Dan Rattiner's Stories

Founders Passes Must Be Earned

A number of big events scheduled for this summer invite people to make donations. For the cheap people, they get to be listed as Bronze Supporters. The next-to-cheap people get to be given the title of Silver Supporters. Then come the Gold Supporters and, until now, the highest-level sponsorship to get listed, which is Platinum Supporters.

Recently, there has been something that goes even above Platinum. If you pay enough money, you get to be called a “Founder.” You can even wear a nametag around your neck during the event itself listing you as a “Founder.”

This is very wrong. You can’t be a “Founder” unless you were a founder. It’s not something you can pay extra so that history can be rewritten and you are now a founder. It’s actually an insult to those folks who were founders. It could also be embarrassing to all those who paid to be “Founders.”

You could have a meeting of the founders of the Hamptons International Film Festival, for example, and Peggy Robinson could come and the members of the first board of directors could come. We all know who they are. Could you imagine this guy showing up in a new Maserati who paid a ton of money to be a “Founder” and he is now wearing the Founders Pass to prove it?

He shows it to the people at the door and they let him in. Step aside. Here comes one of the founders. And he wants to know all the facts and details about what he founded in 1992 now that he’s one of us. He’s rewriting history. It’s a form of time travel.

On the other hand, if after the summer ends he loses all his money and can’t pay to be a founder, what happens? We stand him up in front of all the founders at that meeting and strip him of his Founder’s Pass? It’s sort of like when they discover in wartime that a general has been helping the enemy, they stand him up in front of everybody and rip off all his medals, epaulets and military buttons. They do this in dictatorships. Then they shoot him.

Who wants to be a founder, anyway? It’s so much work, and then nobody knows who you are anyway.

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