The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

why Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is a text book for viral Marketing

July8

I recently wrote about the new Atlas Shrugged movie with some notes related to Ayn Rand’s first novel, The Fountainhead.

it occurred to me that great books are a terrific example of viral marketing. I had a younger fellow that used to work around me whom appeared to genuinely believe that every meaningful piece of technology or process was unique, if not invented, by his particular generation, or those that are following.

NOTE: he has no idea that, at fifty (I’ll be one hundred years old in fifty years), I have invented the cure for stupidity. more on that later.

in any event, great books that are examples of viral marketing include the Bible, and The Fountainhead. my own blog (this blog, in fact) is not terrific, or great, by any measure. it’s not even a book. but,  you can assign it as virally relevant by its growth in readership.

all three evidently touch people in a way that cause them to spread the word, so to speak.

I’ll gamble that most of my readers know what the Bible is and does. so, I’ll add some detail, here to your understanding of The Fountainhead (but, maybe, more so, Rand’s epic Atlas Shrugged). ironically, reading The Fountainhead and the Bible just might help you appreciate both in somewhat unexpected ways.

The Fountainhead manuscript, for example, was rejected by twelve publishers before a young editor, Archibald Ogden, at the Bobbs-Merrill Company apparently risked his job to get it published. despite mixed reviews from the contemporary media, the book gained a following by word of mouth and became a bestseller. the novel was made into a Hollywood film in 1949. Rand wrote the screenplay, and Gary Cooper played Roark. many of you reading this post are probably scratching your heads, and collectively asking:

who the hell is Gary Cooper?

my best answer is he also played the title character in the film of the 1939 film Beau Geste (the 1926 version was pretty good, just not the way Cooper pulled it off). for the record, Beau Geste is a 1924 adventure novel by P. C. Wren.

by the way… never underestimate Ray Milland.

you need to read it (The Fountainhead, and Beau Geste – just so we are clear). do it! and, when you do, guess what? you’ll tell your friends about it. then after reading this blog post you just might start thinking a bit more about the Bible – and, Atlas Shrugged. mind you, be prepared for elements of these books that are directly conflicted one with the other. but, opinions only gather power when both sides are ably considered, eh. it’s feasible you will investigate just why I draw comparisons between such disparate books. that means you just might talk about it at a cocktail party, or at Lake Lanier while you are hosing down the boat.

…see… viral marketing, at it’s best and most natural.

if I ever get to act in a movie, I want it to be a remake of Beau Geste.

by the way… anything that has something to do with the French Foreign Legion has awesomeness all over it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

remembering Patricia Neal

August9

Husky throated Patricia Neal took her last breath on Martha’s Vineyard.

But, long before she did that she managed to live life akin to a Greek tragedy. This included a series of strokes beginning at age thirty nine and the loss of a seven year old daughter to measles. However, she also inspired many with her courage and keen sense of community.

But, she also had the female lead, opposite Gary Cooper, in the 1949 film version of Ayn Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead,” and was the original Mother on the Waltons.

As many readers of this blog are well aware, Ayn Rand shaped my early life both in business and outside of it. And, I spent many an hour between college classes at Radford University and varsity sports watching The Waltons. So, that help reinforce some of my views as well. In fact, many of my fellows within the Prudent Society of Optimistic Gentlemen share that same foundation.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

anniversaries are milestones

March18

We should always be celebrating something.

I have a lot to be grateful for. Oddly though, when ever I say or write something like that my mind snaps-back to Colorado. Always a filter; a constant reminder; ever, the baring point.

And, perhaps the fountainhead foundation for this post.

I have an anniversary of sorts looming.

I graduated from Radford University in May of 1984. In fact, I’ve been named a “Centennial Ambassador” with Radford’s own one-hundreth year of academic excellence at-hand. All that’s fine and dandy – and, based upon many an adventure tried-and-true. But, the significant event that made much of my college experience valid (relative to today), beyond meeting Dr. Nick Pappas, was me selling a business I ran the last two years of school.

The details are less important than the result. I was able to take care of a family, based upon a solemn pledge, which included putting the sons of another man through college themselves while caring for his widow.

Perhaps the best part, though, was me driving cross country with $300,000  in a simple plain paper bag to give my Grandad (a 6x return on his investment, mind you) back the money he grub-staked me for the business I had turned around and then sold one week after graduation.

Thomas Jefferson and Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged), long my inspirations, remain hopefully pleased and content to be represented. A foundation, if you will for my being a Prudent and Optimistic Gentleman.

