Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pier 1's Give A Hoot owl art with stenciling of
James Russell Lowell's poem The Bobolink.

Mary Ann Lowell Russell  Root Taft for CPW News Services

“Here we go round in circles….here we fly high like a bird up in the sky…..thank you for giving me this place to sing, Winsip C.”  M.A. Lowell Russell Root Taft

    Pier 1 Imports began in San Mateo, California in the early 1960’s as the purveyor of hip oddities, hanging beads, bean bags and incense, mostly from the orient, for mod-beatnie-types.  Since then it has matured, expanded and diversified its vision and product line. 
     Now head-quartered in Fort Worth, Texas Pier 1 sits in a building recently purchased by China’s biggest oil agent in America, Chesapeake Energy, which bought the Pier 1 building for $104 million, presumably from profits from the world’s largest fracking operation.  Fracking landed the Pennsylvania-based company that states' largest water pollution fine in its history.  Chesapeake is now moving from the Marcellus shale reserves in Pennsylvania to the Eagle Ford shale reserves in Texas where Pier 1’s directors are often spotted at the Texas Rangers baseball games…the team once owned by George W. Bush, Richard Rainwater….an initial backer of Florida Governor Richard Scott’s Columbia Hospital Corporation before he fell on very lucrative, but FBI-indictment-induced hard times…. and Tom Hicks, the man appointed by GWB as the head of the public University of Texas’ privatized multi-billion dollar investment fund whose successor and billionaire chairman recently resigned for failure to receive a million dollar director’s payment to which he felt entitled.
     Alexander W. Smith, Pier 1’s CEO who joined the firm in 2007 has been credited with the store-chain’s dramatic turnaround in recent years.  Also serving on the company’s board of directors, he was recently asked at a stockholder’s meeting about his tenure.  "Were there all these questions about whether Pier 1 was still relevant?”

     Smith fired back….”I never understood the hypothesis. Is Pier 1 relevant? What does that mean? We've always had an interesting niche position in the home furnishings marketplace. We screwed it up. For the last four years, we've been unscrewing it up.  So we're back to, in a sense, where we were before, which is a very interesting home furnishings store with unique and special merchandise for all sorts of customers, for all sorts of occasions in their life.”
     Culloden B. Neimanschwartz of the retail imaging group Liberative Conservables For Positive Products and Packaging says that Pier 1 owes its success to more than one person or to a single marketing thrust. Pier 1’s magic lies in its new dialectic as seen in its presentation of beautiful wall hangings called Witty Hoot Art.  “The owl is a symbol of wisdom and they have been long associated with the dictates of wise living.  Camelot’s master of magic, Merlin, is oft pictured with an owl on his shoulder, from which Merlin learned to drape his shoulder with thatched hay while covering his ear with a leather coin pouch.  The Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, is nearly always accompanied by an owl but on her leather covered wrist like a Falconer where she could slap the little fellow silly if she had to.  The Pier 1 Witty Hoot Art card attached to every picture proclaims “So give a Hoot, And make a room brighter.  Give two Hoots, And make a friend’s day warmer.  Give Three Hoots and create a wise and welcoming statement.”

     When it was pointed out that one of the three Give A Hoot wall art pieces on the Pier 1 webpage is stenciled with the poem by James Russell Lowell, The Bobolink, Neimanschwartz said, “Yes, isn’t that a brilliant dialectical marketing device of the subtlest nature?  Their website says clearly, ‘birds of a feather like to flock together,’ and one would initially think that refers to the three owls, but owls don’t give a hoot about Bobolinks. That's the sweet gentle birds that the Boston Brahman poet, whose stature among America’s leading China Traders is perhaps unequaled, has memorialized.... perhaps to the most Darwinian of the China traders' disgust.  In fact, owls eat Bobolinks,” said Neimanschwartz as he started whistling a Bobolink tune to show the difference between it and another owl delicacy, the flowing rinse of a Nightingale's blood.
Pier 1's three Give A Hoot owl art pieces, the bottom piece lightly stenciled with
James Russell Lowell's poem The Bobolink. To the right is a picture of the owl in the
Bohemian Grove near San Francisco.
     Neimanschwartz was asked if there may be some cryptic message in the artwork…..for example…..that the large owl is sending a message to the poets who embrace in their poems the innocent little song birds like Lowell’s love affair with the Bobolink?  "Like don't forget who’s boss of the sky?"…Neimanschwartz asked in response.

Culloden Neimanschwartzman's designed
slogan of the LCFPPP.....
The Liberative Conservables For Positive
Products and Packaging.

     “You mean that because the most powerful people in the world who meet yearly at the Bohemian Grove and dance naked in front of a giant owl and are known to have made their fortunes from all kinds of crap and corruption, that the little songbirds and lovers of life don’t stand a chance?  I don’t know for sure, but one must remember that even the little Darwin finch….that sweet little bird that was being squeezed out of its ecological niche on the island of Galapagos….used a tool.  Not unlike the oil drillers and frackers....a thorn broken from a bush to spear its prey as if he was a bigger woodpecker.  Hey, if David could slay Goliath with a cool little tool…..who’s to say that an angry consortium of Bobolinks can’t whistle another tune stripping the feathers off of a hoot owl and pecking his god damned eyes out of their god damned sockets?  Either way, it’s a wonderful symbol of the dichotomy of life, wouldn’t you say?  My wife has hung ours in the laundry room,” said Neimanschwartz.

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