How to Save Society

Submitted by Ted:

Sasha and I met at a concert in a local dive.  She ordered a drink next to me at the bar, and for some reason, I reached over and paid for hers.  We talked about the music, the neighborhood, and each other for a while.  After the set was over, I asked her if she wanted to go out and take a walk, hit up a tea place, or whatever.  She was into the idea.

We went to a late-night Thai place, split an appetizer, and took our drinks to go.  It was really nice out and we walked down the road.  On our way, we passed a homeless guy.  She pointed and said, "Ugh."

Just joking around, I asked her, "Something against that guy?"

She said, "Just the homeless in general.  Get a fucking job."

This was a little harsh, I thought.  I asked her how someone like that was supposed to find a job so easily when plenty of white collar folks were out of work.

She said, "I must have passed like, five McDonald's today that were hiring."

I asked her, "You think they can afford their own place on those wages?"

She said, "Are you seriously that stupid?  Homeless shelters.  Social programs.  No one lives on the street unless they want to or unless they're too drunk all the time to know that there's another option."

Wow.  I didn't really know enough about the issue to make a further standpoint, but she had just been warming up.  She went on, "People who give them free money are making the problem worse, and it should be a felony.  It's like encouraging it.  And the homeless people themselves should be rounded up.  It seriously lowers land values and makes people uncomfortable."

Rounded up?  For like a soylent green sort of program?  But she wasn't done.

She continued, "They can be allowed into a forced labor thing, so that they can learn the value of hard work.  Why should they just get to sit on a sidewalk all day?  No one does that unless they choose to."

Well, she had to be done now.  Right?  Right?

She followed up, "Property values will go up, homeless people will be hard at work, and best of all, these programs will make them work for housing.  Instead of paying them wages.  Bingo!  No more homelessness.  It could be wiped out in a matter of months if we wanted it to be.  But vagrancy continues to be allowed!  Society needs a few homeless people on the streets as implicit warnings to people that that's what's going to happen to them if they don't work hard.  It's a tough situation."

Okay.  Now she had to be done.

No, she said, "I fucking hate society.  I just want to chainsaw it all up.  Homeless people and society.  And kids.  They're so fucking annoying."

I didn't say much else for the rest of the night, and I didn't ask her for her number when it was over.

Someone's a Jonathan Swift literalist.


  1. Really, Jared? Really? "A Modest Proposal?" REALLY?

    Someone just finished a semester of ENG 1000.

  2. I agree with her. Not that ALL choose to live on the streets...some have mental illness. But there are shelters and social assistanc available.
    That said, many homeless CHOSE to try drugs and alcohol. Nobody forced it on them. Many could not just do it socially and have become addicts. All the money they receive goes to feed their habit. So does the money you give them when you pass them by, and in turn, exacerbating the problem by enabling them.
    Don't give them money. Give them food and see what they do with it...they don't want it, most times because all they want is their next fix.

  3. Homeless people don't choose to be ignorant any more than Anon @ 11:03AM didn't choose to be dumb and prejudiced. Many homeless people have everything from severe emotional problems to clinical depression, schizophrenia and usually one or more drug addictions to boot. Some of them are homeless because they want to be, sure, but to imply that most or all are homeless to piss "hard working folks" off is just supremely ignorant.

  4. @ 11: 14. While I agree with you about homeless having mental disorders, many of those homeless are in shelters already. It's not the social programs for the homeless that this bitch is about, its about those ones who sit on the corner all day (with a pet dog) and open a door for you and expect a dollar in return. That's the majority of the homeless people. The ones who are trying to get help actually do, its the ones that "hate society" that should be eradicated.

  5. You know waht pisses people off about homeless? Recently, a newspaper reporter wrote about 'homeless' people who beg for money (shake or limp and are dirty) who, at the end of the day, go home in their car to their furnished apartment. Too much of this happens. And why? Because it's the easier way out instead of getting a job like most of us do.
    This is not to put down the legitimate ones with mental illness.....11:14.....but c'mon. Depression? Oh, I"ve suffered it...should I beg on the street? Drug addictions are a choice Don't be such a bleeding heart pussy.

  6. Since a high number of homeless in previous the two previous decades (and likely in upcoming decades, tho this one was skipped) are former VETERANS, the argument that they chose to avoid hard work is disgustingly self-absorbed, coming from doubtlessly privileged clods.

