[lit-ideas] Re: Didn't I tell you so?

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 07:36:53 -0500

That's good to know. I have no doubt that poverty in NYC and other large cities is much more brutal than anything I've seen or experienced in cities like Memphis. And, of course, I didn't mean to imply that all people with money are miserly and merciless. But I've never seen the rich take in a family of 5 or more that's been evicted -- I never have and probably will never -- that's what government is for -- or was for before Reagan ruined us -- but I've seen poor people do it. I've seen poor people share what they have in ways that truly cost them, I've never seen the rich do that. Never seen me do that. You can accuse me of Romanticism, and maybe I'm guilty, but the brutality of not caring by the wealthy (as a class) has always astonished me. Not only do they not care, they don't want anyone to care -- don't want any precedence of caring established. Don't want their taxes raised, don't want their children sitting next to the poor, don't want the poor allowed into their neighborhoods. As to the pastoral Christ dream, you should look into the Catholic Worker movement. Perhaps they could help you loose some of your hatred for the poor. I once thought of joining them, but they are Catholic, aren't they? And besides it would cost me dearly. I'd rather preach than give.

Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Yost" <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:48 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Didn't I tell you so?

if you need help seek out the poor. I've never known the rich to give a damn, the poor understand.

My personal experience is the opposite. When I was most desperately poor, unhinged, living in an SRO in one of the worst parts of town, it was the poor people who were the most vicious and hurtful. And it was rich acquaintances (not friends, just acquaintances) who unexpectedly came to my aid, asking no recognition or repayment.

It's all very romantic to think the poor are noble, but after watching homeless drunks fight each other with lead pipes at 4 a.m., after watching the skankiest toothless hookers sizing me up for a manip or begging me for fix change, after witnessing closeup the extreme mental illness of the homeless, the sadism and brutality of the ignorant poor on a daily basis, you might sing a different song.

Maybe the noble poor image fits with some pastoral Christ dream, but in the real heart of urban darkness, the poor are just part of a vision of demons. They eat themselves and then they eat your soul.

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