There is no disease I spit on more than treachery.

September 27, 2010

Aeschylus (Greek: Αισχύλος; c. 524/525 BC – c. 455/456 BC) was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often recognized as the father of tragedy.

His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos (αισχος), meaning “shame”.

Wikipedia

Remorse of Orest, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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CertaProSucks.org breaks new social media ground for franchisee advocacy

September 13, 2010

Kudos to the folks behind CertaProSucks.org for introducing a new way to communicate a former franchisee’s message.

This is the first application of a franchise investor, self-published animation…ever. A very complex message that is delivered in a beautifully simple manner. Dense with meaning. Well done.

Common archetypal themes (universal, systemic, across all systems) revealed by a cartoon:

  1. sold during a psychologically vulnerable time (unemployment),
  2. franchising is a sales game (not a product/painting business),
  3. no experience needed (those in industry can see through “con”),
  4. debt as a trap activated by shame,
  5. time (after the honeymoon when experience comes in),
  6. bankruptcy threats delivered via liquidated damage clauses (largely hollow threat to be sued for the royalties, ad fund, product margins for the years you are NOT a a franchisee; ie. the unused portion of your agreement’s 1st term).
  7. rapid cycling of selling-failure-re-sell (churning) possible through the promiscuous use of gag orders,
  8. shame-humiliation emotion is dominant human effect (It’s your fault, ad hominem, debt held by family),
  9. sloganeering techniques (mindless repetition of self-interested platitudes, thought-terminating cliches),
  10. the role of sociology in taking a loss or a spoiled identity (bankruptcy stigma, regret, isolation, and silence; On Cooling the Mark Out paper), and
  11. reason for failure: individual, one-off or business model engineered to maximize franchisor ROI via predatory re-selling process (statistics suggest the latter discoverable via simple a math formula in the disclosure documents; 43% over 3 years).

xtranormal.com certainly looks like fun.

I like the potential of bullshit dialogue being revealed through humour and thought bubbles.  Allows for the easy recognition of hyperbole and the misuse of metaphor. Ridicule is a very powerful tool if used correctly.

Love to see a series.


Can an empire be saved by shaming investors like Ariel Buk?

August 15, 2010

There are costs involved in maintaining investor confidence and commercial relationships. Some people need to learn to “take one for the team”.Ariel Buk and Sonia Karabin may need to understand that they should cool down, be quiet and go away about losing a $85,000 deposit on a non-existent Ontario, Canada franchise. They and, by extension, the many hundreds of other “failed franchisees” need to be taught their role in this confidence game by the industry stakeholders: take one for the team or risk being shamed.

1. James Daw presents the story in yesterday’s Toronto Star article,  Ice cream dream becomes nightmare about Mr Buk’s experience with Piazza Gelateria and Café. This is shrewd. For example, Mr. Daw opines:

They [husband and wife] should have looked more closely at the business opportunity, and their decision to use mainly borrowed funds after Buk had lost his job.

They should have considered the minimum $300,000 cost of a lawyer to sue for a refund if things went wrong, and the chances of recovering anything from a relatively young numbered company.

2. Robert Cialdini lists authority as one of Six Weapons of Influence. My experience is that attorneys are given a  lot of authority by new Canadians. Many of us see past their pretensions, BS and fear. [Examples of authority.]

Ben Hanuka of Davis Moldaver LLP is quoted as saying:

“Very few mom-and-pop franchisees ever go to that length (of hiring experts to research a franchise opportunity),” says Hanuka. “It sounds too complicated to them.”

All it well with the world the reader is assured. Go back to sleep because these people get what they deserved. The blame lies with:

  1. the anonymous, individual “other” (mildly retarded immigrant scapegoat) deserved what he got (“your success follows from your blind obedience to authority” dogma)  and not that
  2. stakeholders align their self-interest in maintaining a facade of legitimacy: not a fake, or a Potemkin village scheme which has preyed upon identifiable groups, in plain sight,  since at least 1971.

Social Psychology-based Hypothesis: Elite stakeholders deflect systemic wrongdoing by using the largely-internal mechanisms of On Cooling the Mark Out by Erving Goffman (shame-humiliation effect) while using the public’s widespread fallacy of the Belief in a Just World, BJW (Melvin Lerner, retired University of Waterloo, Canada) in the country’s largest daily newspaper.

Every dying empire resorts to displays of public humiliation.

