy a conscious work against the backdrop of the society you know and the culture you live in?
I take from real life, from the era I’m writing in, and then I fictionalize for my narrative needs. If that answers your question. It’s not so much about where society is at. It’s where Miles is at. Writing is not an avocation; it’s a life. If you aren’t prepared to give it your life, then you’ll probably never make it.
Life is not a meritocracy. Sadly, with wealth inequality, nepotism — which is rampant in Hollywood — not everyone has the same shot. I hate it when people say that if you work harder than others, or you’re more talented, that you’ll find a way to make it. Bullshit. I’ve seen so many people who were mediocre talents who went on to have great careers because they got more than one chance. I’m not going to name the names, but everyone knows them. There’s no question that desire and the need to want to say something, as opposed to people who have the need to say something so they can live the lifestyle, will get you further than not having any talent, but there’s no question that having people believe in you is important.
People often will say to me that I must live a charmed life. To which I always reply: You wouldn’t want to live the life I’ve lived in order to live the ostensibly charmed life I’m currently living.
If you want to write you have to read, read, and read. And write. I’m of the school that you should just vomit it out and fix it in revisions. I’m also of the belief that you should have the story adumbrated in your head all the way to the end — yes, all the way to the end — before you begin. 2017 Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro wrote his legacy work The Remains of the Day in 4 weeks!! Sure, he spent half a year researching and ideating it, but he wrote the book in 4 weeks. He’s my hero. But, everyone’s process is different.
Furthermore, do you feel an Artist has a duty to the world in which they occupy or only to themselves?
This is a very deep question. Well, if you’re a published writer you’re going to be judged — presumably — for all time — because your work’s in print. Artists — the good ones — don’t ask for a lot from the world. They’re not in high demand. True artists. Most people I meet who want to be “artists,” really just want to live the lifestyle — agent, high-level meetings … they want all the superficial, materialistic trappings of the life, and don’t want to do the hard work, suffer — like Miles — the rejections, the hardships, the abandonment of family and friends when you persevere and they’ve given up on you, as they inevitably do. So, first, you have a responsibility for your own welfare, I guess, but you would be inhuman if you didn’t believe that your art could move somebody in the world that maybe helped them see their own predicament in it in a brighter, more brilliant light. My greatest moments aren’t when I get a royalty check. They’re when somebody writes me and says how much my work has moved them. So, I don’t think the artist has a duty, per se, to the world, but they do have a duty, I believe, to be honest to their characters, to their story. But, it’s harder and harder in this sell-out world of sensationalist garbage.
Finally, my generation of Millennials are up against a lot, no doubt, what would you offer in terms of us gaining footing in the world, in general?
“The Internet is a dark road to infinity potholed with links. Just as the tobacco industry did everything they could to keep your addicted to their horrible product — ditto for the sugar industry; Big Pharma — remember, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, only want one thing from you: your endless, mindless engagement. They see your brain as an ATM machine, the same way Big Pharma does, Big Sugar, the medical professions. Your mind, your body, is the last frontier of exploitative, colonialist capitalism. I hope to God your generation understands that you are being conned by this technology. And that comes from someone writing this on a MBP in an email browser. I hope to God your generation realizes that they control their minds and their bodies and not these venal capitalistic interests, driven by insanely powerful computers, competing for you very soul. Resist.”
Rex Pickett is currently writing The Archivist, a novel for Blackstone Publishing. And he will soon be working on the libretto for Sideways the musical comedy with composer Anthony Adams
Amongst THE BOTTLE ROTTERS WE FIND ONE OF THE MOST HARD WORKING GENERATIONS where elitism is foreign and hard work is ever present. Apparent as the results are in!
81% have donated money, goods or services, (ACCORDING TO Walden University and Harris Interactive). Considering the sparse job market and fact that they are the most in debt generation in modern age it is inspiring how they give very generously.
Outdoing Generation X in the largest amount of contributors in the American workforce. (Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.)
