Sunday, May 27, 2012

[Image of a council estate with 221B grafitti’d on the cement fence. Above it in the grey sky is the phrase “You see but you do not observe.”]

London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

[…] try to imagine fandom’s reaction if the next big Holmes adaptation to come along had Holmes and Watson as British, yeah - young black British men, living case to case on a council estate in a dodgy area of London. How fandom would react if Sherlock Holmes didn’t employ street kids and homeless people like trained animals to do his bidding, but instead was part of that invisible underclass; if instead of having his eccentricities tolerated~ by Scotland Yard on account of being the Great White Genius, Sherlock Holmes, BME, school dropout, and sometime addict, was regarded by the police as practically a criminal already, one more thug, one more junkie, one more dealer in the making. If he had to choose between buying the week’s groceries or palming a twenty to a bored constable for the chance to spend five minutes on a crime scene, in the hope that whoever’s under enough pressure to deal with crime rates in the neighbourhood will pay him enough for a perp to feed himself and Watson for a month or two. If the greatest threat to his safety were police brutality, or the prospect of being done for a snitch; if his arch enemy weren’t Moriarty, but the systemic poverty and inequality that has him helping out his oppressors just to get by, and that makes the other side of the law look more tempting to someone with his skills every day.

If he had been in this class, he would have been diagnosed with something as a kid, shoved into classes that wouldn’t have met his academic needs and tried to train him into mediocracy. Resistance to the norm would be met with violence- his diagnosis, whatever it ended up being, would be used to justify the racial inequities until he would be forced to drop out or die. Telling a teacher off in Special Ed, or segregated settings based on disability, especially while a young black man gets you restrained. Telling a teacher or authority figure that they are illogical does too.  IDK about in the UK, But I know diagnosis like Schizophrenia have been used on “uppity” black men in the US to discredit and suppress anger. 

There is a whole new level of issues that pop up with Holmes as soon as he stops being white dude of a “decent” economic background. You stop being pop pathologized and become actually pathologized, and your race or disability is used to actively discredit your work. 

Considering the recent state of things, he wouldn’t just face racial police brutality. Because as soon as the white upper middle class thing is taken away, he no longer is shielded from being seen as someone with disabilities along side his genius- if he genius is ever even recognized. Lately, violence against people with disabilities or perceived as disabilities is on a high swing. He wouldn’t just get racial hate- which he would- or class hate- which he would. He would also be at risk of being assualted as a “scrouger”, as someone who games the system via the appearence disability- but it’s not just those getting assistance that get targeted. It’s about perception. 

Monday, September 5, 2011
wildunicornherd:

hermanaresist:

we’ll I’ll be. This is just as bad as poor folk being “needy” and asking for welfare or SNAP! you want some food??
soydulcedeleche:

praisethelorde:

stfuconservatives:

robot-heart-politics:

paradiscacorbasi:

Church. Closes Food Bank. Because it attracts. POOR. PEOPLE. 

“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of Heav—” oh wait, fuck that. Who wants to deal with icky poor people?!

“Most clients of food banks have not yet come to a sense of personal responsibility in life.” So by all means, stop providing things for them! Just like Jesus taught us: bootstraps, people!

The day Jesus comes back (if he ever existed, if he ever comes back), his “chosen” people might not even recognize him. Maybe he was in the line with the other people who have no “sense of personal responsibility in life”. Fuck them.

this shits KILLING me. po’ jesus. i know he is sad as fuck.


Souuuuuuuurce, souuuuurce, beautiful sooooouuuuuuurce (this happened in 2000)
OK, now I’m going to rant for a bit
Spiritual hunger? SPIRITUAL hunger?!
“I desire that the hunger for God may remain, that the hunger for bread may be satisfied…Hunger for God, yes; hunger for bread, no.” Somewhere, Gustavo Gutiérrez is crying.
“Maybe he was in the line with the other people…” What, like this?
Oh, yeah, and that anecdote on charity: “…when you are confronted by another who is in need, you should imagine that there is no God to help, but that you alone can meet the man’s needs.”
And a telling remark about Lorenza Andrade-Smith, a Methodist pastor who literally gave everything she had to the poor: “…before too long, I’m worried, they might just see her as another street person…” (emphasis mine)
Because poor people don’t have anything worthwhile to say!
Reminds me of that “How do you expect people to treat you like normal human beings” chick from earlier today.
Lately I feel really pissed off with religious folk who have more fun, say, oppressing gay kids than feeding the poor.
It’s like seeing someone in a totally different line of work who you can nevertheless see is really bad at their job.
Like, I don’t even have to know this stuff! You do! And there you are, doing the opposite!
Fuck this, I’m going to bed.

wildunicornherd:

hermanaresist:

we’ll I’ll be. This is just as bad as poor folk being “needy” and asking for welfare or SNAP! you want some food??

soydulcedeleche:

praisethelorde:

stfuconservatives:

robot-heart-politics:

paradiscacorbasi:

Church. Closes Food Bank. Because it attracts. POOR. PEOPLE. 

