Raphie Frank :: business artivist

The Weave & the Darn (aka “The Poetic Essence of Boojummy Business Artivism”)

Dreaming is Composing
Dreaming is Composing by Mattijn Franssen

Courage. Hope. Care. Boojummy. The term is derived from Louis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark. The Boojum, the most dangerous kind of snark, is found on an island many months sail from England, betwixt and between the dark crevices and crags. When you find one, so they say, you disappear. Forever. I kind of like to think it’s because you find yourself. In addition to courage, hope and care, you also need thimbles and forks – think Robert Frost two roads in a wood, not last night’s dinner – when you set out on a snark hunt.

Because, you see, it’s all about the weave and the darn. The doomed and the damned need not be either. They can be better than they were. Better. Stronger. Happier. In themselves and for us, if only we give them choices and alternatives to light moons and mommify all those hardened hearts.

Now, you can ask yourself, what the hell is this guy talking about? But you’d kind of be missing the point because the whole point is that there is no single point and so you’ve got to kind of go elliptically around and about and through and over and under and around, zigging the light and zagging the fright and tickling the dark and missing or maybe making the mark because, you see, it’s all connected, the big and the small, from the round, smooth marbleized Universe of Einstein right on down to every darn gluon, quark, atom and molecule of the woodified mind of man and woman and blade of grass a hummingbird wind sways back and forth in oscillating rhythm beneath the thousand million blossoms of that cherry tree rocking to the rhythms of a white house gale.

We can make it better. And we can make it even betterer together. I’d like to figure out a way because the weight is a gift when you’re strumming the nada surf riff, but it’s hard as hell to carry it all on your own, so tell you what…

… let’s take it back to 1.

It’s a called a PROGRESSION.

Continue reading

Advertisements

May 9, 2007 Posted by | Art, Business, Economics, Politics, Storytelling, Theater | 2 Comments

Letter to Mattijn re: Art, Money & Morality

Boojummy Business Artivism Grand Vision
The artist the devil and the manager by Mattijn Franssen

An interesting question I have to ask you Mattijn. Are you AGAINST making money? I will tell you my feeling and I know it is not “healthy,” but it is the way I am and I believe you will perhaps identify with me on this. For me, I can only make money and feel good about it if I am doing something I believe can make the world a better place.

Money as exchange for spirit bothers me greatly because it makes the world less, not more insofar as the terms of exchange are not in accordance with the lessons I was taught as a child such as: a) do what you love b) it is better to give than receive c) do unto others as you would have them do unto you d) love thyself e) try your hardest; and so on…

However, I also do not like to give and not receive, which is what has been a common occurrence for me in my life and it can make one angry and bitter, something I have had to fight against, believe me, for most of my life.

Do you see how people become paralyzed? They neither create for fear of being taken advantage of, nor do they make money because they are morally opposed to the terms of the exchange. Such people are in metaphorical “purgatory,” trapped in the rut of inaction, what Hegel termed the “dead end of possibility.” To act or not act is to fail, but in no action remains at least the proverbial pipe dream.

Do you know that line “I could have been a contender?” from “On the Waterfront”? These are the words of such a person, a person who didn’t try. But for people like me and you, Mattijn — and tell me if I am wrong — it is, or can be far, far worse. We live in a form of hell — because we see the light so many others do not and have no choice but to follow it — like Robert Johnson to the devil, and it is lonely, very very lonely. I know all about it. It is a place no one can lead you, so few will follow, but there is rarely a dearth of those who will readily attack.
Continue reading

May 4, 2007 Posted by | Art, Business, Philosophy | Leave a comment

New School Conference: A Realistic Growth Policy for Our Times

Economic Conference @ the New School

Ron Blackwell, Chief Economist of the AFL-CIO at the dais giving a presentation at the New School Conference "A Realistic Growth Policy for Our Times" this past April 13, 2007.

There are a lot of frustrated folks out there looking for responsible, sustainable ways to expand opportunity for the have-nots in an age I have come to increasingly refer to as the "Neo-Gilded Age."

The answer as I see it?