FACINGTHE STRUGGLE OF A STILL SUFFERING, STAGNANT ECONOMY, THEIR VAST PLANS NEVERTHELESS ARE UNDERWAY TO BRANCH OUT INDEPENDENTLY.
Unfortunately the days of living free is a hurdle, as 18- to 34-year olds are considerate to be homeward found (pew reports). No doubt in large part to the student debt crisis in what Bloomberg reports $1 trillion in student debt.
The journey ahead is fierce but the movement never stops for a millennials/bottle rotter!
Name: Christopher Coop
Location: Lived all over island, but graduated in Centereach
Favorite Quote: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” – Harvey Firestone
Overview: Graduated with an MBA in 2010, gave my life to The Lord a year later. Attempting to figure out God’s plan
Current Job: Ops Manager
Dream Job: Serving The Lord in all ways
Hope for the generation: That people would turn away from idolatry and lean toward The Lord
Promoting: The World race. God can use you to build his Kingdom for 11 months
Adam Shepard, Author (Scratch Beginnings, One Year Lived) Public Speaker, and all around Cooool Dude, shares his thoughts on AMERICA, MILLEINAILS, and HIS OWN MESSAGE on improving where we are and where we’re currently going, as a GENERATION as well as a NATION in general.
When you set out to embark on this social experiment that became Scratch Beginnings you had stated initially that you didn’t know if it was a book, you just wanted to shed new light on what you felt was already confirmed, that of, The American Dream was still very much alive for anyone who wanted it, which had in subsequent years been more grimly portrayed, motivating your experiment in the first place. Do you believe since writing it that The American Dream has been more stifled or just as obtainable?
The American Dream is just as obtainable now as always. The American Dream is not a time period or a particular economy or good luck and bad luck. And it’s most certainly not a woe-is-me-in-these-circumstances scenario. The American Dream is an attitude that exists here, as it does in other free and democratic countries, that if you wake up in the morning and decide that you are going to kick your day in the ass, you can. And if you want to sleep until 11am, well, you can do that, too.
Out of the Great Depression emerged a great generation of workers and entrepreneurs and thinkers. And the same has been true since this country was founded as it was during our most recent recession, that the economy will always ebb and flow, but the attitude of the American Dream remains constant.
Do you feel it’s a particularly challenging time for Millennials as of now? If so, what can they do to utilize what’s available to them in terms of breaking through?
The challenge for Millennials now is to break through a sense of entitlement that has been ingrained in us from the compilation of our parents, our teachers, television, and social media. Society has dictated that we are special, or different from any other generation, and the fact is that we are not. Once we recognize that, we recognize that we have the capacity to be good or bad, lazy or hardworking, kind or mean, frugal or spendthrift, greedy or selfless. And once we recognize that capacity, we can recognize that Millennials have the power to break through and make a positive impact on this world. It’s up to us whether we want to exercise that power. Or sleep ’til 11am.
In just the last decade we have seen a major shift in the country; politically, economically, socially, etc. Where do you see the vast, unique landscape of America currently going?
If I knew that, I would be writing to you from one of my many homes, this one on Barbados, and I would shortly be boarding my private jet to go have dinner with my wife in Paris for the evening. I guess the excitement, though, and what keeps me getting up in the morning, is that we don’t know where it’s going. That what we have today could be gone tomorrow, and that is a very exciting challenge, and one that we can control with our effort and our spending habits and how we treat people.
Do I interest myself in political candidates and interest rates and who my friends are? Sure, but I only do so to the extent that I recognize there are things that I can and cannot change, and regardless of the swirl or calm around me, I’m going to keep plowing forward with the same conviction.
Technology, essentially for Millennials, seems to have even affected our sensibilities, as no one has to deal with real conflict or engagement, when a majority of us are on our phones, on our computers, completely disengaged. How can we redirect this in a more positive fashion?
Take time to step away. It’s simple. Technology is a beneficial component of all of our lives, but it also has the dark side, and much like gambling or alcohol or hashish, it can be abused. So use it to your benefit for an hour or two (technology, not hashish), and then walk away and realize how beautiful it is to cuddle up and read a book, to meet a friend for coffee and dive into some heavy issues, to take a moment to engage a stranger with a smile or a nod or a wave.
