Thursday, February 28, 2019

MasoniCare in Connecticut to offer assisted living facilities for divorced couples.

Hartford, CT -- Faced with a growing number of aging boomer members with more complex family arrangements than generations in the past, MasoniCare -- the Grand Lodge of Connecticut’s Masonic Hospital and Care Facility -- has announced that they have remodeled a large number of their assisted living apartments to accommodate elderly divorced couples. Children of these couples (Freemasons are given preference, although MasoniCare told The Past Bastard that the facilities are open to all) can arrange to have their parents housed in the same unit, but living within separate apartments in order to make it easier for them to visit and care for their aging and estranged parents.
Workers remodeling the existing assisted care apartments
to accommodate divorced and estranged parents. Many
apartments are being split into two smaller units.

“It has become increasingly difficult for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s to care for their elderly parents,” said MasoniCare Director Jean-Luc Dicard. “Many of them are still working, and do not have time to help maintain a house in which an elderly parent is still living. When you consider how many older adults are divorced or separated, it’s a nightmare for the children to figure out how to care for not just one, but two parents.”

Director Dicard told The Past Bastard,“That is why we here at MasoniCare have come up with the idea of splitting some of our assisted living apartments into two smaller apartments, each with a bedroom, a small sitting area, a kitchen, and some very nice soundproof walls. Our clients can now put both of their parents in the same unit, and those parents won’t have to hear, see, or deal with each other.”

The Past Bastard asked about the rest of the facilities in the area.

"Oh, they are well known throughout the country," Director Dicard told us. "If the residents are feeling up to it, they can go on bus trips, play bingo, go to concerts, or go shopping in town. We even have an Eastern Star chapter if mom is interested, and of course, there's a lodge that meets in the daytime for dad. Most of the residents are quite happy here, and their children can easily see how well everyone is cared for."

“Now the children of these parents will no longer have to worry about household maintenance, since that would be included in our care facility program,” Dicard said. “And even better, they can visit both parents in one trip, should they so choose. They can have lunch dad, and then an early bird dinner with mom, and get home in time to watch their evening TV shows..”

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lodge member admits that he gets more out of Masonic Facebook groups than going to lodge.

Klamath Falls, OR -- Brother Todd Greason, a year old Master Mason at a lodge in this small city in Oregon, is sitting on a futon at his apartment. There is a blue Chromebook on his lap, an open bottle of Skyline IPA at hand, and a Spotify playlist lightly coming through the Bluetooth speaker on the other side of the room. It’s just after eight pm on a Tuesday night.

Tuesday is Lodge night.

Like a growing number of young men who joined Freemasonry for the camaraderie of being with like minded freethinkers, Todd found a difficult time fitting in with the other men at his lodge.

“Oh, it’s definitely not an age thing,” he told The Past Bastard in a WhatsApp interview. “I’m 28, and while most of the guys are in their 50s and 60s, there’s a good number in their 30s and 40s. I game with a few of them once in a while, we’ve met for tapas at that place over near the hospital, they’re cool. No, I like the guys, it’s the lodge, itself, that I’m having a hard time with.”

Brother Todd told us that a typical meeting is still 80% talking about bills and planning the next pancake dinner, and that for the past few months, every meeting has been pretty much the same. He loves the idea of Freemasonry, though, and so instead of abandoning it, he’s looking at other alternatives.

“For the last month, I’ve stopped going to lodge meetings, and have committed to spending at least two or three nights a week in online masonic discussion on various forums on Facebook, Reddit, and a few older web boards. It’s made an amazing impact on my life,” he told us. “I mean, for the last couple of days, a bunch of us have been discussing whether atheists have the moral and ethical underpinnings to belong in a lodge. Last week there was a stupid post about a ring, which turned into a really good lesson on why English Masons tend to hide their insignia. And on Reddit, there’s a thread going on about whether or not Le Droit Humain in France has a legitimate line of… I can’t remember. Is ‘pedigree’ the right word? Whatever, but this is the kind of stuff that we never talk about in lodge.”
The former site of Klamath Lodge. 

The Past Bastard asked Todd if he missed the company and hanging around with his lodge brothers.

