Everyone who has been following this blog for a while knows that we have been trying for over two years (first privately, then publically) to get my wife Liz new teeth, and so end the horrible legacy of past abuse.
But these campaigns have gone nowhere. Of all the chessplayers who know us in Los Angeles, only three have donated. Of all the billionaires we’ve contacted, from “chess philanthropist” Rex Sinquefield on down, none have ever personally replied, and none have donated a dime, let alone the $55,000 that we need to pay for Liz’s All on 4 operation .
The Los Angeles chess scene is deplorable.
And Liz’s health, and her pain, gets worse every day.
One reason I haven’t played in a weekend tournament in so long is that Liz needs help to get through each day. I can’t be gone 14 or 16 hours, as often happens during two round a day events. But without playing, income drops, and students drop off.
What to do? I remembered the line from Francine Prose’s great novel Judah the Pious, about the village “built on unlucky ground.”
I came to Los Angeles to sell my film; I did so; I watched it reap wonderful profits, and was cheated out of every thin dime.
Almost every chess player in Los Angeles turned their backs on the sweetest person I know, my suffering wife.
Los Angeles has been unlucky for us.
And the fact is, if we don’t move now, Liz won’t be able to move at all.
But where could we go with no money? Enter a heroine, my daughter Aileen (from my first marriage) who lives in Brooklyn. Aileen paid for our tickets to New York, and so we are leaving tomorrow.
What is so great about New York? For us, so many things. Aileen will help Liz, and help take care of our boys, which will enable me to play. In fact, I will hit the ground running, playing in my first International in three years—that is, the 7th New York International, sponsored by the fabled Marshall Chess Club, which takes place June 18-22.
Although we’re leaving virtually all our possessions behind, we are coming to someone with a big heart, and that’s worth more than any possessions. Aileen will put us up in her Brooklyn apartment until we get our own place.
The Marshall club hosts many one game per week events, and I hope Liz will be well enough to play in these, thus bringing her back to chess.
And finally, we’ve had more donations from New York than we ever had from Los Angeles, so we can hope that we will land among friends.
We know nothing will change here.
Maybe in New York, Liz will finally catch a much deserved break.
And on a minor note, I hope to play some good games in the International! Nine wins would be nice!
One profoundly disturbing thing about the Los Angeles chess community is the lack of support for Liz. The people who know her best, and know me best, have been the least supportive. Over the long eight months of our public campaign, we only got two donations from LA chess players, that is from Garret Graves and Matt Hayes.
Then, during the last round of the recent Spring Open at the Arcadia Chess Club, David Basset stepped up with a much needed donation to the Liz “smoothie fund!” It’s always great when people actually read these blogs. Clearly he had noticed that in my last blog I noted that the smoothie fund was empty, and he just made sure that Liz would have survival food. Thank you so much!
Then, not to be outdone, Garret Graves stepped forward and donated for the second time!
Finally, Matt Hayes, who himself had previously donated twice, stepped up his game and practically beat me in the aforementioned last round! Ultimately we had a draw which put us, along with Dave and some other people, in a big tie for second place.
I should note that Garret also often plays at the Arcadia Club, which makes this club, in my humble opinion, the best club in the entire Los Angeles area!
If only everyone in this area had stepped up like these three musketeers! Then Liz would not be in such terrible pain.
All I can say about her health is its getting worse. Her jaw is holding way beyond what we expected, but her pain, now shooting through her whole body, is greater than we could ever have imagined. The specter of starvation is with us every day. Even when we have smoothie money, as now (thanks to Dave) the long term effects of living without solid food—this involuntary hunger strike—are simply catastrophic.
Desperate measures are needed, because as generous as my three friends are, we’re still too far from the goal of getting Liz new teeth.
Los Angeles isn’t working.
We’re going to have to make a move, in more ways than one.
Let’s see where we are with the numbers. We need $55,000 for Dr. Jay Grossman to do the All on 4 operation to give Liz new implanted teeth. I should mention that, as many people in the dental business have told me, this is a very good price considering the difficulty and length of the operation: 4 doctors and 7 hours. In something like this, you not only need the best, you need the best team, and that we have—we just need the funding.
So, what is the state of our fund raising?
As attentive readers of this blog know, we originally ran an “all or nothing” campaign on Go Fund Me. This campaign looked like a record breaker, until it was killed by Daniel Rensch when he pulled the support of Chess.com.
No other chess organization (Chess Base, US Chess, Internet Chess Club, etc.) would run our campaign, and so that first GoFundMe effort collapsed.
Although over $3000 was pledged, this was an “all or nothing” campaign, so we received nothing.
Then Liz began having terrible problems with her last two remaining teeth, wisdom teeth that came down after the abuse that cost her her regular teeth. These became infected and had to be removed. We started a private fundraising effort on this website (yes, that donation button is over on the right!) and a few kind hearted past pledgers plus my church, the Buckingham Friends Meeting, raised enough to have these teeth removed. The operation was a success, but our fund went down to zero.
Liz needs the operation more than ever, as she has exactly zero teeth to anchor her jaw, and her pain must be seen at close range to be believed. The heavy pain pills she is on (all Medicare will give her) are also causing terrible side effects. Her jaw is still holding, but we don’t know how long.
Our next fund raising effort was the Arcadia Chess Club simultaneous exhibition that I gave. This raised $600, of which we put $500 in the Liz Health bank account and kept $100 for smoothies, which are Liz’s “survival food.”
Unfortunately the “smoothie fund” has long since gone away, and the price went up more or less at the same time! It’s close to $5.50 now, and any smoothie donations will be much appreciated!
We also got an “envelope donation” of fifty dollars: a person we know just handed me an envelope with one big bill in it! One wishes billionaires were that kind! So we got up to $550.
Then we started a new GoFundMe campaign, but this one is not “all or nothing.” We simply receive each donation, about three days after it comes in. GoFundMe is an extremely reputable crowdfunding operation, and they did a proper investigation and confirmed the correctness and honesty of our campaign when Rensch tried to discredit us. This reputation doesn’t come free though: they do charge a fee of a little less than ten percent. If you look at the new campaign, you will see we have raised $160 there, though (minus their fee) that comes to $146.76. We’re also putting that money into the Liz Health account, so all told we now have 550 + 146.76 or $696.76.
Bottom line: $696.76 raised, only $54,303.24 to go!
