Mountain Tops and the Fall of Empires

January 15, 2015

Mountain Tops and the fall of Empires

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

 

I have been to the mountaintop speech
by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.



On this day, we Americans have decided as a nation to remember the life, thought and works of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The scoffers, the hard-hearted, the ignorant and the ungrateful will ignore the will of the people in this regard as they ignore all other things. “King who?” and “King, whatever,” they will say quietly to themselves lest someone recognize them for the racist, misanthropist or fool that they are.

King may be remembered most for his “I have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Or, perhaps, the Civil Rights March that he led in Alabama – a march which called out and revealed the evil spirit working through the rule of law, leaders and law enforcement officers. There’s also his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in which he explains that non-violent, civil disobedience is just, holy and necessary under certain circumstances of oppression and injustice.

King reminds me that the Christian faith continues to have an urgent and powerful role in the American public square. It cast out the demons in the machinery of democracy and from the hearts of once prejudiced Americans. It brought healing to long sufferings. Of course, it did not cast out all demons nor heal every heart – for where there is stubbornness, pride and rebellion, God allows the person (or people) to pursue their self-determined course to hell.

As I contemplate the present Protestant hope for Revival, I wonder if the hour is too late, if our hearts are too cold, if our minds too cynical and if our evil ways too entrenched – wrong has become right and, likewise, right has become wrong. Unlike the past, our greatest challenge is not our ignorance. As a nation, we have chosen fear, curses and death – not love, blessings and life. These are interesting times. And dangerous.

What should democracy look like 1

Stan Faryna
15 January 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

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Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

August 22, 2013

Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

4MIN News August 22, 2013

Etta James, At Last

Papilio glaucus Eatern Tiger Swallowtail and Buddleia butterfly bush Faryna

Read the rest of this entry »


Mr. Jones and Me, we’re gonna be big stars

March 13, 2013

Mr. Jones and Me, we’re gonna be big stars

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
Counting Crows, Mr. Jones

I have struggled to find and share beauty through this blog. And I have failed. Often and persistently. A hundred or so failures for each paltry success. On the other hand, the traffic is fine – I remember when I also bemoaned having less than 10,000 readers in a month.

This is not a tragedy.

This is a joke. [grin]

But I am not joking! My effort and lack of success is the joke. Blogging is a comedy – sooner or later.

Laugh with me.

This is a ridiculous adventure. Absurd. Don Quixote is less foolhardy and he is lesser the fool. But I can not help myself. Perhaps, you find yourself in a similar predicament – unable to stop some foolishness or other. And if, perchance, you did or do…

Smile with me.

My failure as a blogger reminds me also of my failure as a novelist.

Laugh with me. Please.

My conceits are as boundless as my ambitions. And, perhaps, yours too. If so, laughter shall be our greatest solace.

Which brings me to Milan Kundera – a handsome man in a brutal manner. His face is fit for a Federal period scultpture.

The Czech author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera, explains in his The Art of the Novel, that what defines a novel most of all is that it asks important, eternal and urgent questions.

Kundera recommends Don Quixote, a 17th (?) Century novel, written by Miguel de Cervantes. What I remember of the story, it asks, do I belong in a world in which virtues are irrelevant?

My unfinished novel passionately rejects Cervantes’ question. If we are here, then we belong here . Obviously, here is inescapable.

Even at the end of the world! Even in the midst of outrageous fortune, death, desperation, pain, fear and disappointment.

Or hell.

If you’re in hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill said that. Right?

If Mr. Churchill is right, how exactly do we keep going?

The enquiry does not recommend finis humanevitae. Instead, it leads me to further questions.

They are not original questions, however. But they may resonate in the human heart. And I must admit that it’s very possible that no answer shall fully satisfy our curiosity, desperation and hope.

Who am I?

What can I hope for?

What must I do (not knowing – with any certainty – who I am and what I can hope for)?

Perhaps, writing them for you here – makes you want to click away. But if you ever sat or lay upon the ground with salty tears streaming down your face – don’t go yet.

Because I approach these timeless questions as they present themselves through opportunities and defeats on unwitting adventures of self discovery and our clumsy exploration of the world, others and the sacred. I search for these opportunities and defeats within the context of the human drama with all the passion, confusion, sound and fury of our experience as persons.

