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Paul Heise's new crowdfunding appeal to Wagnerians

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:22 am
by alberich00
Dear members of, and visitors to, the discussion forum:

Back in April of 2016 I posted here a crowdfunding appeal because unexpected and very large medical and car repair bills threatened to push me into the red, which would have forced me either to take my social security benefit prematurely, or to withdraw money from modest investment capital, both of which would gravely reduce the extremely small annual income on which I've been living for several years (about 13k-14k). Though several close friends helped keep me out of the red, I received only two donations to my paypal account after posting my crowdfunding appeal, totalling $43 in value, so I was forced to start taking my social security benefit over a year prematurely to pay for medicare health insurance, and therefore my future total annual income after deductions for medicare premiums will be around 23.5k. I own no property and my sole personal means of transportation is a 20 year old Nissan pickup truck which will need to be replaced fairly soon. I'll need to save for at least 2 years to afford a new vehicle, and I currently only have 4k in savings.

My future annual income is so small for two related reasons: (1) during approximately 13 years that otherwise would have been devoted to working in fulltime paid employment, in order to complete the first fully comprehensive and conceptually coherent study of Wagner's "Ring" (in its relation to Wagner's' other canonical operas and music-dramas), and in order to unearth the extraordinarily sophisticated allegory which lurks just beneath the surface of the "Ring" (but to which Wagner's musical motifs, in their most far-reaching cross-referencing point), I had to forego compensated employment to work fulltime on the book you now find posted here at; and (2) instead of following a career track that might have provided a superior income, I chose employment instead that would grant me the free time during evenings and weekends to work on my "Ring" study. I could never have completed my "Ring" study otherwise. Anyone who assesses my "Ring" study can plainly see it took thousands and thousands of hours of deep concentration over a lifetime to complete. It was the very nature of the case that I could never obtain financial compensation for my "Ring" study while I worked on it, and even upon publication of it in hardcopy for sale it's unlikely to sell more than a few thousand copies, so I can never hope to compensate myself either through book royalties or rare paid speaking engagements for the over 200k I estimate I lost in income during the years I worked uncompensated on my book fulltime.

Since I have offered the fruit of my lifetime's research into the conceptual coherence of Wagner's "Ring," my allegorical interpretation, free for all readers to peruse at their pleasure since 2011, drawing no compensation from my life's work, and have taken a huge financial hit in order to produce this highly original study, I would greatly appreciate any financing those with disposable income who admire my achievement would consider placing at my disposal, to help compensate me for all the years I sacrificed paid employment in order to complete my book, and will be grateful for any amounts small or large. Smaller amounts with no tax implications can be donated through my paypal account located on the lower left side of the homepage, but anyone wishing to offer me a donation with tax implications (in other words, 10k or more) should contact me (Paul Brian Heise) directly at

In the interests of full disclosure, I've posted below my employment and annual income history drawn from my social security statements:

My primary employment, after I withdrew from graduate school to devote my life to my Wagner research project (Dept. of Anthropology at So. Illinois Univ. at Carbondale), included a stint as a night-time security guard at a wildlife preserve from 1976 until 1977 (where I contracted fungus, whooping cough, persistent walking pneumonia, and dormant tuberculosis from bad water in the cistern in a cascading medical crisis, culminating in the excission of the right middle lobe of my lung, causing me to lose about 1 year of paid employment in 1978); work under a CETA grant taking books to the homebound, elderly, and prisoners, at a Public Library from 1979 until 1981; work as a Juvenile Probation Officer for the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services from 1982 until 1994 (with a leave of absence to work on my book from 1990-1991); a gap in employment from 1995-1996 to work on my book; work (in Florida) as an Executive Recruiter for a financial services headhunting firm from 1997-2001, a gap in employment during 2002-2003 due to the recession during which I worked on my book; and work (in Florida) as a night-time security guard for an agency from 2004 until 2008. From 2009 until 2011 I couldn't find employment (even with my former employer, the State of Maryland) due to the recession and perhaps age discrimination, and from the first fourth of 2012 until 2014 I couldn’t undertake paid employment because I was taking care of my elderly mother in our home in Maryland until her passing on 1/14/2014. Since moving back to Florida in 7/2014 (at the age of 61) I've devoted myself full time to my Wagner project and, completing several revisions of my online "Ring" book and making extensive contributions to my discussion forum, a much wiser choice than throwing my best working hours away on a full-time minimum wage job, which is the only sort of work which most people my age can generally obtain, if they're lucky enough to obtain employment. This choice was heavily influenced by the fact that my father died at age 59 of an aneurysm (in the brain), and my older brother died at age 62 of an embolism, which meant that I couldn't take the risk of not completing the work on my legacy to Wagner scholarship as soon as possible. I've never been compensated for authoring my book, but probably lost at least 200k+ in income during the 13 years I went partially or completely without paid employment to work on my "Ring" book full-time without compensation. Here's my lifetime salary history drawn from my social security statements:

1971 $832
1972 0
1973 $452
1974 $148
1975 $77
1976 $1,650
1977 $2,213
1978 0
1979 $3,519
1980 $6,704
1981 $7,388
1982 $9,948
1983 $13,653
1984 $15,866
1985 $18,218
1986 $21,709
1987 $23,488
1988 $27,610
1989 $29,110
1990 $2,299
1991 $287
1992 $31,578
1993 $31,238
1994 $29,530
1995 0
1996 0
1997 $20,888
1998 $36,860
1999 $45,303
2000 $38,705
2001 $21.912
2002 0
2003 $200
2004 $9,007
2005 $13,345
2006 $5,291
2007 0
2008 $8,472
2009 0
2010 $100
2011 $2,804
2012 $2,710
2013 0
2014 0
2015 0
2016 0
2017 0
2018 0

I thank you for sympathetically considering the history of my Wagner project, and thank you in advance for any financial aid you can offer. If you believe that I've made an important contribution to our knowledge of Wagner at, please consider offering me a donation, on the understanding that it was in the very nature of the case that I couldn't obtain compensation for my research project in all the years I sacrificed to it, but instead lost a significant amount of income I would otherwise have gained. I would also appreciate it if, once my "Ring" book is published in hardcopy, anyone who benefited from would buy my published book so I can compensate myself for all the years devoted to working out my interpretation without compensation. For smaller donations there is a paypal link in the lower left-hand corner of the homepage of For larger donations (on the off-chance that such a miraculous event could transpire), which would have tax implications, you can contact me, Paul Brian Heise, at