Something We’ve All Done

     Have you noticed how often other people are wrong? It’s amazing! Where did they come up with so many misconceptions and delusions? How can they live with such murk in their heads? How do they cope with the challenges of life?

     The italicized word in the above is a kind of shorthand. A contraction, really. It stands for “differs with me and refuses to see the error of his ways.”

     Yes, I chuckled as I wrote that. But I have a point. If you’re an average working stiff, it may not be of great importance to you personally. If you’re in business, it’s a life-or-death matter.

     Business is founded on a premise that must never be lost or set aside. It’s a simple one: so simple that anyone of normal intelligence can grasp it. In a land of nearly four million small businesses, it’s plain that a lot of people do grasp it. But there are some that don’t.

     The Premise is this:

You can only sell a man something he wants.

     That’s it. That’s all. Make something others want at a price they’re willing and able to pay, and you’re in business. But try to sell them something they don’t want, or something that offends them, and you’re soon on the bread lines.

     Yes, this is about “woke.” Specifically, today’s most prominent practitioner-victim of “woke,” the Disney Corporation. Let’s start here:

     An anonymous executive from The Walt Disney Company decided to blame moviegoers for the company’s films bombing at the box office.

     That’s just for openers. It gets better:

     [A]n anonymous Disney executive informed [Puck writer Matthew] Belloni that the fans are to blame for Disney’s film’s bombing.
     The executive informed Belloni, “Everyone says ‘It’s the movies, stupid,’ which is an easy thing for people to say. More appealing movies are a great way to jump the political issues. But more and more, our audience (or the segment of the audience that has been politicized) equate the perceived messaging in a film as a quality issue.”
     This executive continued, “They won’t say they find female empowerment distasteful in The Marvels or Star Wars [the latest trilogy starring Daisy Ridley], but they will say they don’t like those movies because they are ‘bad.’”
     The executive concluded, “So ‘make better movies’ becomes code for ‘make movies that conform to regressive gender stereotypes or put men front and center in the narrative.’ Which is what you’re seeing now, and what Bob [Iger]’s pivot is about right now.”

     That “anonymous executive” doesn’t seem to grasp The Premise. (Either that, or he sees Disney’s role in the world as promulgating the “woke” gospel.) The effects on the bottom line are plainly distasteful to him, but he refuses to make Disney take responsibility for them.

     Disney, a huge power in entertainment, became a priority target of The Left some time ago. Clearly, The Left has colonized and conquered the movie division at least. Apparently, any non-Leftist executives – i.e., any that retain the power to redirect Disney’s movies into channels the viewing public actually wants to see – have been emasculated. (Yes, I chose the word emasculated deliberately. With malice aforethought, you might say.) The consequences for Disney’s revenues are self-demonstrating and self-explanatory.

     Now, all by itself this is a “yeah yeah, so what?” sort of topic. Anyone with three functioning brain cells will know that no company can prosper by trying to sell a product no one wants. The interesting part is that “anonymous executive’s” decision to define Disney’s missing customers as wrong. “They should like the movies! They should be willing to pay to see them! We should be able to deluge the cinemas with ‘woke’ messages – even when those messages pollute valuable franchises with large, previously loyal customer bases!”

     The above variety of “reasoning” is a large part of why I habitually sneer-quote the word “should.”

     In our imaginations, we can construct any sort of environment we like. We can dream of a world in which we’re desired by every beautiful woman we meet. We can imagine ourselves as world-shakers, universally lauded as the heroes of the millennium. We can even get our kids to clean up their rooms because they want to, rather than needing to be hectored about it. But that’s not where we live outside of our dreams.

     The shortest of all paths to total failure is to define anyone whose desires or preferences differ from yours as “wrong.” It doesn’t matter why you’re moved to do so. It will be fatal to whatever you’re attempting. Yet virtually everyone I know – yes, including myself – has done it at some time or other.

     Just an early-morning thought.

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  1. […] Just yesterday, I wrote about the egregious commercial sin of defining others’ desires and preferences as […]

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