The American Dream diced into $5 money-losing toasted sandwiches

December 15, 2010

This ad invokes it all: total magical thinking.

Those gullible enough not to be repulsed will nibble.

[Blue MauMau]


Even a bad life is addictive

December 11, 2010

Are you happy?

I thought so.

[RunningDive.ca]


Franchisee zombies: born, made or self-made?

November 28, 2010

Blind obedience, standardization, duplication and monotony all fueled by the illusion that action means movement.

Cults are very good at turning intelligent, compassionate and engaged highly-functioning people into uni-dimensional zombies. How this is done is perfectly consistent with other total environments.

Surrendering your free will and human rights is incompatible with a life.

It means embracing a zombie death.

This is a rule only for those creatures that are aware that one day they will physically die.

[NFGraphics.com]


Gaza as a metaphor for the franchise industry

November 27, 2010

Am I wrong?

In the beginning…

…war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics, on the road to self-destruction. It does not affirm but places upon us greater and greater demands. it destroys the outside world until it is hard ot live outside war’s grip. It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill. Finally, one ingests wareonly to remain numb. The world outside war becomes, as Freud wrote, “uncanny.” The familiar becomes strangely unfamiliar – many who have been in war find this when they return home. The world we once understood and longed to return to stands before us as alien, strange, and beyond our grasp. p. 163

And the hangover?

When the mask of war slips away and the rot and corruption is exposed, when the addiction turns sour and rank, when the myth is exposed as a fraud, we feel soiled and spent. It is then that we sink into despair, a despair that can lead us to welcome death. This despair is more common than many expect.

In the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, almost a third of all Israeli causalities were due to psychiatric causes, and the war lasted only a few weeks. A World War II study determined that after sixty days of continuous combat, 98 percent of all surviving soldiers will have become psychiatric casualties. They found that a common trait among the 2 percent who were able to endure sustained combat was a predispostion toward “aggressive psychopathic personalities.” p. 164

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges


The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug

November 26, 2010

I have seen many franchise wars in +30 years.

Chris Hedges who has been involved with international industrial violence for over 20 years.

Be Attentive:

…I have seen too much of violent death. I have tasted too much of my own fear. I have painful memories that lie buried and untouched most of the time. It is never easy when they surface.

I learned early on that war forms its own culture. The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one I ingested for many years. It is peddled by mythmakers – historians, war correspondents, filmmakers, novelists, and the state – all of whom endow it with qualities it often does possess: excitement, exoticism, power and chances to rise above our small stations in life, and a bizarre and fantastic universe that has a grotesque and dark beauty. It dominates culture, distorts memory, corrupts language, and infects everything around it, even humor, which become preoccupied with the grim perversities of smut and death. Fundamental questions about the meaning, or meaninglessness, of our place on the planet are laid bare when we watch those around us sink to the lowest depths. War exposes the capacity for evil that lurks not far below the surface within all of us. And this is whey for many war is so hard to discuss once it is over.

The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. it can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living… p. 3

And:

…the lie in war is almost always the lie of omission. p. 21

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Hedges, as columnist at Truthdig.com


Franchising is the drug and I need to score

August 25, 2010

To think a thought means something had to happen in your brain. Something jumped over a void; a synaptic cleft.

The management of franchisees is largely producing a type of mental “drug” which keeps franchisees helpless. You’re a junkie and your dealer is your franchisor or your attorney.

There are remedies to this type of disorder.

Love is the Drug, Roxy Music


Follow your Schlange, follow your snake.

May 13, 2010

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

The material world does matter.

I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life – that is to say, over 35 – there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.

I have tried to find order within apparent disorder.

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

And then to leave a bit of a trail for those that choose to understand, without too many attachments.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.

Carl Gustav Jung 1875-1961


Is it time to retire Ronald, fast food’s Joe Camel?

April 19, 2010

All campaigns end.

These articles suggest the Ronald McDonald, like Joe Camel, has worn out his welcome:

  1. Group: Time for Ronald McDonald to retire
  2. Can Ronald McDonald be forced into early retirement?
  3. Corporate Accountability International poll shows Ronald McDonald contributes to obesity epidemic

John Ralston Saul defines the clown in line with the emerging understanding of junk food as an addiction (see The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense.)

RONALD McDONALD

Post-modern philosopher. In somewhat the same way that Voltaire was the public intellectual face of the Enlightenment, Ronald McDonald is the face of and voice of consumer culture.

The moral underpinning of this movement is addiction. The philosophical dilemma proposed by the phrase “fast food” is: how fast can the seller make the buyer buy more?

..It (desire for more) is based not on hunger but on the illusion of hunger. Science, however, has contributed a better understanding of three key elements capable of accentuating that illusion: salt, grease and sugar.

It’s chemistry, stupid.

Salt, somewhat like monosodium glutamate, attacks the taste receptors on the tongue and excites them. If grease is combined with the salt, a chemical reaction is provoked which accentuates this excitement, which in turn translates into a meaningful simulation of hunger. The further addition of sugar will then provoke an abrupt rise in blood-sugar levels. As on a roller-coaster this can only be followed by an abrupt fall, which takes the form of a yet more extreme sensation of weakness and hunger. At this point fast food, through the ingenious use of basic science, comes close to reconstituting the old religious marriage (in fact a philosophical tension) between desire and fear.

Indeed, with a new outlet opening somewhere in the world every eighteen minutes, Ronald McDonald may be the most successful scientist/philosopher since Albert Einstein. A suitable heir-apparent to Mickey Mouse.

A philosopher-king.

The king may be dead.

Long live the king?


Les’s free career advice for MPs with potty-mouths and the sniffles

February 26, 2010

My family has lived in the Ontario, Canada riding of Simcoe-Grey for +50 years.

To say you could run a dog as a Conservative member of parliament ( MP), and it would win, is not an understatement, at all. As an example, a provincial NDP candidate once asked me in the 90s: “Hey Les, you wanna run next time?” Too bad I had an ambition-ectomy.

My kids are ribbed mercilessly when I routinely plant an orange sign on my lawn.

My federal member of parliament is Helena Guergis and the Mr. are in the news lately.

I retired from a reputable “career” when I was about 34.

Me giving career advice… Droll 😉


Hi. My name is Les and I’m a franchisee.

February 22, 2010

Hi Les.

So goes the introduction when you’re speaking at Alcoholics Anonymous, or so I’ve read.

I never thought of myself as having an addictive personality.

Sure I smoked heavily +30 years, drank a bit through school and had trouble “fitting into” a career but this idea is all very new to me.

After talking to hundreds of active and retired (“recovered”?) franchisees, I think there might be something to this idea.

I’ll be looking into this but defining “addiction” in a very broad sense such as behaviour which the person knows to ultimately life-degrading but seems powerless to stop.

Playing the same tape but expecting a different outcome.

I think addictions manifest themselves in the following areas:

  • physical, substance -all types: booze/heroin all the to caffeine (including food),
  • mental -helplessness, shame, guilt, arrogance,
  • social -authority, acceptance, money, shame,
  • careers -ambition, expertise, need to be right,
  • spirituality -moral superiority, narcissism,
  • the future -hubris,
  • high- and low-functioning -visible/non-visible,
  • poverty -material and non-material, and
  • others

I always knew I was “different”. Sort of like a missing chromosome or something. The more I talked to other franchisees, I came to feel that I wasn’t so alone.

I guess I’ve been trying to find a way out ever since.

Unity. Service. Recovery.


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