Raphie Frank :: business artivist

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

A Thousand Points of Light Through an Ariadne Maze

A Thread in the Dark
A Thread in the Dark Publicity Photo. Opened September 10, 2001. By Raphie Frank

Dear [friend],

I know perhaps that sometimes I may seem to go a bit overboard, but In desperate times — and war is desperate — because it could be your son one day, to do nothing is to be a part of the problem. If not me; if not you, then who? The other guy?

Perhaps I feel a greater sense of urgency and sense of threat living here in NYC along with almost every one I love. Think about that. Many New Yorkers I know (certainly not all), feel the policies of the Bush Administration are threatening our lives and the lives of those we love most. *Boom* End of story, but hopefully not a *boom* of the wrong kind.

Five years and a couple months now ago , I watched the Twin Towers burn. I paced the white dust and paper-littered streets downtown the next Saturday for hours trying to understand.The chemically smell of destruction still lingers and clings to memory. From the park by the water on Grand Street here in Williamsburg and from my rooftop, I watched the smoldering sky for weeks on end and, even now, I still become lost in Tribeca because I no longer have THOSE thousand points of light to guide me, those lights that cast a soft reflecting silver twinkle across the water that night of September 10, 2001 where, sitting on a boat upon the Hudson River, I enjoyed the opening night performance of “A Thread in the Dark,” an updated riff on Theseus lost in the maze of the Minotaur and guided back to the light by Ariadne’s thin thread.

From the next morning onward — my last view of the Towers being them awash in the rosy pink fingered light of dawn offset by a curiously black-hole shaded Empire State building as I was on the way to work — I have never experienced emptiness in such tangible manner. I can still see the amber sunset and the Statue of Liberty through the newly-wedded paned-glass of Windows on the World that Sunday evening three weeks before at a wedding where, obliterated on champagne by the end, I embarrassed my future girlfriend but left with her still, dozens of roses in hand the bride and groom needed not there was such a surfeit.

That view I experienced that Sunday is a sight that now exists for birds alone and, perchance, a lingering spirit or two; or, if the fates be cruel, a whispered echo of that golden-haired bartender’s gorgeous smile. I don’t know if she worked the Tuesday morning shift, [friend]. And I doubt I ever will, but this much I know: Anyone standing at that spot from which I gazed down upon the bay when the plane hit saw not the smoky black fingers of sunset drifting across the city skyline that evening as did I from the subway platform at Queensborough Plaza, a view so eerily compelling I tried to find a disposable camera to record the moment, but could not because every store in a 10 block radius had been stripped bare of recording devices.

In any case, you try to forget, but it’s hard. You remember every time you hear the sound of an airplane overhead and every time you see the NYC police by a bridge, there, but hardly paying attention. You see the police late at night stop by a van and wave a little box around, perhaps screening for explosives. The air raid sirens go off as a test, as they did but an hour past, and you wonder, should I turn on the news? Are we under attack? Is this it?

It’s all quiet here on the Western Front of the War on Terror… for now, but, speaking just for myself, I’d feel a whole lot happier and a whole lot safer if our soldiers and our National Guardsmen were here at home instead of losing their lives overseas to that hydra-headed monster we ourselves have created through indifference bred by the murmur of that human creek Thoreau called “quiet desperation.”

Understand all this and perhaps you will understand why many New Yorkers are uniquely positioned to understand the cries that trickle through to us from afar via the Internet and conversations of happenstance in Muslim-staffed bodegas across the city. Would ever we see graffiti bearing the word graffiti bearing the word WATER here by our lustrous shores? Let us pray to whatever Gods we may that the answer is, and will continue to be, “No.”

Your friend,
Raphie Frank
December 15, 2006

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Theater | 1 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

Community Theatre in Prague: Asylum

Asylum Culture House, Prague 1993

In it’s mission to “provide space to disenfranchised groups” Asylum was perhaps the one English-language theatrical organization in Prague during the 1990’s that fits the definition of “Community Theatre” by Jacquweline Lo and Helen Gilbert:

Community theatre is characterized by social engagement; it is theatre primarily committed to bringing about actual change in specific communities… The constitution of the performance group and the subject matter may be organized around common interests (such as gender, ethnicity, or shared social experience) or defined in terms of geographical location. Multicultural community theatre generally incorporates a range of languages and cultural resources, including performing traditions, drwn from the community.

From PERFORMING CULTURES: ENGLISH-LANGUAGE THEATRES IN POST-COMMUNIST PRAGUE by Dr. Gwen Orel (AB English, AB Classics, 1987, AM English 1987 from Stanford University; Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

As far as I know, this dissertation is the most comprehensive history of English Language Theatre in Prague during the 1990’s, representing literally thousands of hours of writing, research, fact checking and cross verification. While it needs a bit of fine-tuning before entering final book form, you heard it here first that this will be THE history of the time that will be referenced for generations to come…

November 14, 2006 Posted by | Politics, Producing, Theater | Leave a comment


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