Jewish World Review July 19, 2004 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5764

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Therapy killed the video star


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I read in the Wall Street Journal that there is an upsurge in CEOs seeking therapy. A psychiatrist at Cornell told the Journal, "CEOs have the same relationship problems and life-stage issues as the rest of us." Presumably, the process helps the CEOs get in touch with their vulnerable side, to learn how not to bark at underlings, and even summon up a tear or two when firing personal assistants.


But just a week before this article, there was a feature in the Sunday Times about a new documentary called "Some Kind of Monster," which chronicles the group therapy sessions between members of the heavy metal giant Metallica, and their therapist. Well, actually, he's not a therapist, he's a "performance enhancement coach."


Why do they need therapy? Guitar player Kirk Hammett explains, ''I think most people in rock bands have arrested development. You're able to start drinking whenever you want, and you can play shows drunk, and you can get offstage and continue to be drunk, and people love it."


Apparently, the therapy worked, and a breakup of the band was avoided. But, as writer Chuck Klosterman pointed out, "If a band's entire aesthetic is based on the musical expression of inexplicable rage, what's left when that rage is vanquished?"


And if a CEO gives up his private jets, cigars, and swagger? When you think about it, both CEOs and rock stars are rewarded for bad behavior, though in different ways.

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We want CEOs to be ruthless, focussed, and to wear suspenders.


We want rock stars to be self-absorbed, wild, and sport tattoos.


We want CEOs to have private jets. We want rock stars to have private jets.


We want CEOs to have a combover. We want rock stars to let their freak flag fly. We want rock stars to suss the whims of their deranged fans. We want CEOs to sussthe whims of their deranged stock holders.


We want CEOs to keep a relentless eye on the bottom line. We want rock stars to spend the entire bottom line on exotic drugs we have never even heard of.


And deep down? We want CEOs to be indicted. We want rock stars to overdose and die in a sleazy motel with a porno starlet.


Of course, we probably need therapy for our twisted desires, but CEOs and rock stars, don't they need help too? Help that won't interfere with or hamper the work they were born to do? Why not bring the rock stars and CEOs together, under the watchful gaze of a trained performance enhancement coach, of course? They could learn a great deal from each other.


From the CEOs, just for one example, the rock stars could learn the value of sitting for hours in windowless rooms watching Power Point presentations. And from the rock stars, the CEOs could learn the value of chugging a quart of Jaegermeister at three in the morning and vomiting in the van. Remember, everybody, without Power Point the entire global economy would collapse. And without Jaegermeister, the guitar solo as we know it would vanish from the earth. The way I see it, and I'm no performance enhancement coach, it's a total trade off.


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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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© 2003, Ian Shoales