PLURALISTIC CAPITALISM aka "The American Dream." Trickle-Down meets Trickle-Up and all we need to do, really, with a nod to Princeton professors Daniel Kahneman (Prospect theory) and Paul Dimaggio (cultural capital) is to supersize our notion of economy to include the value of heart, hope, courage and care.

Many thanks to Ron Blackwell, as well as Michael Reich (UC Berkeley), David Howell (The New School), Pascal Petit (CEPN, Paris) and Michael Piore (MIT) for their sportsmanship in the face of some well-intended tricksterishness on the part of this Citizen Economist. More on that another time, but let’s just say I learned a thing or two by osmosis.

RELATED WRITINGS (by Raphie Frank)
===============================
Pressure is Aggression to the Monkey in the Man
Trickle Up Economics, Conscious Capitalism & Co-Generation
Sophinette asks: Is Bono Fooling Us All? My response? NO!
The New Demand Economy : Watch out for Latinland
The Mathematics of Opportunity
Introducing “Trickle Up Economics” (aka “The One Song”)
Synchronicities of the Happily Converging Road
What’s Wrong With Profit?

May 2, 2007 Posted by | Business, Economics, Philanthropy, Politics | Leave a comment

Fighting for the Zight: Angels, Tricksters & Light

fightforthezight
design and concept by Raphie Frank and Mattijn Franssen

Coming Soon, one voice, one idea and one dollar at a time.

Full Size Mockup
Photo Page Mockup

NOTE: A portion of proceeds raised will go to yet TBD non-profits, including CIVIC, because the work that Marla Ruzicka began is work we should all continue.

Read: A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka, part of Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag: 11 Compositions, Progressions and Impressions in the key of Z.

April 28, 2007 Posted by | Art, Business, Internet | Leave a comment

Hope on Hope: Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag @ Williamsburg’s Hope Lounge

Williamsburg Brooklyn

Contextual Productions presents…

HOPE on HOPE
Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag
1000 Points of Light from the Ariadne Edge
@
HOPE LOUNGE

Sunday, April 29th
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm
@ Hope Lounge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Music, Poetry & Community

with…
Annie Lin (+ friend) (story folk with an edge)
John Epperly (country grunge)
The Ravages (unplugged indie rock)

And readings from the Ariadne Edge

introducing…
ZIGHTLIGHT, The Asylum Roundtable, and more…

$5.00 suggested donation, more or less, or whatever makes you comfortable.

=====================

Visit the Hope Lounge Website designed by Eric Zill

Map and Directions

=====================

SELECT READINGS FROM THE ARIADNE EDGE

#1 A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka
#3 Ghost Writers in the Sky
#8 And I Haven’t Danced Since He Died (by Mariana Tomas)
For more readings from the Ariadne Edge please go here

UPDATE: 4/28/2007
==============

#1 was movingly performed last night by method actor Brett Fleisher
#3 was performed to individual small groups by Raphie Frank
#8 was performed by a feisty Carolyn Fischer, who quieted a heckler in decisive fashion

Thank you for all those who attended and special thanks to Mr. Jonathan Cohen, owner of the Hope Lounge, for taking the first step with many local Williamsburg artists to start something special.

April 24, 2007 Posted by | Art, Business | 4 Comments

The New Demand Economy : Watch out for Latinland

Coastal Fog by Daryl Furr.

Imagine if CNN admitted it’s liberal dovish leanings? And Fox its, hawkish Conservative ones? Now THAT would be refreshing. They won’t, likely. It’d be bad for business, right?

For now.

But it’s only a matter of time before corporations — considered “individuals” before the law — declare political affiliations. Adam Smith will demand it from his grave because, you see, diffused rule by Corporation in a globalized economy is already upon us. We just don’t know it yet. But Warren Buffet does. It’s why he has willed most of his fortune to Microsoft maven Bill Gates’ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. More on that another time — let’s just say my guess is that accountability and directed purpose, not possible in an Open Source Society has something to do with it — but the point is this:

The Rulers of the 21st century are no longer just the Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers and their minions, but the Boards of Directors and top corporate executives, meaning our votes will come in the form of the soap with which we wash, the toothpaste with which we brush and the sheets upon which we sleep.

