Saturday, April 04, 2009


Once, not so long ago, cosmically speaking, the Whittle Communications group published short books -- or pamphlets you might have called them -- for use on airliners, waiting rooms and such. If I recall correctly, they were about ten thousands words and carried the name of successful authors. The rest of the little books consisted of advertising.

Memory serving correctly (it’s been a while, in human years), the authors got ten grand for writing the books. It was a nice lump of money for very little work.

Someone in the literary circles of the Knoxville area, referred to the money paid for these books as “filthy lucre.” The idea was that anyone who would take money to appear in a book dedicated to advertising was a literary sell out -- unaware, I suppose that magazines had been publishing “literary” writers and paying them with the same filthy lucre since time immemorial.

I was not among those successful authors, but I did a newspaper column and said I would be delighted to accept some of the filthy lucre. Actually, it wasn’t entirely true. I received a lot of filthy lucre from Tennessee Illustrated, a Whittle’s publication, during it’s short lifespan -- including the last cover story.

Had I stopped with the request for filthy lucre, things would have been better. But I went on to talk about the difference between “real” professional writers as opposed to the ivory tower publications done for professors by university presses. It created a rift between me and the university community that has never entirely healed.

My friends, the wheel has turned again and I am once more in search of filthy lucre -- at least enough to keep this blog successful enough to continue. You may have noticed that there are now advertisements running in the side panel and between entries of this blog.

Here’s how it works: Google supplies the ads and every time a reader clicks on one of them, I get paid a very small amount. The more you click the more I make. So far, I’ve made 21 cents, I think. However, from humble acorns, mighty Oak trees grow.

The point I am trying to make is that contrary to the lunatic ravings of some, we still live in a capitalistic society -- which is preferable to any other kind I know of. Time will tell if I’m interesting enough to stay viable. Adieu for now, friends and sworn enemies alike.

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