On The General Malaise
Nobody wants to be a charity case. I certainly didn't. As opposed to having lost my job in America, I was returning from a prolonged economic crisis overseas to see if I could restart a career stalled by America's bumbling with the Axis of Evil, an ill-conceived foreign policy concept that essentially created three new reasons for three new wars but did nothing except kill business for American companies overseas after 9-11, mine included. I had a company in South Korea, not an Axis country, but all the same, saw business grind to a halt with simply the name Korea being tainted for the then foreseeable future. And so I worked tirelessly to rebound from that over the next ten years. But it didn't work. So I came home. And that hasn't worked either. Yet.
|USA: #1 in poverty|
But I could never have seen the disaster that would be America on my return. The omnipresence of a repressive police state, the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York spreading country, and indeed worldwide, within weeks of my return. The general depression of the place - Obama all but sold out to the banksters and poverty rapidly rising all across the country with nary a word about it in the national debate - THAT elephant in the room. That 99%. In the graph here, America is #1. #1 in relative poverty worldwide (and Japan or Korea don't even make the list - or anywhere is Asia for that matter) pointing to income disparity being our problem and the difference between collectivist, socialist, and individualistic, capitalist, societies.)
And this week's political distraction being Rush Limbaugh calling a college student a 'slut' as the G8 conference is quietly moved from Chicago to Camp David under the threat that Chicago could gain it's 1968 notoriety back again with mass protests against both the G8 and NATO summits being held in the city at the same time. Too bad. I hope people hit the streets anyway. It's needed. More needed than ever.
On Being an Educational Tool
I continue to have mixed feelings over this blog being used as a reference for homeless studies (see sidebar above) as I come to see what has become described by some as The Homeless Industrial Complex: "those organizations (who) rely on the continuation of the homeless problem for their own survival; if the homeless problem goes away, so do the donations and grants. The homeless problem will remain intractable until the homeless-industrial complex which sustains it is broken."
As this blog is used by one arm of Columbia University for research, another, the Columbia Center for the Prevention of Homelessness Studies (CHPS) sites no less than fifty (yes, 50) Ph.D.s proffering to address the homeless issue as well. Now one has to ask themselves, didn't the boss ever come in one morning and give the entire staff a gigantic ass chewing over the dismal state of the numbers? "Look goddamit, we're spending ooddles of grant monies and our work has proved to be completely and totally ineffective! You're all fired!" No. Of course not - because if the boss did that, they might be out on the street as well. And so the system keeps feeding itself.
For the record, I've contacted CHPS and offered my services as a researcher but have yet to receive any response. Why is it that I imagine a room full of academics pecking away at computers and looking up and saying (in unison), "A real homeless guy, working here? Nah, that wouldn't work".
On The Phone Thing
There is some light at the end of the tunnel here. With a few more expected donations by the end of the week, I should have a phone by the following week. If you can help, please do. I still need to pay the service fee each month of at least $50.
By the end of this month I will have made nearly $550 honest, writing website copy, beginning a soon to be announced book with a friend and participating in a homeless research study for NYU. But that's a far cry away from being called a living wage, let alone paying rent. Hopefully the phone will take away yet one more invisible wall and get me back on the track to some real work. But to do that means extracting some miniscule percentage from that well entrenched 1%. Better wish me some luck on that. I hear they're holed up at Camp David these days...