“Yeah, I sort of miss a few things about that,” he told us. “I mean, the Stewards usually had a meal going, so it was nice to walk into the building and get a taco or whatever they had on. And I did like just bee-essing with the guys for a few minutes before the meetings. And every meeting I’d think, ‘Yeah, this time it’s going to be different.’ But it always ended up being a disappointment, and I’d come home wondering what else I could have been doing for the last three hours.”

Brother Todd said that while there is a lot of noise and stupid things on those forums, he chooses not to get involved with the petty arguments, and to continue to seek out the more rational brothers, and has come to enjoy the online conversations.

“The only thing that makes me sad,” he told us, “is that the really smart and cool guys seem so few and far between, and that none of them are in my area. I’d love to meet some of them in person and have these discussions over beers and nachos, you know what I mean?”

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rumors surface in Hollywood of new movie Freemasons will want to see

Burbank, CA -- Rumors have surfaced this week that Marvel Studios, known for their successful and popular line of superhero movies, are currently working on a new film with a superhero that will be of interest to Freemasons. The Past Bastard contacted a MCU (Marvel Comic Universe) writer, who requested anonymity.

“It’s still in the draft stages right now,” the writer told The Past Bastard, “but the basics are this guy, Hiram Masters, who, in order to save this busload of orphans that was about to go off the edge of a cliff, makes a deal with Baphomet. Baphomet, who we think will be played by someone like Mark Sheppard, grants Masters super strength, so he pulls the bus off the edge of the cliff, right? But now he owes his soul, and the only way he thinks that he’ll be able to avoid eternity in Hell is to continue helping and saving women and children. As he goes along, he picks up other guys in similar predicaments, and they eventually form their own little, you know, club or lodge, I guess you call it.”
Hiram Masters is a Freemason
who was granted superhuman powers in order to save a busload of orphans, but who now owes his soul to the demon Baphomet. 

So, why the Freemason tie-in?

“We, you know, the MCU, we try to hit different demographics, and we’ve noticed that there’s a significant share of older folks who don’t get Deadpool, or Ant Man, or some of the other niche superheros. We thought that a superhero who was a Freemason would draw in the older people, especially since it aligns with the current Freemason membership demographics. Plus, since the Masons are so secretive, it means that if the franchise takes off, we can do all sorts of backstory changes, and nobody will be able to say it’s not canon.”

The Past Bastard asked if the writer could share any more details.

“Look, it’s way too early to say for certain, but we’ve already got Will Smith reading for the part of Hiram Masters, although personally I think he’s too old. We’re hoping for a younger guy, like Chad Boseman or Nicholas Hoult, Danny Kaluuya, or someone like those guys.”

The writer told The Past Bastard that the working title right now is “Goat Rider,”  and once they get production approval, will be releasing promotional materials sometime in the fall. "It's like Ant Man. We didn't expect much from it, but it turned out that people really enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure that this will end up the same way," he said.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

California Lodge to Modernize Dues Structure

Van Nuys, CA -- Citing a need to increase both dues and membership numbers, the members of Arbonne Lodge in this Los Angeles suburb have restructured their dues, so they now have various levels of membership.

“We think that we’re just breaking ground for many other lodges,” said Tim Ericson, Treasurer of Arbonne Lodge. “It’s almost embarrassing that someone hasn’t come up with this idea already.

Beginning in 2020, Arbonne Lodge will require new members to pay an initiation fee, plus the lodge dues of $125. However, if the candidate can get five more new members to sign up, he gets 20% of the initiation fee refunded to him.

“But that’s not the best part,” said WB Ericson. “After he gets five new members behind him, he’s elevated to “Master Mason Gold” status. That will entitle him to some special privileges around the lodge, like reduced prices on meals, or being able to rent the hall for ten percent off. And if each of his five members manages to bring in five, themselves, then he qualifies for Master Mason Platinum status.”

WB Ericson told The Past Bastard that they are still working on what privileges will come with the Platinum, and also the Iridium, Emerald, and Diamond levels. “We haven’t worked out all the details of those yet, but we figure we’ve got a couple of years before we need to firm it up” he told us.