Don’t think twice it’s all right

November 24, 2009

We saw Dylan at the Aud on Nov 7th.

Amazing.

Pick up his Christmas CD.

Christmas in the Heart, Bob Dylan

by Vish Khanna

For all the praise heaped upon Bob Dylan, he’s seldom given credit for his sense of humour, an attribute most amply exhibited throughout his latest and most bizarre release in recent memory. Beyond the obvious oddness of a devout Jew recording 15 Christmas songs, the choices Dylan makes as the producer of this holiday-themed record (whose proceeds go to charity) are certainly bemusing. When he’s earnest, he’s full-on about it on versions of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “O’ Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles).” But the most effective songs are done for fun, capturing the child-like wonder of the season. With charming, angelic back-up vocalists and a variety of instrumentalists augmenting his crack live band, Dylan clearly enjoyed arranging amusing takes on “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Christmas Island” and album highlight “Must Be Santa,” which can only be described as a hoot. In great command of his weathered voice, Dylan crafts a present for fans with Christmas in the Heart. (Columbia) Source


Franchise Bar: The Name of the Game is Shame

October 11, 2009

Shame

Bad dog.

Filthy animal.

Shame dis-ables franchisees.

It breeds a cluster of behaviours that is inaccurately categorized as depression.

The affect of shame – humiliation disables their defences, confuses them and makes them appear to others (and themselves) as stupid, grim and uneducated: a lower caste.

My observation is that shame is the primary driver in modern, mom-pop franchising today. It is its strength and its downfall.

All addictions are either killed by those that benefit from them in the short-term. Or they kill the addicted host.

Dispute Resolution: Within a franchise, franchisors trigger this emotion on the individual level. When franchisees ask questions and surface to the public policy areas, the associations and their franchise bar takes over that shaming exercise. Of course, the cannon fodder lawyers (ie. Tier 2 intellectuals, overly-ambitious and -trusting) are sent into the parliamentarian No-Man’s-Land.

The franchise bar and their leaders are the engineers of this very high cash flow shame – silencing game.

Franchisees: Be Attentive.

  1. The start for individual healing is identifying their depression as shame in drag and seeking out those that have gone through it. It helps with the isolation and sweeps away the confusion and deceit. Listen. Laugh. Live again.
  2. Maybe looking at the Compass of Shame with your partner?
  3. Always, always, always report in with the only true franchise professional: your family medical doctor.

Leave franchising to devour itself. There’s lots of interior work and other-centred work to do.

The worm will commit suicide just like every other totalitarian empire has despite the illusion of strength of its tin-pot tyrants.


Franchising’ll change you

October 9, 2009

Certain experiences re-wire your brain and heart.

For me, it’s made me a new man.

The old Les is dead and a new Les exists.

I try to accept that reality but change pisses me off, like everyone else. I have grieved the death of past expectations by listening to others.

For those with ears, music is a way of keeping sane in the midst of insanity (delusions: self- and other- based).

And every once in awhile,  I’m reminded why I’ve been on this 11 year vocation.

Til I’m Myself Again, Blue Rodeo

I want to know where my confidence went
One day it all disappeared
And I’m lying in a hotel room miles away
Voices next door in my ear

Daytime’s a drag
Nighttime’s worse
Hope that I can get home soon
But the half-finished bottles of inspiration
Lie like ghosts in my room

I want to go
I know I can’t stay
But I don’t want to run
Feeling this way
Til I am myself
Til I am myself
Til I am myself again

There’s a seat on the corner I keep every night
Wait til the evening begins
I feel like a stranger from another world
But at least I’m living again

There are nights full of anger
Words that are thrown
Tempers that are shattered and thin
But the moments of magic
Are just too short
They’re over before they begin

I know it’s time
One big step
I can’t go
I’m not ready yet
Til I am myself
Til I am myself
Til I am myself again

I had a dream that my house was on fire
People laughed while it burned
I tried to run but my legs were numb
I had to wait til the feeling returned

I don’t need a doctor to figure it out
I know what’s passing me by
When I look in the mirror
Sometimes I see traces of some other guy

I want to go
I know I can’t stay
But I don’t want to run
Feeling this way
Til I am myself
Til I am myself
Til I am myself again


My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.

August 28, 2009

MartinLutherMusicMartin Luther knew music has the capacity to move people.

If you young fellows were wise, the devil couldn’t do anything to you, but since you aren’t wise, you need us who are old.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favour that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.

