The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Culture

How Far Will You Take $100?

April11

lots of questions… so… how do we teach our kids to do Spring Break right?

do we have a different perspective if we are the parents of a son or daughter?

how many of us fear our kids will do what we did?

and… $100 bucks?

…oh… and, “bend your knees”.

wait… what about the High School age kids now invading Spring Break?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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word on the Street

December26

recent conversation with one of my u14 soccer players:

“I go to an [redacted...] school, so there always seems to be a lot of drama.”

“Drama about what?”

“These days it always seems to originate from something that somebody tweeted or posted.”

on the other hand…

while I come across as ever so optimistic, I tend to be cynical about a lot of things. however, I’m always looking for good. it’s around here, somewhere.

but let me tell you about author Maya Angelou. this  is somebody that no matter how much we pick her apart, she still has integrity. Angelou was a victim of incest and rape, and she worked as a stripper. and, now she’s a literary icon and Nobel Laureate.

Angelou also inspired Beyonce when she created a fragrance. read about that, here: Beyoncé’s New Fragrance Was Inspired by Maya Angelou and Smells Like Overcoming Adversity

I’ll also note, here that Beyonce just turned the music industry on it’s collective ear by launching her latest album on iTunes while disdaining the typical industry hoopla. she let her genuine fans light the beacon. you can read a bit more about that, here: No stunt: Beyonce’s sneak attack on the music industry resets the rules

it goes to show that life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience.

I coached a kid for a couple of years named AC. she once told me:

“we gotta use our super powers for good.”

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

NOTE:  Maya Angelou is an American author and poet. She has published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.

I coach girls in soccer becuase they have more worth than they can imagine today and I want them to be part of something special they won’t be able to fully describe until they have children of their own.

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What if we could VOTE by Twitter?

December12

yesterday I posted:

no one can say Obama does not lead by example. his Selfie reflects a Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition.

that set-off quite a firestorm of activity for me. I had people emailing, texting and calling me with the opinion that I had formed a negative stance too fast. others opined that I had wittily exposed a sour underbelly of the Obama character train-wreck. but, most lamented the fact that the world had focused its attention on Obama and not the brilliant memorial for Nelson Mandela.

politics, and also religion, are tough topics around friendships. you can tell a neighbor his kid is bad and remain in better form more often than if you disagree about things like political commentary.

I’m going to keep pondering and potentially posting how I feel about all of this. I’m troubled, to be certain.

what if we could cast our vote by Twitter? or, what if our president was held to his post by on-going comments like those we all follow at the butt-end of news articles? does feedback actually matter any longer?

perhaps I was naive, and the media had not quite rotted into the putrid mess is represents today, but I feel pretty good about the Ronald Reagan (Republican) administration. I never cared about his party affiliation. I simply believed he had a sense of himself and what he felt was both right-and-wrong. so, he soldiered through and fought for all of us. that said, can any of you point to a meaningful thing that George W. Bush (Republican) did while in office other then make us all think he pulled the wool over our eyes after 911? Bill Clinton (Democrat) was probably a pretty good president. He was a VERY good foreign policy enforcer. however, we will think first about his infidelity. does this mean karma kicks-in and Hilary Clinton gets a shot at the White House? I’d vote for her, today. And, with Hilary, you get Bill back.

Darren LaPorte took exception to my post. he is a genuinely good man. we exchanged a fair amount of emails over the topic. one excerpt I’ll share with you is this:

“…But looking at your linked in, I used to look forward to reading your insights, but it just seems over the last couple of years, it’s been a lot of Obama bashing. Just an observation. I never put my political views out there.  Of course we are still friends.”

my response, in part:

“Candidly, I feel the quality of my writing has fallen-off dramatically. So, thanks for holding me accountable.

And, to be very transparent, I don’t like bashing my Commander-in-Chief. I am letting my frustration poison my other senses. I’ll not doubt many others feel the same way about my blog as yourself. I’m a much more positive thinker than that. I’ve been lazy.”

so… I just posted the following on Linkedin:

8 Photos You Didn’t See From Obama’s Trip to South Africa - policymic.com

“There was a hell of a lot more that went on besides that selfie.”

Part I: I joined the Obama-razzing party yesterday. I can’t tell you today if that was fair or not. But, my dear and transformed friend Darren LaPorte called me out and is holding me accountable around fairness. So… There has been a great deal of press around the spin of the “selfie” and related stories that unfortunately trumped the Mandela memorial event. I know its common for current and past CE’s to travel, work and hang-out together. I’ve experienced it first-hand at [REDACTED] house.