    My family risked homelessness several times after my father committed suicide. We were fortunate that my mother was a nurse and had an easier time securing employment that along with social security could support her, myself, and my brother. And it was luck more than knowledge that saved us; ever had an error with a government agency? Imagine what happens if your food and shelter is one the line while they take 2 months to sort it out.

    Homeless shelters are overcrowded because jerks like you thinks its oh-so-easily solvable. Thus, they must often turn people away (which I witnessed several times over volunteer shifts). You have an almost impossible time getting a job with no phone number for a prospective employer to call you.

    You solipsistic asshats make Julianna look like Albert Fuckin' Schwietzer.

  7. In case you unipygic troglodytes can't follow the logic between your breezy assurance that it's easy to stop being homeless and shelters having to turn people away, your attitude leads to a lack of funding and actual protest of new shelters opening, thus limiting the safe sheltered space available to stay off the streets.

  8. Seriously, are most of you just insane? The leap from living in your own place with a nice job and a car to being homeless is so small you wouldn't believe how close you are. I know, it could have happened to me. Came back from lunch one day and was layed off, just like that. No way to pay my bills but with the pittance of unemployment. Thank god I had relatives to live with or I might have been out on the street myself.

    And the ones who say "They should just get a job". I couldn't even get a call back from Papa Johns and I've got a fucking BA in Architecture! What chance does a guy with no clean cloths, no phone and no permanant address have? You people really have no idea how close that edge is. Think about all your bills for a month and then think about how you would pay them with no job. Homelessness happens. It happens to you, and it happens to me and if you believe it can't then you are just fucking stupid.

    But yeah, chick was a compleate psycho for just ranting on and on for.......oh, wait, my bad.

  9. Anonymous 12:14
    "drug addictions are a choice"
    That is utter crap. No one chooses to become chemically dependent on drugs or alcohol.

  10. @ Architect: <3

    And I am so glad that your story now is different .

  11. My bleeding heart is staying out of this one. It's such a complex issue that ranting about it on the internet (even eloquently with valid points) won't be able to do it justice.

    Awkward date. At least it was relatively brief. Better luck next time.

  12. honestly, would you buy heroine, pot, or alcohol for a homeless person? because a good portion of the "homeless" that are on the street are arrested for being under the influence of one substance or another... and that money you hand off to them while they are panhandling is the contribution. with that being said, there are also so many people that use homelessness as a means to bum money off people, resulting in untaxed dollars, while they FAKE the homelessness in the first place.


    "surveys by journalists and police, and even testimony by panhandlers themselves, suggest that begging can yield anywhere from $20 to $100 a day—though police in Coos Bay, Oregon, found that local panhandlers were taking in as much as $300 a day in a Wal-Mart parking lot."

  13. What a biatch, hates homeless and kids. Yeah, society will be so much better once we stop having kids completely. Annoying kids, replenishing the population......

    I think all you bashing the homeless are same as this babyhater. College kids following bands with pet dogs aren't homeless. Go to the real inner cities if you think those kids are the majority of homeless.

  14. OK, if it rocks so much to be homeless and you get so much cash, I propose a simple experiment. You try if for 2 weeks - and I'll even make it easy! You can stay in your own place at night if you want. You can start with 15 dollars. You can't use your own toilet, washer/dryer, stove, shower/bath: you must find access to these things elsewhere. No cell phones or home landlines. No food from you pantries. It's even nice weather now; no snow and not yet summer. In short, as good as it could possibly be.

    I doubt you'd find this easier than pulling an 8 hr shift at McD's if you actually try this.

    Anecdotal evidenceabout "fake" homeless abounds because people want to believe there is no problem. Educate yourself. If 12 out out 23 cities are turning homeless people away from shelters, then they aren't fake - they *actually needed shelter*.


  15. Fizziks: Nobody is talking about LEGITIMATE homelessness...

    What does "risked' homelessness mean? You had to stop eating steak for a bit and boil some hot dogs instead? Woooooah! Quit being such a drama queen.

    I bet if a homeless shelter was to open up in your neighbourhood, and you had alcoholics, drug addicts and crack whores, you'd welcome them with open arms, wouldn't ya? Hypocrite.

  16. "Lowers land values"? My aching head.

  17. From the dating viewpoint, a diatribe that callous coming basically out of nowhere, shows that the speaker is an angry person and not particularly emotionally well-balanced.