May will be here before I know it. But the memories earned and lessons learned between those distinct months of May are countless, and marked by milestones of inconceivable and incalculable value.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

dads and Daughters: example

January29

The following is a note from Drew Tilghman.  He puts together a Blog titled The Sojournaler.

This was in response to my Blog Post The Dark Monkey.

“…thanks for posting so transparently about your daughter, Haley Anne. I have two daughters, nine and seven years old. Just before your blog was posted, I opened up gmail accounts for both of my daughters. I did so because my older daughter has a friend in her school who has one, and my daughter wanted to be able to write emails back and forth with her. I thought it harmless enough and of course I had to do for my younger daughter what I was doing for my older daughter. I told them both that they could only email when I am with them and that they had to pass all “friends” by me. 

We spent the rest of that day, laying on my bed next to one another, emailing and chatting with one another. For the moment, it was a little bit of heaven. The three of us communicating in written words what we could have merely said to one another’s face. I had this deep unrest, though. I knew that they were not ready for the email accounts. So I told myself, and my girls, that there would be strict constraints here. I knew, deep down, that they were not ready.

Then I read your blog. Again, thanks for your transparency. The reality of this culture is a forceful one. Our daughters’ innocence and modesty are at stake. I have revoked my girls’ accounts, and amazingly they understand. It is good to have other fathers who are open and honest about their love for their children. We love so imperfectly, but we love. I hope and pray that our daughters will see that and trust that love. It is this love, ultimately, that will guide our daughters into a full maturity that we have so desperately prayed they will discover.” – Drew Tilghman

After a brief exchange, he followed up with:

“p.s. thanks for having the balls to say some of the things you say.”

Then, he hauls-off and challenges me to go one step further and talk/reveal/discuss/ example my thoughts and feelings.

…Dude.

Fine.

So…

I have been thinking about Drew’s response – and, the terrific feedback I get from so many others that follow my Blog; and, the things I do with my life.

I may well have the coolest job in the world.  I hang out all day telling men how to make better decisions in their lives.

I have this nagging suspicion that it’s all luck.  All the time.

And, for the record, I wait for something awful to happen.

Ever vigilant.

In any event, those that care about this Blog (approaching 30 visitors a day); listen to me speak; and, call me friend – understand that I am a Contrarian (not just from an investment point-of-view); a Jeffersonian /1; a Heterodox;  and, (possibly) annoyingly tortured and transparent.

I spend a lot of time on my Figgerin’ Spot sorting all of this out and (trying) making sense of my role and place in this world (often running and cycling endless miles). Remember, I am the guy that is distressed by evolving rules of grammar AND the global economy AND 2012 (and, my roll as a soccer coach for my Fusion Shockers!).

NOTE: I feel (okay… I am convinced) like this constant state of evaluation is critical in being an (successful) earthly father.

If you ask my own Haley Anne and Emma Jo what their Daddy does, they will likely say:

“Daddy helps people.”

ANTHER NOTE:  It works; I just tested it on Emma Jo to make sure (there were witnesses).

How cool is that (*how cliche is that*)?

I think the key here is transparency.

Haley Anne and Emma Jo have observed men approach me and thank me for helping; advising; and, being in their lives.

They also understand we live with abundance (and, being permitted to be grateful comes with a cost).

However, I also let them know that I struggle with the blackness in the hearts of men; my own penchant to work and train an enormous amount of hours; and, constant self evaluation.

My primary mission in life is to REFLECT and REPRESENT /2.

It’s never easy for me; I will never be good enough.

I don’t want this to be just about Faith.  Because God knows I struggle with that.

I am not perfect.  I certainly want to be.  I want to be ideally imperfect for them so they can watch me fight the good fight and learn to be true.  To be good citizens – and, objective.  

I try hard every hour of every day. 

They can stumble, and I am right there to right them with love and compassion – and, example.  

They see the trial and triumph etched in my face and my heart.  Some times my tears.

The point I want to make is that I believe my daughters observe my struggle; see the result; and understand that character is tested and forged every day.

God gave me daughters because he trusts me (or, perhaps not).  So, their role (today) is to remind me daily that I must earn their trust and faith.

By the way, God has a great sense of humor… In light of how I lived much of my life prior to being married, it’s a knee slapper he gave me daughters.

Maybe it’s a stretch in terms of relevancy – however, let’s thrown down “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley.

But, certainly “Open My Eyes” by Buckcherry (be open-minded about this song).  Here is the acoustic version. But, go download it on iTunes.

daddys girlAnd, for balance go read Daddy’s Girl /3 by Garrison Keillor to your daughter – no matter her age.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

 

 

1/ There are many parallels with Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

2/ See “Image”.

3/ I swear, this is my 4th favorite book.

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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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