When you give your lectures, what are some of the main focal points you try to instill amongst your audience to lend themselfs to a more fulfilling way of life?
My talk isn’t so much centralized in seeking to help someone fulfill their life as much as it is to say, “Hey buddy. Life is tough. And awesome. And when you get kicked in the teeth, you either get back up or you lie there whimpering. And when you win, you either call and tell everybody how fantastic you are or you work to capitalize on that win.”
Dealing with failure, maintaining a positive attitude, setting goals, getting after it…every speaker’s messages–including mine–are commonplace but if they are wrapped around entertaining stories, they can be packaged in such a way that those messages become very real and relatable.
Can you tell us about shepardspeaks.com?
I have been fortunate over the last 8 years to travel the country addressing these very same issues with high school and college audiences around the country. I love it. Storytelling is what I do, and when I speak to an audience, and then I get an email that says that I touched someone in the audience, and inspired them to action, it makes my life a little bit more worthwhile than it already is.
Is there a main source toward where your inspiration lies in terms of your natural desire to explore the uncharted, like putting yourself in places you haven’t’ been, encounters you wouldn’t normally have, people you wouldn’t normally meet?
The inspiration comes from my parents, and it is the belief that experience trumps income.
In the middle of it all, a few years ago, I took a year to travel around the world. I volunteered in Central America, I worked on a cattle station in Australia, I rode elephants in Thailand, and I spent a couple of months traveling around Europe with my future in-laws. (Oh yeah, and I fought bulls.) And all along the way, as my eyes continued to widen, I gathered this sense that as long as we remain curious, it is incredible what we can learn about the world around us.
And even more exciting is how those teachings, while enriching our lives, allow us to then give back to the world in a very purposeful way.
Finally, What’s on the horizon for Adam, in what direction does your journey currently take you?
I just finished working on a second feature-length documentary (with a really skilled and passionate group of Millennials!), and now I have another really big project in my sights (that I can’t quite discuss at the moment).
I just moved to Orange County, California for my lovely wife Ivana to go to grad school, and we’re loving it out here.
Well, I wanna personally thank Adam, and know he’ll be fulfilled as he continues on his journey.
By. Izzy B. Rael
They say that insanity is the action of desired change, yet doing the doing nothing to actually change the current results. Well, I guess to some degree we are all insane. We wait and pray for new jobs, new spouses, and sometimes even a new life. We are human and with being human we are fickle at times. Not really understanding that our actions have an uncompromising consequence. We are creatures of habit, and even in the moments of our knowing disasters, we seemingly choose to blame the universe. Life in my opinion is about the deeds, not the amount of material items we can account for in a closet or a bank account. This ideology is not something new or profound. But I find that life is more about the people we impact. Money makes the world go around is a phrase that I have found to be completely idiotic. Money only has the value that we put on it. So, why don’t we put this same importance on people as we do on money? I believe that it is easier to love something that you do not have to give patience to or have to allow into the depths of our dark realities. Our dark realities really consist of our ability to lie to ourselves. We will lie to our lives about everything. From the people we love to the dreams we tell ourselves that we still desire to achieve. Love is about as insane of thing to lie to yourself about, yet we do it anyway.
I remember telling my mother once that love changed, and she quickly replied, “love never changes but people’s perception of love changes.” I have seen marriages fail and relationship falter like the fall of Roman aqueducts after a few hundred years. The aqueducts were a great idea and were inventive for the day, and just like these relationships they collapsed. Not because they were not meant but it was like all great things, they age and the next invention improves on the last. We are blinded by our desire to fight our ability to look in the mirror and deal with the monsters in our inner being. Some of are afraid what we might find, and afraid once we find the monster are afraid what maybe told to us by this monster. We all have demons, so why do we judge others regarding their demands. I think it is the main-state of psychologist. We all have the ability see ours problems and can provide a detailed path of how to escape the issues, but that ability seems to escape us in our relationship issues. I guess, it’s like seeing a storm from miles away, you can tell those in the village how to get out, but the villages can only see the flooded areas. You cannot love someone else if you do not love who are at that moment. If you do not know what being loved feels like how can you show love to someone else. At that moment love is only a theory, a concept of ideas and it is not real. Can you watch a movie a alone or do you need the breathing of others to quite your thoughts. Wanting the best for yourself starts with the inner-self.
