You will know them by their fruits.

→ Fear The Bow Tie.
→ 5,000 People Can’t Be Wrong.
→ Kids Don’t Ride Their Bikes To Work Anymore.

I sat down to write about a few things on my mind before I headed back up north for the summer, but I couldn’t decide where to start.  I’ve ruminated over 5,000 People Can’t Be Wrong for a week or so, but I’ve seen such a proliferation of bow ties that I am reluctantly drawn to the trivial.

Bow-Tie-Suit-540x240Fear The Bow Tie.

Why?  Because there is nothing behind it.  It’s a statement that says “I am a bow tie.”  It’s an inexpensive way of saying “I am a Ferrari.”  I saw a similar comment recently about handlebar mustaches, some things are just hard to get past.  The bow tie stops you dead in your tracks.  It shouts.  It annoys.  It defines.  But, most of all, it limits the wearer to a sudden and debilitating identity.  They are merely a cliche’.  It works best on the most insecure of wearers.  For them it is a necessary distraction.  While a fashionable woman [dressed head to toe from LVMH] is worriedly positioning her social status, a bow tie displaces the wearer.  It throws them into a void of nothingness – nothing but a bow tie.  And, besides, Ernie Johnson looks ridiculous.

5,000 People Can’t Be Wrong.*

So, who are these 5,000 apostates that defy argument and possess damming evidence of a reprobate merchant?  Unfortunately [and, sometimes, fortuitously], it’s the 5,000 or so ex-Advantage employees who have scattered around WNY and the world for the past 35 years.  It’s hard to argue that the Advantage wasn’t the place for them.  While the alumni of the Advantage roam from Elmwood to Chippewa, from John Hopkins to the Cleveland Clinic, from Apple to SalesForce, from Yale to Stanford, from California to Maine, from Clarence to Orchard Park, from Australia to London, from UB to Canisius, and from the courthouse to the jailhouse – it’s undeniable that the Advantage just wasn’t for them.  But, for many of them, it was a fruitful and beneficial experience.

Allow me the requisite quote from the Bible:

Matthew 7:15-20  Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

You will know us by our fruits:  By our Walker Center, TW&Co, Lifetime Service, Stereo Advantage, iFul, House of Cotton, Bogavia, Giancarlo’s, Piece Apparel, Smart Squad Design, The Beauty Bar, Modern Luxuri, Sneaker Advantage, Advantage TI, Advantage Trade Group, Smart Squad Install, Brinkley Builders, Tiny Walker, Aussie T Co, The Nantucket Shop, Computer Head Start, SmartLinks, Sony Home Theaters, Forrestel Clothing Co, and the Advantage Computer Co.

By our founding support: AP Professionals, Advantage Wood Shop, Autonomic Resources, JNorman & Co, Consilium, CT&K, Black Box Creative, Capax Global, Greenview Landscaping, The Pizza Shoppe, Free Trade Consultants, Stereo Shops, Butler Chemical, Aussie Outfitters, Cleary Travel, Nobles, Bellus Development, Real Property Services, Manzella Gloves, Total Health & Fitness, Tony Walker Golf Club, Strategic Finance, Taplin Design, White & Co, My Personal Advisor, At Your Service, Gauntlet Design, Outback Paging, Advantage Marketing & Incentives, Trend Depot, Images & Graphics, and Irwin Sales.

And by our commitment: The Downtown Priest, Amherst Police Foundation,, and the Church of the Good.

Winston Churchill said that the only thing worse than having allies is not having them.

1952_00That leaves Kids Don’t Ride Their Bikes To Work Anymore.

The most recent Time cover story calls the generation of young adults known as millennials “lazy, entitled narcissists.”  The story points out, “The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older…; 58 percent more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982…  Their development is stunted: more people ages 18 to 29 live with their parents than with a spouse…”

I look forward to Joel Stein’s essay every week on the second last page of TIME, and this week his feature article didn’t disappoint.  He starts his cover story off by explaining, “I am about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow.”  It’s an interesting, humorous, dubious, and somewhat troubling article to read, but as I pondered the fate of the millennial’s, I couldn’t shake the notion that they are on the cusp of immortality.  From Ray Kurzweil’s How To Create A Mind  to the 3d printing revolution, I am convinced that the regeneration of essential organs and the storage and rebooting of our thoughts are going to be de rigueur for the millenials at best and my grandchildren at worst.

So, I’ll be busy next winter in Naples building my avatar of artificial intelligence coupled with my 30 years of personal journals so that I can converse with my great grandchildren a thousand years from now.  But, as for immortality, I’ll pass.

* I never asked them to like me, I asked them to build with me.  I’ve found that when it all works out the liking takes care of itself.  But when it doesn’t work out the way they want, I’ve found that I’m really in for it …  It’s been a small price to pay.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us build over the years.  We’ll be celebrating our 35th Anniversary on June 6th at the new Stereo Advantage Warehouse Sales Center located in our Lifetime Service and Distribution Center at 1955 Wehrle Dr.  Everyone is invited.  More info to follow.

5 thoughts on “You will know them by their fruits.

  1. As you can see I joined your group after our last conversation on the range.

    I always walk away amazed after talking with you in person or reading your posts. I believe I would have enjoyed being a part of the team that have enjoyed the “fruits.” I had no idea there were so many fruits to choose from. Nice…

    I am glad you decided to write about the bow tie… “What were they thinking?”

  2. The only person I know that wears a bow tie on a consistent basis is one of the biggest A holes I have ever known. Very funny.

  3. This leaves me feeling insecure now, as I wore a bow tie to a prior event and had planned to wear one to Ali’s graduation. Well, I can’t ruin the outfit I had planned…

    • I doubt the bow tie will make you feel insecure, I’m certain you’ll wear it with pride. Nevertheless, a man with your timeless sense of style has no need for trendy accoutrements. The last thing you want to look like is just another puppet mimicking the The Great Gatsby. Why not show them what real style is all about? Why not show them the way Rock gets it done? Why not be James instead of a cliche’?

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