We also ran another related campaign over the last four months. I offered to sell my judgment against Eric Louzil—now worth about $300,000—to St. Louis Chess Club sponsor Rex Sinquefield for $55,000. I have never been able to collect this judgment, nor have my lawyer nor two Judgment Recovery agents—as none of us have the clout and the seed money Rex has. People have suggested I get Eric Louzil arrested, but like many suggestions we get, we’ve been trying these things for years. Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, once again refused to do her job when I contacted her last month. On the other hand, Rex Sinquefield, who buys politicians in $100,000 lots, could get her mobilized with a small campaign donation (my guess is $10,000 would be enough to put Eric Louzil in handcuffs) and good old Eric would be coughing up money in no time! I think it’s a lock that Rex could have cleared 200 grand from this deal, but that wasn’t enough for him to help a suffering human being and fine chessplayer. After a great effort—and thanks to all of you who wrote Rex—I had to call off the campaign due to no response from Mr. Sinquefield. We did get terrific amounts of hate mail from this issue though, not something Liz needed. Apparently people thought that offering a highly favorable business deal to a billionaire was some kind of mortal sin! There are some sick people in the world!
So no deal with Rex, and the judgment is still for sale.
Once again, this is where we are at this moment in time, May 13, 2014:
$696.76 raised, $54,303.24 to go.
I don’t think I can get up.
These were the first words Liz said to me this morning. She had to get to the bathroom, ten steps away—but first she had to stand up. I helped her.
This is the way things have been going: the downward spiral, the relentless toll from past abuse and present starvation. I simply can’t remember now the last time Liz had a proper meal with meat and healthy vegetables. As all readers of this blog know, Liz hasn’t been able to eat any solid food for months.
When Liz took her dentures out tonight her cry of pain woke up both the boys and made me leap out of my chair. I thought her jaw had shattered—but it was simply that the pain in her jaw had both increased and caught her unawares.
We just never know when this borrowed time will end.
We’ve run various campaigns over the last two years. First I contacted wealthy individuals privately with no luck.
Then we made the wrenching decision to go public, and we would have made it, first time out, if Daniel Rensch had not killed the campaign.
Then I started a low key campaign to contact chess philanthropist Rex Sinquefield. This also remained private for a long time, but after the “unable to help” email we once again had to go public.
The key difference this time was that I offered Rex the opportunity—by buying my near $300,000 judgment—to make a very large profit by helping Liz. Many of our friends joined in this campaign—and thanks so much to all of you—asking Rex, “Please help Liz Taylor.”
But one can only continue for so long. I could feel there was no movement, so about a week ago I sent the following contact email to Rex on his website:
I have been running a campaign to help my wife, Liz Taylor, who has no teeth due to past abuse, and now suffers from a host of other complaints, which basically boil down to the fact that she is starving to death. She has been entirely unable to eat for some months now, like a person on an involuntary hunger strike. Her condition could be changed from life threatening to improving by a single operation to provide her with new teeth. Dr. Jay Grossman of Brentwood in Los Angeles, is ready to do the surgery for $55,000.
Recently I have proposed a business deal to you where I would sell you my judgment against Eric Louzil for $297,000 for that $55,000. I am unable to collect the judgment due to lack of legal muscle and upfront funds, but I’m sure you could and make a profit of at least $100,000.
I periodically give updates on Liz’s health on my blog, TimothyTaylorArtist.com and I’m going to do another one in a couple of days.
It is my impression that you have declined this deal and are uninterested in helping this fine woman chessplayer who has suffered so much.
If I don’t hear from you before I do the blog, I will assume that is in fact the case and I will ask Liz’s friends and supporters not to ask you any longer to Please Help Liz Taylor.
Well, I let it go for about a week, just in case, but no answer from Rex Sinquefield. One must conclude with great sadness that he will not help Liz, even if he can profit at the same time. Therefore I ask all of you who have been sending the “please help Liz Taylor”. notes to stop. There’s nothing more to be done on that front, so we must keep the faith and move on.
As for our current campaign, we have the private one on this website, with the donation button on right, and the public, new campaign on GoFundMe.
We’ve run out of smoothie money (and smoothies went up 20 cents so they’re $5.19 now instead of 4.99) from the Arcadia Chess Club simul, so any five dollar and change donations will be much appreciated.
In short, there’s no good news for Liz at this point. However, despite the scare tonight, her jaw is still holding and the operation is still possible.
I hope the Everyman snafu ends soon and I can at least get my King’s Gambit book placed with another company—more on that next week.
For now, please spare a thought for Liz.
People have been asking me for months when my King’s Gambit book (the Everyman title is Attacking Chess: The King’s Gambit, but it will not come out by that publisher) is coming out.
There was no problem with my book, there was a problem with the editing.
For four long months I have been trying to reach a negotiated settlement with Everyman, specifically with the Managing Editor Mark Bicknell and the Chief Advisor, Byron Jacobs.
The problem came about because I turned in a “fantastic book”—to quote Byron Jacobs—and then an editor named Jonathan Tait butchered the book. He inserted incorrect variations, bad English, his own opinions contrary to the author’s, rewrote paragraphs, chopped out paragraphs, put paragraphs in the wrong order, reordered variations to falsify the previously correct notes, and on and on.
Again, for four months I tried to find a negotiated solution, but all Byron Jacobs would say was this:
I don’t have any problem whatsoever with the edited version.
When I wouldn’t accept the “butcher edit” he tried blackmail, with the support of Mark Bicknell. He refused to change anything in the nefarious edit.
When we finally made an agreement to publish the book as is, Jacobs reneged on it.
It seems to me that Jacobs and Bicknell were confident I couldn’t get to them—Bicknell boasted they are protected by English law, though I don’t think English law protects blackmailers! However, they knew I didn’t have the money to sue them in England.
But they must not read my blog (wonder if they’ll read this one?) for I have a secret weapon: Small Claims Court! And Everyman is licensed by Random House, which is centered in New York! And the CEO of Random House, Markus Dohle, is on record supporting authors!
So I wrote Mr. Dohle as follows—note that in view of possible negotiations, I have taken out of the letter the specifics of the two deals I am offering. One hopes an honest settlement will be reached soon, and my book will come out in some non-Everyman form, with all variations correct.
Remember, I advocate, like Fischer, the Bishop’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4! One of the side points of the book is that I completely and totally bust GM Shaw’s “refutation” of the Bishop’s Gambit with 3… Nc6?!
This makes the book especially topical, but Everyman killed it anyway.
As for me, I just couldn’t stand being lied to anymore by Byron Jacobs and Mark Bicknell—so I stood up for myself, and wrote the letter below.
I hope that Markus Dohle and Random House will stand up for authors everywhere!
Markus Dohle, CEO
New York, NY 10019
April 16, 2014
Dear Mr. Dohle:
As an author of fifteen published books, I certainly appreciated your comments at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair, where you said, “the authors are the center of what we are doing and the alignment with our authors is extremely important for us. It has always been and will be in the future.”
