Their situation, detailed in the post below, remains dire. If you are able to help via zelle, here is the appropriate email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Long term readers know Debbie and Gerry Gleason who were frequent commenters here. They have fallen on hard times. If you are moved to help, the information is below. At the least, please say whatever prayer or best wishes come to mind.
Recently Gerry was hit by a car while he was riding his bike. No broken bones thankfully, but he ended up on the pavement.
A week ago I went in for blood work. No buses. When I left the professional building, I was walking towards the el. I ended up falling into the street. My nose kept my head from hitting the pavement. Usually I go to the Rush hospital just a bit south and west of downtown Chicago, but this hospital is in Oak Park which is not that far from us.
Next week I return to the main campus for chemo.
This woman saw me in the street and offered me a ride home. Again no broken bones.
We are still working on business ideas. During the pandemic our second mortgage company is suing us for foreclosure. Trying to raise money to pay our attorney.
Our bank is connected to Zelle. People just need my email address.
If you can, please share.
Posted at 06:21 PM | Permalink
Audrey in her jeans, and Tutor in his priest pants are sitting cross-legged on the stone floor of her bedroom in The Castle making hearts from red construction paper. Audrey is signing in magic marker with a big A and XXXX for kisses. She has cards now for Big Momma, of course, Tutor, Rex, and Cook. Tutor says to make one for Cook’s cat, Zephyr, but Rex hates that haughty cat. So a discussion ensues on ethical theory. A compromise is reached with Tutor adding T and XXX to Zephyr’s card. Master Jack, Big Momma’s Most Trusted Advisor, is another matter. There will be no card for him this year. Last year, when Audrey presented him with a big red Valentine with lace and a ribbon on it, he took it, then, drew back in horror. He exclaimed, “I cannot possibly, as your Fiduciary, accept a Valentine, much less one, apparently, with kisses. It would be a violation of my moral code as Mentor to Heirs. It would violate both the terms of my ADV II, and also my E and O policy. How is it that I have even touched this vile card? I must destroy it immediately! Let us agree, Audrey,” he added, ripping the card in fragments, “that there was no card and we never had this conversation.” When Tutor suggests maybe giving Master Jack a second chance, Audrey says, “F him!” Tutor has his work cut out for him as the Morals Tutor to the World’s Wealthiest Kid.
I asked Tutor why he always speaks in riddles. Why not come right out and say it? He told he me he muddies the waters to make them seem deeper. If the waters ever cleared, we would each see our own faces, and then he would suffer for it. The darker the times, the lighter the prose. Children's stories, fables, riddles. Rub a dub dub. Do you have any idea who those three men in a tub were ages ago? The shell of words remains although the nut of meaning was long since eaten. Literature, Tutor explained, is like the Beauty Filter on TickTock. It holds the mirror up to nature, but glamorized so the ugliness is less obvious to the producers and consumers on the platform. "If poetry is as Horace said in his Ars Poetica, a 'speaking picture,'" Tutor continued, his voice rising to that of a confirmed pedant, "it makes no sound." He held up his fore-finger portentously, shut his mouth and pointed his cell phone at his craggy face. I have no idea what he is trying to convey in 2 full minutes of motionless silence with no background music. And I am pretty sure I am better off not knowing. If you figure it out, please don't tell me. Not one person out of millions got to the end of the 2 minutes. He got no followers. No likes. No mentions. If this is literature in action, why bother?
The Happy Tutor's range of cultural reference vastly exceeds my own. "Phil," he said, tossing his copy of The Bacchae so it rang off the inner wall of our Dumpster at the Intersection of Wealth and Bondage. "Dionysus is the great god who will always have his recompense. Sex drugs and Rock 'n Roll yesterday; today, the theater of cruelty. We monks, ages ago, split Dionysus, the god of revelry, flash mobs, poetic inspiration, drunkeness, and ritual slaughter, into a goat-footed Satan and a Blameless Sacrificial Lamb whose blood we drink, and flesh we eat, our having slaughtered him to confirm our community and bona fides. Being human we endlessly sacrifice and worship the one in service to the other. He then reeled off what he said were a slew of current instances, which I will spare the reader since neither Tutor nor I have lived blameless lives ourselves. He was Dungeon Master to the Stars in Wealth Bondage, back when it was just a Brothel. I was the cabana boy handing out towels in the sauna. I don't believe in torture or anything like that, except among consenting adults for pleasure or money, but I would rather roast you on a spit, than be roasted, wouldn't you? Sublimation is how religion and poetry are supposed to work. Let's us all try harder.