Why were people crucified in Jesus’ time?
Crucifixion was a Roman custom used on the worst malefactors and rebellious slaves. Judea was a tributary to Rome at that time. It is recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus that after the last rebellion of the Jews and the capture and razing of Jerusalem, the countryside was practically denuded of trees the Romans crucified so many. WikiAnswer

Detail: Crucifixion was often performed to terrorize onlookers into submission. Victims were left on display after death as warnings. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally “out of crucifying”), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it), humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period…

While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals, writings by Seneca the Younger suggest that victims were crucified completely nude. When the criminal had to urinate or defecate, they had to do so in the open, in view of passers-by, resulting in discomfort and the attraction of insects. Despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape mention by some of their eminent orators. Cicero for example, in a speech that appears to have been an early bid for its abolition,  described crucifixion as “a most cruel and disgusting punishment”, and suggested that “the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears.” Wikipedia

Humiliation is the most unpredictable, violent and destructive human emotion. It can result in many types of loss (see Bob “Bhupinder” Baber, WikiFranchise.org)


Where shame is, there is also fear.

July 18, 2010

1. People think the most fearful people in franchising are franchisees.

They are wrong.

Franchisees certainly have difficulties but theirs are simpler and easier to deal with.

2. People then would believe that franchisors are pretty heavily weighted down with shame.

Yes. They have their share but not the majority.

3. The franchise lawyers are the locus of the majority of all shame-humiliation. They are crippled by it. The greatest fear I have ever seen is in the eyes of attorneys that I know. Some so great they are speechless when I see them.

Their role is to be Champions of Tyranny as Northrop Frye pointed out in his analysis of Blake.

Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth.

John Milton 1608 – 1674


Failed franchisees are stigmatized and shunned

July 13, 2010

It surprises me less as time goes on but it is remarkable how far all franchisees which I once considered friends, go out of their way to avoid public contact with me. They literally recoil in fear or catching some invisible but unwanted disease.

Their social/economic need not be defiled is very profound.

Stigma and Social Identity chapter

The Greeks, who were apparently strong on visual aids, originated the term stigma to refer to bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier. The signs were cut or burnt into the body and advertised that the bearer was a slave, a criminal, or a traitor – a blemished person, ritually polluted, to be avoided, especially in public places. Later, in Christian times, two layers of metaphor were added to the term: the first referred to bodily signs of holy grace that took the form of eruptive blossoms on the skin; the second, a medical allusion to this religious allusion, referred to bodily signs of physical disorder. Today the term is widely used in something like the original literal sense, but is applied more to the disgrace itself than to the bodily evidence of it…

Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Erving Goffman 1922 – 1982

I think most “failed” franchisees like me internalize this loathing which accounts for the dramatic under reporting of all franchise opportunism. The shaming that goes on by Blue MauMau contributors such as Richard Solomon, triggers this self-censuring mechanism quite well also.


Visual artists are experts in manipulating the viewer’s perception/brain

July 8, 2010

Fraud artists are experts in making a scam appear like a legitimate business.

The trick is to project the blame (from the con mob) onto the victim. Their shame-humiliation affect response will keep it quiet.

This is a two-dimensional chalk drawing made on an existing floor. The artist is letting the King pick his pocket.

Thanks to Mighty Optical Illusions.


The internet shocks and confounds water-based stakeholders

May 23, 2010

Modern franchising (franchisors, bar, franchisees, IndFAs) has evolved as if the industry were a plumbing/water system.

It was for many years:

  1. tangible, physical/one-dimensional, hierarchical, overt
  2. local/national largely, measurable, (hub:spoke structure, based on economics of scarcity/ignorance),
  3. highly controlled ($: valves, fittings, pipes, containers; can be patched),
  4. has inputs, use/abuse and disposal elements,
  5. externalizes waste via gatekeeper attorneys,
  6. launders and sanitizes industry reputations based on “new and improved” brand BS,
  7. utilized shame-humiliation to muffle dissent,
  8. burned off waste human life savings to reduce odor, and
  9. dogmatism largely unseen/unknowable outside of the royal priesthood (subterranean, veil of secrecy, culturally taken-for-granted: figure-ground problem).

However, with the start of something called “The Internet‘ and a proper issue indexing system, the industry environment has become much more like electricity or a gaseous/liquid and solid states:

  1. invisible, highly mobile, de-centralized, informal,
  2. it can leap or arc, volatilizes: solid right to gas),
  3. several dimension, pressures and forms (volts/amps),
  4. primarily transnational/international, (web structure, based on economics of abundance/knowledge),
  5. wild/unstable, cumulative, compressable, and
  6. much, much faster (travels at the speed of light/life).

As an internet activist, I am bi-/multi-lingual, which is a very Canadian thing. I  understand water, solid and air nations of franchising. I surf among and between the dying and newly born on a daily basis.

Old school stakeholders cling to their old ways:

wondering why more of the same-old solutions doesn’t work anymore.

“If we only had some more legal referrals” or “a better franchise law”, they all cry.


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