So why should I have to sue you? Well, I hope it won’t come to that. However, after having been blackmailed twice (I have the emails), having had my contracts and agreements broken, having had a book that was a labor of love absolutely destroyed by the publisher in violation of all copyright laws—then you know I am absolutely ready to seek redress in court as well as press criminal charges—unless of course a quick resolution can be found.
Let me state my intentions plainly: I am planning to sue you in Small Claims Court for the maximum cash amount plus the return of my intellectual property.
By law I am required to notify you of this intention and offer you a solution (I am going to offer two, with the second one being my preference) to avoid going to court. Thus, that is the purpose of this letter.
Here’s a brief overview of the case.
I am an International Master of Chess, and for the last ten years, since 2004, I have been writing instructional chess books for Everyman Books—or, as it says on page 2 of my recent book Slay the Sicilian, “Everyman is the registered trade mark of Random House Inc. and is used in this work under license from Random House Inc.” The Managing Editor of Everyman Books is Mark Bicknell, and the “Chief Advisor”—again, as stated on page two—is Byron Jacobs who I usually deal with. Byron Jacobs in turn occasionally employs a free lance editor named Jonathan Tait.
I never had a serious problem with Everyman over these ten years. My books “sell well” as Byron Jacobs said himself, they are well reviewed, and I am a “renowned chess author” as is often stated on the covers of the books themselves.
In the fall of 2013 I turned in a contracted book, Attacking Chess: The King’s Gambit which was a true labor of love on my part. I agreed to write this for a lower price, for a few reasons. One was I really really wanted to write the book. One was I was then given a three book deal to write Learn From Magnus Carlsen (aside, I should mention I am one of the very few chess writers who has actually played World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a tournament game and I am a former US Open Chess Champion) and then Queen’s Gambit, Cambridge Springs Defense, and finally, Attacking Chess: The Two Knights Defense.
I have signed contracts for all of these books.
So as mentioned, I turned in Attacking Chess: The King’s Gambit in the fall of 2013. Byron Jacobs described it as a “fantastic book” and on January 6, 2014 I received the page proofs. Now for my previous eight books for Everyman, the page proofs have been a formality. I pride myself on a very clean writing style (my first chess book was published in 1984, The Rubinstein Variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defense, and I am also a published novelist: Elaine the Fair and Amanda). For my last book for Everyman, Slay the Sicilian, I only noticed two minute errors in the page proofs, and this was the standard for these last eight books.
But for the King’s Gambit, everything was different. I received, not normal page proofs with my text as written (with of course very minor changes to fit the games into columns, which I never objected to) but instead—
A Butcher’s Edit.
The book was destroyed. The very first thing I noticed was the terrible English that was inserted into the book by the freelance editor, the above mentioned Jonathan Tait. Here’s a quick sample:
Page 75: Sharpest and probably best, though but one should note
Page 76: I can’t find any defense against to Black’s attack.
Page 110: similar that after
Page 149: themself
Page 192: he Black accepted a small inferiority
And lots more, none of which were my doing.
But Tait was not content with using non words like “themself” which won’t even get past Microsoft Word’s spell check—and Everyman requires manuscripts to be submitted in Word!—he also destroyed the crucial chess content.
For example, the very first diagram in the book was out of place! It was a diagram from Tait’s favorite Nordic Counter Gambit, when in fact the position was from a Pseudo-Fischer Defense! Furthermore, Everyman requires a chess author to submit the games in Chessbase format. I did this on the King’s Gambit. It’s impossible to misplace a diagram on Chessbase, as the software generates the diagram from the game in question! So Tait deliberately put in the wrong diagram. Of course, not content to do just that, he inserted another false diagram later! None of my eight previous books for Everyman had false diagrams in the page proofs—again, this is simply impossible to do by mistake, one would have to manually override Chessbase and insert the false diagram on your own.
Further investigation on my part showed that Tait had written in his own variations, often not correct. He is not a titled chess player; he is definitely not an International Master.
Even further, Tait wrote in his own comments to the games, often absolutely counter to my, the author’s, intention.
He reversed meanings of key lines, like where I said Grandmaster Larry Evans was “discouraged” when playing Bobby Fischer—and Tait changed the whole meaning by rewriting the text to “not discouraged.”
In short, a vicious attack on the integrity of the book, a book I had worked on and honed for years, a book that I had checked and double checked, on my own and with a chess engine (Fritz 12). This book showed my fine writing style and my knowledge and mastery of the game. Most importantly, this is a book that could be used as an objective reference book for world wide chess students.
By the way, for months I have been getting emails from my regular readers around the world, wondering when the King’s Gambit is coming out. Now I am going to go public and tell them, as well as about this potential (again, I hope for a peaceful solution) lawsuit. My tentative title is Does Markus Dohle, CEO of Random House, Approve of Blackmailing Authors? I hope the answer is “NO!” Anyway, I’ll probably come up with a better title, but I will post something to that effect on my blog, TimothyTaylorArtist.com.
Why again should it come to this? If Jonathan Tait had tried his vicious, yet childlike attack on my book (apparently because I had refuted, in my book, the above mentioned Nordic Counter Gambit which is his favorite) in New York, for another Random House division, we know what would have happened:
1.Tait gets fired
2.Publisher apologizes to author
3.New editor is hired, book is done right, and comes out and does well
None of those things happened.
To start with, Byron Jacobs defended Tait; he followed this with outright lies, saying repeatedly (and he still says this) that Tait’s work was a “good, normal edit.” Like lopping out entire, crucial paragraphs (another of Tait’s funny tricks!) was good and normal. Then Jacobs demanded that I should exert my “maximum tolerance threshhold” and accept Tait’s edit.
Thus four months of futile negotiations started. In retrospect I tried too hard for too long, because (now) it’s obvious the fix was in from the beginning. Why, I can’t tell you. But what Jacobs wanted was clear: he wanted to force me to agree to publish the butchered version of my book, thus destroying my reputation, or he wanted to illegally cancel my contracts for the three books in the pipeline. As I say, none of this makes sense, for my books sell well as he says himself—but the facts are clear.
So from January to April of this year, four futile, non productive months, I did huge amounts of unpaid labor, basically editing the “Tait butcher job” myself, pointing out huge numbers of editorial errors. Ultimately I refused to work on the Tait edit any more, as by page 218 (of a 446 page book) I found 184 editorial errors. Byron Jacobs continually tried to hurry me, utterly unconcerned with the numerous errors I was pointing out.
For example, very early days (January 17) I wrote to Byron Jacobs as follows:
“I expected normal editing as for all my other Everyman books.
