September 12, 2008

Social Media Radical ??

Filed under: Social Justice,Social Media — Tony @ 9:50 am
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On the topic of social media check out this weeks Wired for a story that may be a case history for the most radical use of Social Media . Michael Moore who is at the best of times a brilliant contrarian has announced that he  will be  releasing his new film Slacker Uprising for free on the Internet on 23 September.  Interesting timing  would you agree?

The film, called Slacker Uprising (trailer below ), documents the director’s 62-city tour during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, during which Moore rallied young voters to support Democrat John Kerry.

According to the Moore- he’s hoping that the free film will inspire young, apathetic  Americans to vote.  Lets hope for the sake of change that Moore gets his wish granted and there is a huge turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November.

See the full story at – Wired


September 3, 2008

Social Marketing hits the Democrats but Republicans more

Filed under: Marketing /Lifestyle,personal brand,Social Justice — Tony @ 11:14 pm

Jeremiah Owyang a  Snr Analyst at Forrester Research: Social Computing is one of my essential reads in the Blog universe. He is that mix of brainy and practical  which eludes most analysts.

His latest blog on the impact of social media  touches a topic that is close to my heart which is does Social Media skew  left or right?.  Or in my cousins terms does social media  skew  towards Barack Obama or John McCain. My thesis, which I should note is untested, is that by its very nature social media lends itself to Barack Obama as it opens up discussion and that favors the left. I figured it was a check mate.

Social media  is  still a goofy kids bike with safety wheels but it is a huge step forward.   Now I figured  the left or Barack Obama   had an open playing field.

I’m not so sure anymore.

Check out Jeremiah’s   observations on whether  Social Media Space tends to skew s Democratic and towards Barack Obama?

I think it does –  let me know what you think.

Read the article

April 8, 2008

Clinton vs Obama is Obama ahead ?

Filed under: Economy,personal brand,Public Relations,Social Justice — Tony @ 4:14 pm

The Gallup daily reports that the the democratic race seems to be widening between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I love survey groups like the Gallup Poll . They get me thinking.

April 1, 2008

Great Story Great Design Great Execution

Filed under: BRANDS,Lifestyle,Social Justice — Tony @ 5:02 pm
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Over the weekend  I got myself down to to a theater to see Persepolis. (Click here and watch the all trailers – I recommend watching the third) Right there is a classic in the making. The production values are so human and it shows. Persepolis is a movie with a great story and production techniques that hearken back to the glory days of early Disney. Except the new Disney probably would not have the courage to produce it. Sony was the financier. Its a revealing movie about Iran and very well told. Everything is seen from the point of view of the main character who brings forth her memories as a little girl in Iran, as a teenager in exile and as a married woman back in Iran. The story is always interesting, heart-felt, funny, sarcastic at times, nostalgic, cruel and absurd at some points but very very convincing. I highly recommend it.

I love stories and that speak from the heart and show character.

Check it out the movie and check out the website. That website is so bang on to the topic. Well done to whoever produced it.

The biggest asset of the Persepolis is that it doesn’t preach, it leaves everything to the viewer’s judgment, and this is something to be appreciated because we all know that cartoons can be very effective propaganda devices.


March 16, 2008

Persepolis and Persian Rugs

Filed under: Lifestyle,Social Justice — Tony @ 8:30 pm
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What is the link between the movie Persepolis and Persian Rugs ???

Well sadly the link is this. Its a story of the lack of courage, a loss of heart and soul by Iranian expatriates in Canada and the USA. There is little or no protest as many have have bought the dollar and forgotten universal rights and freedoms. It would seem that the dollar has gotten them by the proverbial.

Persian Rugs are not neutral art objects. They represent people, weavers and merchants. They are the lifeblood and are a huge industry. $500 mil in the USA alone. How much of that gets to the weavers and how much to the intermediate’s and the state?

Tough questions and questions that Care and Fair, Step, and other international organizations are struggling to come to grips with. To get a sense of what needs to change rent the movie Persepolis. Its gripping and ever so revealing. This woman has courage in spades. In this movie, which is autobiographical, Marji the author grows up and witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny. You will see how Marji refused to remain silent at the injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with Marji finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.