“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of Heav—” oh wait, fuck that. Who wants to deal with icky poor people?!

“Most clients of food banks have not yet come to a sense of personal responsibility in life.” So by all means, stop providing things for them! Just like Jesus taught us: bootstraps, people!

The day Jesus comes back (if he ever existed, if he ever comes back), his “chosen” people might not even recognize him. Maybe he was in the line with the other people who have no “sense of personal responsibility in life”. Fuck them.

this shits KILLING me. po’ jesus. i know he is sad as fuck.

  • Souuuuuuuurce, souuuuurce, beautiful sooooouuuuuuurce (this happened in 2000)
  • OK, now I’m going to rant for a bit
  • Spiritual hunger? SPIRITUAL hunger?!
  • “I desire that the hunger for God may remain, that the hunger for bread may be satisfied…Hunger for God, yes; hunger for bread, no.” Somewhere, Gustavo Gutiérrez is crying.
  • “Maybe he was in the line with the other people…” What, like this?
  • Oh, yeah, and that anecdote on charity: “…when you are confronted by another who is in need, you should imagine that there is no God to help, but that you alone can meet the man’s needs.”
  • And a telling remark about Lorenza Andrade-Smith, a Methodist pastor who literally gave everything she had to the poor: “…before too long, I’m worried, they might just see her as another street person…” (emphasis mine)
  • Because poor people don’t have anything worthwhile to say!
  • Reminds me of that “How do you expect people to treat you like normal human beings” chick from earlier today.
  • Lately I feel really pissed off with religious folk who have more fun, say, oppressing gay kids than feeding the poor.
  • It’s like seeing someone in a totally different line of work who you can nevertheless see is really bad at their job.
  • Like, I don’t even have to know this stuff! You do! And there you are, doing the opposite!
  • Fuck this, I’m going to bed.

(Source: skyliting)

Sunday, September 4, 2011
Can we just accept that fact that being poor, and being on public assistance, means you aren’t eating well right now? That the steak and lobster buying food stamp recipient is a straw person? That people on public assistance are not living high on the hog? And that it’s a crying shame that the assistance people get is not enough? You know, call me a communist, but I would love it if people on public assistance could afford to buy the occasional skirt steak, salmon, pork tenderloin or package of dried mushrooms along with their regular food purchases if they wanted to. I think people should be able to feed themselves and their kids consistently throughout the month. I have a problem with the idea that we seem to require poor people to eat gruel and wear rags. If my tax dollars are going to help people, goddammit, I want them to be able to get enough help to eat well. It beats the hell out of what my tax dollars usually go to.

You can just… — Feministe (via lemdi)

It’s kind of sad that wanting people, regardless of their financial situation, to be able to enjoy life in some small way opens yourself up to being called a communist. Not that it is really an insult, it’s just sad that being decent is such an anomaly.

(via liquidiousfleshbag)

I will not look at a Feministe food thread. I will not look at a Feministe food thread. I will not—*clicks* GOD DAMN IT

(via wildunicornherd)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
talesoftherin:

moononwaters:

blackenedbutterfly:

stfuconservatives:

robot-heart-politics:

paradiscacorbasi:

Church. Closes Food Bank. Because it attracts. POOR. PEOPLE. 

“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of Heav—” oh wait, fuck that. Who wants to deal with icky poor people?!

“Most clients of food banks have not yet come to a sense of personal responsibility in life.” So by all means, stop providing things for them! Just like Jesus taught us: bootstraps, people!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God did not create the heavens and the earth. Instead, they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps out of other dimensions, and brought their own particles into this world.

Genesis 1:2 Then Mexicans/South East Asian Indians came in and took God’s job, the Native Americans built a casino in Heaven, and white people had no more money.

Is this for real? A for real, actual, honest-to-god news story and headline? Because it’s depressingly believable, but fuck, I hope it’s fake.

talesoftherin:

moononwaters:

blackenedbutterfly:

stfuconservatives:

robot-heart-politics:

paradiscacorbasi:

Church. Closes Food Bank. Because it attracts. POOR. PEOPLE. 

“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of Heav—” oh wait, fuck that. Who wants to deal with icky poor people?!

“Most clients of food banks have not yet come to a sense of personal responsibility in life.” So by all means, stop providing things for them! Just like Jesus taught us: bootstraps, people!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God did not create the heavens and the earth. Instead, they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps out of other dimensions, and brought their own particles into this world.