Personal Growth is something that we seem smirk at when one mentions it today. The statement “I want to find myself”, seems have an undercurrent that one is lost and does not no know they are or their place in the world. I seem to think the opposite, I think that it inner-being knowing that they are capable of more than what the world is offering them at that time. It knows there is a higher plane of existence in the physical that their inner-being is craving. Many old world religions and practices speak of it; it’s the connection of the physical and the spiritual. Or simple put, the avatar state from ‘The Last Airbender’. It’s a scary journey walking in the spiritual realm for the first time but fear is an illusion. It is what stops us from ascending to our true self. Some may need to travel, some may need to suffer (emotional, mentally), and some may never understand or experience the feeling all together. But I believe every human at sometime or another needs to ask the all-important question when he or she are alone, “What am I worth?” The next question is “what is my time worth?” Time is the only currency that cannot be replenished. ‘What are you worth?’ Every moment is not like the last, don’t allowing the world to make you believe differently. Carpe Diem!
– Until we speak again
“Load up on guns, bring your friends It’s fun to lose and to pretend. She’s over bored and self assured. Oh no, I know a dirty word.”
Those are the introductory lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, off of Nirvana’s sophomore, acclaimed album, Nevermind, solidifying their stance as Grudge royalty, and propelling its frontman, Kurt Cobain, as its King.
The music video, reading like a f*ck you statement to young adult conformity, set in a rundown auditorium, where an almost zombify cheerleading squad, with classic high school stereotypes, preps, stoners, slackers, wastoids, among others, scattered throughout in the bleachers, and flashes of a withered janitor, perhaps hearing the sound of the music, which in turns ignites his own nostalgia for a younger time but now long behind him. The sentiment in the song of true distain for tainting our youth with phony conventions, rang true then as it does today.
Their Songs, deeper, darker, probing, with perhaps an emphasis on examination of youth culture. Their Style, plain, worn, carefree. Their Attitude, much like their style, while throwing it all out there to be heard. This struck a cord with the music psyche at the time, when an infusion for something different was very much needed, with the more conventional sounds of rock and roll, needing an interjection, for a different kinda sound, style, and attitude, and through Nirvana, they certainly got it.
Cobain, a solemn, somewhat even reserved, introspective man, piercing eyes, scruffy face, and long hair draped in his eyes was certainly probing for questions.
His own adolescence marred in early disillusionment, parents divorce, high school dropout, where a young Kurt struggled to find his place, seeking solace in the creation of those hard hitting sounds, that would become the impetus for his band, and a source of refuge for all he sought against and embraced in one cycle. It more than likely lent itself to not only the frustration of his own inner demons, tragically taking his own life in ’94 at only 27 (self inflected gunshot wound) but also spoke to that same generation he grew up in, known as GenXers.
For as Bleak as the band could get and the unfortunate demise of its leader, they posed questions, raised awareness, and above all, made us think, while at the same time delivering it to us in that aggressive sound, penetrating lyrics, aware, but smart enough to deliver it abrupt, in your face way, to emphasis their point, in the age of immediacy they knew to deliver it intensely and timely, to truly reach the masses of young people, speaking to their inner self, what was at their inner core, well, whatever, nevermind…
By: Louis Falcinelli
Interviews for anyone can be quite nerve-racking, especially in today’s shaky economy, many-a-times you seem to be bobbing and weaving, when it comes across more like a force-field or interrogation than it does an actual interview.
So what is a bottle rotter to do?
I can recall being at an interview, where I was so fine tuned, so perfectly prepped, I thought, there isn’t any question I can’t answer.
