OK, you guys know that "Skateboard," a.k.a. the legless homeless guy who got around on a skateboard in San Francisco, died? Poor guy was hit by a truck, which just couldn't see him. Tragedy, all around.


This woman, and all the people carrying on about the "middle class," are making me hate humanity right now. It's making me want to round up a bunch of homeless panhandlers and buy them all beer.

caitlin, why don't you go listen to some folk music, crunch some granola, sip some herbal tea and give the rest of us a break from your tortured drivel? it's easy-come, easy-go types like yourself who are to blame for the current state of this city, in which the homeless dominate the landscape and are never held responsible for their actions. have you never heard of "personal responsibility?" you may not mind living in a city which the "homeless" have transformed into their private bathroom/shooting gallery/saloon, but I assure you the overwhelming majority of us do. When I am approached by a "homeless" person who wants me to contribute to their self-destructive lifestyle, I COMPLETELY IGNORE THEM. They may persist, but ultimately, they leave me alone.

caitlin, how precisely was skateboard "disenfranchised and oppressed?" Applying anarchronistic Marxist jargon to him hardly does him justice either. why do you assume that the state, or some cabal of rapacious capitalists, is to blame for the phenomenon of those who cannot--or will not--fend for themselves? While I understand that many of the homeless who populate are streets are desperately mentally ill, there are others who have eschewed the workday world in order to enjoy a free-wheeling existence in which they are beholden to no one, although they certainly aren't shy when asking for handouts, either from the Mayor of San Francisco or their fellow citizens. I for one am tired of panhandlers who attempt to ingratiate themselves with indifferent passers-by by displaying signs bearing slogans like "Why Lie? I Want a Beer" or "Aspiring Porn Star." It's not that these types can't take care of themselves, find jobs and lead productive lives - it's that they don't want to. They'd rather smoke dope, drink 40 oz. King Cobras and bs with their fellow scofflaws. I applaud your own work ethic and the fact that you also know how to relax. And finally, anyone who rides a skateboard past the age of 12 is obviously developmentally challenged.

If she wants to talk about people who "have eschewed the workday world in order to enjoy a free-wheeling existence in which they are beholden to no one," she should meet my ex-boyfriends, who are not homeless and not panhandlers. People who have figured out how to get out of real jobs are usually more clever about it than sleeping on piss-soaked cardboard boxes in doorsteps. I'm not saying smart people haven't ended up on the streets, but I don't think it's a choice anyone other than misguided "punk" teenagers would make. (And many of those kids, honestly, are running away from abusive parents.) Because groveling for money to buy a McDonald's hamburger, and never showering or changing your clothes - not to mention NOT having a bed or a roof and just generally being vulnerable to thieves -- dude, that is so much better than, like, working.

This is the problem with Web 2.0 version of journalism. I mean, this chick could have a "news" blog.

This person is awesome, though:

'And finally, anyone who rides a skateboard past the age of 12 is obviously developmentally challenged.'

The man. Had. No legs.

I'm not saying this alone prevents a person from being employed (tho I'll wager it makes things *much* harder), but taking digs at a legless dead man for transporting himself by skateboard is just plain vile.

Let's not take pot shots at the deceased in anonymity. Whatever we may think about the causes of homelessness, or the effects that it has on the quality of urban life, it's just not decent to use a man's death as an occasion to vent.

I think I just heard a gunshot outside.
firebreath613: (blossom)
Yesterday, I got sucked into the History Channel's The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History. It totally creeped me out.

Here's the thing. When you think of the Klan, you think of burning crosses and lynchings - horrific acts that any sane, moral person would object to. What got to me about the documentary: In the 1920s, the Klan grew have MILLIONS of members across the United States. And most of them DIDN'T get into it to hang blacks or burn down buildings. They weren't necessarily in favor of terrorism or murder; they saw those acts as the extremist, or perhaps necessary evils.

No, it was much more insidious. It was about exclusion. Excluding blacks, Jews, Catholics, union members. They spoke of lofty ideals about purity, patriotism, chastity, Christianity, conformity. They had members who were highly educated from Ivy League schools. They had members in all ranks of government and authority - judges, police, senators, etc (kind of like "Fight Club"). They marched in Fourth of July parades. Basically, it was our version of Nazism, and it included about 15 percent of the nation's population.

The Klan, of course, had its ups and downs and got more extreme in the '60s. And Klansmen who killed blacks or white civil-rights activists usually got off scott-free on their trials because of sympathizers in the juries. They HATED MLK with a passion. Even as late as 1979 the Klan had the manpower to bring terror upon an anti-Klan protest.

I'll be nice )



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