Friday, 8 February 2013

Update on Rattling Tin

Thanks again to all readers who pitched in to help me this week, last and not least being M.C., who now goes on my February prayer list. I have now removed my rattling tin because, to my astonishment, the London Media Outlet that promised to pay in January and didn't, has now paid.

Which leaves me feeling a bit dumb and overly cynical because I definitely thought I would have write a strong letter followed by scary legal forms that could be filed only in London, etc. Still, I darned well sold them that piece in October.

So you may very well wonder what I am going to do with your tips. Well, I'll tell you. Whereas my writing fee has gone into our British account, your tips have gone straight into the Canadian account from which I pay Mr Credit Card. So the tips will pay Mr Credit Card and the fee will sit in the Scottish account waiting for the next emergency, whatever it may be. My first bleg was, if I remember correctly, inspired by an insurance-less root canal.

I hope the 43 donors are okay with this!

Talking about money is terribly embarrassing, but I feel there ought to be full disclosure, especially in the blogosphere where most bloggers don't get paid except by their readers in tips. For some reason Patheos has never come knocking on my seventeenth-century door, and I will not put up ads. Blogger doesn't let you discriminate against ads, and the ads I would be saddled with would most likely be for Singles dating websites.
  
I shall now tell you a story about advertising. When I was a child, I was in a gifted program, and therefore spent a day a week in another school being subjected to educational experiments. One day the "Gifted Kids" were taken away to a special conference about which I remember nothing except a very long and fascinating monologue by a bearded priest who had had once had a nervous breakdown, which we knew because he told us. Hey, it was the 1980s.

Anyway, besides telling us that while he was a missionary in Africa, watching topless women breast-feed taught him how very beautiful and innocent female breasts are, he told us how vile and despicable the advertising industry was and made us all promise never to become advertisers.

Thirty years later I wonder if he soon had another nervous breakdown and/or took off to get married or whether his amazing and compelling hour-long rant was fueled by drugs. But it doesn't matter because along with the idea that the naked human body is in itself beautiful and innocent, I believed his hypothesis that advertisers are in the business of making money by making people feel unhappy and that only by buying something will they feel better.

And here is a story about Saint Ignatius. Saint Ignatius told the early Jesuits that they could not charge for spiritual direction; they could only take donations. And my first theology school, a Jesuit institution, was very much the poor cousin of the colleges of the University of Toronto. The professors worked very hard for their students and the school, for many at the cost of their own professional advancement. Talented men who join the S.J. in many Provinces, at very least, the poorer Provinces are making a real sacrifice. (Life in the SJ killed Gerard Manley Hopkins.) And then there are the richer Provinces of the USA.

When I went to visit Boston College, I was led around the beautiful, manicured campus by a fellow Lonerganian. It stank of money. I don't really have a problem with money and I accepted the fellowship fast enough, but there was something off-putting about a Jesuit institution that charged students $40,000 a year, especially when I never, ever heard a Southie accent among the students, only among the groundsmen and one very aged Jesuit who could also sing in Irish Gaelic.

Anyway, the Lonerganian led me past a new building--I think it was named after Saint Ignatius, although I am not sure--and he told me it had cost a million dollars.  A million dollars--and my Canadian theology school was in a converted parking garage!  It really, really bothered me. Maybe that was silly. But I wondered at once what St. Ignatius would have thought of that, and I used to visit the ugly, modern metal statue of him and say, "Where are you?"

If you work for a business--like that London Media Outlet or Patheos or  Catholic Match---of course you must be paid by that business. But if you work for God, or think you work for God, or other people think you work for God, well....  The mind travels back to St. Ignatius.

11 comments:

TC said...

I'm certainly okay with that. :)

AR said...

Definitely OK with that. So glad you got paid, and now something for the next emergency. I'm also sympathetic to the suggestion that you leave up the tip jar. I'd love to drop something in from time to time.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

I'm okay with that. :-) I couldn't do much but people have been generous with me when I've been in need, so I try to keep that in mind.

I agree with you about the institutions. I wonder how much is connected with standing. Compare BC with Steubenville. Franciscan is not in a great city. It does not have such a high reputation in academia (although it is also younger, I think). But it is unquestionably faithful to the magisterium, attracts a faithful student body, and it is about $20k/year, which, for a college, is quite reasonable. (It is my understanding that there are private grade schools in NYC that cost more.)

I applied to four Catholic law schools (and a bunch of secular ones - thank you, low-paying job, for qualifying me for an application fee waiver). Two were ranked slightly higher to the one I chose (and one waitlisted me, one rejected me); two were ranked lower (one quite low) and accepted me. The baseline tuitions for all of them are more than the out-of-state tuition that the school I chose, which is still well-ranked. Some of it is location, but some of it is ridiculous (ridiculous encompasses the insanity that is legal educational costs and structures).

~Nzie

Anonymous said...

No problem, sure writing is your job, we're lucky to have you for free. Don't be shy to put up a tip jar in future.

Sinéad.

Anonymous said...

Oh please put the rattling tin back! I would very much like to pay my annual subscription but have been travelling the past few days and so have missed the boat.


Eowyn said...

I agree with Anonymous for similar reasons! :)

Glad things worked out well!

Antigone in NYC said...

I viewed the donation as a monetary thank you and subscription fee (which, btw, I would happily pay to continue reading this blog), so as far as I'm concerned it's yours to do with as you wish. I vote using some of it for a new dress: Pre-spring clearance sales going on!!! A further unsolicited 2 cents (ha!): I think you should leave up the live donation link, especially if you're not receiving ad revenue from your blog.

I'm not a writer as you are, nor am I familiar with how thing work across the pond, but I know of people who write for/publish photos in some well established media outlets, and often have to wait a few extra weeks/months and/or follow up multiple times to get their promised checks... Not fair, but quite common here. One of the dangers of freelancing, I guess: You always get paid after everyone else.

Glad you and your husband arrived safely in Canada, and enjoy a wonderful time with your family!


Seraphic said...

Okay, I think I will put the tip jar up, but in a modestly unobtrusive spot so that only those who are seized with a desire to give me money will see it.

Mrs. Pinkerton said...

In our diocese, the goal for the bishop's annual financial appeal goes up every year, because the "need" is so great! What I have observed over three decades is that the number of (otherwise unemployable) laypeople in pseudo-ministries has multiplied, and their offices are now housed in a new multi-million dollar (and excessively ugly) office complex and "cathedral", but the folks in the pews --those who actually come to church-- do not know the basics of a grade-school catechism. Something wrong with that picture.

Seraphic said...

I think it's unkind to say that these laypeople are otherwise unemployable. I have an M.Div. myself, and if I weren't part of a tiny religious minority in a small city in a country with a small population, it might have won me fruitful employment. The exodus of priests and nuns has led to laypeople trying to do much of the work they once did, but without the infrastructure of convents, assured nursing care in old age, respect, etc. Laypeople, especially laypeople who aren't married or who have children dependent upon them, have to be paid a living wage.

Mrs. Pinkerton said...

No, they're not all otherwise unemployable--my apologies. It's fine for laypeople to work for the church and earn a just wage, unless what they teach/promote is inimical to the faith, which is unfortunately sometimes the case. However, there seems to be something askew with a system in which the bureaucracy and programs expand at a rate inversely proportional to that of the ranks of the faithful. What is it all meant to achieve, if not evangelization and catechesis? Thanks for responding. God bless.