Power of Branding and Freedom of Poetry

Maya Angelou once said (I'm paraphrasing) '' the purpose of all life is to be able to live like a poet one day. '' She went on to say that since poets already live like poets, their lives were not a postpone project, but the-ultimate-goal-realized by default.

How many times we have heard of those retirement dreams … the narratives that inevitably start with '' one day I'd like to … '' and continues with a description of one idyllic state or another … a beach house in Key West … playing golf eight hours a day in Arizona … buying a summer house in Florida and moving for good … writing (ah, at long last) that great novel, the chapters of which are lying somewhere inside those moldy cardboard boxes in the basement … to take the oath of chastity and join a monastery or a yoga ashram … take that trip to the Far East … or maybe even to throw itself with passion into a cause that is much larger than one's own limited life, like a political party, a crusade, a fund-raising juggernaut perhaps … on and on.

But underneath it all the aim is to arrive at that sublime state of inner peace and gentleness, something ill-defined but real, fuzzy but warm, a feeling that we feel is our birthright. Underneath it all we do not all point the gyroscopes of our lives to that nebulous state of elation and redemption that we sometimes refer to as '' poetic ''?

The rest is mostly a life-long process of branding ourselves as a desirable product in this increasingly globalized and fickle marketplace.

A brand is a total image with a price, a consistent package with defined and perceived borders. We are engineers. Attorneys. Machinists. Singers. Doctors. Teachers. Experts. Go-to guys. Ministers. Project managers. Historians. Curators. Tank drivers. Chefs. Shrinks. Plumbing … and, yes, Poets. Poets come in branded varieties as well. There is even a '' Poet Laurate '' for the whole United States (for the last few years we were extremely fortunate to have Billy Collins and Stanley Kunits and Ted Kooser as the PT Person).

All branding by definition shuns contradiction and ambivalence like a plague.

Fuzzy logic is fine for hi-tech digital cam-recorders but not for the experts that command healthy speaking fees. CEOs and four star generals are not expected to wear their troubling questions on their sleeves. Researchers at NIH do not get grants and doctors for not knowing what to do in the face of a new virus strain.

If things do not make sense outside a certain framework, then a branded professional knows how not to step outside that framework. A brand provides reproducible solutions to carefully-worded questions. Existentential panic does not command a premium price on the capitalist auction block.

Poetry, on the other hand, is a vulnerable exploration into everything that is left out by branding. It has no guarantees. No guidelines.

You can certainly encourage people to write poems. But I'm not sure at all if you can '' teach '' how to write poetry with the kind of money-back-guarantee bravado that is commonplace for a successful brand.

It is the only Odyssey that each person has to take all alone, go out and wander in the world, meet his demons, take them on one by one, beat them and return home victorious … only to do the same all over again the very next day.

Poetry, to use an analogy that Billy Collins has used in an Alaskan Quarterly Review interview, is like finding something curious sticking out from the sand in a desert and removing all that sand to discover the rest of the intriguing object. In that, poetry represents a vast freedom to rediscover all that is hidden from or by power.

Poetry raises all the in-between states and ambiguities censored by branding. So it is subversive by default.

However in that subversion there is also a deep affirmation of the most basic human value of all – freedom. That's despite the only thing branding can not buy and sell in the marketplace. A brand's power depends only on consumption. Poetry, on the other hand, is free the moment it is produced.

Our world needs more poets get into branded power play. Certainly someone like Leopold Sedar Senghor, a poet who became a statesman, will be remembered for his uplifting and dignified approach to international conflict. And conversely, I hope more branded professionals get into poetry as a way to humanize the market place of good and services.

What if the United Nations held a Poetry Workshop for one day of the year, with mandatory participation for all heads of state?

What if everyone in the world voted for the best Power Poet of the year through the Internet and the winner was declared on Valentine's Day?

Or what if Fortune 500 companies had poetry classes for their managers? Would not that be the ultimate out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving bonanza on stereoids?

And what would happen if before one country attacked another, the presidents and top generals from both sides were forced to lock themselves in a room and write at least one poem, expressing why they hate the "other guys" and why they must fight? What if those poems were then distributed to the citizens of both nations and the world? Perhaps they would still go on and fight. And otherwise, just a tiny little shivering perhaps, they would not.