Now I am running into sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs deleted from the text (one of the paragraphs featuring a great quote from GM Joe Gallagher is just gone). These are exceptionally hard to spot, as it’s hard to “see something” that is not there!
But I managed to catch something even worse, and I want to let you know what I’m dealing with. I will give you the game, the variation and all that when I send all the corrections in (because I’m going so slow now this will be the weekend).
OK, this is the worst thing Jonathan has done that I have found. I’ve already found things like missing paragraphs, his own lines written that were not in the book, annotations changed like adding question marks, etc. and now this, which is extremely important and critical.
In one game there was a variation where White won a pawn. It was a simple, straight forward two mover. I gave a simple straight forward note, pointing out that in this line White won a pawn, and giving the two moves. I only gave one response for Black, as it was clear that nothing else saved the pawn; White could play in the same way.
But Jonathan added his own note.
Please understand, his note is not something I wrote, or a variation of what I wrote. When I send the corrections in, you can check my original manuscript and the Chessbase files. I don’t consider his secondary response for Black, as it was obvious that White still won the pawn in the same way. This is also Fritz’s conclusion.
So, going back, Jonathan wrote his own note. He gives this secondary move of Black, and then instead of continuing in my main line way, which wins a pawn, he gives a different move to which he gives an exclamation point. He then gives two follows and says that White wins a pawn.
The only problem with this is that the move he gives an exclamation point to is a blunder. Black immediately recovers the pawn! This is obvious if you look at it on a board, and even easier on Fritz. The machine immediately goes from “clear advantage to White” to “equal.”
Now please imagine if the book went out with this note in it.
People would say—or worse, reviewers would say: “What’s the matter with this Taylor? [since my name is on the book!] He gives an exclam to a move that loses all White’s advantage and loses the plus pawn as well! Doesn’t he check his notes with a computer?” And then what should I say? That this note was an incorrect addition by my editor that I failed to catch?
In short, this would be a disaster for my reputation, Jonathan’s reputation, and Everyman’s reputation.
Just today I got an email from Israel.
This player said he had read all my books and when was the KG book coming out?
I am proud to have a following around the world. But they are looking for a Tim Taylor book, not a Jonathan Tait book, and certainly not a Tait book full of holes with my name on it!”
This was a very serious allegation on my part. Indeed, I have never heard of this before in any chess book. An editor—not a titled player—on his own, inserts a false variation in an instructive chess book. What happens if someone follows the Tait inserted variation and loses a game because of it? There goes everybody’s reputation, including Random House! And my allegation is not just a difference of opinion. It is an absolutely certain fact. Certain positions in chess remain incalculable, but this is not one of them. This was a deliberate error inserted into the text. I can and did prove the point to Byron Jacobs by submitting the analysis by the chess engine Fritz 12 that my note was correct and Tait’s was absolutely false. I said that Jacobs could put the variation on any chess computer he wanted, and would get the same result, which is also true.
Byron Jacobs’ response? He refused to change the note (he never agreed to change any of Tait’s edits in any of the 41 emails he sent to me, unless you count a “maybe” on changing the first out of place diagram.
Jacobs again praised Tait for his great editing job, called it a “perfectly normal” edit—as I said above, he’s still doing that—in opposition to any objective reality—and then he tried a new tactic.
Jacobs’ first blackmail email (there will be a second one) came on February 25, 2014. He writes as follows:
“This is a “normal” chess book which has gone through a normal editing procedure just like hundreds of other books we have done. I don’t have any problem whatsoever with the edited version. NEVERTHELESS I absolutely CANNOT publish a version of the book that the author dislikes. So, I’m a bit stuck.
You may say there is an obvious solution which is to publish the book – more or less – as you originally submitted it. I could do this, but it would have the unfortunate side effect of immediately terminating any working relationship between us.”
Please note (I still get sick thinking of this) that he has already known for over a month that Jonathan Tait has inserted false variations in the book. He knows that people are going to get misled and lose games because of lines that they trust because IM Timothy Taylor wrote them. Of course, I did not write those lines! He wants to destroy my reputation, Everyman’s reputation, Random House’s reputation—and if I don’t agree, he will illegally kill the contracts for my three upcoming books!
Blackmail, pure and simple.
I wouldn’t go for blackmail.
Now in retrospect, I should have sued at that point, but you know how authors are: I love writing books! I desperately wanted to see my book in print! So I kept trying to negotiate, hoping Jacobs would see reason, but no such luck.
Jacobs sent a second blackmail letter on March 10, pretty much the same as the first, but notable in that he copied his boss on it, Managing Editor Mark Bicknell. So from top to bottom, Everyman Books were fine with blackmailing an author.
I hope that is not true of Random House!
Finishing the story: since I refused to submit to blackmail, eventually Mark Bicknell brokered a deal to simply finish off the contracts. My King’s Gambit book would be just proofread. The other three books would also just be proofread and I would write those three books (my italics, this is important) according to strict Everyman guidelines (which neither I nor I think any other writer ever followed) some silly stuff like not using periods after move numbers (every chess book in the world writes 1.e4 like this, Everyman alone writes 1 e4 which is not huge but is just silly and is often criticized by reviewers). Apparently this is done to save a few drops of ink.
So anyway, just to see my books come out, I was prepared to follow those guidelines on my next three books as had been agreed.
I once again turned in the King’s Gambit book, absolutely clean copy, ready for proofreading, not that anyone was going to find anything—
And Byron Jacobs reneged on the deal, saying (email of April 7) “I certainly can’t publish it as it is.”
As near as I can tell, this was because I didn’t take the dots out of this already written book—I didn’t take them out because that was not part of the new deal that he had just signed off on! As I had written to Jacobs just the day before, “I will follow those guidelines for the last three contracted books.”
But, ignoring that, ignoring the deal that had been worked out with Mark Bicknell, he broke the final deal.
I wrote back, pointing out among other things that (referring to the Butcher Edit) “You never once agreed to change anything.”
And Byron Jacobs replied with a quite extraordinary lie: he wrote, email of April 7, “It is completely and utterly untrue that “I never once agreed to change anything”. Many, many times I agreed to change things that were incorrect. You can easily find such assurances in emails.”
That’s just not too smart, in the Internet age. I have all 41 of Byron Jacobs’ emails to me from January 7, when this controversy began. And, just as I said above, he “never once agreed to change anything.” Never, not once! Yes, there was a “maybe” on the wrong diagram, and from time to time there was a “cover your ass” line like “We’ll change something if there’s a mistake” but when I would answer with “How about this false variation? Or this chopped out paragraph? Or these two paragraphs put, senselessly, in the wrong order?” I asked all those things, and I only got two kinds of answers. One, “this is a good normal edit” or he ignored what I wrote.
