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Posts Tagged ‘social’

I must warn you, this is another do-good point of view on a problem, a sociology 101 textbook phenomenon. Word food for the starving reader. Something for those that care about others, or stuff I shouldn’t bother writing about…the same old lollipop, even coated in fruit-loops, still tastes the same. Whatever, however. But, if you don’t write about these things, they fall by the wayside…like cigarette butts flicked into oblivion by careless smokers…people who think if it’s out of their hands, it’s not their problem anymore…until the nightly news shows a massive forest fire, thousands of loving and friendly trees burnt to death…thanks to the careless butt of some unknown and nameless smoker. Regardless, the eternal question always raises its beaten face…who are you to tell me what to think. Hey, words are harmless, unless they hit home and reveal something you don’t like.

Without pointing fingers, naming names, or tossing blame around, it’s hard to explain or justify Vancouver’s homelessness problem. It’s warmer here…maybe that attracts more street people…but it’s an embarrassment that should be cleaned up. The Main and Hastings intersection is like junction of hopelessness and despair…the epicenter of a blatant drug problem that radiates out into a circle of destitution, misery, and endless torment. Hard done and done hard. A hard life is life that’s hard. Be nice and open your doors. Smile. Let someone camp in your backyard…if you have room. That’s what they did in the old days, but modern life is about property…and my property is private. No entry. Violators will be shot. How humane. One in the head would end a life of misery. Thank you. That sure solved things.

On the street, there is no responsibility, and no one has an easy answer to change this sort of attitude. Police walk by crack smokers and people shooting drugs…they’re like giant cockroaches…infesting every alley in the neighborhood, an infestation beyond extermination. When writing about this problem, caution is in order…you must not offend certain governing or socially interested parties, or they will have your balls for breakfast, and make sure your writing is boycotted, censored and stifled. Not too attractive to a writer…but, w.t.f., I’d like to put the pricks of the world on notice…I really don’t have your best interests at heart…if greed and human nature are to blame, I’m all for roasting the dickheads that perpetuate or profit from this problem…and yes, certain establishments fight over monthly welfare handouts…steady cash, and it adds up…the more bodies you cram in your hovel of a hotel, the richer you are…every month, like clockwork.

Every problem has a cause, then a symptom, and usually has several solutions. Seriously, are all the solutions just crap that backroom municipal mouth movers come up with? Just a lot of endless talk and no real action? Like any social creature, the homeless exist for many reasons…some enjoy kissing responsibility goodbye, thumbing their noses at collectors and banks…some are temporarily caught in unfortunate circumstances, some are medical patients who had the hospital stripped away and are still wondering what happened, some are textbook apathetic gentlemen that tilt at windmills, sell drugs and curse the damn wheel of fortune, while some actually want real homes. The major problem these poor people face are the well off, homesteaded families, groups that put their own interests first, and say to hell with all the lazy, no-good poor people that can’t afford a house. They have stories about hard work, scrimping and saving, doing without, hardship and personal sacrifice…according to them, that’s how they got their million dollar home in Point Gray or North Vancouver. Balderdash, they got help from rich friends or relatives. Uncle Joe’s 3 million estate? Got a loan from a rich family member? Gloating over high paying jobs to cover a high mortgage? Overpaid jobs they got from cronyism, pork-barreling, tutelage, patronage…never from personal merit. Or, get rich the old fashioned way, inherit.

The recent Vancouver blowup over a small, temporary winter shelter demonstrates a significant problem homeless people face…hubris and selfishness…the snobbish “not in my backyard” group. Homeless are considered pariahs, while smarmy, self-righteous, and greedy people only care about themselves. If it’s good for homeowners, they’re all for it…yet, as soon as there’s a tiny problem, some unknown situation they only heard about on the news…they instantly call foul…yelling and screaming about their expensive real estate…how less fortunate people are driving down the price of their property, infringing on their privacy, and disturbing their peace and quiet. Heartless and cruel would be a kind way to describe these people…I’d start wondering what God is going to say when asked about love, charity, and being the good Samaritan? Even ET’s believe in a God, according to reports.

Sorry, no one owns the world, we’re only temporary tenants, and the world is already way over-stocked with crazy people, some that actually run entire countries. Basically, we all have the same dignity and free rights we are told exist – somewhere.

These rights might only be philosophies of the mind, tasty brain food…concepts that exist on intellectual levels, problems that are debated from leather chairs over 18-year old scotch, and are buried in thick, College-only books. In reality, that’s where philosophy is, and they can philosophize about the existential nature of that truth until the cows come home. There’s many voices in the world, and there’s a lot of hoarse throats in Vancouver. Voices that backbite and whine…voices that cry, sob, or beg…pleas and reasons that fall on deaf ears…utterances that are merely whispers…untold realities of life that successful people ignore…these are the voices that matter. Hope slowly disappears through neglect, and the croaking for support eventually fades away, until there’s nothing but a D.O.A. to deal with at the local morgue.

This is when I often wonder…why do people still argue about this, or bother writing about it…political hot potatoes, hey, it’s big at election time…but normally, no one cares or wants to read about it…no one does anything, and people get bored hearing the same old, same-old re-purposed, re-packed social problems over and over. E-gads. Screw it. Live and let live. Vancouver has a large share of the homeless, poor, and addicted…all broken lives that implode nightly on the six o’clock news…yet no one listens, no one wants to interfere with their comfortable lives by feeling remorse…the same story heard everywhere…while these true unfortunates really need our help…genuine assistance that treats the source, not the symptom…help by people that actually care and have the power to help.

No one wants to get involved…watching T.V. is always a more pleasant family-oriented activity. Go downtown with the family and hand out hot soup. Teach the kids the reality of life. Only action groups throw it in society’s face, so when it hits home, people start to feel guilty about the poor, especially around Christmas…this makes them throw some coins in a relief can…or dig around cupboards for expired canned goods…donating this wealth of unwanted over-ripe edible crap to food banks, then feel like they have done their bit to pitch in.

Vancouver…the condo-capital of Canada. People here spend more on parking meters than shelters for the homeless – parking downtown is six bucks an hour, and shelters are merely one-night stopgap fixes that ignore the long term solution of permanent housing. Everyone likes a roof over their head…food in the fridge…money in the bank…high paying, secure jobs…all the stuff so-called normal people take for granted. As long as it’s not in their backyard, they don’t care…and if it is, they just build bigger fences.

Politics aside, action groups only come forward on their own behalf, picking a cause to champion, and something for them to get paid to do…they get the same treatment…asking for government handouts…getting results like unwanted cousins begging for money, and just enough is done to give elected officials something to say when asked what they are doing to solve this blight upon society. These grants are usually eaten up by staff salaries, office space and expenses, and when it comes time to put money in needy hands, there’s barely enough to order a super-sized meal at a burger joint. Their overall attitude was blatantly apparent throughout the 2010 Olympic games…authorities warned our multinational visitors to stay within certain boundaries, and never venture near the social blight at Main and Hastings… Vancouver’s dirty little secret.

Unlike a broken record, I’d like to offer a few observation on Vancouver’s homeless condition. Omitting labels like unfortunate, problematic, or other wordy presentations crammed with fanciful facts that end with a period, it’s time someone looked into the situation and gave an honest report. A truthful analysis that showcases what is really happening, discarding the previous useless and endless government reports full of euphemisms and incredibly self-serving studies. The crap that always makes the Government shine like a white knight…the metaphor that tells of a crazy man…the great Don Quixote tilting at windmills of the mind. Well, go big or stay home…if you have one.

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