A Critic in Retrospect: "No Place for Nobodies"

Look Before You Leap Next Time, Homeless [a reprint]

By Flix Darkblud, Critic 

On the topic of Homer L Teabury's
Old Flix Turned Out to Be Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

 7 Sept 2010. Lake Geneva. Homer Teabury really should have thought twice in December of 2007—now, well over two years ago--before deserting his job as a well-paid college instructor,  and embarking on a far less promising remunerative career as--ahem, ahem--a homeless blogger, unremunerated and essentially writing about nothing but his crackpot self. Such is my opinion, bluntly put. Not that Homer’s writing is totally useless, but its value could be employed to a far better end. He should have it printed onto a rolls of toilet paper. But does any other usefulness reside in the emotionally crippled voice of his alter-ego Homeless T.? No. It's just a bunch of bullsh-t, a big put-on that he put on and then out of which he just couldn't get.

Mr. Teabury’s “Homeless Like Me”--carried only on Google’s “Blogspot,” home base for his efforts to find syndication--chronicles his life as a struggling, 57-year-old, newly made homeless person. In late 2007, he vowed that his research and writings on the underclass, street people, and life inside the homeless shelters would transcend his former efforts to outrage and titillate with text. His stated goal was to restore a human face to urban poverty--too bad it turned out to be his own, childish and dirty-minded. The cad!
The 2nd Mrs. Teabury

Problematic was his oft-repeated confession of self-destitution through addiction to concubines and casino gambling. His second marriage in 2010--to a small town mother of three, 30 years his junior, who was still living at her parents’ home with her kids--didn’t do much for his credibility either. If his aims included establishing empathy with a mainstream homeless readership, he was sorely misguided. His confessions achieved just the opposite.

“Time will tell if his narrative flights constitute something socially useful or somehow redemptive,” I wrote on New Year’s Day of 2008, “--or devolve back to the self-indulgent wheel-spinning that characterizes his earlier efforts as a writer of fiction.” The result quickly became clear. Passing time and a graduate-level literary education were not his allies, for the sad truths he set out to reveal did not lend themselves to fluffing or speculation.

Although Homeless T was alone, broke, and drifting from shelter to shelter, he couldn’t resist portraying the underclass from an elitist worldview. Too bad. Thousands of men, women,
Homeless T doing research
and families living hand to mouth might’ve benefitted from useful insights and helpful information geared to them, written in words from the heart.

In 2008, his fallen status dropped through the floorboards when the juggernaut of catastrophes in his social, professional, and family lives accelerated. His wife, friends, the district courts, and his employers--resentful of his brash, life-long conceitedness—took to stacking the deck and upping the stakes on their games: divorces, banishments, terms of separation, criminal charges, and severed comradery. What was different about this crisis except its confluence of multiple hateful parties? To Homer Teabury, duh, not much.

He reacted to this exponential onslaught of karmic comeuppance as if he had simply waylaid himself in another cavalier misadventure—in this case, a big one, actually a series of misadventures back-to-back. Still, his tone implied it was all old hat to him. He was broke! So what! He’d left the world’s cushiest job. Big deal. His wife, family, and friends had turned against him. This too will pass. He had reversed the outcomes of misfortunes on many occasions similar to the present, if not quite so fraught with multiplicity. “Things will turn around as they always do,” he wrote before reality set in.

However, this time around friends, family, employers--and two criminal causes at law—conspired to push him harder and hold that line, unfortunately for him--en masse. I
Get 'im, boys!
almost pitied the fool. Tommy picked up a Trespassing w/Injury to Officer charge (supposedly the wimp beat up a trio of beefy police officers), followed within weeks by a Domestic Assault Causing Serious Injury and Mental Illness charge—in addition to his ongoing divorce case, now in its second year. 

For the first time in his life, the man known as “The Professor” among his fellow travelers of the Underclass found it impossible to reconstitute himself. He experienced for the first time the true emotional devastation authentically down-and-out people live every day: no matter how hard Homeless T tried, no matter how novel the scheme he hatched to rise again, there was no climbing back to what he had once been. His powers of persuasion were useless in light of the volume of his problems, resolve of his adversaries, and complete lack of legal and logistical support. At least now, his claim to underclass homelessness was authentic. He couldn’t even get a job as a busboy. He was lucky to avoid prison.

When first we heard the person of Homeless T, he sounded near the end, although he was crying wolfe well before his life bottomed out. His voice seemed to echo from the bottom of some uncovered well or venereal mantrap that he had fallen into--or more likely, thrown himself into--but yet it resonated with a witty pathos that belied the self-assurance of his overweening conceitedness. But that was then, before Homer had yet to be slapped down to his life's nadir: homeless, without family, friends, job, love or money, and with D.A.’s from two counties out for his blood. Worse, conditions appeared likely to remain bad, and grow worse, for a period with no end point Homer could see. No sweat, right Homeless T? Let the high times roll? Scarcely.

When the financial, family, social and professional advantages of his his formerly charmed life inverted, despite his new untouchability, Homeless T still could not tone

down his braggadocio. E.g.: “My confluence of misfortunes has jet-powered my creativity,” he wrote in 2009. “I am experiencing a creative renaissance as I lie here in the gutter”—and perhaps he was.

Nonetheless, his was an ironic renaissance. His prose and music may have improved marginally, but he no longer had means to market all the new work he touted—musical, literary, or other—for he had lost the necessary credibility even to court those who formerly might have considered backing him. As he wrote in a moment of clarity, "Life has utterly spit me out"--and so it had.

Still, the narcissist in him persisted, and his grandiosity elevated to the celestial. He clung to egotistical delusion: no combination of earthbound misfortunes was sufficiently potent to thwart his fated greatness. If his destiny had been changed, it was into a modern-day rendition of the biblical Jobe. Yes, it would require both God and Satan to lay him low! Vain hogwash from a bum nearly 60!

--F.D., Lake Geneva, 7 Sept 2010

Even the cockiest of peacocks must make or take his quietus like the rest; or at least give the world some quiet by taking up some less irritating vocation. Does one who has lost (or thrown away) everything he possessed deserve the sympathy of people born poor? This, readers must judge for themselves, but with pending results so discouraging, I recommend a certain book to Homeless T:

Good night, Sweet Prince.