So, yes, there are explosions, the crack of an axe on exploding concrete, sex, love, hate, and everything else.

But I remain afraid to finish the work. I postpone yet another failure to connect, share, contribute to a community of servant hearts, and, ultimately, collaborate with others – to make this a better world and a world of we.

I remain afraid to fail yet again. As if I could pick and choose my failures!

Obviously, we do not.

I’m also reminded of some lines from a song by the Counting Crows, Mr. Jones.

Believe in me.
Help me believe in anything.
Cause I want to be someone who believes [that we can make a better world]

Yeah!

Yeah – keep going.

Stan Faryna
12 March 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Other Social Media DOHs

When your best is suck

Insane Loyalty and other social media DOHs

Cowardice will speak loudly 

Do not be afraid. And other social media DOHs.

September 5, 2011

Do not be afraid. And other social media DOHs.
by Stan Faryna

Play the soundcloud player to hear the podcast. Or download it here. The podcast sounds awesome with earphones or played on hi-fi speakers. Try it and tell me what you think.

Mobile users: you should be able to hear the podcast here.

Stan Faryna at the Moldavita Monastery

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The Inaugural Speech of President Barack Obama

January 20, 2009

Times are changing by Bob Dylan
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The Inaugural Speech of President Barack Obama

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My fellow citizens,

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans. Read the rest of this entry »


Bravo America! Bravo Barack Obama! Congratulations and well done.

November 4, 2008

Senator John McCain concedes

Senator John McCain conceded the Presidential Election before midnight. America will have it’s first black President. The next President of the United States of America will be President Barack Obama. Unbid tears of joy stream down wet cheeks, amens and praise for God rise loudly to the heavens, and hope burns ever brighter this day of hope, blessing and prayer-answering.

Congratulations and well done.

Mac Got Whacked

Mac came. Mac saw. Mac got recalled.

Senator John McCain delivered an eloquent and gracious concession speech. He acknowledged America’s need for hope. And McCain acknowledged that Senator Barrack Obama is worthy of this great honor and responsibility of the Presidential office.

Said McCain:

“This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.”

Finally, McCain spoke to America from his heart. And that makes me think – McCain’s campaign advisers really sucked for not letting him speak from his heart sooner. They and the rest of the losers dragging McCain’s campaign wagon… sucked big time.

Bigotry will crawl

The overwhelming victory of Barack Obama is a historical victory over bigotry and prejudice. Racism has been conquered. It is not vanquished but it is defeated. Bigotry will crawl where once it held it’s head high.

As Europe wrestles with racial, ethnic and immigrant issues, Europeans must concede that America has made headway towards a sustainable and inspiring multi-cultural civilization- headway that is beyond the reach of european aspirations. The bigotry of the likes of Geert Wilders can now be seen clearly as shameful, foolish and petty in contrast to America’s triumph with the Presidential election of Barack Obama.

Around the world

The peoples of the world will renew their hope in Obama’s triumph and, perhaps, they shall find a deeper commitment to their own cause for freedom and progress. America can not set them free or determine their destiny, but America remains a shining example, an inspiration and a testament of hope.

And those whose envy and hatred set them against our great and noble ambitions, they have seen now the re-awakening of a titan- not a mere giant. They should tremble now with fear and loathing. It’s gonna get bad for them, because prophets (by their very nature) are lousy bed fellows and, worse, straight shooters.

Yes we can

In his victory speech, President Elect Barack Obama spoke of the road ahead, the steep climb, the setbacks, and the challenges that America faces in the work to remake a broken Nation. The prophet of Illinois called upon the American people to meet the challenges ahead with courage, self-reliance, national unity and humility.

The road ahead will be interesting. It will be difficult. We may fail. But we are even more likely to succeed.

Yes we can.

Below, We are the champions from Queen.
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Stan Faryna
November 4, 2008
11:30pm
Fairfax, Virginia

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About Stan Faryna

Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Stan Faryna is also a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. Generally speaking, as long as you are not acting as an agent or on behalf of a corporation or institution, I am not interested in any payment for the quotation or use of a complete article. Nevertheless, you may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through Linkedin or contact me through Buzzfuse.


A Dark Night Ahead

February 27, 2007

A Dark Night Ahead

Sometime in the second half of 2008, Americans will be asking what went wrong. They’ll call it an economic downturn or a warning sign, but they’ll know in their gut that it’s not just a hiccup.