Communist-style command economies were quite the rage in the 20th century. Perhaps the 21st century will usher in the age of the Demand Economy, because that’s how capitalism works, folks. If we demand, they will supply. A People United and all… ?

Speaking of which, I’ll throw sand in the eyes of anyone who tells me I ought not to be proud as heck to live in the United States of Saudi Arabia. Oops… I meant America. Just call it oil on the brain. But you know we’re in trouble when them furriners are even getting on to our money. I took a look at a dollar bill today. Know what it said?

E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Tell your friends, folks. I’ve never even heard of Latinland. This is BIG.

April 5, 2007 Posted by | Business, Economics, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Trickle Up Economics, Conscious Capitalism & Co-Generation

The Magic Forest by Mattijn Frannsen

RELATED WRITINGS (by Raphie Frank)
===============================
Pressure is Aggression to the Monkey in the Man
Introducing “Trickle Up Economics” (aka “The One Song”)
Sophinette asks: Is Bono Fooling Us All? My response? NO!
The New Demand Economy : Watch out for Latinland
The Mathematics of Opportunity
Synchronicities of the Happily Converging Road
What’s Wrong With Profit?

Dear [friend]

I thought to bring to your attention the below news related to Zaadz, a very well meaning, New Age inflected, but anything but unambitious Social Software Network…

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey invests in Zaadz, a Social Network With a Purpose
Posted on Mar 28th, 2007

I believe Mackey’s investment of social venture capital is one to take seriously as part of a much greater trend. Yet to come clearly into public focus, there is a full-scale grass roots entrepreneurial movement underway, and it goes by such names as “Conscious Capitalism,” and “Death By Smiley Face” although I just call it “Trickle Up Economics” aka “Tomorrow’s Economy of Heart Today.”

Supported by Philanthropreneurs such as Mackey and Pierre Omidyar, “Trickle Up Economics” is emerging amidst a Millennial convergence of political, social, economic and natural forces working of a piece to both unite and divide us. On the one hand, via free trade economic policies, the connective power of technology and 9/11 propelled decentralization trends in financial markets, we are becoming more and more one interdependent global organism.

On the other hand, perhaps a function to some extent of the resulting rapid-fire collision of cultures, the Global Mind is also in increasingly polarized conflict as worldwide reserves of renewable energy dwindle, climate change threatens to displace vast populations, policies of Preemptive Warfare frog-march pariah nations into increasingly defensive postures and the Neo-Gilded Age gap between haves and have-nots emerges into crystal clarity.

Within this Global environment, the “multiple revenue stream, outsourced” economic model brought in with the Digital Age by such New Economy stalwarts as Monster, Inc. (formerly TMP Worldwide) is “adapt or die” morphing into it’s much needed psychic / spiritual twin in a manner that might make Carl Jung and Carlos Castaneda sigh with relief, “Finally! They’re starting to figure it out!”

Perhaps feeling a bit left out of all those Alan Greenspan celebrated productivity gains amidst dramatic decreases in job security in the industrialized nations, a low premium placed on loyalty to employees on the part of increasingly megalithic trans-global corporations with diffuse power and little accountability, along with the recognition that not even once sacrosanct pension funds are safe, many socially conscious enterprising individuals are taking matters into their own hands, but with a distinctly Native American twist.

These people, and I humbly count myself amongst their ranks, are working to figure out ways to use the entire animal called US, all of US. They understand on an intuitive level that we are but small parts of an entirety consisting of countless parts on both sides of the “zero point” called human consciousness and that the the many parts of the self and the many parts of the other are connected not by choice, but by necessity and that if we do not serve one its just desserts we cannot serve the other.

The trend is just beginning. It’s called Co-Generation and Gen-X and Gen-Y, working together are going to lead the way into Generation XY. The elephant of many parts is emerging into the light and the lion is just beginning to roar.

I wanted to let you know, because before we’re through, we’re going to make it baaad to be good and we’re going to do our darndest to make it pay in every which way for ALL those who give a damn and try to do a thing or two about it.

But you gotta pay to play and that means serving the pie too and not just eating it.

