Daily Archives: June 3, 2010

Quote of the Day (2): “Yeah, we waterboarded”


“Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  I’d do it again to save lives.”  George W. Bush to the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 2nd, 2010.

Now both the former president and vice-president of the United States are unequivocally self-confessed war criminals.

Above, a demonstration of waterboarding upon a willing volunteer: and still very, very shocking because the uncontrollable animal fear is instantaneous.

Quote of the Day: “Drill, Baby, Drill”


Here’s Sarah Palin’s tweet of two days ago:

She is of course lying.  Watch Chris Matthews’s report above.

Nella Cotrupi: “Crucified Woman Reborn” Conference Roundup

Triptych of the crucified woman 5

Tryptich by Sophie Jungries

A few personal responses to the talks I attended at the “Crucified Woman Reborn” conference, Emmanuel College, May 14 and 15, 2010

Doris Jean Dyke was the opening keynote speaker at the conference. Doris was the first woman professor at Emmanuel College, and the author of the book, Crucified Woman. This book tells the story of how Almuth Lutkenhaus’ sculpture came to Emmanuel College, and the theological debates it set off.

In her viola-timbred voice, Doris gave a moving talk that included many examples of women associated with the cross, including an eye-opening reference to Hagar of the old testament, as one of the earliest examples of domestic abuse.  Another reference that I found intriguing was to Chaim Potok’s novel, My Name is Asher Lev.  Here the young orthodox Jewish artist paints his mother as crucified and captive, the very ground of the “war” between himself and his father. Asher, an observant Jew, created this painting of a crucifixion because, he says, “there was no aesthetic mold in his own religion into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish.”

Photojournalist Rita Leistner later took us through haunting, disturbing photographic images, some of them taken by her and some by other women photojournalists. These photos included images of abandoned mental patients and self-immolated child brides in Iraq, as well as images of Jewish women protesting their exclusion from prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I thought again about the many ways that women continue to be crucified in our world today.

I take comfort in looking back to the opening ceremony in the sculpture garden, with the wind moving the branches of the silver birches so that they formed a swaying shawl around Lutkenhaus’s statue. Marjory Noganosh and Dorothy Peters opened the conference and gave thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, symbolized by of a bowl of water and a bowl of red, heart-shaped berries. I realize, once again, that we are learning many lessons about living in peace, not just with each other, but with the entire cosmos, from the gentle teachings and wisdom of this country’s first people.

Second Day of the “Crucified Woman Reborn” conference, May 15, 2010

The dance in the garden – humor and satire; rhythm and colour. In the final act, a many coloured prayer shawl is placed on the shoulders of the lady statue.

Marjory’s opening talk: It’s not about throwing everything away from our own traditions – keep, safeguard what works. This resonated with Pat Capponi’s comments about her advice to her activist apprentices that they need not scrape the bottom of their emotional well of painful life experiences to find the resources for the activist work they are being trained to do on poverty and mental health issues. Just skim the surface of the deep well – that is enough. Measure and moderation as a response in the face of extreme need for social action – this is very interesting.

Sophie Jungreis: I note the very visceral nature of the paintings and the sculpture – like Rita’s photos, not pretty. Here we go into the deep recesses of the psyche to explore the roots of pain, and of healing. See Sophie’s reference to the lines in the blessings of Jacob to Joseph: (Gen. 49:25): “Blessing of the deep that couches beneath / blessings of the breast and of the womb.”

Frye Alert

PSFK Management (l-r): Jeff Weiner (Business Development), Dan Gould (Content), Hedyeh Parsia (Events & Operations), Piers Fawkes (Founder & CEO), Scott Lachut (Consultancy)
PSFK Management, left to right: Jeff Weiner (Business Development),
Dan Gould (Content), Hedyeh Parsia (Events & Operations), Piers Fawkes
(Founder & CEO), Scott Lachut (Consultancy)

PSFK is a New York City based trends research and innovation company that publishes a daily news site, provides trends research and innovation consultancy, manages a network of freelance experts and hosts idea-generating events. We aim to inspire our readers, our clients and our guests to make things better – whether that’s better products, better services, better lives or a better world.

— From the PSFK Website

I’m not sure exactly what most of that entails, but I do know that PSFK put up a long post yesterday — “Four Storytelling Genres of Brand Re-Invention” — adapting Frye’s theory of myths wholesale (although they probably should have valued it retail).  A sample:

The literary critic Herman Northrop Frye explored the typology of narrative genres. He emerged with a core set, you might call the Four Seasons; Romance, Tragedy, Comedy, and Irony. These archetypal genres play an important role in the history of literary traditions, media, and the cultural psyche. Frye argued that most stories about the human experience fall into one of these four general buckets. There’s some great insight to draw on when it comes to the process of re-invention.

1. ROMANCE represents a “back to origin” story thru re-commitment to core values and re-interpretation of the past.

This is a very popular genre that guides many if not most brand re-inventions. The Obama political campaign was based on these principles. While the message was built on change, it was always in the context of fulfilling our ancient promise and manifest destiny as a nation. Those famous Moleskine notebooks is equally a story of an almost defunct brand with legendary origins, brought back from obscurity and re-packaged for the new context of culture creatives.

Another great example is that of Apple. Just last week Apple replaced Microsoft as the largest market cap tech company in the world. Yet back in 1997, Apple was in a different place. When Steve Jobs returned, it was on the brink of bankruptcy, and a strong acquisition target. Jobs re-ignited the fire – by reminding people of the company’s DNA and its legacy for free-spirited ingenuity. Its no small coincidence, that equally in 1997 Apple launched its groundbreaking Think Different campaign. It announced first to itself and then the world, that it remembered who it really was.

2. TRAGEDY is the classic redemption storyline.

We love it when our heroes fall from grace only to get back up for another chapter. It’s how Donald Trump and Martha Stewart got a second chance and each became ever bigger global brands. And it’s what both Toyota and Tiger Woods are now desperately praying they can accomplish.

Domino’s Pizza is an example of a big brand success to give us hope. The brand hit rock bottom last year after two employees posted a Youtube video with distasteful food pranks played on unsuspecting customers. The scandal that ensued but Domino’s in the brand reputation hot seat.

Fast forward to the spring 2010. Domino’s current campaign is a mea culpa to the world. In the ads, executives acknowledge how they lost touch with the quality and taste of their product. In turn, they listened soberly to customer complaints and have re-formulated their pizza into something they can be proud of. They’ve also created a marketing campaign with incentives for people to come back and give them a chance. Two medium pizzas for just $5.99 each! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

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