Every now and then a reader asks me how they can thank me for one of the forms I have made available, for a link I noted, or an idea I offered. In general, I regard almost everything I post on this website to be a part of my job as a public intellectual who is fortunate enough to be supported by the public — as a faculty member of a public university — and also my larger personal project of simply making the world a better place.
That noted, the very best way you can thank me is to give me credit in a work of your own and let me know about it by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@johnlaudun). My university, which is financed by the public, likes it when the work I do contributes to the work and lives of others, and so they like it when I can report to them when that is happened. (It makes my dean very happy, and fellow faculty will appreciate what it means to make a dean happy.)
You can also thank me by doing the kinds of things I do — support local agriculture and makers — and join the kinds of organizations that I belong to or wish I could belong to — the American Folklore Society, Future Farmers of America, the Rotary Club.
Some have asked about making donations, and that’s very kind, but Louisiana does, believe it or not, actually have very strict ethical guidelines that preclude me from receiving any such renumeration. And, unless you have some cushy job in mind where you are going to put my name on an office door and tell me just to sit and think big thoughts — and I am completely open to this — you’re better off giving money to a local charity. It’s what I would do. Charity starts at home. I’m glad that I’m part of your home. If you’d like to make my home a better place, start with yours. Support your local pet shelter. Your local shelter for domestic abuse. Support your local library. Support your local university.