Your friend,

Raphie Frank
Business Artivist
Poet of the Possible

For Further Reading:

A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka (RIP)

March 31, 2007 Posted by | Business, Economics, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics | 1 Comment

Sophinette asks: Is Bono Fooling Us All? My response? NO!


from U2 by U2 book via mybono on Flickr

Sophinette posts on her WordPress blog Has Bono Been Fooling us All? and links to a Bloomberg News article: Bono, Who Preaches Charity, Profits From Buyouts, Tax Breaks related to U2 frontman, Bono’s burgeoning Business Empire. She says:

Shaking my head in disapproval…

Aside from the fact that Bono makes no claim to be a saint and publicly revels in his rock stardom (see NYT profile link at bottom of post), I look at it a bit differently than she does.

In my view, Bono is practicing what I call “Business Artivism” aka Business, Art and Non-Partisan Activism, the subject this blog. The New York Times calls this philanthropreneurship in an article entitled ““What’s Wrong with Profit?.” Here is an excerpt:

A new generation of philanthropists has stepped forward, for the most part young billionaires who have reaped the benefits of capitalism and believe that it can be applied in the service of charity. They are “philanthropreneurs,” driven to do good and have their profit, too.

Truth be told, the world could do with many more Bonos. He invests a tremendous amount of time and energy into his humanitarian pursuits — to the point that at one time his efforts almost torpedoed U2 — and ought not to be condemned for making money as well in the process and/or minimizing his tax burden. Bono is human like the rest of us and, recognizing that, sees the need to push others, governments and individuals alike, to step up to their social responsibilities.

Think of it it this way: Bono has been instrumental in attaining billions of dollars of debt relief for African Nations — an initiative George W. Bush actually mentioned in his most recent State of the Union Address without mentioning Bono by name — and has helped to save thousands if not tens of thousands of lives or even more over time (i.e. aside from AIDS funding, that money the African nations save is able to go towards food, shelter, medical, promoting enterprise etc.).

You all don’t think that’s worth a paycheck of 500 million or so, especially considering Bono actually creates something based on hard work, initiative and enterprise? What if Bono did NOT do what he is doing? What would be the opportunity cost? We’ll never know for sure, but there are a lot of living Africans out there you might be able to get an “I don’t know” from who might otherwise not be around.

Altruism and egoism, selfishness and selflessness are NOT incompatible concepts. Furthermore, in my view, we are ALL hypocrites to one degree or another. Bono is far less the hypocrite than many and uses his wealth, relative to many, very, VERY responsibly.

Related Post:
The Evolving Principles of Business Artivism
New York Times Magazine Profile:
The Statesman

January 27, 2007 Posted by | Art, Business, Economics, Philanthropy | 2 Comments

The Mathematics of Opportunity

Mathematically speaking, if you start from a network of you and one other person, then each time your world doubles in size, it becomes, if you look at all the possible connections, four times smaller and then some. And the “then some” gets twice as big each and every time you double it.

The same dynamic applies in a general way to economic opportunity and savings as it does to networks. In other words, the financially well-off really do have it easier and it gets easier and easier as you go. The guy with 32 bucks in the bank has about 144 times the opportunities as the guy with 2 bucks, not even accounting for the eonomics of basic survival.

Think about that the next time some wealthy politician suggests a flat tax to “level” the playing field.

 RELATED POSTS

January 16, 2007 Posted by | Business, Economics, Politics | Leave a comment

RAPHIE FRANK :: BUSINESS ARTIVIST

Yes, Virginia, There is STILL a Santa Claus Read Christmas Story

RAPHIE FRANK :: BUSINESS ARTIVIST

Background
Raphie Frank is a New York City-based interactive producer, writer, photographer and designer with sixteen years of hands-on cross-industry experience in a variety of managerial, creative and technical capacities in media including journalism, film & video, theater, music, commercial design and marketing communications. At heart, however, he considers himself a storyteller with the desire to tell reality-based stories with happy hopeful endings. He is currently engaged in a process to create the stories he wants to write about within a business context.

Portfolios ::::: producing ::::: writings ::::: photography ::::: design

December 28, 2006 Posted by | Art, Business, Economics, Philanthropy, Producing, Storytelling | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: