I have spent my whole life in Menomonie, Wi. About one hundred and thirty years ago this area was called, “The Empire In The Pines.” Tainter, Stout, Wilson, and Knapp were the main lumber barons. Right now I can look out the window of the Raw Deal and see the Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater. I would like to be a local expert on the history and mystery of the legendary theater. I claim that this town is hungry and dark, like a devouring mother (psychological condition). The Mabel Tainter is a tribute to the emptiness of beauty, enlightenment, and fulfillment. These are the three attacks of Satan that he used in the garden of Eden, Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, and the apostle Peter referred to them as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is important because the theater was once actually a unitarian church. Besides being a church, it is a pyramid, a sailing ship, a community center, a theater, a source of ghost stories, and the host to a paranormal conference called “paranomicon”. I see it as an act of sublimation, what is sublimation? Sublimation is a subtle but extremely helpful art. It’s not easy to take a desire to do one thing and transform into a different desire. It’s a lot like alchemy because you’re trying to turn your unwanted feelings into metaphorical gold. The theater was built as a suggestion to cure Mrs. Tainter’s insufferable guilt after Mabel died due to mysterious circumstances. I made a YOUtube video called, “Mabel Tainter’s Secrets.” I talk about my own personal connection to the Mabel Tainter mystery. “Wisconsin Death Trip” was published the same year I was born. Roe vs Wade happened in 1973 also. Wisconsin Death Trip gives the evidence of a mental health crisis that swept the region back in 1886, this was the same year Mabel Tainter died, and the same year Nietzsche wrote his “God is dead” (parable of the madman). This is relevant because just like then, no one paid it any mind. People lost their minds, because they were outliving their children. To lose someone’s prodigy can drive someone mad. One of the rumored stories is that Mabel was in love with a lumberjack. Their romance was forbidden because of the huge social chasm between the two families. He mysteriously disappeared with the asumption that foul play may have been involved. Mabel had an abortion, she had a complication and died. The official story is that she died of an undefined medical condition. The story is probably just distasteful local folklore, but it sure would explain why Mrs. Tainter could not get over the grief of losing Mabel, maybe she saw it as retribution from God, for ghosting the lumberjack. What does the Mabel Tainter represent to me? Art that heals. Let me explain. 

People have struggled to make ends meet in Menomonie. It is not like it used to be. People in 1886 lived on a dollar a day (by todays standards). That is the joke, Menomonie means, “where the wild rice grows.” It sounds like ME NO MONEY; as in, “I have no money.” People here lived in desparate poverty, even though we had one of the largest congregations of millionaires in the whole country. I grew up hanging out in coffeehouses in this town. Besides alcohol and food for people when they drink alcohol. Having a coffeehouse is a popular business option in the town. That is why I called this post, “Me-No-Money” grind.  Here is a song to listen to by Bob Dylan that gives you a sense of sublimation, called “Nobody Cept You.”

Used to play in the cemetery
Dance and sing and run when I was a child
Never seemed strange
But now I just pass mournfully by
That place where the bones of life are piled
I know something’ has changed
I’m a stranger here and no one sees me
’Cept you, yeah you

Nothing much matters or seems to please me
’Cept you, yeah you
Nothing hypnotizes me
Or holds me in a spell
Everything runs by me
Just like water from a well
Everybody wants my attention
Everybody’s got something to sell
’Cept you, yeah you

To me it is this idea of, “making business personal.” I was asked what am I selling? I am educational entertainment for one. I am trying to build community and I get paid for my time as a reasonable rate. I actually cashed out my retirement plan and I am paying myself from a business checking account. I don’t know if my non-profit will ever generate a cash flow, enough to support me with the donations of others. Bob Dylan said that the purpose of art is to stop time. Philosophy is the art of life. I went to UW Stout for apparel design, it is seen as the ultimate form of art. Thought Bubble Chess Club is my great unifying life purpose. In spiritual terms I would call it my calling, and a manifestation of my gifts. Stephen Pressfield says in his book, The War of Art that resistance is all the things that keep you from creating. My life literally ate itself alive when I decided to seek this calling. It is more than community building activities Monster Bubble Street Art and chess for children. It means establishing common ground, earning others respect, before we ever talk about why we can’t be friends due to our different beliefs.