Friend Songs-SiriusXM This Week

Songs with “Friend” in the title.

Tune in Saturday May 20th, to Faction Talk, channel 103, at 4 PM East, 1 PM West.

Phone #: 844-686-5863

Twitter: @lefsetz

If you miss the episode, you can hear it on demand on the SiriusXM app. Search: Lefsetz

Two Important Articles

“The Unexpected Reason Apple Is Dominating the U.S. Smartphone Market – It’s not just lavish marketing and the threat of green bubbles—Apple’s commitment to supporting old phones has allowed it to capture a part of the market once cornered by inexpensive Android devices”:

I can’t get this article out of my head.

Last night I wrote about the “New York Times”‘s new Audio app. And I promptly received e-mail from “Times” subscribers complaining that it doesn’t work on Android, at least not yet.

You recall the memo. Apple lost the market share race in smartphones, although it won the profitability game. Steve Jobs threatened to sue Google for Android, calling it a copycat. So Apple kept raising prices and the world went Android. Or did it?

Apple’s market share is climbing around the world, and it’s primarily due to used phones. You see they have a shelf life, value, that Androids do not. And they tend to look the same to boot. So you can buy an old iPhone for a couple of hundred bucks and be a member of the club.

And those club members get hooked on the Apple ecosystem and buy not only further Apple products, but Apple subscriptions.

To the point that Apple’s U.S. smartphone market share was 50% in June, and 52.5% in December. And one of the great drivers of this increased market share is the youth. If your messages appear in a green bubble, you’re ostracized, it must be blue. The youth start trends, you lose them at your peril, they form brand relationships at a young age, so this is a good sign for Apple.

And overseas, you can get a high status iPhone for a couple of hundred bucks used. So market share is climbing there too.

So, wait long enough and the iPhone might dominate around the world.

And why is this happening? Primarily because Apple controls the operating system and supports old iPhones with new software for years.

So it appears conventional wisdom is wrong. The iPhone is not a niche product solely supported by the wealthy.

You can keep your Android phone. You can tell me how it’s more customizable, but there will come a point, much earlier than with an iPhone, that you’ll have to replace it, because it’s no longer supported by software upgrades, if it ever was, and on a smartphone security is key.

Also, you can shoot the messenger, but when adults see the dreaded green bubble in their iMessage thread, they wince and wonder who is using an Android phone. Furthermore, when they send a message to an Android phone they don’t get a message that it’s been delivered.

This is what’s happening. Make your own choices. But be aware of everybody else’s.

“Office Brainstorms Are a Waste of Time – Giving workers alone time could yield more innovation than getting everyone in a room, research”:

I hate collaboration. My best ideas come when I’m alone. And they come to me when I’m doing something else, standing in the shower, hiking… It’s when I’m relaxed, not under pressure, focusing elsewhere that inspiration arrives. Oftentimes in the evening, late at night, when everybody else is decompressing and incoming trickles down.

As for having everybody in the office… If they’re there to come up with ideas, this article says that’s not the way to do it. Sure, there are other advantages to being in the office, but coming up with new ideas in a group is not one of them.

Also, this speaks to music creation. You can write a song by committee, but the best stuff is written alone. Even the Beatles…turns out John and Paul didn’t write those songs together, especially as the group aged. Do it alone and it’s more personal. You work when you want to.

Furthermore, I’m a big believer in inspiration. Sure, if you have to deliver you can’t wait for inspiration, but the best stuff always comes from inspiration, you’re elated, it’s like you’re channeling the work.

Elton and Bernie worked in two rooms.

I know, in Nashville they have appointments to write songs, but that’s why Nashville popular country music has such a bad reputation, it sounds like the songs were written by committee, appealing to the lowest common denominator. Then again, dig deeper and you find that so many of the great songs written by committee really weren’t. One writer comes in with an idea, and the others inspire him and help him to finish it.

Read the article, food for thought.

P.S. You have to pay for news like this. Both stories are based on fact. This is not what you find on social media. Meaning there end up being two tiers of people, the informed and the uninformed, those in the know and those who are not. If you read the WSJ and the NYT cover to cover every day…you’ll find you can hold your own with any CEO on the planet.

P.P.S. Those are free links, a perk I get from being a WSJ subscriber.