But since the devil’s bride, Reason, that pretty whore, comes in and thinks she’s wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit, who can help us, then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because [reason] is the Devil’s greatest whore.

Rise Up, Parachute Club
(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
We’re dancing into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It’s time for celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Spirit’s time has come

We want lovin’ we want laughter again
We want heartbeat
We want madness to end
We want dancin’
We wanna run in the streets
We want freedom to live in this peace

We want power
We want to make it ok
Want to be singin’ at the end of the day
Children to breathe a new life
We want freedom to love who we please

*Chorus
(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
Everybody dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It’s time for celebration
(Rise up rise up)
The Spirit’s time has come

Talkin’ ’bout the right time to be workin’ for peace
Wantin’ all the tension in the world to ease
This tightrope’s gotta learn how to bend
We’re makin’ new plans
Gonna start it again

(Repeat chorus)
Rise up now

It’s time, it’s time, it’s time

(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
But dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It’s time for a celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Everbody’s time has come
Spirit’s time has come
Spirit’s time has come

(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
All dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It’s time for a celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Everybody’s time has come
Spirit’s time has come
Spirit’s time has come
(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power…


Ship of Fools: Something hidden down below the level of conversation?

August 7, 2009

Probably the first time I heard the phrase “Ship of Fools”.

It’s an ancient message.

Ship of Fools, Bob Seger from the 1976 album Night Moves

“Tell me quick” said old McFee
“What’s this all have to do with me?
I’ve spent all my time at sea a loner.”

“Is there something else I should know?
Something hidden down below the level of your conversation?”
Well he turned away before the answer
Though I yelled aloud he refused to hear
It became to clear
So it went as we put out
I was left in constant doubt
Everything I asked about seemed private

The captain strolled the bridge one night
I stopped him in the evening light
To ask him would it be all right to join him

But he stood there like some idol
And he listened like some temple
And then he turned away

All along the fateful coast
We moved silent like a ghost
The timeless sea of tireless host possessed us
The wind came building from the cold northwest
And soon the waves began to crest
Crashing cross the forward deck
All hands lost

I alone survived the sinking
I alone possessed the tools
On that ship of fools


There isn’t much that I have learned, Through all my foolish years

July 29, 2009

Frank Sinatra had a quality that defied easy description. I didn’t know him so much as a singer. Maybe more as an actor.

I had originally published this post last Nov but the YouTube embed was removed.

Anyway, this song made me laugh out loud when I first heard Frank sing it. Michael does a very fine cover.

MichaelMartino

Cycles, Frank Sinatra

So I’m down and so I’m out
But so are many others
So I feel like tryin’ to hide
My head ‘neath these covers
Life is like the seasons
After winter comes the spring
So I’ll keep this smile awhile
And see what tomorrow brings

I’ve been told and I believe
That life is meant for livin’
And even when my chips are low
There’s still some left for givin’
I’ve been many places
Maybe not as far as you
So I think I’ll stay awhile
And see if some dreams come true

There isn’t much that I have learned
Through all my foolish years
Except that life keeps runnin’ in cycles
First there’s laughter, then those tears

But I’ll keep my head up high
Although I’m kinda tired
My gal just up and left last week
Friday I got fired
You know it’s almost funny
But things can’t get worse than now
So I’ll keep on tryin’ to sing
But please, just don’t ask me how


It took most of his savings, he would have gladly used them all.

July 28, 2009

It’s great to have dreams or ambitions.

But others may prey on them, even unintentionally at times. Most times, those higher on the food chain are carnivores.

  • The role of artists is to tell specific stories that have universal applications.
  • If we are willing to listen.

I saw Harry Chapin at Alumni Hall at the University of Western Ontario on January 19, 1979. This video is from a Hamilton, ON concert that August. He died in 1981.

Mr. Tanner, Harry Chapin

Mister Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest.
And of all the cleaning shops around he’d made his the best.
But he also was a baritone who sang while hanging clothes.
He practiced scales while pressing tails and sang at local shows.
His friends and neighbours praised the voice that poured out from his throat.
They said that he should use his gift instead of cleaning coats.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

His friends kept working on him to try music out full time.
A big debut and rave reviews, a great career to climb.
Finally they got to him, he would take the fling.
A concert agent in New York agreed to have him sing.
And there were plane tickets, phone calls, money spent to rent the hall.
It took most of his savings, he would have gladly used them all.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

The evening came, he took the stage, his face set in a smile.
And in the half-filled hall the critics sat watching on the aisle.
But the concert was a blur to him, spatters of applause.
He did not know how well he sang, he only heard the flaws.
But the critics were concise, it only took four lines.
But no one could accuse them of being over kind.

