Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fund-raising, tentatively, complete

I was able to figure out a way to monetize some as-yet-unvested stock by sleeving a home-equity line of credit through relatives whose home is fully paid off; so, pending final approval of the deal by the bank, I should be able to meet my $20,000 deadline and pay back the several thousand dollars already generously offered by various friends and relatives.

Thank you, more than I can say, for the prayers.

Now I'd like to address a comment from an anonymous drive-by commenter, who was, shall we say, unimpressed by my original post. My interest isn't in refuting his unkind remarks; as I explained at one point to one of my sons who was gently letting me know that people at my ex-wife's church mostly blame me (which is to say, the imaginary monster they've been led to believe I am) for most of what goes wrong over at my ex-wife's house, I am never troubled by the bad opinions of people who don't know me. (The logic is quite simple: wise people do not form opinions of private persons based on what other people say about them, and only fools trouble themselves about the opinions of other fools. So you can divide the people at Holy Apostles into three groups: those who don't know my name and couldn't care less, those who are wise and therefore by definition have refrained from forming opinions about my character based on nothing other than they've been told by people who are mad at me, and fools. The first two types of folks don't have a bad opinion of me, and what do I care if the last type thinks I'm a jerk, as long as they don't have any power to actually hurt me? See how that works? Once you grasp that basic principle, life instantly gets a heckuva lot more serene. But I digress.)

As I was saying, my interest isn't in refuting him. I just think what happened was a fascinating example of how much our own preconceptions affect our ability to see what we're reading -- an example of how much of what we think we're reading in a text is actually being read into a text.

I wrote that post with a great deal of care, because the situation was delicate: there were other people besides myself involved, and I had (and continue to have) an obligation to respect confidentiality. It's all very well to be open and frank with the world about your own problems, but that doesn't mean other people want their problems shared with the general public. I had permission from the other people affected to explain what was going on to certain specific people (in particular, to anyone who was actually loaning money, and therefore had a right to detailed explanation); and there were some people with whom I could share a high-level view without going into details, on a sort of need-to-know basis for both fact and level of detail. But the blog is open to the general public, and therefore there's almost nothing I can say on the blog.

Now, confidentiality is a pretty big thing to me, and if I see a post on somebody's blog that says, "Some tough things happening in the extended family..." followed shortly by another post that says, "I can't really say why, but I have to come up with some money...", why then my instant assumption is going to be that confidentiality constraints are operative. So it literally didn't occur to me that the post could be read any other way.

But then this anonymous poster came through, and left a message in which he made it clear that he had decided to guess what the deal was about this whole "I can't say why" bit -- and he had two theories, to wit: "What are you doing, training to be a televangelist, or are you in deep with the mob?"

See, I think that's just fascinating. I referred to Philippians 4:19 ("But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus") specifically to make sure my friends didn't feel somehow pressured or obligated to pony up. But "Anonymous" saw a guy asking for money and quoting scripture all more or less in one breath, and thought, "Televangelist bastard!" Now that he mentions it, I can see how it would be taken that way; but it didn't cross my mind when I wrote it. And then the bit about my being "in deep with the mob" -- again, when he puts it that way and I go back and re-read the post, it does sound rather like a guy trying to pay off gambling debts, doesn't it? Didn't occur to me at all when I wrote it; but if you put on the mob-colored glasses it reads exactly as though I'm worried about the health of my kneecaps.

Language and preconceptions...kinda funny things, aren't they?


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