Author Archives: Jon

11/22 Wednesday Wisdom Quote!


Image result for Max DePree

If you want the best things to happen in corporate life you have to find ways to be hospitable to the unusual person. You don’t get innovation as a democratic process. You almost get it as an anti-democratic process. Certainly you get it as an anthitetical process, so you have to have an environment where the body of people are really amenable to change and can deal with the conflicts that arise out of change an innovation.

~ Max DePree, 1988

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Santa Clause Swings By Spooky Salem!


It’s been almost a month since Salem celebrated another fantastic Halloween celebration and now the city’s got another holiday event – Santa Claus heading to town and the lighting of the Salem Holiday Tree!

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Tree Lighting

SMS Tree Lighting and Santa 2015 - Photo Credit Creative Salem

That’s right folks – Santa Claus will be making his appearance yet again in Salem!  Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel, which is at 18 Washington Square West.  He will be arriving on 6:00 p.m. at the rooftop (with some help from the Salem Fire Department!).

If you’re interested in attending, I’d recommend arriving to the Salem Common by 5:45 p.m. to catch Santa’s arrival.  Bring your friends and family for a night of carols, festivities, and lots of fun!

After Santa arrives, we will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall towards Lappin Park (its nest to the Bewitched Statue within the intersection of Essex and Washington Street), where we will join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Santa for the Holiday Tree Lighting.  Everyone is also welcome to bring lanterns to carry with them.  Both store-bought or homemade would work great.

Special Guest: Angie Miller

2017-7-14 Zealyn White Eagle Saloon Portland Oregon - Jack Robert Photography-3.jpg

Another special guest that we are thrilled to have is North Shore’s own Angie Miller.  She will be leading several holiday songs for the Tree Lighting at Lappin Park.  Angie Miller is most known for being a finalist on season 12 of American Idol.  Since then, Angie Miller resides in Los Angeles and is enjoying her flourishing career (she goes by her artist name Zealyn).

Salem Main Streets (SMS)

Salem Main Streets (SMS) continues to revitalize downtown Salem as the vibrant, year-round, dining, retail, and cultural destination it is today.  Some of the many community events and initiatives that SMS supports include Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, the Salem Farmers’ Market, and most especially the October Information Booth.  It’s so exciting to see another holiday event sweeping through downtown Salem this week!

Many thanks go out to the Hawthorne Hotel, Remix Church, Gigi Gill, the City of Salem, and many other community partners that helped make these events happen.  Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Francis donated this year’s tree in memory of Joseph R. Ingemi III.  The tree will be secured and decorated by the City of Salem Tree Department, with assistance from Mayer Tree Service as well as Spencer Contracting for transportation and installation.  Many donations went towards the lights and decorations, with many donations stemming from Salem’s October visitors via Gigi Gill.

About Salem

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Salem has a colorful and bizarre history, being known for the infamous ‘Salem Witch Trials’ event.  The Salem Witch Trials was a disturbing event during the 17th century in which many individuals were accused of witchcraft and black magic.  These creepy tales modified Salem as the Witch City it is today.  Many shops feature products of witchcraft such as wands, capes, hex bags, potions, and many other kooky things involving black magic.

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That ‘black magic’ flows through the streets during October when Salem residents gear up for Halloween month.  Halloween is Salem’s most significant event of the year, with hundreds of thousands of tourists from all across the nation to visit the Witch City.  While other events are held every month, nothing comes close to the spookiness that is Halloween.

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Centuries later and Salem continues to be the spooky ‘Witch City’ that it is today.  Minorities were oppressed during the 17th century, with some women sentenced to death due to witchcraft.  But celebrities like Gigi Gill are flipping the city upside-down – fighting back against those who are preventing Salem from flourishing higher.  Gigi provides as a quintessential example that people from all walks of life are welcome.  Leaders like Gigi help make Salem a better place not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other communities as well.

If you’re looking for something to do after Thanksgiving, I definitely recommend checking out Santa’s Arrival & the Holiday Tree Lighting in Salem.  It’s going to be quite the event to ring in the holiday season!

For those looking for more information on any of the events, feel free to contact Salem Main Streets Executive Director Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org. Feel free to follow Salem Main Streets on Twitter and Facebook.

