You’ll notice I haven’t been posting much lately. I may not be posting much for the rest of the year. Infuriatingly, I can’t tell you why just yet. There’s a contract, which I haven’t yet signed. There’s a clause that allows the whole thing to implode right up until the approval of a certain deliverable. In the meantime I work on spec, on faith, and under embargo. My email backlog builds up (sorry, anyone who’s recently sent me monograph-long missives calling for monograph-length responses; it ain’t likely to happen). So while I haven’t had much time to post lately— and while I’ll probably be plugging in the ol’ e-mail autoresponder before too long (maybe even by the time you read this)— I’m gonna break silence just long enough to do something I almost never do. I’m going to shill for funds.
Not for me, though.
You might recognize the name Donna Dunlap. She’s posted the occasional comment to the ‘crawl, but her real claim to fame is that she sat on the Michigan jury that convicted me of Asking Questions back in 2010. She voted to convict— which admittedly sucked— because she felt compelled to abide by an unjust law. But having done that, she spoke out publicly on my behalf. She wrote a letter to the judge supporting me; she stood at my side during sentencing.
That sucked even more. It cost Donna her job, and nearly cost her her house. It netted her an extended campaign of police harassment and false arrest and legal bills that went on for at least a year (and might be going on to this day, for all I know). She never buckled. She is, for all the oxymoronic implications of the term, a decent and honorable Human Being.
I’m not shilling for her either, though.
Donna recently reached out to me on behalf of a friend of hers, Carrie Weiss-Silverman. Carrie has Stage 3 lung cancer— meaning you can’t really call it lung cancer any more. It’s in her lymphatic system, which basically serves as a highway to every other part of the body. I leave it to you to connect those spreading, asymmetric dots.
Yet I’m not even shilling for her.
The person I’m shilling for is Carrie’s son, Parker. Parker is in his first semester at Western Michigan University. His mom has grown preoccupied with distractions like radiation, and chemotherapy, and having to care for two other children while having rampant tumors burned and poisoned out of her. I’m told she’s having a really tough time getting $2,500 together to cover her son’s tuition for the fall semester. (Actually tuition costs way more than that, but Parker has a scholarship to make up the difference.)
Donna’s trying to help Carrie out on that front. (I told you: decent. Honorable.) She’s set up a GoFundme account to try and raise the necessary funds. If you have issues with GoFundMe, Donna can also process donations through her Paypal account at firstname.lastname@example.org. (This is the route that I have taken.)
$2,500. Per-capita that’s pretty trivial, spread out across the folks who read the ‘crawl. If everyone who visits this site on an average day chipped in five bucks, we’d blow past that benchmark before lunchtime. And speaking from my own limited-but-intimate experience, let me just say that if there’s one thing Michigan could do with a lot more of, it’s educated citizens.
It’s one semester’s tuition for one kid. It’s not going to save the rain forest or stop global warming or even land a tar-sands-creme pie in Stephen Harper’s face during his next campaign stop. It’s a small cause. But I think it’s a worthy one.
You have the data. Do what you will.