(spoken) Mr. Martin Tanner, Baritone, of Dayton, Ohio made his
Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately
his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards.
His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it
consistently interesting.
(sung) Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.

He came home to Dayton and was questioned by his friends.
Then he smiled and just said nothing and he never sang again,
excepting very late at night when the shop was dark and closed.
He sang softly to himself as he sorted through the clothes.

Music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
(And) he did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.


franchise Prose and Poetry: Two means to a dignified end

June 8, 2009

HeartMindWhat kind of gibberish is that fool Stewart spouting-off now?

I appreciate that I use language in a different way than many industry observers.

I do that to break through the incessant, mind-numbing static in franchising. Buy, buy, buy, buy…seems to be the only message grinded out.

I’d like to thank Paul Steinberg over at Blue MauMau for drawing people’s attention toward this last year.

In business, everyone is accustomed to a literal, fact-based means of communication. That style is called prose. It is “head-based”, logical.

prose n 1 the ordinary form of the written or spoken language 2 a passage of prose, esp. for translation into a foreign language 3 a dull or commonplace speech, writing, etc…

Sometimes I move away and write in a form of poetry. Poetry is “heart-based”.

poetry n 1a the expression or embodiment of beautiful or elevated thought, imagination or feeling in language and a form adapted to stir the imagination and the emotions

Let’s repeat that: …in a language and a form adapted to stir the imagination…

  • This is precisely what I am trying to do.

Prose  works through logic, 1+1=2. Poetry through emotion, both base (anger, fear, revenge) and higher order (justice, freedom, fraternity, longing). Both routes are valid but poetry is the much less common one. Poetry can be written to strum the reader’s heartstrings.

My experience is that franchisees have their imagination drummed out of them very quickly. Sometimes, just like a cult, they are so busy, busy, busy that they have no time for reflection and become incapable of helping themselves. Someone who is helpless has zero de facto rights because they have been socialized into passivity.

I use poetry and the related arts (see why I reference YouTube music videos?) to try to invoke imagination which starts to heal the learned helplessness that I see so many franchisees and their families suffering from.

Poetry and prose are different means to the same end: improved individual freedom as a product of triggering an internal imaginative response.

Franchisees can only be free if they, in their gut, when they resolve to:

  1. refuse to be degraded by any one anymore AND
  2. refuse to degrade anyone else (including your “Enemy”) in their quest for dignity.

You can do 1. in your head an pay lip-service. That challenge (in every aspect of your life) is 2.: raising yourself up by not pushing someone else down.

These are the laws, universally applied somehow.


And we schemed a lot, And we tried to sing of love before the stage fell apart

May 16, 2009

cslewis6It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.

C.S. Lewis

If Everyone was Listening, Supertramp from the album Crime of the Century, 1974.

The actors and jesters are here
The stage is in darkness and clear
We’re raising the curtain
And no-ones quite certain whose play it is
How long ago, how long
If only we had listened then.
If we’d known just how right we were going to be.
For we dreamed a lot
And we schemed a lot
And we tried to sing of love before the stage fell apart.

If everyone was listening you know
There’d be a chance that we could save the show
Who’ll be the last clown
To bring the house down?
Oh no, please no, don’t let the curtain fall

Well, what is your costume today?
Who are the props in your play?
You’re acting a part which you thought from the start
Was an honest one.
Well how do you plead?
An actor indeed!
Go re-learn your lines,
You don’t know what you’ve done
The finale’s begun.

If everyone was listening you know
There’d be a chance that we could save the show,
Who’ll be the last clown
To bring the house down?
Oh no, please no, dont let the curtain fall.


You’re my witness, I’m your mutineer

May 1, 2009

Mutineer, Warren Zevon

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Hoist the mainsail – here I come
Ain’t no room on board for the insincere
You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer

I was born to rock the boat
Some may sink but we will float
Grab your coat – let’s get out of here
You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer

Long ago we laughed at shadows
Lightning flashed and thunder followed us
It could never find us here
You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer

Long ago we laughed at shadows
Lightning flashed and thunder followed us
It could never find us here
You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer

I was born to rock the boat
Some may sink but we will float
Grab your coat – let’s get out of here
You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer

You’re my witness
I’m your mutineer


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