Q: What would you say are your strengths?
A: Efficiency. (I feel like this one covers it all.) To be efficient is to be on time, hardworking, and devoted.
Q: Where do you see yourself within the company?
A: Continuing to advance and progress. (They always love this one, cause it means you’re not going to flee.)
Then, the powerhouse question hit:
Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?
What?!?! Weaknesses? But I have no weaknesses, I thought. How can they ask such a question?! How do they expect me to answer this?!?!
Stumped, I quickly answered, something to the effect of ah… I… I would say, sometimes it’s hard for me to focus (inside voice: worst possible thing to say! cover!! quickly cover!!!) Not that I’m not focus, I can just sometimes I… um.. Too much of something can hinder someone’s ability to stay focused and not work as productive (inside voice: greeeattt! that just made it worse!)
They nodded and smiled, and needless to say, I didn’t get the job. It was after, as in…
during the ride home.. later on my bed, pondering… waking up in cold sweats reliving it.. where I finally figured out what was going on.
I got it now! This was a trick question, a wild card that they throw into the mix to see how well you fair. Obviously I hadn’t really faired. The whole point of the exercise was to be aware and ready, efficient, in the purest of forms, instead of just saying the word as a clever façade. It was to demonstrate it. I had learned a valuable lesson, something of “practicing what you preach,” and no that’s not just a Madonna song.
If given the opportunity to answer it again, I would combine what I had learned and build on it from the question, for instance, in the interview do over (if ever such an incredible thing existed) and that question came again:
Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?
Here would be my genuine answer:
A: I would say that sometimes, for all my strengths of being an efficient employee, I may overwork myself in the process, and need to take a moment, as to not lose track at the task at hand.
Blam! I aced it! I provided the essentials as to what I can offer as a good employee and in the process admitted that I am not a robot and may need a moment to recharge just so I can go full force again. Something any respectable employer can surely understand.
Unfortunately, there are no interview do overs, or life do overs at that. Instead, I have to take what I’ve leaned and apply it the next time. So, until then…
By: Louis Falcinelli
You’ve heard the term, but what does it mean…
I was at a party and I made reference to this guy, around my age, late twenties, who I had heard of from his “crazy antics” on the web. I brought this up to my cousin *whose always hip* and she identified him immediately. “Oh ya, “he’s “internet famous,” she said without missing a beat.
“But what the f*ck is that?” I wondered.
“It’s like, you know, being known through the net. ”
Wow, I thought. I hadn’t heard the term. Of course, I knew of all those infamous viral videos of animals and people on youtube and whatnot, but an actual person having a label for it… when I searched my mind, I thought, yea, well this is definitely true.. but I needed to know more…
After doing some in-depth research (round 3 minutes) sure enough I had found it! On good ‘ol urban dictionary, which never disappoints:
After some more digging around (1 extra minute this time) I found a list of names (that you may or may not have heard of), but thought they were worth sharing, being that they seem to fit the mold:
Enjoy! I know I did, well… sorta.
What does your selfie say about you…
By: Louis Falcinelli
Selfie, a word recently admitted into the actual dictionary, (aka. the book of real words and stuff). The word is now as acceptable as a rachet hoe on a hot, sticky, sweaty summer’s day. But with everyone in selfie mode, how do you usually perceive your own? According to a 2013 British survey, 36 percent of bottle rotters (18-24) admitted they change their selfies before posting. Most of them retouch skin color (39 percent) or eye color (24 percent). 44 percent of those who edited their image said after changing one photo, they then edited every or most of the selfies they posted. I think anyone can relate to going filter mad when editing options are essentially endless.
MIRROR IMAGE, selfie devotees being used to seeing themselves in the mirror, might find it jarring that a 1977 study found that people preferred their mirror image to their real image. Imagine that? As in… not the mirror reflecting your own image into the lens which in turn captures you as well, so it’s not YOU YOU YOU from all avenues. Cites search engine journal, Selfie was officially added to OxfordDictinaries.com in August 2013. Rundown of facts:
- The first time that Selfie was used was in 2004 on Flickr.
