Monday, February 23, 2015

Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage (1861)

Hokay, Framley Parsonage!  So the main plot here…well, actually, I’m not sure there really IS one, quite; it’s certainly more of an ensemble piece than its predecessors.  There are several related stories.  First, we have Mark “my last name looks like a typo” Robarts, a local vicar who foolishly agrees to guarantee a loan for a dissipated MP, Mr. Sowerby, and ends up in all kinds of money trouble.  Then, there’s the inevitable love story, this time involving Mark’s childhood friend Lord Lufton and his sister Lucy.  There’s also a secondary love story—it turns out I was merely premature in my speculation re Doctor Thorne—between the doctor and Miss Dunstable, though it gets surprisingly little ink, and is handled in a rather unromantic, matter-of-fact way.  There’s also a fair bit of passive-aggressive sniping between the Grantlys and Proudies (from Barchester Towers), both of whom are trying to marry off their daughters as best they can.  Finally, there’s some cynical political satire, as Trollope depicts Tories and Whigs in and out of power, no one accomplishing much.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne (1858)

Right.  So there were these two brothers, Thomas and Henry Thorne (distantly related to the Thornes who were minor characters in Barchester Towers).  Thomas, the responsible one, becomes the doctor of the title, while Henry, the fuck-up, seduces a poor girl named Mary Scatcherd; when she gets pregnant, her brother, Roger, murders him, as one does.  She’s in luck, though: an old beau agrees to marry her as long as she gives up the child; she agrees and they go off to Ameri-cay (and if this seems like a rough deal, note that she still gets off far easier than a woman in a Dickens novel would’ve under the same circumstances).  The daughter, also Mary, is left to be raised by the doctor; her background is kept a secret.  She grows up and becomes beautiful and well-beloved by everyone and all that.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Animal Specialities: A Business Plan

Executive Summary
Animal Specialties is a new company that will change the fashion and business worlds forever by selling business attire that makes people look like animals. This will be very popular with young professionals. No one else has ever been bold enough to start a company like ours, but all the indicators suggest that we will be reaching a large, untapped market.

Mission Statement
We are dedicated to providing high-quality animal suits to professionals from all walks of life.

There are many companies that sell business clothing. However, Animal Specialties is the first clothing company to specialize in selling business clothes that also allow the wearers to look like their favorite animals. Since many people don’t like having to wear the same boring suits every day, there is a wide market for suits of professional clothes that look like elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippopotami, and many other popular animals.

Market Analysis
Our biggest market consists of young professionals who are willing to think outside the box. Older people may not appreciate the idea of our company, or think that some animal costumes are not suitable for everyday office use. However, market surveys indicate that the younger generation is more interested in new ideas, and that they are eager to dress up as animals at work.

Marketing and Sales Strategies
Animal Specialties will launch with a large-scale advertising campaign in popular lifestyle and fashion magazines aimed at both women and men, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, and GQ. We will also sponsor launch parties in major cities around the world. Everybody is going to know about Animal Specialties, and the due to the fact that our company is fulfilling a previously-unmet need, we will also get a lot of free media attention.

Organization and Management
For now, our company consists of three people. The president, Regular GeoX, was the originator of this visionary idea. He has a lot of experience with animals and knows how best to guide the young company. Our vice president, Mr. Y, is the former editor of several prominent fashion magazines, and brings us his experience and knowledge of the industry. Finally, our fashion designer, Ms. Z, is an expert in the field: she has years of experience designing animal costumes for circuses, theaters, and carnivals. The actual production of the costumes themselves will be outsourced to trusted professionals in Indonesia and Malaysia. As the company expands, we will naturally hire new people to deal with the additional demand.

Funding Requirements
We estimate that we will need approximately seven million dollars for initial expenditures, including production, advertising, and office rental space. However, this represents a very safe investment, as all of our research indicates that sales will be high. We should be able to recoup investors’ money in as little as six months.