Ideal size for a last supper or Jeffersonian dinner - is it 12 or 13?
Ideal size for a last supper or Jeffersonian dinner - is it 12 or 13?
As a Morals Tutor to the world's wealthiest families, I am a little concerned to see Pope Francis attacking worldliness. Let us hope this new Pope is mostly theater. He could do a great deal of damage if he believes what he says.
I am flattered and pleased to have made the list.
Dawn Townsend of Conference of Southwest Foundations recently surveyed regional association staff to find out the top philanthropy blogs and bloggers. These are the blogs that regional association staffers are reading everyday to keep on top of the sector.
George Washington as I learned from John A. Warnick, had a number of swords which he bequeathed to his sons, along with a stirring note about not unsheathing them except in self defense or in defense of liberty, and then to keep the sword unsheathed until victory or death. John A. sees this transmission, rightly, as a model of true estate planning, passing on more than money. It is also worth noting, in the tradition of James E. Hughes, Jr, of Dynastic Wealth Planning, to which John A, along with Drs Shervish, Grubman, Jaffee, and Whitaker, are among the many honorable heirs, that Washington could have become king and could have passed on his dynasty, the whole country, not just six battle swords. Is this because our founding father was ill advised as to dynastic wealth planning? Or, at the core of this tale do we not find the tension between a Virginia Plantation owner, a Dynast and Aristocrat, and the ideals that mattered more to him that any of that? Where, my fellow wealth and wisdom advisors, do you stand on democracy and dynastic wealth? What would you have advised Washington to do? Perhaps it was a myth that he was offered the kingdom, but perhaps at head of an army he could have seized it? In any case he found the idea of kingship reprehensible. Will the dynastic families you advise be so patriotic and so noble as to renounce dynastic advantage for the greater good of the republic?
In the Wealth Bondage Private Client Cayman Compound, where I had been flown in on a private jet, for a life or death intervention, I found one of our best clients, a fifty-five year old heir to a famous fortune, whose income from his perpetual trust exceeds the GNP of Rhode Island, near a stroke. The veins were pulsating in his forehead - Teachers! Those damn high school teachers and their pensions are going to bankrupt the US! Freeloaders! The wait staff and Private Bankers, even the Family Dynamics Consultant, could do nothing with him. As a moral tutor to the world's wealthiest families, I knew just what to do: "Yes, Sir," I said. "You are absolutely right, Sir." Feeling himself seen, heard, and loved, his indignation subsided and I was able to engage him in a conversation about Chaucer and on from there to Murder in the Cathedral, and so on. Little by little, one does what one can. We ended up in the bar, and became as good friends as our differences in breeding and fortunes permit.
Given such successes, I am not sure how becoming a secular priest would add to my already impressive client facing skill set, but I am open to it. Dr. Keith Whitaker, co-author of Wealth and the Will of God, seems to be doing ok. What is he saying about the national parks and the shut down of national treasures? At least since the time when Pericles built the Parthenon--as much a monument to Athens' greatness as to Athena's--governments have sought to memorialize national greatness. Yet it's helpful to remember that even the Athenians stripped the Parthenon of its gold decorations when they needed money for their war with Sparta. Perhaps the special greatness of the American polity finds its expression more in charitable stewardship than in public ownership? My new best friend, now passed out under the table, has a foundation. Maybe he could buy Yosemite, at a bargain price, now that times are hard and we are at war in an expression of American greatness? Build a resort around the park, strip the timber and mine the land, drill for oil, give hunting permits to friends, or sell adjacent lands for housing, or sell the land inside the foundation in parcels, and make out like a bandit? "Public assets," my morals client is shouting now from under the table, "Socialism! That damn Teddy Roosevelt, was a class traitor! Freaking teachers get a pension and then they go to the park maintained at public expense! And the roads, the roads they drive on! Public thoroughfares!" So, excuse, me I have to get him another drink before he has a stroke.
David Graeber, in The Baffler, "A Practical Utopian's Guide to the Coming Collapse." He is not referring to the collapse of Wealth Bondage, nor of Occupy, but to collapse of faith in a world where human relationships are reduced to metrics and results.
