Friday, October 03, 2008

There is an interesting article this morning in the Wall Street Journal about the revival of classic music:

I posted this comment to the article online:

I was Director of Marketing for the Denver Symphony when Chris Dunworth was Executive Director in the early 1980's. We had more sell outs than ever before or since.

The secret to our success was Gene Amole, a columnist at the Rocky Mountain News who had owned KVOD radio, the #1 classical station in the country, and Helen Black who had founded the orchestra. They helped us see that everyone likes Good Music, and so we reached out to the community in a number of new (to Denver) ways: rush tickets, brighter advertising, getting a second story in the paper each week before a new concert, the first ever Bronco pep rally in our concert hall, Blue Jeans concerts, etc. etc.

We found the biggest barrier to our success was that few people in Denver knew when our concerts were held or how to buy a ticket. Our advertising and publicity was designed to change this, and it did: We went from being front page bad news to front page good news.

When I left, marketing was done by a local rock and roll promoter and the Denver Symphony Orchestra eventually went into bankruptsy, arising as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

It breaks my heart to see all the empty seats now at nearly every concert I attend. The interesting fact is that I've never had a board member or musician or anyone else call me to inquire about our brief period of success.

John Wren Denver, Colorado

If someone from the Colorado Symphony or any other performing arts group sees this (forward this page along to anyone you know who might know a board member, staff member, musician, or actor), please join us this afternoon or any Friday afternoon at the Denver IDEA CafĂ©. I’d love to brainstorm low cost/ no cost ways to sell more tickets. More information and RSVP at

Thursday, October 02, 2008

"The decline of the American Empire has begun."
Nouriel Roubini, Oct 1, 2008

"The rise of the rest."

Fareed Zakaria in his new book, The Post-American World

Just as fax machines brought down the Berlin wall in 1989, the Internet is bringing down Wall Street, global corporations, and crony capitalism. What we are seeing now with the government bailout is the sack of Wall Street by insiders, marking the beginning of decline of the American Empire just as surely as the sack of Rome in 410 marked the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire.

Ben Franklin and our other founders saw opportunity in the beginning of the fall of the British Empire. Franklin went to England in 1724, where he learned the latest in printing technology and where he saw the advantages of men gathered together in clubs and associations. Only 21 years old, he returned to form the first Franklin Circle, what he called the Junto, and to apply the printing technology in a chain of print shops and publications. This laid the foundation for the American Revolution and the founding of this country.

Franklin constantly looked for the main chance, the opportunity in change. How can today’s chaos be turned to constructive action? What is today’s main chance to bring about creative destruction and the birth of successful new businesses and new wealth?

Let today mark not only the end of American Empire, but more imporantly the start of a New American Revolution that will lead to a better future for our children and grandchildren.

This life is short, let's get started!

Next Sunday join us to speak out on this, who you like for President, or anything else that's on your mind at Denver Speakers Corner, 4 p.m., Civic Center, North Pavilion on Colfax across the street from the Denver Newspaper Agency. More information and optional RSVP at

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I just sent this letter to my U.S. Senators and Congressman:

I heard Irving Crystal call global corporatism "socialism is sheepskins."

This bail out would be the full flowering.

Or it's a chance to get back to the basics of a freemarket system.

There is a need to loosen credit, but this is the wrong way to do it, in my opinion.

What would work?

I've been in businesses that go through a down cycle and show a loss for the year. Good accountants advise that inventory, receivable, and other assets be written down so there is solid footing for growth the next year.

It's time to write-down America:

1. Negotiate settlement of all U.S. debt.

2. Let irresponsible corporations go tits-up.

3. Loosen regulations so entrepreneurs can take over the assets of these corporate carcasses and step in to fill the giant demand for credit that will be created.

Joseph Schumpeter called times like this "creative destruction." Please allow it to operate.

John S. Wren, MBA+

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My friend Kevin just posted a comment on my entry here from yesterday:

Kevin, can't the church and others encourage non-college educated to vote? The question is not so much what has been, but what could be. And no other institution can bring neighbors together like the caucus. In a way, it is like jury duty. It is a civic duty. What's wrong with that?

And as far as statistics about who attends, why should we trust them?

The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls by David W. Moore

Beware of polls. That’s the message of this new book from a former executive with Gallup Polls.


John Kane, a Religious Studies prof at Regis, explain in the school newspaper why it’s ok for Catholics to vote for Obama. Click here

This is the comment I posted:

I'm a recent (10 years) Catholic convert and a very recent Democrat (this year).

My first vote for President was for a Democrat, and I have always liked the emphasis on community of most Democrats. But when I went back to graduate school during Watergate, I fell under the spell of two attractive young women at the College Republican recruiting table at registration, and then under the spell of Karl Rove when he led a Student Fieldman School (what the Washington Post called a dirty tricks school) here in Colorado, and even more so when I helped Rove conduct similar schools around the county.

Since then, I've always voted a straight party ticket for my GOP "team."

Now I'm having second thoughts about both these decisions. That's why I'm no longer a Republican, and that's why I no longer feel an obligation to only vote for the candidates of one party or to see my party as the source of salvation for the country.

Now my loyalty is to my God and my Country, not my political party.

A political party is useful to me as a Catholic citizen when it is a megaphone that helps me express my informed, and hopefully inspired, will.

Colorado Democrats for Life was not allowed to have a table at the Colorado Demoratic Convention in Colorado Springs. All Catholics should be outraged by that fact.

Why remain a Democrat in face of that unjust discrimination? Because I think I can make a difference. C.S. Lewis says Christians should take up the fight in the thinnest part of the line, right now for me that means being a Democrat.

It seems to me that Catholics in Denver can best serve by being involved in our local neighborhoods through our neighborhood caucus system and to elect party leadership in 2010 that is more inclusive.

For more about our Colorado Caucus, the tool that can enable us to bring about real change if we develop the political will for it, see my comment posted on Mark Stricherz's Sept 19 post on his