I heard similar stories over and over again. It takes courage to adjust. Take time out and read the two autobiographical graphic novel (comics) by Marjane Satrapi that describes her childhood in Iran after the revolution.
She has great courage on many levels.

January 22, 2008

CARE & FAIR – An Initiative Against Child Labour

Filed under: Social Justice — Tony @ 9:55 pm

Child labor in the the weaving regions of the world is a huge issue. In the USA and Canada we typically charge headlong at the issue like this and while meaning well we can often do harm.

I  registered Care and Fair to fight against illegal child labor in the manufacturing sector of hand knotted carpets. We are passionate about this but we want to be wise in our response.

Situations in third world countries need a measured and thought out response. We think that a buying boycott does not show favorable results in the struggle against child labor. It can very often causes even more misery among the families and specially the children. The reasons are complex in the hand knotted and weaving Industry. Child labor is often not due to child exploitation or hatred but its a deeply structural problem. Families have to all work to put food on the table. Sometimes these are loving situations and there are really no alternatives. We concluded that we have to have a measured response and do something practical that fitted the reality on the ground. Lets not boycott and do more harm lets find a program that works to improve the conditions on the ground. Care and Fair is a practical and realistic organization that works at a fundamental level to work against the exploitation of children by providing education and health care

I like CARE & FAIR because it builds and maintains schools, kindergartens, apprenticeships and hospitals for basic medical treatment in the carpet centers of India, Nepal and Pakistan. Up to now, more than 2,7 million Euro have been donated for this private development aid. is now working with Care and Fair.

January 21, 2008

Design and Music

Filed under: Lifestyle,Social Justice — Tony @ 9:16 pm

Thank the stars for music. Music are essential tools of taste. Let me share a secret on how I get into the groove for understanding designs and what consumer wants and desires are. Its simple I play music. It has helped me to understand see the world in a different way. Music allows me to express beauty, rhythm, and movement. It has also allowed me to see the world of others.

When I chose music I chose a lens through which to view the world. And when it comes to design and thinking about what hand knotted rug suites what environment I first turn to music. In my case my world is a mix of jazz, world classical and opera. Then I get lost in the music and somehow as I do I begin to see colorful geometric forms and patterns that match the music. It’s as if my eyes have been opened and I have been invited into a world I had never seen.
In music, the rhythm can slow down and speed up, pause or sustain a tone, leap, or even freeze for an instant. I just go deeper. When this happens I tie into a concept similar to Gestalt’s Law of Continuation in that everything has its own natural rhythm. In that state I meet the muse and then I can make my choices of colors, designs and patterns. Truly my creative muse is the music.
Next time you find yourself stuck when choosing a rug or even art or area rugs for your lifestyle turn to music and your music’s palette will help you will find the colors, textures, patterns and graphic forms to guide you in your choices.
Remember color, pattern and design are expressions of music. The best guide I can recommend for you that will help you chose the right area rug for you is music. Chose it well and listen carefully.
PS while you may not a Synesthesiac I do believe you will appreciate how music can trigger colors. It does for me, Listen to a little bit of how Music Unleashes Rainbows of Color. Click on the Music Unleashes Rainbows of Color and enjoy. PS I am not Synesthesiac but I think we all experience it to some exten t and music is the trigger.

December 22, 2007


Filed under: Social Justice — Tony @ 10:19 am

In my tiny neighborhood coffee establishment they offer FAIR TRADE and ORGANIC COFFEE. Those coffees sell out first. What a change. Two years ago no one noticed but the winds of consumer change were blowing and now justice, environment and labor really matters. Did any one miss GLOBAL WARMING ??

As a rug lover I am deeply encouraged that the rug industry is taking note. We have to its the right thing. The Rugmark Foundation is a wonderful international nonprofit organization that is working to end exploitive child labor practices in the carpet and rug industry and give educational opportunities to children in India, Nepal and Pakistan. I was amazed to learn that sales of child-labor-free rugs have increased by nearly 30% per year since 2004, out pacing the overall U.S. rug industry sales.

The good news is dozens of rug importers and retailers are joining the struggle and RugMark’s membership has grown exponentially. is a RugMark supporter. The winds of change are blowing and I welcome it.
Story on Child weavers
Rugmark Foundation
Research on Rugs and Child Labor

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