Part II: Both parties are more aligned than most people realize. However, members of the House and Senate are more concerned about staying in their seats. I’m at a loss as to the best role for our president today. The last one I had real faith in was Bill Clinton, a Democrat. I do think its funny Bush has an Instagram page. And, who could blame anyone, let alone Obama, for seeking a photo-op with Bono. If we could side-step the requirement for citizenship I’d like Bono to be our president for three years. But, I’d buy him as president of the United Nations. That would be genuinely interesting.

at the three year mark we can start commenting via social platforms for a real-time determination that he keeps his post, or not. as we are learning with members of the House and Senate, and the White House, “four-more-years, or even “two-more-years”, can be too long and unproductive. on the other hand, we never had Mandela long enough.

more later.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

 

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apples are good for you by design

November21

why, you, that collective you, ask, do I, the infinitely singular me, love Apple products so dearly?

it’s not as simple as being an “Apple Fanboy”. while its an apt first impression that’s shallow thinking, on both sides. however, coming to a point of appreciation for a company like Apple, its people, and products, takes time. there must needs be a process that tracks experience, acumen, and perspective. some people understand that a reason to deeply love a Porsche is because of the unique “paper-tearing” aspect of sound generated by the power-plant (engine [or "motor" if yer English]), or the smooth if not hypnotic motion realized by the hands sweeping around a Rolex watch.

there is no mystery, thus no surprise, that the United States favors the iPhone, while the masses that surround us must accept an Android device. while we may not always be the smartest people by grade point average, we do amass the most wealth, and evidently insist on a higher product standard. we also appreciate beautiful and well-crafted things. no… we insist on such quality.

consider the spot, called “Pencil”, beautifully written and art directed. it has Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White of “Breaking Bad”, the hottest (by demand, and less so appearance) actor on the planet, doing the voice-over. and, it has a killer demo to visualize just how thin the new iPad really is. a genuine marvel of technology enhanced by the aesthetic that compels utilization.

innovation + technology + beauty + desire + utilization +  utilization = productivity.

I made that up, but it’s an undeniable formula for success.

for most of this 60-second ad, this cleverly photographed commercial focuses on that classic tool of artists, writers and composers – the everyday No. 2 yellow pencil. Cranston goes on about how this simple object can be a powerful tool that transforms how we work and share, as the camera zooms in on a pencil sitting horizontally against various backdrops. that is, until the big reveal – a hand (almost akin to a Davinci painting) comes in the last couple of seconds to pull something obscured by the pencil – Apple’s new iPad Air.

the clever “Pencil” ad points to the various ways that the iPad has become an enabler of content creation. like the yellow pencil, it “can be used to start a poem, or finish a symphony,” Cranston’s narration says.

“It has transformed the way we work, learn, create, share,” he intones. “It used to illustrate things, solve things, and think of new things. It’s used by scientists and artists, scholars and students. It’s been to classrooms, boardrooms, expeditions, even to space.” And we can’t wait to see where you’ll take it next.”

just beautiful, graceful language.

Apple always understood that coolness is an appeal to our imagination and passions, defining who we are and who we want to be. its greatest ads were always poetic, and aspirational. I uses aspirational instead of inspirational because the ads compel us to take action that can make us better tomorrow than we are today.

action creates activity. activity becomes defined by creativity and ingenuity. its all sublime within its symmetry.

Apple ads at their best connect with us viscerally because of their optimism, and appeal to our self-esteem. They encourage us to dream and pursue, and not just follow, our dreams. What can be cooler than technology enabling the possibility of creativity and innovation.

“Apple has over four hundred (400) of the world’s highest grossing stores, while Samsung has succeeded in large part by spending $4.2 billion a year on advertising – four times that of Apple.”

by comparison, Google’s Motorola (that reads odd in the context of how we have always known Motorola, eh) has announced it’s selling a down market discount model, the Moto G, for what reviewers call the “ludicrously cheap price tag” of $179 without a contract, certain to accelerate what Steve Jobs derided as “race to the bottom pricing.”

meanwhile Apple is designing, delighting and pricing its way to the top. Apple’s latest cell phone introduction proved that the company’s core customers are frantic to buy its most expensive model – the 5S, while demonstrating ambivalence toward its less expensive 5C. this is not the “glass half full or a simple opinion. this is a demonstration of genuine power to move people to identify with excellence.

the gold 5S has been a massive, worldwide product phenomenon, flying out of stores largely on design and appearances. some Wall Street analysts call this high margin sales surge a failure, noting that Apple is losing market share in developing markets by failing to sell a cheap phone. they’ve got it backwards. when customers clamor for your top line product everywhere that’s a good thing. let someone else sell more compact cars if you can dominate the world market for BMWs or Teslas.

Michael Welsh But low end companies have a much easier time moving into the premium space than premium brands have moving down to gain market share.

Brian Patrick Cork I can’t speak for the company, but I’m reasonably certain Apple does not equate market share with profit. A smaller number of people can buy their products and generate more revenue than competitors.

aesthetics and design is the new digital divide. most techies, analysts and bloggers simply can’t fathom why Apple soaked up 56 percent of the profit in the world’s mobile markets during the last quarter. sure, Apple boasts a rich, diverse ecosystem (phones, tablets, laptops, content, software, etc.) and powerful and versatile chips, but that’s not what’s driving extraordinary sales. design is what is winning over Apple cohorts – that subtle combination of materials, weight, lines, and how it feels in your hand.

it’s the same elusive quality that gets women to blithely pay $5,000 for a Prada handbag or a man to gladly fork over $6,000 for a Breitling watch.

finally… Apple’s biggest innovation by far has been magically transforming everyday digital devices into iconic things we desire on a deep, primitive human level.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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