- The word selfie in the English language has skyrocketed in use. It has increased by 17,000% since 2012.
- Google searches indicates selfie began increasingly popular in late 2012
Selfies in today’s culture take on all different forms:
But who are we to actually hold that camera phone up to our face to illuminate, attract, or frame in our direction? Are we content, insecure, or merely dealing with a culture that teaches, IT’S ALL ABOUT ME and nothing else matters. Well, one things for certain, when you’re bold enough to take your selfie, do it right this time, not too much, too soft, self style, which is just right.
President Obama’s dream of free community college for all may actually be a reality
By: Louis Falcinelli
Rundown of requirements:
(cites white house blog)
- What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program.
What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.
- What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.
Currently this is a proposal, we will update with any additional details
LET’S GO CLUBBIN, Or rather… LET’S RAVE!
By: Louis Falcinelli
BRIGHT LIGHTS, HYPNOTIC MUSIC, OVERFLOWING DRINKS, AND ENERGY GALORE!
“Welcome!” The environment immediately greets, as many bottle rotters have finally reached the pinnacle of social engagement.
It’s 10xs bigger than a club, with aspects of a lounge, sports bar, dive bar and hall, combining these aspects and bringing them to the next level, with everyone there to vibe as opposed to dance, to be lifted, instead of lax.
It’s a Rave.
“They’re fuckin’ awesome!” Fellow Raver says. But what is a Rave?
It has been described as a bond of closeness amongst people who congregate at them, that it’s so tight knit, many on the outside wonder what it is that has been so rapidly appealing among our generation. While there, no experience ever too fleeting, everyone thoroughly enjoying its offerings, having a deeper, more personal understanding, leading many to cite them as a “community of ravers,” people coming together for the sole purpose of engagement.
Not passive or having social hierarchy that many clubs or lounges emphasize. There is no need for materialistic items or statuses that people tend to use as their calling cards. Ravers build on the hype of the latest and best Dj/Dance music, transcending them to new heights, carefree emotions and substances (you can use your imagination). It fills the void or maybe it becomes part of it, however, raves have definitely struck a serious cord for fun in today’s world for any young person who may feel constricted, isolated or simply just want to get out there and rave, which is really another way of saying have fun. It has become an experience that young people devote themselves to when they make their outings.
One thing is for certain, It’s a new day and time for a night out on the town for a bottle rotter. It’s the day, the era, the age, to no longer just “club” but rather… to Rave!
By: Louis Falcinelli
Dating for a bottle rotter isn’t always perfect, then again is any relationship? However, the saying “how it’s done today isn’t how it was done back in the day,” still yields true, but it does have a twist for the way we communicate within the technology we are exposed to; cell phones, dating aps, texting, among many other ways to facilitate a relationship, but is this a way to express oneself in terms of how you feel, and who you really are…
Variable of options to take into consideration:
- Online Dating, making it much more accessible to meet people from all over the country.
- Dating Online, almost the reverse of online dating, you’re not on a dating site but you’re on a social media website, enabling you to facilitate a relationship of your choice. Send them a request, write a private message, like a comment, leave a sentimental “private message” in hopes it will lay the groundwork for a relationship. Many do find this a rarity nowadays, with the rise in social media visibility, keeping it more relative to who you know.
- Dating Apps, usually focused on the immediacy of meeting someone, with the start of a site like Hot or Not to the immediate rise of tinder.
LOVE which we know takes time to build a foundation on, may appear too accessible today, but it’s no wonder with rotters having it all at their fingertips, just a click of a button, a scroll of a mouse, a tap on a keypad, and they are instantly transported into the dating stratosphere, where the possibility of “LOVE” sold, seems more like it’s traded as a commodity with ad space right next to the picture of the one you wish to court, or a swipe which deems one individual from another worthy or unworthy based entirely off of physical attraction.