Until then, Happy Holidays!

California’s Cannabis Collectibles at The Standard Hotel!


Image result for Cannabis legal states 2017

Recreational cannabis dispensaries will be opening up in the legal states next year.  States like Massachusetts, Maine, and even California are gearing up for the so-called ‘green rush’ that will be hitting the streets.  It’s been more than a year since four more states became 420-friendly for recreational use.

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Image result for California OG Kush

What’s most important to keep watch of is California’s colossal cannabis rush.  California’s recreational dispensaries are opening in January (six months earlier than Massachusetts!) and they have been working for over year to get things ready.  Cannabis played a major role in modifying California’s culture as a part of the United States.  It’s crucial that California rolls out the reddest of red carpet for the 420 audiences next year.  Many audiences, especially visiting tourists, will be traveling down to California to take their piece of the notorious OG Kush.

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California is working diligently to finalize all of the licensing for the dispensaries.  Various dispensaries are set to open in January, while some still have to jump through a few more hoops to get business started.  One business is looking to open up their cannabis shop in a unique location – a hotel lobby.

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Lord Jones, a weed edibles maker, is looking to open up a cannabis shop in The Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood.  The small cannabis shop would feature products from delicious treats infused with THC to healthy topicals like lotion.  Even better – they may ben able to sell ACTUAL cannabis that you could smoke!

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Imagine that – a small shop in the hotel lobby featuring some amazing cannabis products to choose from.  You could stop by to buy a pre-roll of a nice sativa strain like Moonshine Haze during your trip in Los Angeles.  If you’re coming back after a long day, why not go in and purchase some Bubba Kush flowers for the nightcap?  The possible scenarios for this genius marketing idea are ENDLESS!

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Providing a small cannabis shop in The Standard Hotel would be killing two birds with one stone – on one hand you’re marketing the product for the guests (that being the cannabis products!).  On the other hand, you’re also promoting the place that the cannabis is being sold at.  Two marketing mixes are being utilized for one amazing strategy happening in West Hollywood.

Image result for West Hollywood

Image result for West Hollywood

While this marketing tactic would bring about a great PR miracle for the Standard Hotel, there are some obstacles that we have to overcome before anything happens.  West Hollywood is still currently in the process of approving its license procedure.  Even after West Hollywood gets its licenses squared away, the Standard Hotel would ALSO need a state license (due to California’s dual-licensing program).  Before we can even see this marketing/PR tactic in play, we must jump through some legal hoops in order to open the hotel lobby cannabis shop.

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Image result for Gay West Hollywood

Image result for Gay West Hollywood

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Image result for the castro gay

Even still, this would be an incredible idea.  It’s nestled on 8300 Sunset Boulevard, which is nestled right on the legendary Sunset Strip.  Hollywood is known for its entertaining tourist attractions and West Hollywood reels in some audiences as well.  What’s also intriguing to point out is that West Hollywood is one of many gay neighborhoods of California (others include Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego and The Castro neighborhood of San Francisco!).

Image result for Licensed Cannabis products

Image result for Licensed Cannabis products

As a PR pro, I thought this was a fantastic concept.  Cannabis trends have been booming since legalization has been sweeping the nation.  It’s important to utilize all aspects of the marketing mix with cannabis.  Even with these complicated legality issues between the state and federal government, we should figure out other ways to sell cannabis.  Dispensaries are wonderful and all, but we shouldn’t narrow our marketing mix to just one type of place.

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Image result for The Spa on Rodeo

How about a trendy nightclub in Los Angeles that features VIP dab stations?  Or a luxurious spa on Beverly Hills that feature THC-infused bath bombs?  These scenarios CAN become a reality, folks!  We shouldn’t let frivolous legality roadblocks prevent us from becoming more creative about how we market cannabis products.  The place of the marketing mix shouldn’t just be around dispensaries; instead, we need to brainstorm every kind of place where cannabis would be most useful.

Image result for The Standard Hotel LA

With that, I hope that the plan really goes through.  Providing cannabis in a place like The Standard Hotel would be the start of how we utilize where we can provide cannabis.  Dispensaries are amazing and all, but it’s going to take more creative ideas from the marketing mix in order to raise awareness of the product.  Whether it be a trendy nightclub or opulent spa, cannabis should be promoted in every sort of place possible.

