Know Your Rights

I guess an explanation is in order. I've gotten so many e-mails that have expressed no small degree of irritation/disappointment that I won't be doing therapeutic posts anymore (including my favorite from Moondust) that I feel the need to explain.

The blogs where I just throw some introspection out there have brought me nothing but grief, which all kind culminated yesterday. It's been going on for months, but yesterday was the final nail in that very personal coffin. I may do a private blog at some point, but as of now, this blog will be anything but the emotional stuff. I just don't feel like hearing the backlash or the mixed messages. I guess that's why paying a therapist is good. Onward, Christian soldier.

If you've been stuck in rush hour traffic in Eureka, California the last few days you may have noticed someone at the corner by Adel's. It's a woman with a poorly made sign saying that her family needs help. She's got her daughter (10 or so?) in tow. I don't know if she is really in need or is trying to elicit the sympathy quarter, but I can't help but feel bad for the kid and kind of want to slap the woman silly. I guess it's not as bad as the homeless people with dogs.

What is this teaching the kid? If the kid is smart she'll grow up to be the exact opposite of her mother. Unfortunately, dumb usually begats dumb. I'm not saying this family doesn't need help, but I deal with people who need help five days a week. You can see it in their eyes and mannerisms. They look beaten and tired. This woman does not. Me thinks the lady lies.

For the past few days I've watched the cars waiting at the light. I've watched her, bored daughter by her side, walk up and down the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, hoping to get someone to roll down his or her window and stick out their hand. I watch people not wanting to make eye contact. I watch them go about their business, isolated in their Accords as this woman desperately wants what they are most likely working for.

In a Utopian world, there would be no begging and everyone would have what they need. In a fair world, her family and neighbors would take care of her. In a just world she would be left to her own devices with no social systems to fall back on, just her wits and strength. In a world that tries to be all these things she'll be begging on the streets either to scam or because the safety nets have failed her or haven't met her needs.

I wish her daughter luck. I hope that in ten years or so I don't see her on the corner working or begging. I hope she sees where that cardboard sign leads them, and I hope she chooses a different road. This is Humboldt, though. The beggar's path is the most traveled.


Tina said...

From what I've read here you strike me like a man of strong conviction, one that would rather form an opinion than follow one. Such a strong determination should not bend because email X or email Y, as the moment we stop expressing what's inside because person X or Y, or start blogging with what X or Y might say about it, that moment blogging as a mean of expression, as therapy, as catharsis or as a harmless way of venting, is gone. We're not into politics, we don't have to appeal to masses, we don't have to bend our views to please as many as possible and tiptoe around so that we don't step on people's sensitive's toes. The subjects one picks on their personal blogs are their own damn business, and you have the right to make whatever changes you want to your personal online space. I, for one, will miss reading about the personal aspects of your life as, above all, I'm fascinated by the human nature.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss your virtual tears and virtual sobbing.

Deleted said...

i shouldn't be denied your personal prose because some fuckwads spewed their blah blah blah your way. don't you know you're the last of the Real Men?
thusly, it makes me sad: a Man unafraid to express himself and does so very articulately, fearlessly, and most important, UNAPOLOGETICALLY, decides to shut it down because people are idiots and don't know how to keep their mouths shut.
i hope you will reconsider...if not now, maybe some time in the future.
been groovy getting to know you.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

It's not silencing due to the opinions. It's silencing because the backlash just isn't worth the time right now. We'll see what happens, but I think all would agree that keeping it in a box is a really, really bad idea because someday that box will break ...

Nikki said...

You know, I think you should just do what you want. If you enjoy using the blog as therapy, then you should continue to do so. If the alternative is a dramatic explosion at some point, it's better to just get it out now. Take the backlash when you deserve it, blow it off when you don't.