Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

04 June, 2007

State Street Family

I hate to think that this country has become so bereft of human kindness that we can ignore the fact that we have so many homeless people. It should be a basic human right that everyone has food, housing, and medical care. Instead we spend lots of money on police, prisons and the military.

Many of the people on State Street spend time, now and again, in jails and prisons. It's no coincidence that America's jails and prisons are filled with poor people. There are very few rich people in prison. I guess they don't commit any crimes.

This photo comes from State Street Family by local photographer Glenn H. Austin. I don't go to State Street much and work on the west side so I tend not to think about the homeless here in Madison. I work at a place where most of the people make pretty good money. Some very good. And now they're shipping jobs to the Philippines.

Poverty USA
|| Palmer, 10:05 PM


Did you look through the entire essay? I was intrigued by the photos, but also by the photographer's tone - on one level his appeal to see people as PEOPLE and not nuisance was one I share, but on the other, it's obvious that he's never been a woman walking down the street alone at night. His exhortations to talk to people did not sit well with me; despite feeling I understand where he is coming from.

Thinking about people with whom I've crossed paths on state street reminded me of when many Cubans (sent to the US en masse by Castro) came down to Madison after leaving Fort McCoy.

There were suddenly all of these new people (men, I remember) walking around downtown, wanting to interact. My 11 year old school chums and I would talk to people all the time, but thinking back on it, I wonder if that was a good idea. In many ways, yes - we accepted people at face value and that is a good thing; being able to judge people by what they do and not what you think they are is a v. good thing.

Because he didn't interview people, I wonder if he's not fooling himself a little, assigning nobility where it may not be deserved. But I did appreciate the look at people I know so little about. Thanks for the link.

The D
Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 AM  

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