Have our hearts been fooled? Do we accept this as the new standard in how we love, how we court, and what a substantial relationship is built upon, or does it serve as just taking up time, filling up space, eliminating the void that remains to be there but hidden in the digital era of the dating pool…
Has this new dating styled cause less style, tact, or basic class and replaced it with a lack of etiquette that does speak to this day in age for having little to no idea about courtship, being that their already conditioned to removal brought upon from that distance online, controlling the conversation from a text, email, messenger, or another digital replacement for genuine affection. I mean, does an emoticon really do it when it comes to romance…
By: Louis Falcinelli
Some time back, I was driving through a familiar area, and caught, out of the side of my eye, a building, its lettering, faded, its color, worn, and its frame, essentially condemned. It had been a popular video store I had frequented in my youth, it was a Blockbuster. This shook me up, immediately transporting me back into the store that was the cornerstone of my youth, renting movies. Any bottle rotter can surely remember the days of waiting for your parent or guardian to get home just so you could go out and “rent a video”. It was on par with a heavenly experience to any child, as it allowed them to get out of the house and get lost in a place that manufactured a way for them to get lost in a reality of their choosing. You didn’t rent movies, you rented dreams, ideas, possibilities, in general.
Walking through the front door of this place filled with a variety of movie candy and popcorn, allowing you to roam the many genres, each aisle might as well have been another world from the box covers alone, laughing faces usually served as Comedy, frightening images or horrific expressions, Horror, space covers and or futuristic creatures, Sci-fi, and so on. It was an exploration or odyssey in its own right. Truly glorious.
There were instances where your parental figure could use it as a bartering tool:
“Now if you’re good will go to the video store.”
Or a punishment:
“Cause you were bad we’re now not going to the video store!”
Other times when you invited a friend over or you went to their house, this would add to your hanging out, serving as a popular social event, while still a preteen, and beyond. Late night rental sessions when you were old enough to drive, getting a few movies based on the most bizarre covers, some fast-food, and you were set! What a night! But… When we grew, technology seemed to get too advanced too quickly , and the days of no late fees and a buck a video, were no longer relevant, quickly replaced with an entire video store in a box. There was no more exploration, the odyssey had ended.
Now you either swipe a credit card and touch the screen for your movie of choice, or have it all from the comfort of your very own home, where your TV screen streams any movie, anytime, anywhere. Driving past this place, that nostalgia quickly rushed back, making me sad. Cause as fun as I had, and memories I shared, I thought, my children, the next generation of children, will never know Blockbuster or the like, well, they may know about it, but never be able to truly know that indescribable feeling of what it was like to go into a store, which was more than a store, and rent a movie, which was more than just renting one.
By: Louis Falcinelli
“Would you like fries with that?”
a phrase uttered time and again from the supposedly deemed underclassman, underachiever, slacker, struggler, or youth, working at a part time and or half fasted, dead end job, is now becoming a reality for the bottle rotter fully formed with a degree, skill set, or opportunist, looking to better themselves.
Younger workers who enter the workforce in lower wage jobs will have a hard time catching up later in their careers (cites New York Federal Reserve, taking into account over 200 million pieces of earnings data from 1978 to 2010.)
Some 58% of the jobs created during the recent economic recovery have been standard lower wage positions, like retail and food prep workers, (according to a 2012 report by the National Employment Law Project.) These low-wage jobs had a median hourly wage of $13.83 or less.
The rate of barely $14.00 or, more often than not substantially lower, make it a virtual impossibility to have any substantial independence, making millennials/bottle rotters stagnant in the advancement of their professional development, in trying to obtain a more decent position.
The jobs that were promised, hoped for, or needed, aren’t there right now, the ones that are there remain a grind to get into upper mobility within the social structure of all good “key holders” who are really weighing down bottle rotters, refusing to leave their coveted positions, due to a still recovering economy (they helped to put in the crapper), leaving that degree student, that educated opportunist, that hopeful one, waiting, as the John Mayer song says so brilliantly “…waiting on the world to change.”
