I want to back up home directories including the usual array of dotfiles, but I do not want the directory itself, or its permissions to be backed up or even mentioned. So, if I have a structure like
homedir .dotfile somesubdir subfile outerfile
I want a tar that looks like this:
.dotfile somesubdir subfile outerfile
Note the absense of any reference to homedir, and not even a ./ to be seen.
I actually have a solution (posted below) but when I tried to tack it onto the question that made me think of it, some moderator said it needed its own question. So here it is, and I hope it's useful.