The Glorious Road to the Memorable 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

Bookmark and Share

Panem et Circenses. It’s a philosophy that goes back to ancient Rome. Literally translates from the original Latin as “Breads and Circuses,” it defines a strategy to mollify a potentially unruly populace by distracting them with basic needs and entertainment. It’s what you do if you’re not sure the sudden surge in pitchfork sales are destined for farms across your nation or a dense mob about to knock on your front door.

Such was the condition of France throughout the period of the French Revolution. The new government, recognizing its tenuous position, organized a series of festivities beginning with the Festival of the Federation held on July 14, 1790, a year to the day about that aforementioned mob stormed the Bastille. During the final stages of Révolution française, well after the Reign of Terror, the Directory ruled France. In 1798, a little more than a year before the coup d’état that ushered in a new triumvirate that included Napoleon Bonaparte, the Directory decided Continue Reading “The Glorious Road to the Memorable 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair”

So This Is Why W Reunioned at the White House

Bookmark and Share

It’s 11:35pm on a Tuesday night. I’m sitting on a train, the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited, on my way to Chicago. I boarded the train in a Rochester rain at 11:25pm, twenty-five minutes later than the schedule dictated. It didn’t matter. I’m not in a hurry. I haven’t been in a hurry since the sun first rose.

Yes, my lackadaisical day began in surprising sunshine. I say “surprising” because I happened to be in New Haven, Connecticut. In another era, it would have been raining. I would have also Continue Reading “So This Is Why W Reunioned at the White House”

How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?

Bookmark and Share

Last week, a good friend of mine wrote a piece called “Don’t Be a Social Media Debbie Downer” (see MarkFrisk.com). In it, he says “overdoing it on the negative 400129_8598_Christopher_Columbus_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300is maybe not the way you want to go.” While ostensibly written for the social media space, he quickly adds the lesson applies to any space.

Today is Columbus Day. No one has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Debbie Downer Syndrome more than the man who discovered America. Almost every event, person, place or thing in the human record stands as a glass either half empty or half full. Throughout history, we’ve taken the “half full” approach when defining our heroes. Why?

The best answer I’ve seen lies within a 60+ year old movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda called Fort Apache. In this classic western, Ford both unmasks and makes the Continue Reading “How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?”