New York Times Audio App

“Introducing a New Audio App for Our Journalism and Storytelling -New York Times Audio provides news, depth and serendipity.”:

This was not supposed to happen. New players were supposed to come along, disrupt the the staid Grey Lady and leave it in the dust. But just the opposite is happening. Vice and BuzzFeed news failed. And in a world of too many messages, too many unresearched and false, the “Times” has more impact than it ever has. You may hate it, but it’s affecting your life even if you avoid it, because the “Times” sets the agenda for the whole world, the right needs something to rebel against, there’s not an equivalent right wing newsgathering source, mostly there’s opinion, and at the end of the day people want facts.

And they want to be informed.

Sure, many people don’t care about the news, but if you’re hungry for it, the “Times” is the place to go. It has more reporters in more places than competitors and a bigger newshole and…

You’ve got to pay for it.

Oh, you can read ten articles a month for free. 

But that’s not enough.

Assuming you’re into the news.

So you subscribe. It’s cheap. Assuming you’re willing to pay.

That’s the hurdle, getting people to pay. But once you’re unconcerned with reaching everybody, knowing that your power is so great that you reach everybody anyway, via outside forces, you can charge.

Even worse for competitors, although there are news junkies like myself who will subscribe to multiple papers, most people will only pay for one. Or maybe two. The local, and the “New York Times.” I mean if you’re paying, why not get the best?

I’m not saying the “Washington Post” and the “Wall Street Journal” are bad, I pay for them, but they’re a noticeable step behind the “Times.” After Trump left office, WaPo subscriptions stalled. But the “Times”‘s did not.

And then the “Times” started to diversify, build upon its empire. All the news is about Elon Musk and Twitter, but the real story is the “Times.”

There’s the “Wirecutter,” the “Athletic,” “Cooking” and “Games,” with the “Crossword.” You can pay for them individually, but the bundle is so much more appealing. Apple’s bundle? Not a deal. The “Times”‘s? A no-brainer.

So there was just a stealth introduction of the Audio app. I read about it yesterday and downloaded it, today the “Times” pushed me a notice in its app (as for notifications…the only ones I allow are from Libby, for library books, I don’t need an endless scroll…then again, I’m checking my phone constantly during the day…oh, I can put it down for dinner, but if I’m alone…except at night, bugs me when people tell me not to text them late, don’t they turn off the sound…but too many are Luddites…especially in this 24/7 world where people are waking up when you’re going to bed).

All the podcast apps…put up everything, like Spotify. And most of it is junk. Poorly recorded people speaking inanities. You have to separate the wheat from the chaff. But even worse, it’s hard to find great stuff under the morass. But on the “Times” Audio app…

It’s a walled garden. For subscribers only.

And it’s got breaking news. Know how the podcast you’re listening to from this morning is already out of date? Well, the “Times” is now publishing news/podcasts later in the day, after events have transpired.

So you’ve got a cornucopia of “Times” content. Some brand new.

But you also have curated content from other outlets. But a very limited number. In terms of publishers, there’s the “Atavist,” “Foreign Policy,” “Mother Jones,” the “New Republic,” “New York,” “Outside” and “Rolling Stone.” I.e. there is CURATION!

This is what has been promised in music for more than a decade which has not arrived. Playlists never lived up to the hype, because there are too many tune-outs and not enough people are listening to any one to create mass. For a minute there we had Tuma Basa’s Rap Caviar, but then he left Spotify for YouTube and he’s now nearly irrelevant. The imprimatur of the organization means something, and most people don’t follow you to your new home (remember this Tucker Carlson), and Rap Caviar has lost its luster on Spotify because personalities matter, and now there’s no longer a recognizable face.

What we’re looking for is a very few tracks that most of us listen to. But all the record companies and independent creators don’t want to be left out, so we’ve got zillions of trash tracks on the streaming outlets. But if someone only put up the best…we could have a more cohesive music business.

But no one has the power of the “Times” in music.

So now if you’re looking for a podcast…

Well, first the “Times” is timely. And that makes a difference in news. But also, the choices are limited, so you can comprehend the landscape.

The “Times” also has “This American Life,” but overall it’s got little, in an overwhelming world of too much.

So what’s your first stop? Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Stitcher, individual publishers’ sites or…the “Times”?