Without poetic abilities, branding easily degrades into a repetition of the past. If you are building a bridge, repetition of the past experience might actually be a beneficial discipline since no one wants to re-discover trigonometry every time there is a river to cross.

But in much more complex affairs of the heart, of which I consider international politics to institute just a small subset, the vulnerable freedom of a poem could be the only thing standing between our endangered humanity and the discovery of our birthright freedom – and even perhaps salvation.

A Brief History Of The Traveling Funfair

Fairs in this country have a long and ancient history, deeply rooted in tradition.

The word fair is derived from the Latin 'feria', meaning a holiday and at one time the Romans were credited with the introduction of fairs.

It is now generally accepted that their origins are from pagan customs of the people who first settled this land; their seasonal gatherings held for the purposes of both trade and festivity, contained within them the essential elements of the fair.

The Romans did much to promote fairs by improving trade and communications throughout the country.

During the centuries following the departure of the Romans, many fairs and other festivals were incorporated into the calendar of the growing Christian Church. Charters granted by the sovereign gain the fair legal status and an increasing importance in the economic life of the nation.

Merchants and traders from Europe, the Middle East and beyond were drawn to the great chartered fairs of the Middle Ages bringing with them a wealth of goods.

The sheer number of these fairs, no fewer than 4860 were chartered between the years 1200 and 1400, drew not only merchant but entertainers as well: jugglers, musicians and tumblers – the ancestors of today's showmen.

The Black Death of 1348-49 thought about a new kind of fair. In order to stem the rise in wages caused by the shortage of workers, Edward III introduced the Statue of Labourers. This compelled all able bodied men to present themselly for hire at a stipulated wage. These gathering or burning fairs were held mainly around Michealmas, the end of the agricultural year.

By the early eighth century the trading aspects of the charter fairs had waned and most fairs consistently almost entirely of amusements, acrobats, illusionists and theatrical companies all plied their trade on fairgrounds.

Around this time the first fairground rides begin to appear, small crudely constructed out of wood and propelled by gangs of boys.

In 1868, Frederick Savage, a successful agricultural engineer from Kings Lynn, devised a method of driving rides by steam. His invention, a steam engine mounted in the center of the ride was to transform the fairground industry. Freed from the limitations of muscle power, rides could have made larger, more massive and more heavily ornamented. The showman's demand for novelty was matched by the ingenuity of Savage and other engineers.

In the wake of the steam revolution an amazing variety of new designs and rides appeared. These rides were the forerunners of today's amazing thrill rides, over time innovations such as electric lighting, electric motors, hydraulics etc. allowed rides to evolve into the amazing devices that are seen today at any local fairground.

Do Something Out Of The Ordinary With Adventure Vacations

So you have had enough of sightseeing and historic places and want to do something different this time for your vacation. The best idea would be to opt for adventure vacations organized by adventure travel agencies. Whether you are a beach lover or a mountain person, there is some adventure in every place for the avid adrenalin junkie. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about the planning and organizing of the trip because all this is taken care of by the travel agency.

The best way to find an adventure travel agency is to conduct a search on your favorite search engine on the internet. You will get a long list of websites and you should study as many as you can. Then short list 3-4 of them and call them up on the phone numbers published on the websites. Ask some pertinent questions regarding their skills and expertise and the kind of services that they provide. Some of this information is also published on their website, but you can go into the minute details on the phone. Whether you want to go trekking in the Himalayas or scuba dive in the Andaman Islands, everything is possible and available with these adventure travel agencies. In fact the best agencies will also create tailor made holidays with a combination of activities which will give you the kind of thrill that you have never experienced before.

