I’m a little late to the party with this, but better late than never. My friend and fellow PoT blogger Roderick Long has set up a GoFundMe for help with expenses during a particularly difficult time. I’ve cut and pasted the blurb for his GoFundMe page below, and cut and pasted a comment I wrote responding to it in the combox below. I’m elated to see that Roderick has exceeded his initial $8,000 goal, but see no reason to stop simply for that reason. I was also extremely pleased to see some of my Felician colleagues, like Sherida Yoder, who know Roderick only through PoT or my Facebook posts, kicking in to help. By the by, I’d love to overhear a literary conversation between Roderick and Sherida. Some day, we should all get together and party like it’s 2099.
But for now. please just give what you can. We’ll set up a separate GoFundMe for the Blowout Party for Friends of Roderick Long at a later date, when we’re all rich and famous.
I’m Roderick Long, a professor of philosophy at Auburn University and an individualist anarchist activist.
I hate asking for financial assistance here when I know so many others are struggling even more than usual these days, but my situation is fairly desperate at this point so I don’t have much choice.
My mother’s final illness (2016-2017) was expensive (she didn’t have insurance); and even before that, our financial situation was tight; the blow to our finances two decades earlier, from the two-year period between my losing tenure at Chapel Hill and my getting hired tenure-track at Auburn, when I was paying for both her housing back in Chapel Hill and my housing here as a temporary instructor, was one we never fully recovered from. And since her death, of course her Social Security isn’t coming in any more. Plus, although I have good insurance through my job, some of the co-pays for my own medical issues have still been unexpectedly high. (I don’t live extravagantly by any means; I live in a cramped apartment, surrounded by boxes I have no room to open, and my various trips are all conference travel, paid for either by my department or by the conference venue.)
So thanks mainly to my medical expenses (primarily my mother’s but also my own), I had to take out high-interest loans to make ends meet; and although my (non-summer) salary is good, the majority of it now gets eaten up automatically every month with giant interest payments and tiny principal payments. Every time I start to get caught up financially, the summer comes with its reduced salary (more reduced than it used to be; and some of my other, former sources of summer funding have dried up) and I fall further behind than before.
I’m at a real nadir now, at the point where I can’t see how I’m going to keep paying basic expenses – rent, bills, groceries, etc. (plus I can’t afford to get my car fixed). So any help would be greatly appreciated!! Money raised, after paying for basic necessities, will go toward paying off the balances of my high-interest loans until I can finally get out from under this burden. So please help if you can, even if it’s just a tiny but – it all adds up. And if you can’t help with money, please help by sharing this post. Thank you!
(Written on December 20th, when I first saw Roderick’s post).
I will certainly share this at first opportunity. I am one of those too straitened by circumstances to be able to give, or give much. But you shouldn’t hate to ask for help for either of the reasons you give or any other. Others are struggling because these are hard times. But those are precisely the times when people need help. The times are not equally hard for everyone. And you haven’t paid people back…because circumstances themselves make that so difficult. You have given a great deal more to the world than you’ve received from it. We should hate that you’re in these circumstances; you shouldn’t hate asking for help to get out, even if “hate” is hyperbole or a merely conventional way of speaking. In a better world, you would feel no reluctance at all in asking for help, and all those who could afford help would be eager to offer it. It amazes me that we don’t live in such a world, and makes me wonder what kind of world we do live in.
(The last comment wasn’t intended in disparagement of the effort to help Roderick, but was aimed at the common belief that there is something wrong with asking for help.)
Such an incredible outpouring of support! As I said on my blog, I feel like George Bailey right now.