Anyway, I have put all 41 Byron Jacobs emails into a single Word document, and if we ever go to court, that’s going to be Exhibit B. Exhibit A will of course be the two Blackmail emails by themselves.
After this “Big Lie” email I realized that Everyman was never going to publish “Attacking Chess: The King’s Gambit.” There would always be an excuse, a new lie, a new way to renege on their signed contracts.
In such a case, I always believe it’s best to go right to the top, and that’s you. You’re the CEO of Random House, and Random House, Inc. is named up front on each of my books.
So there’s two ways to go about this: I take you to Small Claims Court, and I win. I have all the evidence of blackmail and lies large and small from Byron Jacobs and Mark Bicknell’s emails. I may also attempt to file criminal charges of blackmail against the same two in England. While I live in the US, I am sure blackmail is a serious crime in all jurisdictions. I will definitely follow each stage of my case “against Markus Dohle of Random House” in my blog.
Or we can just solve the problem right here and now.
At this point I offered Mr. Dohle two solutions which, since they are still in the negotiating phase, I am not going to publish here.
One hopes that he will stand up for writers like myself, for as he said in Frankfurt, without writers there is no publishing.
So this is why my King’s Gambit book has not come out. I think the best title, if another publisher will step up, is “Win with the King Bishop’s Gambit.”
I don’t know when the book will come out.
Meanwhile, until there is a resolution, I plan to alternate “Liz Campaign” blogs with “Everyman Butcher Edit” blogs so readers can see for themselves what Byron Jacobs calls a “good, normal edit.”
I have been to the emergency room twice in recent months, but so what.
Liz is worse. Liz is worse every day. Her jaw is holding, but her pain is increasing. This morning she said to me, “I feel like I’m dead.”
I stopped complaining about my aches and pains right away.
Liz needs help. Liz deserves help, if there is any karma in the universe. Must she spend her life in unending pain? Or will someone give her a chance at a normal life?
I ask, will Rex Sinquefield help Liz Taylor get new implanted teeth? That is the question.
Now we know Rex Sinquefield is a billionaire. We know he likes to give money away. For example, he gave Steven Tilley $100,000 (who, from his pictures, has all his teeth and indeed a high paying job) and then a little later, another $100,000. I’ll let the St. Louis newspaper Riverfront Times do the honors:
In 2009, Sinquefield contributed a single check for $100,000 for Tilley’s re-election campaign – the biggest single contribution Sinquefield made to any political candidate last year, according to records at the Missouri Ethics Commission. The same is true so far this year, with Sinquefield providing Tilley’s re-election campaign $100,000 on September 24.
But here’s the really curious thing about all that money. Tilley ran unopposed in both the August primary and in last general Tuesday’s election.
I should add that Mr. Tilley got all 8,394 votes that were cast.
So this is pretty interesting. We see that Rex Sinquefield will give money to someone who doesn’t need it—a politician running unopposed—and indeed gives more than three times what Liz needs to this gentleman!
Should a chess player help another chessplayer in need? I did. Will Rex Sinquefield?
So back to the basic question, indeed, question and answer, since I am often asked about Mr. Sinquefield, and when that happens, I answer like this:
Rex Sinquefield, famous chess philanthropist—yes! I’m way ahead of you, I wrote Tony Rich of the St. Louis Club already. Yes, I wrote him on November 3, 2013. I asked Tony to forward the email, which explained Liz’s situation, on to Mr. Sinquefield, in the hopes that as he guaranteed a never paid $64,000 Fischer prize at each US Championship, he would take a minute and a tiny percentage of his wealth to help a suffering but strong woman chess player.
Now, when people ask me this, the conversation always goes about like this:
Questioner: What did Tony Rich reply?
Me: Uh, no reply.
Questioner: Then what did you do?
Me: I sent a follow up letter to Tony Rich ten days later, November 13, and asked him to at least respond so I knew he received it.
Questioner: I can see where this is going.
Me: Yes, no reply to the second letter either.
Questioner: Did you give up?
Me: You know me better than that. I wrote Yasser Seirawan, who I know, who is also on the board of the St. Louis Club.
Questioner: And he didn’t answer.
Me: I’m supposed to be giving the answers!
Questioner: Did Yasser answer?
Questioner: We’re talking about November. Liz was already in pretty bad shape then. Did anyone answer in November?
Questioner: No Christmas spirit in billionaire land, I guess. How about January?
Me: Yes, Jan. 24th to be exact, two months and three weeks after I sent my urgent appeal.
Questioner: Let me tell you, he said, ‘There was nothing they could do.”
Me: Don’t rush me! He actually said, ““We are unable to provide assistance.”
Questioner: Say what?? Unable?? Guy’s a billionaire.
Me: Who just gave $200,000 to a political candidate running unopposed.
Me: You said it, brother.
So why should I go back to Rex Sinquefield after this debacle? Recall my eight categories in the previous blog—actually, just concentrate on number four: “Rich people: they are impossible to get to unless you have some connection.”
Of all the billionaires I have written over the past two years (I started a private campaign to help Liz long before we went public) none have ever replied—I mean not one, not a single word from Bill Gates and the like—until this highly dubious “We are unable to provide assistance,” reply that I got from Tony Rich. It’s factually false, it’s a terrible thing to say to a suffering human being, but it was a reply.
Not from the billionaire himself of course, from one of his people, but still … a reply, with a name on it.
So the answer to why I should try again is obvious: As I say above,
Rich people: they are impossible to get to unless you have some connection.
And I do have a connection with Rex Sinquefield. I am an International Master of Chess and I have played Magnus Carlsen (in fact I am writing a book on Magnus Carlsen) the very World Champion who Rex made sure came to the US for his first tournament here. Furthermore, I have a connection with frequent US Women’s Championship contender Tatev Abrahamyan: I donated to her cause!
And Liz has a connection to Rex, as a she is a fine female player and if she could only play pain free she would be playing for the US Women’s Championship, battling Tatev and Irina! For that matter, I’ll be in the men’s section, battling Nakamura and Kamsky, if I could just get the funds to play in the US Senior so I could qualify.
So let’s address the turndown—clearly middle management. Rex Sinquefield himself is far too smart to lie like a rug in public and say he is “unable” to help Liz.
So let’s address the numbers. One reads all about the “one percent”—the small group that Rex Sinquefield belongs to—and see if he is able. I have to admit I was surprised at the stunning concentration of wealth, and of how little $55,000 is to a billionaire.
