Raphie Frank :: business artivist

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Brian Naughton
The Speed of Sound by Brian Naughton

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?


Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Photography, Storytelling | Leave a comment

A Couple Christmas Stories: for Marla Ruzicka, Willie Stargell and a Really Great Dad

Sami and Friends by Sean Sheridan

Dear [friend],

In the holiday spirit, I thought to share these with you. Feel free to pass along to anyone you feel might enjoy them.

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
My answer to you… is that, yes, Virginia, Santa still exists… And how do I know that? I know it always by the childlike faith we cling to that yet makes “tolerable this existence,” and by the intensity of the disappointment we still feel when that faith is injured. For me, at least, Santa Claus exists not just “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” but perhaps even more so. In fact, it may just be that Santa and the childlike faith he gives us are exactly what make love, generosity and devotion possible in the first place…

A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka
There was once a war and many people died. There was also much collateral damage. The people were the collateral. And everyone saw who bothered to look, but pretended they didn’t. But there was one girl, a shining, sprite pixie of a blond with an amber smile who DID notice….

Kindest Regards,

Visit seansheridan photography

December 17, 2007 Posted by | Storytelling | | 2 Comments

Toward an EXCEPTIONAL Simple Theory Of Everything :: Celestial Chiaroscuro

Ist Grade Day one
Sami Sheridan by Sean Sheridan

As such, in my view at least, the string theory community would do itself a service to embrace the possibility, not of the “miraculous” break through coming via the Standard Model alone, but via what Progressive Physicist David Bohm termed the implicate order (i.e. hidden or “enfolded”) that Lisi’s theory suggests.

In other words, it’s not this or that, but this and that because this is that. Not just the light and the dark — what artists might call the “positive and negative space” — but also the underlying order that threads them both together in celestial chiaroscuro.

Dear [Friend],

In relation to the issue of Intelligent Design, all the rage in the news these days, you mention that clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution. I both agree and disagree. Certainly clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution, in my view, anyway, but “Einstein on a Surfboard,” A. Garrett Lisi‘s recent Grand Unification theory “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” bringing the poor orphan of Physics, Gravity, out of the cold and into the Standard Model fold with the other three fundamental forces of nature via the E8 Lie Group — which at least some blogs are referring to as “Ptolemy’s Revenge” — would seem to suggest that a dialectical synthesis of old and new together, the precision of the technological Modern Age with the wisdom of the Ancients, may just be possible in a non-partisan, creed-blind manner.

Whatever your personal view of the theory, it has certainly generated a fair amount of interest from such notable Physicists as Lee Smolin, Peter Woit, and John Baez, while string theorists such as Karlovy-Vary, Czech Republic-based Lubos Motl are apoplectic, already proclaiming the fiery apocalypse, not just of planet Earth, but of the entire Universe! (from Motl’s blog post: Telegraph: Cosmologists are killing the Universe on Motl’s blog “Reference Frame“).

I would suggest that what has in large part created the “ruckus” of late in the Physics community is that many believe Lisi’s theory may lead to the New Dark Ages, a reversion to the blind mysticism and ignorance of the Pre-Galileans, with attendant political consequences that could severely threaten separation of church and state, one of the most sacrosanct bedrocks of any free and pluralistic society.
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November 24, 2007 Posted by | Censorship, Non-Partisan Activism, Physics, Science, Storytelling, Theater | | 1 Comment

Riven Hearts (aka “Why I Write and Why I Fight”)

photo courtesy of Ana Crisan, also used to illustrate the Lyrics to a song Alone in a Crowd

I’m in the film union
IATSE Local 52
As a film lighting technician
I’ve been told on many occasions
To work slower
I was making others look bad.
I have been taught the tricks of the trade
How you game the system
To cash in and slice away some of the fat.
Order equipment you sell back to the company.
Slow the lift-gate to get that 15 minutes of overtime.
Courts might call that stealing.
And they would be right.
Those are the rules of the game after all.
But I have also dealt with producers
Lambasting crew members for sitting down
On the job.
The client was watching.
It might look bad.
God help the electrician
Catching a half hour nap under the truck
On a 100 degree cloudless day
Because he came straight from the last job
With no sleep.
Because you don’t say ‘No”
You might not get hired again.
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October 25, 2007 Posted by | Storytelling | Leave a comment

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.

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

Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag

11 Compositions, Progressions & Impressions in the key of Z
for translation into sound, image, movement & light
choreography by Caribeth Klemundt somewhere in New York somewhere some time…

“pink” by Chrisseserville

If I can I will mold your heart straight past the stone
To the Michaelengeloed koan
On the left side of tears to the right side of home
Where left is just right and just left is all gone.

Your inside my right side, my left side your out
We can flitter and glitter and jiggle and jag
And then I’ll always be with you as you spin through my light
Like thunder of plunder feathered blossoms of lime
Lotused blind rapture I promise never to hide

As you flitter and glitter and jiggle and jag
Your skiff, scuffed glassed spirit back to the top of the crag
Where the spun lake of silk honey-toppped by soft milk
Lets you flitter and glitter and jiggle and jag
Dancing to tunes we both hear from inside

On top as below, in rhythm or stag
Inside from the inside and outside the same
Angel and Monster, guide through the gloam
Your body I want just when you are home

My inside your outside and my left side your out
We will flitter and gltter and jiggle and jag
And tumble through terror knowing neither nor lag.
I know what I want my sweet angled angel inside
She’s already mine and feels so free she is blind.

That flitter, that glitter, that jig and that jag
Are her very own heralds that the pumpkin inside
Has finally popped open jacko-laughingly laughingly
Like a cracked corn on skylight
Through the gloam came her light.