A quarter of the US population, not including the NSA, and not including Markets4Good, or Hewlett Foundation, or Gates Foundation, are engaged in guard labor, measuring, managing, and demoralizing the persons once known as citizens, when in Paris, the baker saluted the butcher on the way to the next beheading. Violence is now intimate, pervasive, internalized, and structural. Those deformed by metrics achieve manic intensity as they explain why the only hope for fixing what capitalism broke is the tool capitalism used to break it. In touring around talking about giving, sometimes to church groups, addressing fundraisers, I find that the language of love comes to them like blood flowing into numb arms and legs. We know we are being dehumanized on behalf of "Results." That we are guard labor or labor under the eyes to the guard-role to which we may be promoted if our record remains clean and our outputs exceed inputs by x% per annum. And we know in our spirits, in what we had once called our soul, that love conquers all - did then, in year 33, does now, and love of our fellow man, including the guard and the guard's guard on up to the Chief Guard, behind the one way glass, is not against the law, or even in violation the edict demanding results that are measurable. Results flow in giving from love, and nourish love so it grows exponentially. ("When we succeed, the children have faith and the faith has children," as a pastor said to me yesterday.) Met with love, hatred and hegemony enter a crisis of identity from which they can only emerge transformed into what they fear most - love, creativity, autonomy, and equality. That is my analysis, more than Graeber's, but in his spirit.
Submitting oneself to labor discipline—supervision, control, even the self-control of the ambitious self-employed—does not make one a better person. In most really important ways, it probably makes one worse. To undergo it is a misfortune that at best is sometimes necessary.
I recall back in the old days, before my life in Wealth Bondage, and then in the Ultra High Net Worth Private Client Meaning and Money racket, and now in Dynastic Family Morals Consulting, I had won a fellowship for people who would become college teachers. One of us when we attended a conference together said, in effect, "charisma is corruption." We all nodded because we had known such professors and we vowed never to become that. Looking into it later, it became apparent to me how charisma happens. You need a group that does not yet quite cohere. It needs a central figure that all see, and who all see each other see, to articulate the emergent ethos. Greek amphitheaters carved in the mountain rock have that shape. We see and see each other see how we respond to the orator who lays down what is. Having seen and heard it in each other's presence, when none protest, a social fact is made, and passes current. The Bull Lunatic, in the last post, had us sit in a semi-circle facing him in the lunch room of our asylum. He said we are secular priests to dynastic families. And he had us then look at each other in the face. This is how charisma is fabricated and a set of semi-truths becomes confirmed as truth. I have doodled this on legal pads for going on 20 years. I am obsessed with it, because this structure of one to many communication where all see the others react, or fail to react, is one of the most powerful elements in drama, political oratory, propagada, preaching, religious sacrifice, and advertising. I see it happening to me in my own work as a teacher in a distance learning program. I do the lectures to which others react. They see each other reactions as they come together in study groups to discuss my lectures. I become charismatic, to my shame. My foolish or idiosyncratic opinons become confirmed as "Fact." For me this is a malign consequence of having to teach long distance, rather than sitting in a circle, where I can deflect attention rather than aggrandize it.
"Laughter is the best cure," for many ills of the body and body politic. Laughter cures imposture. Laughter cures blindness. ("Know thyself" is a joke; only those who laugh at themselves do.) "Physician heal thyself," means laugh at thyself. Laugher can isolate and wound (laughter at) or bring us together in carnivalesque joy (laughter with). So likewise satire. At the heart of it is the pariah and the priest, two figures who are one figure, self-divided. Satire is an archaic survival from Dionysian cults. It is a healing dance of death in which the priest slays the goat/man. Again, the focal figure. Again, the circle convened to see and see each other see. Genres high and low. Tragedy and satire (both dances of the goat). Altus. The sublime and the bathetic. Done as poorly as I am doing satire now, the only acceptable scapegoat is me. Hence, a deranged priest who manages to sacrifice the goat, only to discover it was his own throat he slit. That might be funny enough, if staged as slapstick, but my hand shakes with fear not mirth. In this dance to heal a sick society, the Happy Tutor's aphorism comes to mind: "The goatkin that holds wine at dawn, holds blood at sunset." Sacrifice will follow systemic injustice, if only to deflect attention from it and shift blame from King/Priest to victim. Sophocles: Oidipus. Euripedes: The Bacchae. Have you noticed who is the goat by these plays' end? Heavy is the crown. We enter this charmed circle of charisma, regally, at our own risk, to sacrifice the least among us, holding our own severed head by play's end. Dynasty! My God! How can we who claim a liberal education speak of dynastic families without memory of what history and art teach us of havoc. I would rather be a fool than a priest for the fool outlives the fall (Lear with its Fool draws on the myth of Alexander and Diogenes to dramatize this point.) When the Great Alexander falls, or Lear's body is pulled from the stage, the body politic may be healed and the Fool is nowhere to be found.
To Whom it May Concern
Gifthub is an immortal work of art in theMenippean Tradition,written in a Padded Cell (he calls it a Dumpster for obvious reasons) in a state of shock by Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families, under an alias, or alter ego, The Happy Tutor, Dungeon Master to the Stars in Wealth Bondage...... More....
Email Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families.