Fortunately we have a point of comparison. A few years ago, when I was making about $6,000 a year as a chess player (I haven’t done my taxes yet, but I know it’s far less than that this year, unfortunately) I had an opportunity to help a fellow chess player. Tatev Abrahamyan’s father died, and she asked for help from the chess community. Of course I stepped right up and gave her $20 which was all I could afford. She wrote me a nice thank you note.
Now let’s consider that I had a net worth of $6,000 and I donated $20 to Tatev.
And we’ll consider that Rex Sinquefield has a net worth of $1,000,000,000 (though his worth is probably more than a billion according to most sources: Riverfront Times gives up and calls him a “gazillionaire”!) and he is contemplating donating $55,000.
What do the numbers tell us? It’s interesting that my high school algebra came right back to me: I knew I’d use it eventually!
So let’s do the math.
First, let’s see what percentage of my net worth was the $20 that I donated to Tatev. Here’s how you set up the problem of finding the percentage: T (for Tim) will equal the percentage of my net worth.
20 = T/100 x 6000
Multiply both sides by 100 and we get
2000 = 6000 x T
Divide both sides by 6000 and we get
.33 = T
Actually, if you want to get an A in your math class, the answer is .333333 etc. as the three will repeat indefinitely. But two significant figures (I can’t believe I remember these terms I haven’t used in over forty years!) is enough for our purposes.
In plain English, I donated one third of one percent of my net worth to Tatev.
Another way to explain this is as a straight forward multiplication problem—to get this answer, we must first divide!
20 divided by 6000 = .0033
This is useful as now we see that if we multiply $6000 x .0033 we get that same $20—well, not exactly. Because the .0033 is a repeated number, we actually get $19.80, which is close enough.
Now what happens if Rex Sinquefield would donate one third of one percent of his net worth (the same percentage as I donated to Tatev) to help a suffering chess player?
We know from the math above that we can get the answer by multiplying his net worth of 1,000,000,000 x .0033.
Here’s the problem again:
1,000,000,000 x .0033 =
And the answer is … drumroll please …
Three million, three hundred thousand!
Here it is in plain figures:
$1,000,000,000 x .0033 = $3,300,000
So if Rex Sinquefield were as generous to Liz as I was to Tatev, we’d get three million plus!! Of course I’m not asking for that much, but just in case, here’s what I’d do with the money: get the operation for Liz, pay for her rehabilitation (mainly easing her off the prescription drugs she’s on now for pain), pay all our bills, help a fellow chess player we know and then Liz and the boys and I will move to a chess friendly area where I will start the Timothy Taylor Chess School with a nice picture of Rex on the wall!
But I don’t expect that level of generosity, and I’m not asking for it.
I’m just asking for $55,000 to be paid to Dr. Jay Grossman so that Liz can get the All on 4 operation. The rehabilitation, the moving, helping a friend, the chess school—we’ll do all that like we do anything: with little money and lots of determination.
So what percentage of Rex Sinquefield’s worth is the $55,000 that we are asking for?
By now we know the drill—algebra! It works! In this case the percentage will be R for Rex.
The problem sets up like this:
55,000 = R/100 x 1,000,000,000
Multiply both sides by 100 and we get
5,500,000 = 1,000,000,000 x R
Divide both sides by 1,000,000,000 and we get
.0055 = R
What an answer! Nowhere close to my one third of one percent! This is five thousandths of one percent!
To update Fitzgerald, the one percent are very different from you and me!
Now I can’t wait to do the multiplication—remember, we must first divide:
55,000 divided by 1,000,000,000 = .000055
That is an astonishingly low number! I believe that we are talking about five hundred thousandths!
Let’s do the math the other way and make sure it works. If Rex takes his personal fortune and multiplies it by .000055, we get:
$1,000,000,000 x .000055 = $55,000
It works! Everyone is talking about the one percent these days, and income inequality and so on, but it’s hard to grasp until you look at the numbers. Even when you have the numbers in front of you like this, it’s very hard to grasp that $55,000 is an incredibly trivial number to a billionaire.
Let me try to put it in perspective. Imagine a typical street scene in downtown Los Angeles. I am striding along the street, wearing a good suit and carrying $1,000 cash in my wallet and some loose change in my pocket (I’ve never had $1,000 cash on me in my life, but at least one thousand dollars is a number one can imagine). A homeless person calls out, “Yo! Guy in the cool suit! Can you spare a dime?”
I reply instantly, “Good fellow, I would be happy to give you the same as a generous friend of mine gave to my lovely wife one day, that is, five thousandths of one percent!”
“Whatever, dude,” replies the homeless guy, “Can you spare a dime?”
I get my calculator out as I answer, “As I’m sure you are a cash customer, I give you my word that I will give five thousandths of one percent of the thousand dollars that is my cash on hand.”
Mumbling to myself, I say quietly, “Yes, I can easily get the answer by multiplying my $ 1,000 x .000055 and I hit a few buttons:
$1,000 x .000055 = $0.055
“Good fellow, I fear you ask too much,” I go on. “Five thousandths of one percent of my current cash worth comes to 5.5 cents, rather well short of the dime you are asking for. However, since the sun is bright, and I am feeling generous, I will round up. Here you are!”
And with that, I toss the fellow a nickel and a penny, and happily go on my way.
For that “nickel and penny” Rex Sinquefield can save Liz: stop her slow starvation, let her eat and speak like a normal person, let her be a good mother to our children and once again play chess.
I thought this was convincing enough, so I wrote Tony Rich on March 17 (three weeks ago) to arrange a face to face meeting with Rex Sinquefield, to see if he would be able to spare a “nickel and penny” to save Liz’s life.
And you know the answer … no reply!
So I’m going public.
My original plan was to book a round trip flight to St. Louis with the last of the Liz Health Fund ($550) and actually go to the St. Louis Chess Club. There I would have tried to find someone who would have led me to Rex Sinquefield, in the hopes that he could not deny Liz if I had a face to face meeting.
However, like so many of my “good plans” this one crashed and burned. Liz gets worse every day. Her pain simply can’t be described. She can only watch the boys (very rambunctious, 7 and 4 year old boys) for at most a few hours at a time, and just barely conceivably, for a full day. There is no way she could watch them while I am in St. Louis for a week or even three days. As I’ve reported before, the pain is so great Liz has great difficulty walking, and making the trip to the grocery store with the two boys would be virtually impossible. Even if we stocked up on food and froze some smoothies, what if there was an emergency? Such a trip would simply be too risky. I won’t put Liz through such anxiety and pain.
So I have had to think of something else.
And I can’t do much more on my own.
