Hierarchy vs. Conviviality Stories: Church /
@ K. 2006 08 13
Hilton Head Presbyterian
I’d interrupted my writing and my deschooling reforms to go into business, to try to survive. With my business falling from spectacular success to hard times, I gave up drinking, but instead of working harder at business I found myself recreating and thinking like a writer, not at all like a businessman. It was in such circumstances that I thought of my first novel. I described it to my girl friend. She got very excited, said she’d love to take care fo me while I wrote that novel.
In the following months she repeated that wish. With the third repetition we began making plans: I would close my apartment, put the business in mothballs, move in with her. She would rent me an office, I’d write the novel, her friends at Bantam would help me publish it …
We did. That is I closed my apartment, gave away my furniture, put my inventory in storage, moved with her to Hilton Head … And there things changed, her plans and promises evaporated. she’d promised me an office. All I needed really was a place to plug in the Smith Corona; but she didn’t provide me even with that. Our relationship, the love of which had consisted largely of her telling me how smart I was, now transformed to her demanding that I tell her how smart she was.
She spent money on steak, on tennis outfits; but allowed me no space or time to work. I said I’d do best with a word processor. The KayPro portable computer would be perfect. She didn’t even give me a board to rest my electric typewriter on.
It’s one thing to betray me, it’s another to betray my novel. The plot I’d told her was of small importance; what that plot set up was of enormous importance. My idea was to flesh Gregory Bateson’s story about the European sailor who’d been chained to a rock in Java like an animal. The Indonesians hadn’t recognized him as human. He may not have recognized his captors as human. By my forties my society hadn’t recognized a single one of my ideas. In effect I had been chained to a rock: until I yielded, saying Alright, alright, I’ll make money. Then everyone gave me plenty of support. Civilization is ass backwards: and I had to teach it. My unwritten novel had to be protected, whatever the cost.
I came up with a suggestion I found very clever. I suggested to Jeano that we find an objective observer to consult with. I asked her to pick a church. We’d go there and ask the pastor to referee for us. She had no suggestions. When I told her that I’d been confirmed Presbyterian, we visited the Hilton Head Presbyterian Church, decided it was acceptable, and introduced ourselves.
The pastor turned us over to his assistant, a young minister.
What could be simpler? She’d promised to help me so I could write my novel. I was a typist, but the physical situation as well as the domestic situation allowed for no typing. But the minister never allowed those facts to be established. Somehow he read the situation to be that some bum was trying to leverage the poor helpless rich lady. His job as a gentleman was to protect the lady … from responsibility, from me, from art.
My trump card had blown splinters in my face. I got out.
When I met Jeano I had my business, a beautiful home on the beach, resources, my leisure. Even neglecting my business I lived well, in gorgeous surroundings. Accepting Jeano’s patronage cost me everything I’d had. I put my typewriter in the car, headed for Florida where I’d survive the best I could out of my suitcase … and slaved to write By the Hair of the Comet for the next several years: until I tried writing other novels instead.
But dig it: I introduced myself to the pastor as a disciple of Ivan Illich: the most famous Christian in the world in the 1960s. Inspired by Christ, Illich and I invented social networking: an internet. I offered cybernetic data basing that in intelligent people could have use to lever interfering bureaucracies off their back: who needs a dictator if you have a free market place? But this bozo responded to none of that. He worked in the Prebyterian Church but did he have a clue about Jesus? about Christianity? No. Just like the Temple of Jerusalem he sabotaged God’s message, sabotaging God’s already sabotaged messenger.
PS: This clown had his degree on the wall. It read “Columbia College.” Oh, I stuck out my hand, are we schoolmates? Fellow alumni? I’m Columbia Class of 1960. No, no, he muttered, his Columbia was in Georgia somewhere.
Lots more details may further fill in here, but there’s an outline.
2002 01 07 Here’s how I had started to preface this back then:
The Gospels tell how Jesus on the cross asked God why he’d forsaken him. Could it be that God hadn’t told Jesus that part of his destiny? Why should he? What did he tell Job? If Jewish History is how he treats his friends, what special harms does he have for his enemies?
Well, if you’re Abraham, even if you just wanna be his former self, Abram, you just keep plugging.
forecast: when I can continue this file it will narrate how a minister appealed to as an objective judge quickly, before getting any facts straight, volunteered as my antagonist’s general, launching his heaviest artilliary against me on her behalf. Boy, there’s nothing like objectivity.
I’ve got a doozy of a state “objectivity” personal story too.
I begin a scrapbook of Jeano Morrison stories: Jeano Scrapbook.
(Posted two months before I was arrested)