When it comes to adventure trips they can range from paragliding, jet skiing, trekking, motorbike tours, cycling tours and much more. All the paraphernalia required for the trip is provided by the travel agency and you only need to carry your personal belongings. For instance if you are going trekking in mountainous areas then the travel agency will take care of the food and water, tents, sleeping bags etc. There will be porters and mules to carry the stuff required along the trip and also to carry your luggage. They will provide you with a mountaineering expert and a local guide so that you don’t have to worry about losing your way. At the same time, there are also facilities for first aid and emergency evacuation if the need arises. This means that you are always safe and secure. At the same time, the travel agency will also conduct training and counseling sessions which will prepare you mentally for the trip and they will guide you on how to prepare yourself physically before taking on the ordeal.

On the other hand if you are going on a motorbike trip through rugged areas then the travel agency will supply the motorbikes and other gear required for the trip. These trips will also be led by skilled guides who will ensure that you do not get into trouble. These guides are completely aware of the entire route and they know the eating joints on the way where you can make pit stops and refresh yourself. Any mechanical trouble with the motorbikes will be taken care of by the guides and the travel agencies also have tie-ups with road side assistance providing companies which will ensure that you have the best adventure holidays without having to worry about anything.

Now if you happen to be a beach lover then the adventure travel agency will ensure that you can enjoy the adventure activities like scuba diving with your family. Children of the age of eight years and above can go scuba diving with their parents. The travel agency provides guides and instructors who prepare you for the scuba diving experience and provide some preliminary training so that you don’t feel at odds when under water. Your kids will be specially trained in a kid’s training session so that they feel confident and comfortable during the adventure.

The same is true for any kind of adventure activity that you wish to experience. In fact some of the best adventure travel agencies also provide a combination of experiences like hiking up a volcano, scuba diving and trekking through lush green forests all combined into one package. They can suggest the best destinations for the activities that you are interested in. Whether you are new to adventure travel or have experience it does not matter because the adventure travel agency will prepare you for the ordeal that lies ahead of you and ensure that you go back home with lasting memories of your adventure trip.

The Importance Of Cell Phones In Modern Society

Cell phones have become a necessity for many people through the world. The ability to keep in touch with family, business associates, and access to email are only a few of the reasons for the increasing importance of cell phones. Today's technically advanced cell phones are capable of not only receiving and placing phone calls, but storing data, taking pictures, and can even be used as walkie talkies, to name just a few of the available options.

When cell phones were first introduced to the public, they were bulky, expensive, and some even required a base unit that had to be transported along with the phone. Good reception was a major problem and in general, early cell phones could only be used in certain locations were the signal was particularly strong. As cell phone technology advanced, the difficult in using them became less of a problem. Today, cell phone reception has improved greatly due to the use of satellites and wireless services. As cell phones improved and became simple to use, the importance of cell phones increased accordingly.

Cell phones are the perfect way to stay connected with others and provide the user with a sense of security. In the event of emergency, having a cell phone can allow help to reach you quickly and could possibly save lives. However, the importance of cell phones goes way beyond personal safety. Modern cell phones are capable of internet access, sending and receiving photos and files, and some cell phones are equipped with GPS technology, allowing for use in most locations around the world and allowing the cell phone to be found or the user located in the event of loss or emergency.

Cell phone reception has become reliable and of high quality due to advances in wireless technology. Wireless service providers offer excellent packages and promotions for cell phone users. Finding a dependent service provider is no longer an issue for cell phone users. The expansion of the wireless service provider industry gives cell phone users a choice and the increased competition has caused a drop in prices of wireless cell phone service. The importance of cell phones goes way beyond the ability to make or receive phone calls. Cell phone users can instantly send data to the home or office, check for important email, use their cell phone as a PDA or calendar, and store photos which can easily be transferred to a PC or laptop computer.

Cell phone manufacturers have produced a wide range of cell phones, which sell for prices that range from very inexpensive to over one thousand dollars. The available options give users the choice of purchasing a basic cell phone to use simply for making calls, or choosing a complex, technologically advanced cell phone that can perform as many or even more tasks that a home computer. Over the past decade, the increasing importance of cell phones has made them almost a necessity for most people. Even remote and underdeveloped countries have some access to cell phone technology and wireless services.

The importance of cell phones has increased the competition in the wireless service provider industry, making cell phones very affordable and very easy to use. Cell phones have become almost a status symbol in addition to the convenience and security that comes from owning them.