We need help. And there is something you can do. I’m asking all our supporters and readers of this blog if you would just go to the “contact form” at the St. Louis Chess Club and to the “contact form” on Rex Sinquefield’s website, and simply write four words: Please help Liz Taylor. Please take one minute, click on the links above, and give yourself some good karma: write those four words, “Please help Liz Taylor.”
If enough people write, maybe Rex Sinquefield will find it in his heart to save one suffering chessplayer.
Now I don’t care how he does it. He can do a straight donation, like maybe one third of a political donation (well, one third of $200,000 is $66,666, but I won’t object if he rounds up!
He can cut out the middle man and pay Dr. Jay Grossman $55,000 directly.
He can do the “loan option” that I’ve already offered.
And then I had a thought: a billionaire must have great lawyers! Great lawyers could break the rip off team of Eric Louzil and Dr. Rita Rosenthal! In other words, Rex Sinquefield could help Liz and make money!
I thought this was such a good idea that I immediately wrote to Rex on the contact form on his website.
Here is my letter, which I sent a week ago:
Dear Mr. Sinquefield,
My wife, the strong chessplayer Liz Taylor, is suffering worse every day through having no teeth. As I have written you many times before, she needs a $55,000 operation from Dr. Jay Grossman to give her new implanted teeth. She cannot eat and is slowly and painfully starving to death.
At this point, it is clear you are unwilling to donate to her cause or just pay Dr. Grossman directly. However, there is another option, let’s call it the “free market” option that you always extol.
I have a court judgment against Eric Louzil for a film I made (for which I was never paid) as I described in my blog – http://timothytaylorartist.com/2014/02/standing-up-for-ourselves/you-give-me-55000-and-i%e2%80%99ll-give-you-286601-94/
The judgment plus interest is now $297,000 (It was $283,000 when I wrote the blog, but keeps going up due to 10%/year California interest) I have been unable to collect this, as I can only get people who can work on commission, and they don’t have the money to take Louzil down. However, he and his wife, Dr. Rita Rosenthal, are really just a pair of two bit grifters and I doubt you and your legal team would have any problem with them.
I’m willing to sell my life’s work in this case for $55,000, but it would help enormously if we got another $20,000 for Liz’s rehabilitation and general return to chess.
So let’s crunch the numbers for a second. If you pay me $75,000, and you spend $100,000 on your legal team to take down Louzil (I doubt you’d have to spend that much, but I’m overestimating on purpose) then you’re out $175,000 and you collect $297,000, for a profit of $122,000. Actually, I’m sorry, my lawyer is still owed $10,500, so you’d still make a neat profit of $111,500.
Most likely more, as I think if Eric Louzil saw you spend say, $25,000, on a crack legal team I think he’d fold in a moment for fear you would buy up the other 50 or so judgments against him! That is a thought, you could probably clear a million or so on those judgments put together.
In this way you help Liz, make a healthy profit, and incidentally put a criminal lowlife (Louzil) out of business.
How do you like this deal?
Tim Taylor, IM
Needless to say, no reply, but if enough people write “Please help Liz Taylor” then there is hope that the reply will come.
Then maybe Rex Sinquefield will help Liz Taylor.
Website maintenance in process. Updates coming soon.
We need $55,000 for the All on 4 operation that is set to be performed by Dr. Jay Grossman—if the bone in her jaw holds out. Liz has no teeth whatsoever now. This operation will give Liz permanently implanted teeth and will stop the bone loss from which she now suffers.
Strangely enough, we have exactly one percent of what we need, $550. What should we do with this money?
I’ve given this a lot of thought, since we hit zero after paying for Dr. Kupferman to take out Liz’s last two surviving teeth, her wisdom teeth. I knew we had the Arcadia Chess Club/Liz Health Simul with at least $500 guaranteed coming up. And I knew we would not get any more significant donations from the general public, and I was right. We did get a kind $50 from a good friend, but as far as from the general public who doesn’t know Liz, nothing more.
I knew nothing about fund raising before I tried to raise money to play in the World Senior last year and failed (and I would love to play in the World Senior this year, but obviously I won’t play unless Liz has her new teeth). But going back to fundraising: I tried to raise money for myself, for the World Senior, and I tried to raise money for the operation for Liz that will give her new teeth. While both campaigns failed, I learned a lot. I have learned that the vital quality, the magic key is a single word: momentum.
Once our Liz Health campaign went private, on this very website (and don’t forget the button on the right!) we gradually raised about $2000, then we had to spend it all on the wisdom teeth removal, and now we’ve fought our way back to $550. But basically the trend is down. We have no momentum at all.
I don’t want to revisit this painful time too much, but when we had momentum with GoFundMe supported by Chess.com, we were a lock to make the funds and Liz would have had her new teeth months ago—but then Daniel Rensch stepped in with truly astounding maliciousness and killed the campaign simply by killing the momentum. When he pulled the campaign off Chess.com, he threw our campaign into chaos and confusion. The haters he assisted (or possibly he was one or more of these anonymous haters himself) ruined our momentum. We spent all our time fighting off their sick attacks and ended up dead in the water.
And so the GoFundMe campaign crashed after the momentum was gone, and we raised zero dollars as it was all or nothing.
And in our private campaign, we have no momentum now at all.
So back to Liz: we have $550 and no real prospect to make any more from fundraising.
How to move forward?
First, let’s address Liz’s condition. I have been keeping Dr. Jay abreast, and here’s what I wrote this week: “Dear Dr. Jay, I just wanted to let you know how Liz is: basically, even worse than before. Her pain levels won’t go down; she has pain in her jaw and this has “infected” every old wound in her body, and that’s a huge number. So she really only gets out of bed about two times a week (to see her therapist) and as she can’t eat anything her weight is dropping alarmingly.”
And he wrote back, “So sorry to hear about her condition. Unfortunately without the implants, we are stuck where we are.”
But she’s not really stuck; she’s sliding downhill. I said just a few days ago Liz gets out twice a week. She never cancels a therapist appointment! Then the next day Liz had a therapist appointment and she canceled. I couldn’t believe it! She really likes her therapist. She gets comfort there. She never cancels. But she did this time. Her therapist’s office is eight tenths of a mile from the train station. There are no buses between those points. Liz was hurting so bad she knew she couldn’t make the walk.
That’s the downward spiral.
But Dr. Jay is absolutely right that the only way to reverse the trend are the implants. I’ve watched Liz’s pain gradually increase until the pain itself is at a near fatal level. The amount of hard drugs she is being prescribed by her Medicare doctor to dull the pain could kill her as well.