Hopefully we’ll be able to purchase Blackberry Kush pre-rolls at hotel lobbies in the near future.

AHS Cult Season Finale + Final Thoughts


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Image result for AHS Cult Kai

Last Tuesday was the season finale of American Horror Story: Cult.  It’s been more than two months since we dived into the cult theme for this season’s chapter.  We dealt with creepy clowns, crazed neighbors, bouts of betrayal, brutal acts of revenge, and one insane cult leader.  Other than the crazy cult that Kai initiated, we dived into the true horror stories of bizarre cult leaders of the 20th century.

Let’s start with a quick summary of what went down during the finale:

Summary

Image result for AHS Cult Kai in prison

Image result for AHS Cult Kai in prison

We start the story 11 months later where Kai is in a maximum-security prison (more on that backstory just a bit).  Kai connects with members of the prison, increasing his army for his revolution.  He has more members doing his bidding, including employees of the prison as well.  While in the prison, Kai has been planning to kill Ally once he gets out.

Image result for AHS Cult Ally and Speedwagon

In the next scene, we go back to the event where Ally catches Speedwagon.  Ally realizes that Speedwagon was the mole of Kai’s group and proceeds to kill him.  Meanwhile, Kai bands his group together for a plan to massacre one-thousand pregnant women.  A SWAT team storms through the Anderson basement, disrupting their plan and taking Kai away (this is how Kai was sent to the maximum-security prison in the first place).

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Months after the SWAT raid, Ally reveals to Beverly that the FBI recruited her as an informant in order to capture Kai.  It was Ally who turned Kai over to the authorities in the first place.

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

Kai later escapes from the maximum-security prison, only to infiltrate a televised political debate between Ally and her opponent.  He tries to kill Ally with his gun, but failed to because the gun was unloaded.  Beverly later shoots him in the skull.

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

After her political debate, Ally ended up winning the Senate seat of Michigan.  The finale ends with Ally donning an emerald SCUM cloak as she heads off to her next meeting.  Surprise, surprise – Ally became a part of Bebe Babbitt’s group to change the system.  That surprising twist marks the end of American Horror Story: Cult.

Final Thoughts

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Anderson

Image result for AHS Cult Charles Manson

Image result for AHS Cult Valerie Solanas

This season dove into the themes surrounding a cult.  Kai Anderson, as well as other crazy cult leaders that were featured on the season, revealed some shocking insights about what a cult does to human beings.  As insane as the messages were, people still blatantly followed the leader’s every word.

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Some people are truly lost in the world, seeking for some guidance or hope that an answer will come to them.  When they are truly desperate for their answer in life, human beings will follow some divine figure that could provide them the results they are searching for (beggars can’t be choosers you know!).  Some individuals joined a cult out of fear or anger that they have felt for a long while.

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

That fear/anger has been bubbling underneath the surface, waiting to explode at any minute.  The real event happens when those few individuals with those same thoughts band together to take action over their problems.  Kai’s members joined the cult based off of the same fear/anger they felt after the November 2016 elections.  After Donald Trump was elected, the group decided to take charge on this new world they were living.

Image result for AHS Kai Anderson

Many notorious cult figures, like Kai Anderson, made their mark on the world because of their revolutionary ideas.  Their hospitality, smooth charisma, determination, and ambition made them the valued leader of their community.  Some of their demands were disturbing, yet people blindly followed orders.

Image result for Charles Manson Helter Skelter

Image result for Adolf Hitler with army

As insane as their movements were, you have to admit that their community had some detailed tactics.  Whether it was Hitler’s strategy for the Third Reich or Charles Manson’s ‘Helter Skelter’ movement, these cult leaders came with some meticulously detailed plans for the world.  They were all planning something BIG for the nation and that plan went into extreme details before carrying them out.

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

In the end, American Horror Story: Cult gave us a disturbing glimpse into the world of cults.  There were no supernatural elements this season, yet the cult them was frightening enough.  All of the main members joined Kai’s cult out of the increasing fear after the 2016 elections.  Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton were the main stars of the season, but the series definitely worked around these events.

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And with that, I can conclude that I’m done joining the cult and I’m ready to see what the next adventure brings us next season.