With the commodification of financial services, the rise of robo-advisors, and resulting fee compression, the market for Advice for Multi-Generationally Wealthy Families is moving the Wisdom, Virtue and Holiness. There is currently a market imbalance with more wisdom, virtue and holiness offered virtually for free by houses of worship than rich people have a propensity to consume. Virtue Consumers say much of the Content is stale and the delivery systems archaic. This has lead to a market opportunity for more up to date wisdom, virtue, and holiness instruction both synchronous and asynchronous on line and IRL. Audrey has enlisted Tutor in her quest to become a Tik Tok Virtue Influencer focused on high end kids like herself and their Most Trusted Morals Tutors. It is a small enough niche, but if successfully penetrated might save the world. Such is the reasoning here at The Castle.
An angora cat costing $800 with genes going back to the cats kept by Pharaohs and worshiped as gods, given the pervasive animist propaganda at that time. She does not walk; she prances, head erect as if the Castle were a cut-rate Pyramid and she the model for the Sphinx.
Our future Queen's Protector, as you know is a mangy mutt of unknown parentage, with a torn ear, rescued from a shelter moments before execution. Class conflict did break out in the Castle at the pet level. Zephyr lept on Rex's back and rode him as a Billionaire might ride a Task Rabbit.
You may have wondered why a good kid, like Audrey, would have put Zephyr into the washing machine on spin cycle. Now you know. It was to preserve order and "due degree" in a just society. Of course, Cook was royally miffed; she went to her Shop Steward, and Big Momma had to get involved. Now, Audrey is confined to her room making instructional videos to be offered pro bono publico on Tik Tok, if Audrey can get them past the Castle's Firewall.
Some killjoy servants to wealth, who got no candy on Halloween, and didn’t give out any either, private messaged me to ask if Audrey got honored for giving back what she had pillaged from the downtrodden waitstaff.
Honestly, she did and she deserves it, too. Yes, she extorted the candy at sword-point, but it was all in fun, and she could have kept all the candy. Instead, she gave it all back, giving the most to those who need it most. The waitstaff hoisted her onto the big trestle table in the servants’ kitchen, and raised a hearty cheer for our once and future Queen. She is back to Joan of Arc, The People’s Queen to Be.
Is this not our ideal outcome? If we are to be ruled by buccaneers and their heirs, wouldn’t it be best that they be generous with their ample gains? Not all will be. But Audrey is. We must work diligently to help Big Momma bankrupt, buy out, or roll up, all Contenders and Pretenders. Rally, all ye Wealth Advisors for the greater good! One World, one Market under God, one Heir! Let us just make sure the heir who prevails in the war of all against all is a good kid, our Audrey, who at this moment has tied Cook’s Siamese cat, Zephyr, in a pillowcase and put her into the washing machine on spin cycle. But that is another story, and The Happy Tutor will treat it as another teachable moment. Audrey isn’t perfect; in fact she is a hellion, but she is the best available option. Surely, we can all agree on that much.
Audrey, the world’s wealthiest heir, she who will own, rule, and save the world, went as Joan of Arc last year. She kept the sword and went this year as a Pirate extorting treats from the minimum wage wait staff at swordpoint. Who said life is fair? “The strong prevail,” Tutor explains in his best insane news announcer voice, “and the weak perish.” “But that is wrong,” says Audrey. She has taken the fearsome Pirate mask off, and is redistributing her booty to those those retainers most in need of candy and nuts. She is a good kid. We as a nation, planet, and species are in good hands.