How bottle rotters live smart and get penalized for it
By: Louis Falcinelli
In another example of how a stand has been taken amongst the younger generation. At 63 percent, bottle rotters (ages 18 to 29) don’t have a credit card. (According to a survey commissioned by Bankrate and compiled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.)
Bottle Rotters, 19 to 29 have around 1.5 credit cards on average, fewer than the 2 cards of Generation X borrowers (ages 30 to 46) and 2.7 cards of Baby Boomers (ages 47 to 65), (according to data provided by Experian, a credit reporting firm.) In addition, only 35 percent of adults 30 and above currently don’t have credit cards either… showing this trend being carried over to all those that precede the rotters.
On a conscious effort to be wary of the ways of their over indigent parents’ generation (baby boomers), with an economy they were in witness to exploding into their very wittle baby eyes, bottle rotters, now grown as young adults, are immune to the economic devastation done, and with financial debris scattered about for over a decade, they have made a valid action in restraint from the good ‘ol plastic. You think this would be commended, but instead, furthest thing from.
Through all this credit card withholding, or hardly using, has served to hurt their overall credit score by not giving into what they do not have an abundance of, (money). Leaving them with low credit, no credit, or unobtainable to posses one, simply because they didn’t want the “debt till death” tradition, honored since time immemorial, only now, seeing it as preventable by staying away from the card that loves to loan, that of which they do not want. However difficult the struggle, many currently remain committed to stay away from the hassles it incurs, interest rates, overdrawn fees, penalties, etc. adding to their already current disposition.
In a society where MORE is NOT LESS, because when you spend money you don’t have, it serves to advance lenders in thriving on your increased rates, principle balance, and any other additional, fine print charges you owe, all adding to suite the credit card companies, instead of your own interest (all pun intended).
By: Louis Falcinelli
SINGLE WORDS, EMOTICONS, Oh… and other fun things for your brain to decipher…
With the words used in the texting lexicon not exactly resembling the English language, the supposed side effects, unfortunate accidents, mishaps and promotion of social isolation, among other possible out causes attributed to this new phenomena, known as texting, has many, previous generation no doubt wondering, is texting really driving us mad?
As the technology of conversation only continues to develop, with the way we receive, relay and distribute, making it more accessible to say much without really having to converse, has a generation of bottle rotters against the grain of what many perceive as madness.
Rundown of facts:
TWD (Texting While Driving) 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council 11 teen deaths everyday – Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts Nearly 24% of ALL car accidents. (Approximate average) 44 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. (NCSL)
SIT (Socially Isolated Texter) Researchers at the University of Maryland studied 200 students after 24 hours of no texting or any media, found many of them were basically experiencing withdrawal, anxiety, and difficulty functioning.
Hyper-texting, texting more than 120 times a day, can lead to an increased risk of smoking, drinking and drug use, physical violence and sexual activity (study released in 2010 by the American Public Health Association reported). With the rise in a new way we communicate, it’s both an exciting though unpredictable entrance into the main stage of communication, with the youth obviously leading the way in this revolution.
Will it call for a mandate, moderator, or be given free rein, remains to be seen. What do you think or, WBU?
By: Louis Falcinelli
The stakes for wanting to be able to continue your education just got a little higher…
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the federal student loans have increased to over a trillion dollars, from 2007-2014, just a 7 year period!
It is in that time span that the median earning potential for a full time employed, approx 25 year old, has actually decreased, sites The U.S. Beau of Labor Statistics.
So this is to say that as the rise of debt continues to increase for students wanting higher education, the ability for their earning potential keep plummeting in the meanwhile.
Therefore, it should come to no surprise that the U.S. Department of Education reports that to the tune of 40%, roughly half the student debt, is not being paid back, and over 50% of borrowers are struggling to pay their loans on time, which doesn’t even factor in the actual loans, or the interest rates compounded on top of them, sinking a former student into the financial hole even more so.
When the costs have risen to such levels of almost nonsensicality while the earning potential continues to decline, making the education you are swimming in debt to afford more and more less valuable, serves as the ultimate irony, and a real cause for reform.