Americans will want to know who did it and why they were allowed to screw it up so bad. Some will bemoan the greed of home-owners who aspired to greater wealth or better lifestyle. Others will talk about the cavalier irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions, the problematic of regulation, and the greed of bankers and financiers– American, European and otherwise. The real estate bubble is going to pop.

When it comes, I will be wondering how much worse it will get. I’ll be thinking about what happens in the next 40 years. I imagine that I’ll also be looking for economic signs beyond the real estate problem.

Great Expectations

Looking forward, I fear most for America. I fear for the lifestyle of Americans. But I also fear for all those other peoples who so deeply long for an American lifestyle. The American middle class lifestyle and material expectations seems to have come at a cost that hasn’t been sustainable for a decade. Of course, I could be wrong, but if I’m not, commentators will be saying the very same things that I’m writing now within the next two or three years.

Elsewhere, peoples are impatient for the American lifestyle they know from TV and the movies. Those people will compete for such opportunity with competitive advantages such as low cost labor and intensified effort (six or seven day work days and longer hours in a day). In the next ten years, corporations will ask for more and they will provide less compensation, less benefits and less compassion for those that drag their heels in the workplace.

Ahead, greater disappointment and, perhaps, social unrest may unfurl and such a sail is likely to carry us to seas uncharted – darker waters.

Armchair Economics

Looking forward, I wonder what happens across time as debt, deficit, and disappointment grow. This will not be simply an American problem.

What can we do to set a course for a brighter future – as opposed to a long, dark night?

The necessity for discipline and new vision is obvious. In America, the role of Government must be re-evaluated. Does Government provide for the common good and individual rights in an adequate and effective manner? Certainly, partisan agendas must be left behind in order for change to become possible. Government regulation, for example, is over zealous in some areas. While in other areas, it is lackluster. The cost of health care, to mention one much debated problematic, represents the undisciplined greed of corporate interests – interests that deeply conflict with the welfare of the nation and the American people.

Beyond the problematic of rampant consumerism, debt, debauchery in the financial markets, and government spending, the diminishing investment in technology is another thing to consider.

Technology

Technology was something that we were doing right. Technology has been an important force in our economy and in our confidence in our economy. That’s why this is not the time to back off from technology investments. We need a renewal and deeper commitment to investment in technologies – technologies that can produce overwhelming value and social benefit across time: five years or more.

By design, quick payoffs do not tend to offer long term ROI. Obviously, investors should not repeat the mistakes that led to the pop of the Tech bubble. Regarding technology, value will be difficult to find when it’s more about questions of “who knows who” and “does the business plan have the right catch phrases” … and not “what it does”, “how well it does it”, and “is it relevant”.

Technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation may just provide the leverage and levers to keep us above the rising tide of doubt, mistrust, and fear.

Human Potential

More worrisome to me than the lack of investment in technology and innovation is what I believe to be a wide scale failure to realize human potential at the micro and macro level. Paradoxes are increasing exponentially. At the heart of this dark matter is the absence of virtue, honor, moral character and ethic.

At the same time that there is more want, there seems to be less of a willingness to make it happen. This is a problematic at the individual level.

At a macro level, we have powerful technologies in the modern office to multiply the performance of an employee and yet there is a foreboding sense that ROI is diminishing. Getting a computer in the office was supposed to increase performance, but if it has done so, it has also become an opportunity for the employee’s exploitation of company time, resources, and capital- personal banking, online shopping, online reading, personal email, instant messaging, online message boards, online gaming and much more.

Hope

Hope is something that can unleash human potential, become opportunity for change, sacrifice and progress. Hope can move us forward- as families, as communities, as nations and as a species. As long as hope finds fuel and reason, it can stir us to do greater things than we believe ourselves capable.

Hope can even stir us to greater ambitions than our own selfish pursuit of mistaken good and all the unsatisfying metaphors which have always represented something more beautiful than we could have imagined – whether we knew it or not.

More than a renewed enthusiasm for technology and motivational strategies for the quantitative realization of human potential, we shall look eagerly for hope. And with hope, there must come faith and compassion.

Stan Faryna
February 27, 2007
Fairfax, Virginia

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FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

>> Outsourcing
>> Great Websites
>> IAB Europe
>> Online Strategy
>> Open Source

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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.