Via The Happy Tutor, sitting in his dumpster, thumbing through a text book on Greek mythology, discarded, along with an old couch, and broken tv by a Harvard Grad on his way to Yale law school.
Phil, you write a lot about Hermes as the Trickster god, and patron saint of thieves, pickpockets, merchants, whores, highwaymen, and though you do not say it, because you are such a sell out, values-based planners to the affluent. You note correctly that Hermes carried the caduceus, bringing both life and death with his poisons and potions. You point out correctly that he brought - as do your two bit philanthropic leaders - "inspiration" as if from the gods. You say correctly that Hermes was the god of the boundaries, set at the crossroads, where "we" meet "them." The same crossroads where Oedipus slew his father. You point out correctly that the pharmakos, or scapegoat was burned at the crossroads, to save a society sick with the plague. You say correctly that the greatest moral healer, or pharmakeus, was Socrates, who was executed (by being made to drink the pharmakon, or poison) for his temerity in disrespecting the gods. You do not say, though you know full well, what his specific impiety was. Hermes was the priapic god, always shown with an erect phallus. Alcibiades, the general and student of Socrates, had a in a time of war, gone around knocking off the cocks from the Hermes around Athens, blurring its boundaries. Now, why, Phil are you so squeamish about the obvious truth - The Morals Tutors, the Healers, the Preachers, the bringers of Inspiration, have always been Tricksters, Frauds, and charismatic Bunko Artists. They are "called," but who places the call? Is it God or his closest competitor, he who is second and so must try harder? The Greeks would have said that it was not Apollo who calls, but Dionysus. Hence, like a Rock Star or a Certain Politician, we must imagine the inspired man as the phallic god whose cock does the thinking. That is the shameful truth your polite prose knowingly conceals. You teach morally second and third rate people the liberal art of conjuring spirits. They become charismatic, they get followers, they have adoring, mesmerized fans and the consequences are those depicted in the myth of Hermes. The true pharmakon is satire, the strongest of moral medicines. To that I have "called" you, as my only protege, to carry on our noble trade, when the Thunderbird rots my tongue, liver too, and my body is at last laid in earth, or goes out with garbage bags on the scow. On your shoulders I have placed the flayed skin of the goat. Why have you in passing for an educator, renounced your gift and calling, wearing now the solemn black gown, and a mortarboard, when your true headpeice is the Cap and Bells? How can you as a Morals Tutor refrain, if not from satire, than from hilarity? You are authenic in every post. Your true self submerged in the persona of the well-meaning dupe among knaves. Be hermetic, if you must, concealing your message, as Jesus did in parables, but do not let the craft die out in the mockery of it that you now perform daily to your everlasting disgrace. I am ashamed to have been your mentor. Was it for this that I beat you with rods? Whored you to all comers at a price? Taught you to pick pockets? To deal in dodgy pharmaceuticals....?
Well, Tutor is Tutor. The rest of his tirade was inaudible as Tutor sank into a drunken stupor. You can be sure, my Fellow Virtues-Based Planners for the Affluent, that I have no intention of speaking plain moral truth. What am I, crazy? I am no sacrificial lamb, but a reputable assistant professor on his way up. I may once have made my living as a Private Wealth Advisor, but that was when I was young and foolish. That was then and this is now. (Typed in a Blackberry by PBC, while eating a blueberry bagel, in a deli at the corner of Wealth and Bondage. Tutor's outburst has been edited for appropriateness in a polite blog aimed at well socialized and financially comfortable Americans and their advisors who help them stay in their own world - profitably for all concerned and for the betterment of humankind.)