And while that pointless battle between life threatening pain and toxic drugs goes on, Liz is starving to death, slowly. We have food but Liz can’t eat it. Thanks to the good people of the Arcadia Chess Club, we have smoothie money for this month. But Liz needs a hearty meal. She’s hungry all the time. If God exists, he’d at least let her eat a big Mac and fries without passing out from pain—but God wasn’t there during 26 years of abuse, and he’s not there now. And we hate the people who say, “God will provide.’ No. God will provide pain, terror and slow death. God will provide safety for the criminal.
We know that whenever we hear the “God will provide” line, that person will never, ever donate. Not one dime. That line is just an excuse.
The people we love are those who donate what they can without making a big fuss over it.
Liz and I thank all of you again.
Now it’s pretty much too late for anyone except a single big donor.
Who? How can I find that person?
Once again, I think we’ve tried everything—but maybe, using chess logic, there’s some hidden variation that will save the line—
Or in this case, save Liz’s life.
Here’s a list of what we have tried and what hasn’t worked.
1.Medicare: The government doesn’t care if Liz lives or dies. That’s it, bottom line.
2.Obamacare: We don’t qualify for the “Affordable Care Act” because our income is too low, but I went to see them anyway, face to face: got this wonderful and very popular answer when it comes to Liz: “There’s nothing we can do.”
3.Ukraine and the like: we are always being told to go to some third world country where they have no capability of doing a high tech All on 4 operation. I have Ukrainian friends who told me to stay out, much too dangerous and virtually no chance the operation could be done. I knew from the start that with only one chance for Liz, a country on the brink of civil war wasn’t it. Should we spend our last $550 to go to Ukraine. Hmmm, let’s see: don’t have enough for a single ticket; have no money for the dentists; dentists there can’t do the operation; would have to live there for six months on no money for follow ups after the non operation while Russian troops led by ex-KGB Putin are invading (and I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin had been friends with Liz’s mom back in the day); this sounds like a better idea every day … NOT!
4.Rich people: they are impossible to get to unless you have some connection. Bill Gates doesn’t answer, because he never gets the mail going to his charity. The way I see it, someone way under his pay grade sends an intern to the dumpster with each days mail, unread. Send a hundred letters and you will never, ever get a response.
I have never received one response.
5.Charities: not a chance. They’ve all said no—actually, that’s not quite correct. We’ve filled out all the forms, jumped through all the hoops, sent in all the horrible facts of Liz’s abuse and subsequent medical condition—and they don’t reply. Never reply. Not ever, not once. It’s not only that charities don’t reply—and we’ve tried a hundred of them; they don’t care enough even to say no. Someone asked me recently about a dental charity, one of the first we tried—I said they turned Liz down. To be precisely accurate, they simply haven’t replied for … six months now! That’s enough of a turn down for me. Somehow I’m not waiting by the mailbox any more!
As I said above, this whole thing has been a learning experience for me, and what I’ve learned about charities is they’re all about the tax free dollars for their executives. Liz can die for all they care.
6.Celebrities: great if you know one. I don’t. Liz doesn’t. So you can write Oprah or Ellen or Montel or Maury or whoever and you will never, ever get a reply. Liz likes those talk show people, so she wrote them herself; didn’t get any replies. I tried the first 32 on the Forbes’ wealthiest list—never got a reply. I’ve tried a bunch of random celebrities—I couldn’t even get Charlie Sheen to reply! Winning? Losing.
There was one tiny little exception. I came across Alyssa Milano’s website. Everyone of my generation knows her from “Who’s the Boss?” and she grew up pretty nice too. Her website identifies her as “Actress, Producer, Philanthropist.” So I thought, let’s see if that last one is for real. I saw there was an email contact form, but having filled out hundreds of these, I know these are never, ever answered. Ask for help—deleted!
But there was also a snail mail address! For fan mail, to be sure, but still an old fashioned address. So I went all out. Pictures of beautiful Liz before, when the dentures were working. Pictures of Liz in pain in the present situation, when they are not. Chapter and verse on her past abuse, the effects of abuse, the rising pain, inability to eat, bone loss, weight loss, wonderful mother in terrible pain. Poured my heart out. Wrote and rewrote, used everything in my writing ability, polished the text till it shone. Even enclosed the x ray shots: Liz with no teeth (actually with the two wisdom teeth that are now gone as well). I even wrote to Alyssa’s husband, David Bugliari, who is a CAA agent. He is in a position to see that Liz’s story is told. Then I packed it all up neatly and mailed it all out and hoped for the best. How could anyone fail to be moved by what happened to Liz? And Alyssa, a young mother herself, not far away in Malibu, could meet her! Could meet Dr. Jay. No possibility of faking. The missing teeth tell all. The medical records tell all. The scars tell all. Liz’s walk tells all.
Well, not too much later I got a big old box in the mail. Everything I sent was in there. On top was a single sheet of paper, with a scrawled note in blue marker: “We can’t accept this.”
Four words. So much for the philanthropist, Alyssa Milano. And I wasted weeks on that try.
So, celebrities—not a chance. Alyssa does do aid work in Africa. Great. She turns her back on the girl next door. Katherine McPhee of Smash is the same. Her cause is the schoolchildren of Burkina Faso—look it up! Liz would love to go to college; she’s never been pain free enough to do it. So she’s a schoolgirl too—whoops, wrong continent. James Spader makes $150,000 per episode on the Blacklist. Yo, James! How about one third of what you make in a week to save Liz’s life? Nope. Meryl! How can we forget Meryl! I didn’t. She supports the rain forest! Gotta love that rain forest! Maybe it’s Rainforest! Looks better with a capital. Liz Taylor looks pretty good too; would look better with teeth. No reply from Meryl though—maybe she was checking up on the maid who was polishing her Oscars!
What I learned: all celebrities have “proper” causes like the rain forest and Africa and AIDS research. Their PR people tell them they have to have these causes. Nothing that means anything to a hurting individual though.
Scratch ‘em off the list.
7.Family? I’ve got a millionaire brother—a lawyer, William H. Taylor. Bum wouldn’t give Liz a dime. Sounds like he thinks he can take it with him—my guess is he will be surprised.
8.Chess Organizations, hey, how about US Chess? I tried to get Jennifer Shahade to write one of her famous “women in chess” pieces. Triumph over abuse! Salvation through chess! Women’s rights! Right up her alley, you’d think—but not a word from Jen. I’m guessing she’s still too busy hula hooping!
Or Chessbase? They’ll run a campaign for some Indian boy; help him become a GM. Great. But help Liz survive so she can earn her master’s rating? Drop dead, sister!
So what’s left? Nothing’s left. But in one of those eight categories above there might be a tiny glimmer of hope, and I’m going to go for it.
I’ll give you an update in my next blog, maybe a week away.