Tom Cordle - Presentations

Enlightening entertainment

Here's a synopsis of some of my most popular multi-media presentations. Each is about an hour long and includes a message, movie and live music, with a Q & A session afterward. Other presentations are available, or I can create one to suit your needs.


The Theory of Creativity

The Theory of Creativity examines the often uneasy relationship between play and work, and makes the case that finding the delicate balance between the two leads to a fuller and more productive life for the individual – and for the organization.

Creativity is too often seen as fit only for the arts, especially by hard-nosed "realists". They view it as something that gets in the way of solving problems in the "real-world". Nothing could be further from the truth. There would be no Theory of Relativity - and no nuclear power - without Albert Einstein's creative insights into the unique relationship between matter and energy.


Scattered Thoughts

With a nod to the old adage that a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient, Scattered Thoughts opines that a "self-made man" has a fool for a creator.

The "survival of the fittest" ethic that permeates our culture makes it all too easy to blame others for our failure and take too much credit for our success. The truth is success depends greatly on the efforts and influence of†many others. This presentation makes the case that understanding and co-operation are a surer way to true self-fulfillment; it suggests that our own success and happiness derive from making the work-place - and the world - a better place for everyone.


The Disappearing Cemetery

Drawn from my book, this presentation takes a different look at history. It contends that rather than saints, the famous men and women of the past were flawed human beings who accomplished great things in spite of their flaws. The lesson is that each of us can succeed in spite or our own shortcomings.

Unfortunately, many people have been turned-off by history textbooks that are all too often dull, dry recitation of names and dates. But as Santayana's famous dictum warns, we ignore history at our peril: "Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it". Or as Mark Twain cleverly put it: “History doesn't repeat itself; it rhymes”.


Marlon, Marilyn and Music

Marlon, Marilyn and Music examines The Fabulous Fifties, an era when America arguably enjoyed it's greatest success. But this "Golden Age" was also a time of rigid conformity that limited competition, stifled creativity and discouraged critical thinking. It was an era typified by a quote from Dwight Eisenhower: "Sloppy dress; sloppy thinking."

This retrospective pays tribute to the icons who rebelled against the constraints of the establishment ... Marlon Brando ... Marilyn Monroe ... James Dean ... Elvis Presley ... Ray Charles ... Ed Murrow ... Ernie Kovacs. In the process, they proved that movies, music and media could be a very effective way to bring about change.


My Generation

They say if you were there in The Sixties, you can't remember it. They're wrong; I was, and I do. The truth is there was much about The Sixties - good and bad - that was unforgettable. Certainly, the icons of the era will not be forgotten ... John F. Kennedy ... Martin Luther King ... Viet Nam ... Woodstock ... Bob Dylan ... The Beatles.

My Generation takes a kind but critical look at that era. It affirms that The Sixties rebellion led to freedom for many who had never truly known it, that the times inspired and encouraged artists of all kinds. But it also makes the case that freedom without responsibility corrupts society; and in the end, it also corrupts creativity.


Artists of the Forest

Artists of the Forest celebrates the lives and talents of several mostly self-taught artisans who live in mountain forests of southern Appalachia. In these mountain forests, wood-carvers and weavers, banjo and basket-makers, singers and story-tellers follow time-honored traditions and use natural materials to express their unique gifts.

In the mountains, time seems to move more slowly, for this is a place where time is still measured in seasons ... and in lifetimes. Free from the bonds of ordinary time and inspired by the incredible natural beauty of these mountain forests, a solitary few spend a lifetime going their own way, staying close to Nature, pursuing their art.


Walk in a Good Way

Walk in a Good Way takes a critical look at the clash of cultures that marred the conquest of the Americas. In this confrontation, Native people lost their lives, their lands and their way of life. But their conquerors lost, too - they lost the accumulated wisdom of those ancient peoples.

This presentation offers a hint at what was lost by examining the few words of Native American wise men and women that were recorded. Their words reveal a bond with the natural world and a spirituality sadly missing from our noisy, hurried lives. Their ethic can be summed up in the words of an old Cherokee saying ... walk in a good way.


Wrestling with Hemingway

Q: "Writing doesn't seem like a very difficult thing to do. Is it?"
A: "Not all. All you need is a perfect ear, absolute pitch, the devotion to your work that a priest has to his, the guts of a burglar, no conscience except to writing, and you're in. It's easy. Never give it a second thought."

Hemingway's tongue-in-cheek response to a student's question reveals a hard truth about good writing: It isn't easy, but it's worth it. Whether for personal or professional reasons, good writing can help you communicate your ideas and execute your plans. We may never write as well as Hemingway, but we can benefit from wrestling with words.


The Seventh Day

The Seventh Day is not for the faint of heart or the narrow of mind. It is an evocative blend of music and pictures that exposes the long, sad history of war Ė and manís inhumanity to man. It is a sometimes brutal look at the worst evil humans inflict upon each other – evil inflicted all too often in the name of God.

The Book of Genesis tell us that on the seventh day, God rested, giving Earth into Manís keeping. So far, Man has not been a very good keeper. So the question remains – is this the morning or the evening of The Seventh Day? The Seventh Day doesn't answer that question, but it does make a provocative plea for peace.

 

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