Never accept Responsibility without Authority!

I learned this lesson ages ago. I was a lifeguard for a popular water park. I held a position of responsibility for the safety of guest, was a face that represented the park and helped shape the guests experience.

It was a great responsibility. During my two summers I “rescued” a small child and an elderly man whose panic had kept them under water and in danger. But the average day was entirely uneventful and that was a blessing.

However, their existed a class of guests referred to as “season passers”. Some parents rather than have their kids be bored for summer or send them away to camp purchased season passes for their kids who would come to the park once or twice a week, more if the children wanted to master the wave machine (a boogeyboard surf jet). Since the life guards and other staff saw these faces so often, we knew amongst ourselves who was trouble and who wasn’t.

But we only had the illusion of authority.

If the rules were broken, exiting a tube early, cutting in lines, raft stashing, or harassing/taunting life guards who can’t leave their station. Our only course of action would be to blow our whistles and hope that they stopped. But doing so raises awareness of the other guests who are busy enjoying their day at the park. If we wanted to eject someone from the park, the offense must have been bad but also and most importantly the offending party must be 100% compliant and freely agreed to standby the lifeguards station ’til our roving position could come to the station and escort the guests to leave. But if they ran… then they were gone forever. Stories were common they waited for ten minutes then just walked away and I couldn’t leave my station so UGH!.

This is responsibility without authority.

As a lifeguard we had the authority to execute the primary responsibility of guest safety. “No, I’m sorry your to short to ride this buddy.” “Excuse me I’m going to have to ask that you gentlemen leave before I have security escort you out.” or we could jump into the water and “rescue” a 4 foot tall child who doesn’t realize the water is 3 feet deep. We had that authority.

We also had the responsibility to enforce the rules. The rules ain’t there to ruin peoples fun, some of the rides can be dangerous if you are out of your tube and you could hurt yourself or others. Most injuries result from breaking the rules or running carelessly. Climbing and diving from a feature that was aesthetic and not for diving.

Which is why in my second year I taught the new generation, to recognize the season passers and to turn a blind eye to their antics. Because rules or broken in inches, every time a season passer gets away with breaking a rule because the life guard didn’t see it. They assume that if they had been called out it would have meant trouble.

BUT what was important to teach the lifeguards was that if a season passer was called out on a minor rule violation and they realized that “hey the lifeguard can’t leave. I’ll be out of the park and back tomorrow they won’t even remember what I did if they are here too.” leads to major rules violations because now they know for certain their is no penalty for breaking the rules. It’s better to let them think they are getting away with something rather than to expose the truth that they could get away with everything.

Because eventually the summer would end and if they were breaking the rules by inches then hopefully they won’t have caused harm to themselves or others. But if they broke the rules by miles, someone would get hurt.

I knew then that I could not in the future accept a responsibility without the authority to make sure it happens.

Ask yourself do you have the authority to enforce the responsibilities you’ve taken.

Are you responsible for hiring candidates? Do you have the authority to negotiate pay scales?

Are you responsible for meeting the overnight’s production schedule? Do you have the authority to hire staff and use company resources?

Are you responsible for leading a team of sailors through an extended maintenance period on the ship’s diesel engine? Is it within your authority to use command resources to incentivize complaince or dole out reprimands for non compliance? No, the answer is almost always no. The military does have the threat of Non-Judaical punishment but that is extremely rare. No, the military gets things done in a similar fashion to the free world, based on the illusion of authority not it’s actual existence.

It is America’s respect for the illusion of authority that is the root answer as to why drivers in America follow the rules of the road and stop at red lights. I hope we never lose that respect. But I hope you go into the future with the knowledge that if you accept a responsibility without the authority than your as effective as a goat being lead to the alter tasked with making the rain. Either you get lucky and it rains before your burnt or you don’t and are offered up as an appeasement sacrifice.

Much love,

HngyHngyHppo

How to do a Lyrical Breakdown

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

That is what the thorn I was going to remove from my brain today but..

But while crafting that analysis and researching if anyone else has already created such a work, the reality that no one one the first three pages of google has anywhere near a decent analysis is a far greater thorn.

If you don’t understand the language of a song

then you are listening to this song

and if that is the case all you should concern yourself with is the mathematical patterns in the harmonics… the deviations in the scale and the chords used… phonetically you can ignore the lyrics

but if you think in the same language as the song be it Thai, Portuguese, Pigeon, or Engrish

then listening to that song whether you are actively paying attention or passively distracted is almost the same as having those lyrics as your own thoughts.

This is why lyrical analysis’s are important. If you don’t think in the language of the music then the song is gibberish

But if you do…

And you want to ask someone what these thoughts mean…

That is not an unreasonable request.

As with any Art there will always be at least three meanings.

The first is the Author’s intent

This song is about taking power in a relationship

The second is the Listener’s personal interpretation (in this case mine)

This is a song about sexual abuse and the victim trying to take control of their victimization by trying to convince themselves that they wanted it. While struggling with the shame of being both a victim of the abuse and being socially punished for attracting such abuse.

Then there is the general interpretation

using as much data as is possible what does this song mean to a typical Gen Z, Millennial, or the population at large. What culturally relevant shared experiences do these demographics have that would frame the piece of music in question?

This is the type of breakdown I was going to do…

I’m not because it bothers me more that either no one knows how to do this type of breakdown

and no one even bothered to even give out there own personal interpretation.

Because if I had a few Gen Z’er’s personal interpretation and a few Millennial interpretations plus the Artist’s intent then a general interpretation would be relatively easy for me to triangulate.

SO FINALLY

here is how you analysis a song with your personal interpretation

First let the audience know what the Artist’s intent was. This will build credibility for the argument that your personal interpretation is the correct one.

Now present your interpretation

“Bad Guy” is about the singer pretending to be meek and girly in order to attract strong men who have fragile ego’s and can’t handle a real powerful woman.

Then using the lyric’s provide evidence for your position.

If you are actually and objectively trying to answer the Question

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Then you will need to provide as many frames of reference as possible.

Gen X will see this song very differently than Gen Z

and then explain what it would mean to them and why

Gen X many of them might remember listening to Aqua’s “barbie girl” for the first time at their child’s birthday party and being horrified to hear their child singing along.

Baby Boomer’s haven’t heard this song

Millennial’s have an awkward position

and Gen Z likely knows about the Artist’s other works and how her process is not just herself but she comes from a musical family… which has impacted the shaping of her lyrics significantly. Billie Eilish is a master of her vocal craft but the source of her lyrics is highly collaborative.

that is the type of analysis I wanted to write but limited on the resource of time.

This is all I can offer at this point.

I tell you what though

If this post gets 100 likes before the end of August 2019

I will carve out the estimated 8-10 hours to do a proper analysis on

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Or leave a comment asking for an analysis of any song in the Engrish language and the first to get 10 likes I will give my personal interpretation on.

With Love,

Hngyhngyhppo