A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka
Visual Thinking in Bea Flat: Orange, Yellow Progression to the White Side of the Zight
Ghost Writers in the Sky
A Thousand Points of Light Through an Ariadne Maze
Tomorrow’s Melody
I See… Living People
Art as Light and a Smiled Melody
Korean Kickboard Terrors
By the Morning Light
And I Haven’t Danced Since He Died (by Mariana Tomas)
Dancing With a Ten Year Old Teacher
Picture From a Long Ago Dream: The Red Desert

April 28, 2007 Posted by | Art, Storytelling | 2 Comments

Visual Thinking in Bea Flat :: Yellow Orange Progression to the White Side of the Zight

a movie by joy dietrich
still photo of Jenny from Tie a Yellow Ribbon : a new film by director joy dietrich

Yo Bea, “Trade secret” up. Just two words for fear. But Victoria’s secret? Yeah baby! THAT is freedom. The freedom to be as sexy as you can be. You, Bea, GOT to love it or be just another Bigot thinking, what “Who Me?” But yo, Bea, word up, a lot of Bigots, whether by the Bagot Tubes or fag*ot, might have been a little bit o’ beat up. Don’t you think you should at least TRY to understand and give a little helping hand? Like a swallow from the pavement, it’s sometimes hard… The rat and the bird, the frog and the scorpion are one THROUGH TIME, but the Zen odds say, this go around is just the only one in this form and there ain’t no joy in being dead like a broken Misty Dubalu. That’s why you gotta dance until you’re red, ‘cause there’s a red red clock, baby, and we’ Be dancing on that table. ALL of us are dancing. So, blow it girl or blow it but don’t tell me you don’t know it!

I know. You got beat up. So did I. And then we beat up each other. Just call it a B-side melody with an A-side whiplash like NOBODY business…

The way I see it, the best way to deal with it is to just write a better tune and flip the A-side to the B-side and the B-side to the Z. Put it away folks and let it sleep because there’s a piper man a playin’ to a wholly brand new beat. Flip the Z side to the B side and the A side to the C. That my friends is how you navigate the darkness; to turn the fright into a kite and the sorrow into sight…

Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag


Visit the Tie a Yellow Ribbon Website
Learn more about writer/director Joy Dietrich
Read Variety Review.


February 2007
Tie a Yellow Ribbon is nominated Best Narrative Feature Film at San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2007.

More News and Press

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Storytelling | 2 Comments


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


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

One of My Heroes :: Ana Crisan (photographer, “homeful” and animal rights activist)

photo courtesy Ana Crisan

Read some of the links below, and then take a look at the picture at bottom. If Ana’s fight for Chris Gardiner is not an example of courage at it’s finest, I do not know what is…



Here is a letter I sent out to “Calder Lorenz of The News is Now Public.” I believe it gives an overview of what I find myself referring to as Toronto’s “Homes to Houses” Push, kicking people hurting noone out of their homes and off the streets…

A Letter to Calder :: Think We Can Get The World to Get Toronto’s Back?

And this is Ana’s original appeal. I fight for Ana because she is fighting for her homeful, homeless friend Chris. I believe in her and she believes in him…

Help my friends PLEASE!!! NOW URGENT!!!

And who is Ana?

Ana trusts almost noone, folks….

See, Mysti, we fight for the people we care about. And our natural allies are the people with whom we share common interests, passions, hopes or desires. My connection to you, Mysti is that you are an optimist and know better. I found you through another photographer who liked you and so that influenced my opinion of you because I respect his judgement.

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December 28, 2006 Posted by | Politics, Storytelling | 7 Comments

A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka

Marla Ruzicka via The Free Radical April 18, 2005 post Marla Ruzicka, a modern American heroine

There was once a war and many people died. There was also much collateral damage. The people were the collateral. And everyone saw who bothered to look, but pretended they didn’t. But there was one girl, a shining, sprite pixie of a blond with an amber smile who DID notice. And DID something. Not at the time — she was too young — but later, the next time she saw it happening. She went straight into the belly of the beast and shined the light she had inside outward so the world could see all the broken pieces that all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not. And she tried to put humpty dumpty back together again, and she made a LOT of progress, but then it got dangerous, very dangerous, too dangerous even for this brave girl, and she couldn’t risk it anymore, staying where she was, and she recognized she needed to get away.

Her name was Marla, Marla Ruzicka and she died, trying to make her way home, in the flash of a car bomb that took her to the wrong side of the light for all us on the road to the airport in Baghdad April 16, 2005. She was but 28 years old and walked corridors with Senators, not behind, not in front, but beside, but also maybe behind and certainly in front too. Now we will all have to continue her work, because it will
take a village to finish the task that she began. She did it for us all. And now we’ve all got to give it back, not for her, but for all of us, but also for her. To honor the gifts she gave us.

Her favorite thing to do was to dance, and maybe that’s what we ought to do, all of us, this holiday season, if not on the ground, then in our heads and through our actions. Not for Marla, but for ourselves, but call it for Marla if that’s what you need to do to make it worthwhile enough.

May Peace and Sanity Will Out,
Raphie Frank
Business Artivist

P.S. If you like this story, pass it on. If you don’t, think about passing it on anyway so you can ask yourself “why not?”

Learn more about Marla on the CIVIC Website and on Wikipedia, the Google of knowledge.

And I Haven’t Danced Since He Died… by Mariana Tomas
Korean Kickboard Terrors

photo by Mariana Tomas, artwork by, broken crow

December 28, 2006 Posted by | Storytelling | 8 Comments

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