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November 2011

Bespoke Memoirs

Memoire Shoppe:

Your story is a priceless treasure. It is a gift that appreciates over time. It is a gift that will be valued more than any material possession. Your story illuminates your past, frames your present, and becomes an inheritance for your descendants.

Like the sea, your story ebbs and flows with primeval rhythms. It is lessons shared, tears dried, joys savored, and laughter that rings across generations. It is the rough sea mixed with the tame bay. It is as ever-evolving as the shoreline along a shell strewn beach. Your story leaves footprints in the sands of time. 
Will you be remembered?
For another $1.30 I will write a literary critique of your life story, and the style and content of your memoir. Your primeval rhythms will get special attention from me personally and a trained therapist. As Yeat's put it,
 You think it horrible that lust and rage
  Should dance attendance upon my old age;
  They were not such a plague when I was young;
  What else have I to spur me into song?
In your case it might be vanity, greed, sentimentality, religiosity, the urge for control, illusions of immortality, remorse, or despair seeking solace in flattery, or the simple pleasures of a second childhood. I don't know but if we work on this we might be able to come up with some kind of story that will wash with coming generations, if we house it in a silk slip cover inside a leather case inside a children's playhouse made of enameled gold. I do not mean to belittle it. Even with the beach erosion, undermining its foundation, and lightning bolts flung from heaven bouncing off its turret, your life story stands like a beacon on the shore of eternity. Mine is a disgrace. I have lived my whole life as a sponger and a parasite to wealthy clients. The sooner I am forgotten the better.

Prostesters Dress as Major Donors for Fundraiser with Mitt

South Tampa-Hyde Park Patch:

A Mitt Romney fundraiser held Wednesday at the Tampa Museum of Art was crashed by a group of protesters disguised as wealthy donors.

Meanwhile Global Corporations dressed as Persons, exercised their Free Speech by tossing Mitt's handlers laundy bags filled with cash. Asked about it later, one Corporate Spokesperson, formerly a Congressman, said, "We buy them all. Right, left, whatever. They all are wanting listen to our Free Speech. I mean all those dead Presidents are speaking to the Presidential candidates. This is America. Every market clears at a price. I was bought when I was in Congress and it never influenced me one bit. I listened carefully to all the evidence, from all the dead Presidents stacked on both sides of an issue, weighed the evidence carefully, and voted for whichever had the most weight."


Policy Making Billionaires


OVER the past 30 years, as the gap between wealthy and poor grew ever wider, total philanthropic giving almost tripled, according to annual estimates published by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. In an age of widening partisanship and plummeting trust in government, this outpouring of philanthropy has produced a distinct breed of philanthropist: The policy-making billionaire.

The Whole Sorry Business of Philanthropic Consulting

Lucy Bernholz on the business of philanthropic advice. And another post about it here on Social Edge. My daughter recently got married, and I took a dancing lesson so I could acquit myself acceptably in the father daughter dance. We all need some consulting help from time to time. Philanthropy like poetry is one of the things we do for love, but among aspiring Nobel Laureates, classes in poetry are always popular. Poetry that gets results - I wonder if I could teach that to business writers, advertisers, and politcal propagandists? Philanthropy too must earn its keep. No sense making a moral gesture when you can have an entire business plan. When we talk about "transformational philanthropy" we mean transforming a joyous amateur into an earnest, dull, high paying client. It is a racket like any other. We are all busy "getting results" in all three sectors and the whole world is falling apart.  Had the indigenous peoples, devoid of business sense, defeated the European invaders, the results for the planet would have been outstanding. Have you noticed that the well trained business mind is utterly incapable of critical self reflection? Is it because of the types the business schools attract, or is thoughtlesslness and deference to routine, drilled into them, as into soldiers and sailors in Officer Training School? Rousseau's Confessions, Diderot's Rameau's Nephew, Goya's The Sleep of Reason. What would happen if philanthropic consultants discussed those, rather than metrics? A major step backward for the liberal arts, mostly.

Take Your Next Steps towards Economic Solidarity

Tracy Gary, re: the Occupy movement

All my life I have waited for and worked toward this global speak-out about class, injustice, and essential changes needed to fix the system. May we listen to each other at the highest level and join or watch as we can whatever our communities are asking of us, EACH in solidarity. Call it economic and human-hearted solidarity.

Very promising. This is the first full-throated appeal to funders that I have read on behalf of the social movement now being birthed. The theory of social change (people sponaneously rise up) is easier to see than the "how" in this case of funding. I wonder how a funder might best contribute to this burgeoning and largely leaderless and structurleess movement. I am contributing to the People's Library my as yet unread copy of Ralph Nader's novel, Only The Super Rich Can Save Us.

Healing Brianna: Tutor's Latest Outrage

Lady Cruikshanks, our mutal boss, and a peer of the Imperium, sent Tutor to charm school, but he came back meaner than ever. "I had a Ne Plus Ultra High Net Worth (NPUHNW) legacy planning client last night," he said, "who hired me to pass on his values to his daughter, Brianna. So I beat her senseless and gave her the clap." Who got Daddy's cash? I have no idea, but I can tell you the check he gave Tutor bounced. For her sake, I hope Brianna did better. She is not a bad kid and the traumatic experience she had may soften her heart for the sick and downtrodden. I presume that was Tutor's intention.

Wealth Bondage Amateur Night: Net Proceeds to Charity

We cater to the Wall Street crowd, at the corner of Wealth and Bondage, where the Occupiers got their pestilent stuff chucked by the police in a dumpster to preserve the health of New Yorkers. Pepper spray kills cooties.

Once a week, along with all you can eat caviar, and bottomless well drinks, we have a pro/am "Ms. Wealth Bondage Talent Show" for all races, genders, creeds, and political persuasions. Dainty Moore, our hat check girl, was last week's winner. We seek a cross class alliance, bringing haves and have nots together in common purpose for social justice, world peace, triple bottom lines, and what not.

Is Ms. Dainty Moore a hooker? You ask me that? What did you have in mind John? To answer your question she is no more a prostitute than is the Mayor of New York, the Chairman of the SEC, members of the Super Committee, two Supreme Court Justices I could name, a pop singer, a newscaster, a think tank thinker, a financier, a top grossing preacher, or you or me. Their's is an honest profession, and so is Dainty Moore's. Every market clears at a price. That is God, you know, the Market is. $25 would do it. We all need our fix. Tender chunks and tasty hunks. And there is plenty more where that came from. So many are desperate. If your taste runs to grannies, or preggo moms, or vets without legs or arms, we have them too. F them all and you get a group discount. 

For another $15, Mr. Big, I will be your Trusted Advisor tonight, and mentor your kids too. Your daugther for free, actually. I assume she is of age? The age of reason, I mean. Net proceeds to charity. Net, you know what I mean? You want to pass on your values, Mr. Sleazebag, along with your valuables? Dainty  and me are your men for that job. Didn't I tell you?