  18. Straw man argument from spoiled brat @3:18. Fizziks volunteers at homeless shelters and doesn't spout hateful stereotypes. Anyone can tell that you yourself have never missed a meal in your life.

  19. 12:14, homeless people do not go home to a furnished apartment. LOL.

  20. Personally, I like dating homeless women. At the end of the date you can drop them off anywhere.

  21. ^ Unless they want to go home with you. One of those "once you feed 'em" situations...

  22. ^^Agreed. Everyone knows the old saying, "If you give a homeless person a cookie, they'll want to sleep under your stairs for the next year."

  23. Architecht: Does your use of profanity raise or lower the IQ on this site?
    If you know FIzziks, whoopee...how come she hasn't answered the question? What about you?
    Do you like homeless people waking up underneath the wheels of your trailer? What about turning tricks in your front sand pit? I'm sure you are a NIMBY person when it suits you. Hypocrite.

  24. @12:01 You don't know me either but I'll take my lashing for the profanity. I get pretty emotional when I see such willful ignorance. As for Fizziks, she is above the trolls such as yourself. I don't want homeless people living in my back yard just as I am sure no one does. But the difference between you and I is that I don't need to pretend homeless people chose to be that way so that I can sleep at night.

    Now, I'll take a cue from Fizziks and rise above the trolls. I've said my piece.

  25. Interesting how the comment section has gotten so personal since more of us have gone non-anon. Anyway...weirdos...

    I'm a journalist (practically homeless even with a job - ha! That was a joke. Calm down) - and have friends who have done series on being homeless/homelessness. No two people have the same story.
    In big letters on one of our local publications reads that one of the larger homeless shelters is closing.

    I can't agree with this woman. A lot of the homeless people in my neighborhood are pretty cool people who don't beg, and even worry about me walking around at night. One could just give blankets and food. I don't (can't afford to) give money. Either way, they are human beings, not graffiti to paint over because you don't like the look of it.

    You know - there was another person who wanted to put certain groups of people he didn't like into forced labor camps...

  26. Get your head outta your asses. This happens all the time. Funny how some of you read what you want to read in comments. Some people above admit that there are 'some' legit homeless...But too many are fake and cause mistrust to some of us. I do agree that people CHOOSE to try drugs. If they become addicted, they chose to experiment and if that is why they are homeless...take some accountability and quit blaming ONLY society.



  27. To put all my cards on the table, I have not volunteered in 3 years since with work and class that is difficult, but in previous years volunteered at both Thurman Brisbane homeless shelter in Fredericksburg VA and the Daily Planet homeless shelter in Richmond VA. I still on occasion volunteer for the Food Not Bombs meal service in Monroe Park.

    I live 12 city blocks from Daily Planet. I live 8 blocks from the park frequented by the DP homeless, and walk thru that park going to and leaving class Tuesdays and Thursdays. The 7-11 4 blocks from my house is a mainstay of panhandling for the homeless. So this is fairly close to my literal backyard. And I chose to move here when all this already existed, talk about embracing it.

    I also note that those of us that actually have been involved with the homeless aren't making wild claims about how easy/fake/stupid the majority of the homeless are. And what previous posters that side with the date in this post have been claiming is that THE MAJORITY of homeless are fake or tour kids with pets. That's essentially claiming that legitimate homelessness is rare. That is not the experience of me and others that actually do something besides reflexively attack those that make us realize we are privileged.

    OK, anon troll, you have your answer. If you are remotely intellectually honest, you admit your wrong. Doubt I'll see a post about that, tho :P And I am seriously done with this thread now.

  28. Since when does somebody who doesn't 'agree' with your opinion make them a troll? I guess the world does revolve around you. I too am finished with this. I'll keep my word...unlike you. Hypocrite.

  29. I agree with her completely up until the thing about hating society. I live in Vancouver and we have a pretty big homeless problem. I have been yelled at and sworn at and threatened for not giving them money. If you try to give them food, they get mad and say they want money. They arn't starving, and some of them even have homes, they just choose to beg for some reason. Some even choose to be homeless. There are empty beds in shelters and homeless filling up what could be nice areas used for productive things that better society. Giving them anything is just making the problem worse. They think they are entitled to free money from the government, which they are NOT. No one is. They already get money from me when I pay my taxes, so I would never give them any more.


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