Written by Patty Me Fanny–Staff Writer.
Springfield–Recent University of Illinois graduate John Luke Gillis of Springfield put his freshly minted B.A. in philosophy to good, albeit counterproductive, use when he announced months ago that he would no longer “pay into the dogmatic capitalist system that dictates I must follow socially constructed rules.” Most notably, Gillis has refused to pay rent for his studio apartment in downtown Springfield, as well as utilities, solipsistically questioning his landlord’s “existence in relation to my own consciousness” and asking his landlord to participate in an “intelligent discussion” into determining the material nature of human affairs when he posited: “but what is a bill?”
Gillis’s landlord, Maththaios Marinos, a fellow Illinois grad who earned an MBA in 2002 and owns 27 buildings in the central Illinois area, was not amused by Gillis’s “half-baked, frat boy antics,” commenting: “I could’ve kicked him out or called the cops months ago for the heaps of pot he smokes. I’m nice nice guy; I’m reasonable. But if he’s refusing to pay rent, his ass is on the curb!”
Having missed the last three rent payments on the 1st of February, March, and most recently April–instead sending in letters that discuss his “rejection of the man’s control” and others that question whether “the man” even exists–Gillis was given 10 days to vacate the premises. Just one day after Gillis was forcibly removed from his residence, city residents complained about hearing “hippy-like chants about ‘the man’ and his ‘corrupt abuse of power'” in the streets in the wee hours of the morning, with suspicious proximity to the local watering hole. “We must fight back,” Gillis was heard shouting. “Fight the power! Resist authority? What is authority?!”
After being picked up by authorities for publicly urinating on a parked police car while giggling, Deputy Sheriff Dave Beverly and his partner Wanita Jones charged the “rambunctious fellow” with public urination, among other crimes (public intoxication and disorderly conduct when a passer-by informed officers of Gillis’s unrest). They also charged the young college graduate with “uncivil” disobedience. Beverly clarified: “Listen, there was noting ‘civil’ about this schmuck’s behavior! I’d charge him with being a douchebag if acting like one was a crime.” Beverly noted that the young man’s attire–still apparently dressing in his commencement robe–was a bit weird and “frankly pathetic.”
Professor R. R. Lancaster of the University of Illinois, who had Gillis in his Modern Philosophy Capstone course in the fall 2015 semester, commented about his former student on reading the news coverage in the local paper: “John was at best a mediocre philosopher who showed little promise, the kind of student whose classroom contributions were based entirely off cliches found in movies about college which offer reductionist representations of what actually goes on in philosophy class.”
It’s worth noting, too, that, on Gillis’s own admission, the young man had considered a career in academia, but, having been rejected from Illinois’s PhD (in addition to every other graduate program to which he applied), the aspiring philosopher has questioned the authenticity as well as the quality of thought offered by PhD-educated philosophers. “What do they know about the meaning of life? They’re a bunch of posers, buying into the academic system!” Gillis insisted.
Patty Me Fanny has a PhD in Interpretive Basket Weaving from the New School of Basket Weaving and Humanistic Thought in New York City. She teaches Advanced Liberalistic Film Interpretation; Intro to Advanced Metacognition and Absolutist Design; Principles of Vigorous Basket Weaving Techniques II; and Continental Philosophy at John Williams Community College.