Per The Economist, the lifetime opportunity cost of an Oxbridge arts degree, as opposed to an Oxbridge Econ degree, is 500,000 pounds Sterling. In The Happy Tutor's case, he computes his own forgone earnings since the Renaissance at well over 2 b pounds Sterling. Yes, that is offset by the great intangible value of the wisdom literature with which his Dumpster is well provisioned. As Morals Tutor to the world's wealthiest, he computes that the money he has lost is offset, in the larger view of things, by the value to the body politic of the wisdom that he has passed on to Kings and Queens, Senators and Fine Ladies, Builders of Empires, Presidents and their Heirs, and most recently our once and future Queen, Audrey, she who will inherit a controlling interest in the World's Stock and Trade. "When money is the measure of all," says Tutor, "Wisdom goes for a bargain price." The Holy, like Tutor, take vows of poverty, which helps when working with the wealthy who pay only for Results. As for chastity in Wealth Bondage that too comes at a price. No moral judgement here. Wait! Wisdom is free for a moment. May I get you towel?
An amphitheater carved into mountain rock, facing the sea, bordered by wild forests; at the focal point an altar on which a trembling goat is sacrificed, "Send her back," or "Cut its throat," or "give us Barabbas," it really doesn't matter the slogan as long as the crowd becomes as one and blood is shed in ecstatic commemoration of community. A body politic needs an intact skin. Hence, in Greece, scapegoats, often disabled people or strange ones, were kept in dorms for just such a time as this. When the city was sick the scapegoat was given a good meal, then taken to the crossroads and burned alive, commemorating boundaries, between health and sickness, sanity and insanity, here and there, us and them.
Who is speaking here? The sacred orator in the skin of a goat is not speaking to inform. Utterances in art are neither true nor false. All art is a lie. He is testing, testing, testing. Whose blood? He is clothed as goat-footed Dionysus, misunderstood later as Satan by Christian apologists, who would repress our earthly nature. The high priest is trolling to incite.
In the woods outside the city, the mothers and maidens maddened by wine, ritual, and their own crowd-feeling, tear flesh, whether animals or men, into gobs and strew the pines with raw meat. The play ends with Reason's severed head, the head of a King who ruled the city, held as a trophy by his mother, crazed on rhetoric, herself unseeing. The arts and history are daughters of Memory. We recall in repetition what we always were, and will be again, until silence after loud noise. We are in this together, until the bitter end.
Media change, but human nature is as inspired or possessed as ever once it was. Jesus, ritual goat, must we forever slay thee, eat thy flesh and drink thy blood to save our souls? Couldn't we pick on someone else?
In his remarkable 1983 book, The Gift: On the Erotic Life of Property, Lewis Hyde suggests we have three languages to discuss property, the gift, giftedness, and poetics.
1983, the book was written, and it ends with a clairvoyant reading of Ezra Pound's poetry in the light of his crazed support of Mussolini. (Pound felt that Mussolini harked back to what had been great in Rome before commerce soiled artistic craft.) What Lewis makes clear is that when the gods show up, so does the demonic. When heroes show up, so do villains and dragons. When mothers and priests sow reverence and manners so also do they sow fear and obedience, disgust and partis pri. I believe Ezra Pound was a great poet. And America is a great country. But then, too, Pound was a bad man. And we may not always be that great either. I know I could be better, if the price were not so high.
She can be so annoying. Last night Tutor told her not to pour a full bottle of Sprite into the gas tank of Seal Team Seven’s motor launch, after it brought her back to the Castle after Trick or Treating. She, as the world’s wealthiest child, who will inherit, own, and maybe save the world, thought fit to respond, “Check your privilege,Tutor.” It is true he has no money, no status, no power, and lives in a retrofitted dungeon below sea level, but she meant his privilege as a Stupid Grownup. And maybe she had a point. She may not succeed in saving the world, but she didn’t wreak it either. We Grownups could learn a lot from the kids.
Generally, I would say yes, but she wants to go dressed in a blue blazer, as Master Jack, offering moral advice to the kids in the neighboring castles. "Be good and never do wrong and give me some candy" is how she puts it. I somehow don't think this is a good idea. Maybe when she grows up and becomes a Most Trusted Advisor in her own right. But now it might only serve to call our Noble Trade into disrepute, or make us an object of derision. Improving the ethics of those who will inherit the earth is a serious business. Give me the candy!
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.