The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

michael jackson the entertainer

July4

I probably have Michael Jackson, some how, in the back of my mind a lot these days.

He is gone, and I don’t like that.

I don’t watch much television. But documentaries are popping up left and right. I was really surprised at how wistful I got watching footage of him from the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

To be very candid, and I know this is going to invoke some recrimination from his detractors (God knows I have a lot of those myself). But, I think we, as a community blew it. It was easy to write him off and make fun of much of his public (and perceived private) activity. He was absolutely bizarre at times. But, I often had this sense that much of that was driven by some off-center PR mechanism. He craved being in the news with great spectacle – and his handlers (this includes advisors) fed us with what might be more mythology than fact.

Much more important to me was his commitment and passion for entertaining – and, his ability to blow us all away is still impossible to match by any other performer that comes to mind. When I hear his voice – like with Man in the Mirror, I just can’t envision a monster.

I don’t want to go on with some insipid tribute to him. But, in my own unique and, typically oblique way, I want to point out that we are all really going to miss him.

I know I do.

Remember We are the World? Michael Jackson put that together with Quincy Jones.

The “kat” was a change agent.

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I have nothing but good thoughts and memories around Michael Jackson.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

love Kat tip #12

June18

If you don’t feel like you’re getting the love you should get, then maybe you should ask yourself if you’re giving the love you should give.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

In Jefferson's Shoes

December7

So, on January 2, 2007 I posted A Great Bargain.  This was about then Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Muslim, being sworn in on the Qur’an.

I really liked that piece, and I remain inspired.

Here is a bit more background that I have dug up as we continue to see the world today through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson…

Apparently Jefferson acquired his Qur’an not long after the injustice of the Stamp Act had forced him to seriously question the heritage of English constitutional law, and to seek ultimate answers in the ideas of natural law – and, natural rights.

Given the fact that he was devoting most of his time to the study of law, I suppose Jefferson could justify studying the Qur’an as well because it was/ is, essentially, a law book (or, book of laws).

Being, as Muslims believe, “the revealed word of God”, the Qur’an not only constitutes the sacred scripture of the Islamic faith, it also forms the supreme source of Islamic law. My take is that wanting to broaden his legal studies as much as possible, Jefferson found the Qur’an well worth his attention.

I am not trying to make a point here.  It’s simply that being Jefferson, the man was always looking for the alternative view.  This will, ultimately, be the foundation for my book: What would be Jefferson’s View?.

How would the world look from Jefferson’s view today?

This fascinates me. Truly this, say I.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

This weekend I have been listening to: Stronger by Kanye West, How Great Is Our God by Chris TomlinIs This Love by Bob Marley, Sorry by Buckcherry (However, I do prefer the acoustic version – you can get it on iTunes) and “Gunslinger” by Dan Fogerty (You can also find this on iTunes if you feel it’s important enough). I am, after all, both an enigma – and, a fellow with eclectic tastes.

And, I am a “Love Kat”.

Brian Patrick Cork

__________________________

Consider:  How Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an by Kevin J. Hayes, Early American Literature.

Ayn Rand and Me

December13

As I stated in my previous Blog entry about Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged is like Shakespeare for the businessperson. /1

I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time when I was 20 years old and a sophomore at Radford University. Professor Nick Pappas put that book in my hands, and I never saw business, or the way it impacted peoples lives the same. Dr. Pappas knew I was entrepreneurial. I had lost my Cross Country scholarship and was selling moonshine out of West Virginia to pay for school.

I was intrigued.

The book is long and epic. It took me over six months to read it – mostly because I was fascinated by how the characters viewed the world, business, and their roles in the fabric of the business community. They made me think in terms of why things happen, and how we can influence events in small ways with big outcomes. Shortly before graduation, I wrote Dr. Pappas a letter having decided that the book was a dissertation on “how smart people used uncommon fundamentals to shape successful business”. I relished every moment with each page. I am self-absorbed and a perfectionist. So, I saw myself in every word and changed by each paragraph. I started to envision what it would be like to run my own business. Atlas Shrugged made me want to create an organization that reflected my ideal; my self image; my perfectionism.

Every company I owned or operated focused on customer service. My father had been an officer in the Air Force, and we moved every two years. So, I understood the customer experience. I also “gave” 15% of the company to all of the employees. I sold that business for over five times what I paid for it.

I had decided that no matter what business I was involved with (operator, investor, etc.); I would give my clients the absolute best experience or result. I always offered my hand, and guaranteed the result.

To this day, most of my clients know that we guarantee our work. Some don’t think in those terms. But, even if they don’t know or care about my guarantee – that’s okay; because I know it.

I was also deeply influenced by how the “bosses” in the book treated their employees. This made me ask the question:

“Am I responsible for my people”?

Absolutely.

I had the epiphany that each employee, if enabled (and, inspired), is responsible for generating superior product to keep a job at the company. The company does not exist to put food on their plates.

The objective it to SERVE, and be part of the solution. /2

I believe we have a moral obligation to pursue our own happiness and also help people. Maybe this is what Granddad meant, in part, when he taught me to:

“Follow dreams and stay true to friends”.

When you are happy and fulfilled, other people are drawn to you and inspired. This enables you to help them. I think this means, in part, invest in ways to help other people.

This set the stage for every business and enterprise that I have been involved with.

Isn’t it ironic that the law of natural selection is often based on what the market decides? That is pure Ayn Rand (and, I hope, Brian Cork).

A step in the path to being a “Love Kat”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork
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1/ “Why Ayn Rand Was a Visionary.

2/ These words; in this combination; with this context evolved after I became a Volunteer Fire Fighter. Battalion Chief Chuck Schmidt challenged us all to be “Part of the solution, not the problem”.

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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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