The “Times” sits above. It’s not for everybody, but somebodies. It’s a club, and if you don’t belong…

This is not Facebook, the great unwashed intimidating each other with falsehoods.

This is authorized, curated, appealing to the intelligentsia, who drive this world. And so many people want to consider themselves members of the intelligentsia.

The “Times”‘s the “Daily” is already the number one podcast on so many platforms. That’s what people want. So it’s a no-brainer to start at the “Times” Audio app, assuming you’re a subscriber. And if you’re not, the “Times” just made it more enticing.

And I was listening to Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway talk about the twentysomething who bought “Forbes” for $800 million…insane! But what was mentioned is that the “Times” is not a great business. What they meant was it’s not a tech company minting billionaires.

But that’s something the public has forgotten in this income inequality world wherein the rich have been venerated. It’s not about money, it’s about power. And sure, sometimes money yields power, but if you can speak truth to power, if you’re perceived as not being beholden to the almighty dollar, then you’re more powerful than all of the richies, assuming you have mass.

The “Times” has mass.

Forget the locals already, we need local news but the model is broken. To the point that papers have slimmed down to maintain profits and there’s nothing left. Everybody in L.A. used to read the “Los Angeles Times,” now almost everybody I know has given up their subscription. You can feel good if your album is hyped in the “Los Angeles Times,” but it means next to nothing, because no one sees it, or those who do are those who don’t matter!

Is this the future? A walled garden with fewer offerings?

I mean Amazon cocked up its site with ads and inferior products from China. The Everything Store really shouldn’t have absolutely everything.

But really, when it comes to intellectual as opposed to physical objects…you can’t read everything, you want someone to clarify the scene.

The “Times” is the first major to do so successfully.

We’ll see if anybody else can replicate their model.

Jewish Matchmaking

Netflix trailer:

Are you watching this? People are so out of touch with themselves!

We were watching “Rough Diamonds,” but then it became too predictable, so we switched to the movie “Hunger,” a Thai film, which a reader recommended. Don’t. Because it too is predictable. The ride was okay, albeit slow, but then you knew exactly where it was going, at least Felice did, she watches a lot of TV, she’s an expert.


We dug into “Jewish Matchmaking.” I wanted a bit of reality. Something visceral. “Indian Matchmaking” was great, so maybe this would be too.

However, Felice is not Jewish, so I was anxious about watching it together, however her previous husband was Jewish, but… I’m not saying there’s a problem with mixed marriages/relationships, just that Jews have their own identities. As I said when I was at Middlebury… A Jewish girl always has something to say, you may not want to hear it, but they’re very verbal. Having said that, I haven’t gone out with a Jewish girl since high school. Maybe because it’s too overwhelming. There ends up being little room for me. And Jewish girls want attention/focus. And I can’t deliver 24/7, I guess I’m just too into my job.

And speaking of jobs, Jewish girls want someone rich who comes home at a decent hour, doesn’t work on the weekends, will accompany them to parties… But the kind of person who is rich/makes money is not the kind of person that is anywhere near that available. They made the cash by working very hard, it’s a jungle out there I tell you, you can’t have it both ways.

So if you get to the point where you’re hiring a matchmaker…

There are so many options before this. Like the setup. Whatever you do guys, don’t let a woman set you up. All their friends are beautiful, a catch. Listen to the guys, they’ll give you a much better assessment. Or, you can drill the women…and then you find the cracks in their recommendation.

Also, I saw a TikTok video that said the number one thing a woman was looking for in a man was the desire to get married. That’s scary to me. But maybe there are men who feel that way.

Then it made me wonder if I ever had the desire to get married.

So the matchmaker, Aleeza, is from Philadelphia, but she now lives in Israel with the husband she met at a singles weekend. This used to be a thing before dating apps. You’d see them advertised by hotels like the Concord. But the only thing you had in common with everybody else was that you were single, which is just not enough.

But Aleeza, who has become more observant over the years, meaning she follows more Jewish traditions, is pretty reasonable. But her clients!

So, Tinder is if you want to get laid. The Jewish equivalent is JSwipe. Rumor is you can’t form a real relationship with someone you meet on one of these two apps, but my nephew did, so there’s the exception, there are exceptions to every rule.

And then there are the dating apps.

