Category Archives: Squalor

“Soft” and “hard” skills in school; and other news

Bookmarks:
Socialization technique helps in academic achievement, trial study finds
Caitlyn Virts, Relisha Tenau Rudd amber alerts
Paul Ryan and the brown bag
Woman’s brain scanned during astral projection

Continue reading “Soft” and “hard” skills in school; and other news

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News from the world of homelessness

Monday, March 12, 2018

This addict — from the way he acts, and the way he is in conversation, you’d never suppose he has a problem — complained to me that we’ve had an unusual number of crazies at the shelter in recent days.

Related:  Life in the looney bin

Someone’s taken to stealing caps.
You know, knit ski caps?  Those things.
Someone’s stealing them.

Now, they PROVIDE those things, for the asking.
Someone’s stealing them
from other homeless men.

Now, in Lutheran theology,
we speak of “the Three Uses of the Law,” that is, God’s law, the Ten Commandments.
The “First Use” is to provide order in society.

I don’t think I need to elaborate.

McDonald’s commercials have changed; and other briefs

Bookmarks:
McDonald’s commercials have changed
The crazies and the stupids
Creation vs. the Big Bang?
Julius Henson in the news again

Continue reading McDonald’s commercials have changed; and other briefs

A living hell

‘Case of sudden death’ in violence-torn C. Africa

The only hell of concern to me is the living hell, in this life, here and now, that people create for themselves and one another.

Today, the Central African Republic is a prime example.

There is a history to this conflict that goes back to 1960, but as far as I can tell this land has never known peace at any time.

It’s a matter of what the people there choose to want from day to day.
Continue reading A living hell

Issues with upcoming posts

(Originally posted 01/29/14.)

In the process of “recycling” old posts on Wednesdays(*), I am now coming upon a number of posts with which I’m not completely comfortable. I probably would not write them, now or in the future, the way I did at the time; but I’m also still not sure exactly how I’d write them differently.

At the time I wrote those posts, I supposed my homelessness would be brief, and William Tell would soon enough become a public figure able to speak to what he saw as the pressing social issues. My homelessness continues eighteen months later, and my perceptions of those issues have changed.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts

Giving it all away

At work on Tuesday 05/08/12, the radio station they had on the PA played Genesis’ “Giving it all away.”

People see things different ways given their personal circumstances.

I know nothing about Phil Collins personally. But in all likelihood, were he to “give it all away” as he understands it, he would probably have a lot left.

Not I.

All I own is the contents of two heavy bags. Giving it all away would be a simple gesture. And afterwards, I would have nothing.

———— ♦ ————

That afternoon, as usual, as soon as I got to my bunk I sat down and got out my medications for the evening. The guy assigned to the bunk above me was a newcomer, real clean-cut, a Jake Pavelka lookalike.

“Got any goodies in those pill bottles?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“It’d been cooler if you’d said yes,” he said.

As usual, I put my meds back in my zipper bag when I finished, and, as usual, I locked it.

Because of guys like him.

(Originally published 05/09/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reposted 10/30/13, 12/29/16.)
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

(1) I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast

… which shall here remain nameless, for reason that I also have harsh criticisms and don’t need any reader, however well-intentioned, to draw me into controversies not of my own choosing. The administration is rigid and authoritarian, and if I ever need to ask a favor it’s best I not be seen as a troublemaker.

I had ample time to prepare for homelessness. I packed up all my stuff neatly to make it easy for the landlady to dispose of. I gave away practically everything of durable value — dumbbells, tools, kitchen utensils, foodstuffs. Angie wanted to keep the bird feeder going after I would leave, so I showed her how. I was able to ask around and find out the highest-rated men’s homeless shelter in town. I went there at once when I became homeless March 7, 2011, and except for three nights, have been there ever since.
Continue reading (1) I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast

Gimme

Proverbs 30:15: “The leech has two daughters. Their names are ‘Gimme’ and ‘Gimme.’”

———— ♦ ————

Saturday 05/12/12, 3:00 p.m. — I tired today of strangers asking me for things when I was on smoke breaks out in front of the library.

Other homeless guys have talked with me about this in the past, expressing similar frustrations.

People talk about “What goes around comes around,” but when it comes to this stuff, I don’t see it. In my years in the ’hood (Barclay area, 2006-2011) I got the definite impression that it’s always the exact same individuals asking, asking, asking, and the “blessing” never gets passed on, nor do they ever give back.

They’ll bleed you dry.
Continue reading Gimme

The new panhandling controversy in Baltimore

(Originally posted 10/25/2013.)

City considers crackdown on panhandling

Baltimore has another fit of panhandler anxiety

For years, I had the mantra: “Most panhandlers aren’t homeless, and most homeless people don’t panhandle.”

Now I have many acquaintances who do one or the other.

Given recent instability in my support system, I myself may soon become one who does both.

My experience is much informed by what I’ve seen at the McDonald’s I frequent at Baltimore and Light Streets, where some people seem to panhandle outside all day long.
Continue reading The new panhandling controversy in Baltimore