I promised myself when the count fell below fifty cents, I could abandon
So, for history's sake (I am sure posterity will want to know all the
details), an explanation. I'll leave the original content of this page
following this preface.
From the time of Tale 075 to 097, I kept an updated, exact count of the
money I had. It appeared on the opening page of the Tales, with date,
amount and time. Every time I found even a penny, I'd update the count.
This was interesting, even sometimes amusing (especially when a reader
noticed a one-cent increase), but was also extremely tedious.
Telling people how much money you make and how much money you have is one
of the big taboos in American society. Breaking a taboo is always fun,
but of course also always carries a price. In this particular case, the
major price was the damned nuisance of constantly counting the change in
my pocket. A less important one is that some people viewed the exercise
as an attempt to ask for money.
The latter objection, the view that this entire thing is some
"panhandling" enterprise, was, in fact, the original inspiration for the
the past, there are a number of people I could appeal to for assistance.
There are even some who would view all this as "performance art"
and support it as such, others who would help out for old time's sake or
because I helped them when the roles were reversed. There's a more recent
list of readers who have offered help if needed. So there's really no
reason to play it coy and try to solicit funds with such a tedious method.
Asking for financial assistance is against the rules. I know, I know,
there are no rules, and I'll feel free to ignore that one when and if I
feel like it. But for now, that stands.
Assistance is much appreciated. Like I've said, it makes this trip a lot
more comfortable, but at this point I'm not going to ask directly for it,
either from an individual or from the Food Stamps program or from places
like the IHS.
The Food Stamps program has a very legitimate role to play. Many people
abuse that, but the majority of those who benefit from it deserve the
assistance. I wouldn't, because I'm perfectly capable of earning that
much money a month. Places like IHS are designed to assist people who are
trying to "get back on their feet". I might go there for a meal if I got
very hungry, I might go there if I decided to return to bourgeois living.
Until then, it's not the kind of assistance I should impose upon.
So the money count exercise has ended, and I am not at all sorry to see it
go. But like all such self-imposed disciplines, it was useful for me and
served its purpose. The following appeared on the original explanatory
page as a link from the exercise:
Guess I'd better leave this excerpt from Tale 075 around
From the time these Tales began, readers have often mentioned money. I
have responded to the remarks several times, but there has been a recent
flurry of new remarks from readers. Some complain I talk too much about
it (although one reader did, accurately, note that I rarely mention it
until the supply is very low), one even writes to say that mentioning it
sounds like begging. I challenge anyone to live as I am living and not
have money play a major role in their thinking. I don't say I am happy
with that, far from it. But that's the way it is. So for a time at
least, we'll keep that counter on the opening page, get the subject out of
the way right from the start. If anyone feels uncomfortable with that,
there are thousands upon thousands of other web pages, many I am sure
more worth reading than these.
And a reader wrote:
'Kay here's a couple of pictures to choose from:
The Bardic picture.
This is one you know something about, having in your own inimitable way
supported bards for years and years. They tell stories of our world. In
order to tell the stories, they go places other people might not go.
Traditionally, a culture will support its bards, holding them sacred,
honored to provide hospitality to them when called upon.
The other one is also traditional, it's the Grail picture.
The abstract idea behind the quest for the Grail is the search for that
which is the Lightest and Brightest inside you, with the intent to Serve
it. If you study the Grail lore, you'll see that in the end the point is
the path you take on your quest, and that each path is as individual as
each person. Once you discover Your Path to finding the Grail, you've also
found the Grail.
Your current adventure could be seen as a combo bardic-grail trip, i.e.
you are publicly, and without reserve recounting your quest in real time.
People can support your reporting of the quest within the context of a
bard reporting on our world (and the intersections of our world and your
quest), or they can simply support a fellow traveler's search for the
If such support has any more purpose in it than a belief that such things
should be supported, i.e. if they want guarantees of where the thing will
lead to or end up, or an estimate of how much better off you'll be when
you're done, they should probably invest in the stock market instead.
return to main index