The number one thing is your profile. Don’t be generic, say you love sunsets and long walks on the beach. And don’t include anybody else in your pictures, even pets. It’s about you. Your profile is about showing your personality, and it’s got to have hooks, that make people want to know more. The number one expert on this is Logan Ury, I did a podcast with her. You can read her book, “How to Not Die Alone”: I highly recommend it, it’s an easy read, and there is so much wisdom. Like there are people you date and people you marry, you’ve got to know this.

Of course that sounds obvious, but Harmonie, who lives in L.A., is forty four years old and unmarried. And delusional. She’s convinced she can still have a baby. Odds are long. Don’t kill the messenger, look at the statistics. And…if you’re focusing on your career, if you’re taking your time finding a partner, freeze your eggs. That’s a perk working at Google, where Logan’s husband is employed. The point is you don’t want to feel the pressure, you don’t want to make a mistake in marriage, which is the number one choice you will make in your life. I learned that from David Brooks, who then got divorced himself, proving that ultimately you should listen to nobody but yourself.

So Aleeza has a number of rules. Keep dating until you reach a firm no.

And Harmonie is dating this guy who looks unappealing, but the longer he talks…

But Harmonie wants a flashy bad boy, no wonder she’s not married.

Then there’s thirty year old Ori… He’s got a list of requirements an arm long, but he still lives with his parents. Imagine going on a date with him, if I heard this I’d say no immediately. I mean come on.

And everybody is so convinced that they’re a winner, that they deserve love, their heart’s desire. Even when they have miles on them, experience.

And I found it shocking.

First and foremost, it made me never want to be single again, certainly not at that age. These are the people in the dating field? No wonder it’s so difficult to find someone. And you have to know yourself before you can know anybody else. And both Logan and the news say it’s now a badge of honor in the dating world to be in therapy. I mean who wants to date someone who’s done no work on themselves? And if you don’t think you need therapy, it proves the point.

And you don’t have to be Jewish to love “Jewish Matchmaking,” just like Levy’s rye bread. But you have to be a boomer from the east cost to get that reference. Which is why I don’t understand how old guys can date young women, they don’t get the references, and connection is everything. But the truth is most men who date young women…want to control them. Or show them off, not realizing nobody cares, that ultimately everybody just cares about themselves.

And if I’m listing one marriage requirement, it’s commitment. It’s key. Far beyond sex, even money. Because relationships, never mind marriage, is hard. And if someone is not willing to put in the work, to stay in the relationship when things are difficult, it’s not going to last.

Oh, you’re gonna argue, if you’re not that just means someone isn’t revealing their truth, hopefully they will before they exit.

You’re not going to agree on everything. You won’t necessarily like the same things. Furthermore, I come from the Paula Abdul school of relationships, as in opposites attract. How many even get that reference? You think you want someone just like you, but you don’t.

And there are people who are attractive in certain ways, but fall down completely in others. Like they can’t manage their money. Don’t live up to commitments. It’s the little things that make a relationship work, not the big ones.

Not that the big ones are not important.

Of course reality TV is not complete reality. It’s edited. But in this case, all the daters look right at the camera and say exactly what they want. I don’t think they can complain that they are not portrayed accurately, in three dimensions, then again, some are two-dimensional.

Also, watching I realized what these people want I don’t. I never dreamed of having a 9-5 job and a house in the suburbs with a bunch of kids. Never ever. Not my priority. Sounds like death to me. I guess I’m too busy trying to put a dent in the universe, I’ve got to be with someone who understands that, how it’s primary.

And don’t get the wrong idea since the show has “Jewish” in the title. Don’t think black clothing, fur hats… These people look just like you and me.

We’ve only watched two episodes. But I’m not sure anybody could ruin this show for me. Because like most of these productions it’s about the process, because the participants can’t reach the goal. Which is why they’re on these shows in the first place, because they can’t get what they want.

If you try you get what you need, but to these people needs are subsidiary to wants, and that’s where they’ve got it wrong. Focus on needs. And needs are different from what you think they are. You don’t need someone beautiful, you don’t need someone rich, but you do need someone who gets you, who’ll be there for you, who will stand by you, and also call you on your sh*t.

This is life. This is most people.

And it’s horrifying.

At least it was for me!