Genesis 1:2 Then Mexicans/South East Asian Indians came in and took God’s job, the Native Americans built a casino in Heaven, and white people had no more money.

Is this for real? A for real, actual, honest-to-god news story and headline? Because it’s depressingly believable, but fuck, I hope it’s fake.

(Source: skyliting)

wastedpages:

lostgrrrls:

mindovermatterzine:

supersoygrrrl:

cognitivedissonance:

Uh-oh. Looks like Florida’s mandatory drug testing for taxpayers is costing the taxpayers more than they’re actually saving.

Governor Rick Scott had praised the program when he signed it June 1st of this year, proclaiming, “It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars.”

However, the numbers are not adding up. From WFTV:

Just six weeks after Florida began drug testing welfare applicants, WFTV uncovered numbers which show that the program is already costing Central Florida taxpayers more than it saves. 9 Investigates’ reporter George Spencer found very few applicants are testing positive for drugs. The Department of Central Florida’s (DCF) region tested 40 applicants and only two tested positive for drugs, officials said. One of the tests is being appealed.

Governor Rick Scott said the program would save money. Critics said it already looks like a boondoggle. “We have a diminishing amount of returns for our tax dollars. Do we want out governor throwing our precious tax dollars into a program that has already been proven not to work?” Derek Brett of the ACLU said.

DCF said it has been referring applicants to clinics where drug screenings cost between $30 and $35. The applicant pays for the test and the state reimburses [the applicant] if they test negative. Therefore, the 38 applicants in the Central Florida area, who tested negative, were reimbursed at least $30 each and cost taxpayers $1,140. Meanwhile, the state is saving less than $240 a month by refusing benefits to those two applicants who tested positive.

I’m not at all shocked by this, and the ACLU is planning to file suit. Oh, and they’re also saying to Rick Scott: “We told you so.” Literally

The sad part? These measures scare people off from applying for benefits. If people test positive for drugs, it means two things: Either they ingested that substance at least once, and maybe only once, within the testing window - or it’s a false positive. Here’s a short list of things that can cause a false positive:

  • Poppy seeds: (Opioids)
  • Cold medications: (amphetamines)
  • Wellbutrin: (amphetamines)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: (amphetamines)
  • Zoloft: (benzodiazepine)
  • Daypro: (benzodiazepine)
  • Quinolone antibiotic drugs: (Opioids)
  • Sustiva (prescribed for HIV): (cannabinoids)
  • Ibuprofen: (cannabinoids, barbiturates, phencyclidine [PCP])
  • Foods made with hemp and hemp oil: (cannabinoids)
  • Effexor: (phencyclidine)
  • Vicks Inhalers: (methamphetamines)
  • Zantac: (amphetamines)
  • Ultram: (phencyclidine)
  • Over-the-counter cough medicine containing dextromethorphan: (Opioids) 

Huh. So drug tests aren’t infallible and they’re not saving Florida any money? As the ACLU points out, Florida should have learned this 10 years ago, when they tried this program and had to dump it for cost reasons.

I’ll indulge the governor for a moment, though. Let’s say there’s parents who have used some kind of drugs in the period before the test. Why deprive children of quite possibly the only support they’ll receive because their parent(s) may or may not have used drugs voluntarily or involuntarily in the testing period? I’m not comfortable with that thought, and any other person with an iota of compassion should not be thrilled with that proposition either.

emphasis added

Mental health discrimination strikes again!

Got into a discussion about this on facebook a few weeks ago, thanks to a status going around that says, “Thank you Florida, Kentucky and Missouri, which are the first states that will require drug testing when applying for welfare. Some people are crying and calling this unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It’s OK to drug test people who work for their money but not those who don’t? Re-post this if you’d like to see this done in all 50 states!”

I didn’t even think about the cost/benefit analysis, OR the chance for false positives. I mostly focused on the fact that people who are actually addicted to drugs need help to get off, so punishing them doesn’t help, and maybe we should also help them get into programs. But what’s more frustrating is that the drugs that cause the most deaths (like, say, tobacco) are legal while others are criminalized. If maybe there was more rationale behind our drug law I wouldn’t be so pissed but… The laws really aren’t rational.

I’m taking a course this semester on the anthropology of drugs that I’m WAY excited about, so hopefully I’ll have a more fully-formed opinion on this topic within a few months.

That list freaks me out. God forbid you’re sick and then have to take a drug test.  :(
Also—I can’t believe they made a law based on a stereotype. Way to fail. 

Also, the drugs commonly perscribed for narcolepsy)? Amphetamines. As in, on the street you’d call it speed. Also used for narcolepsy? GHB. That’s right, Ecstasy. This is what they wanted to put my mom on. (She decided against it because the cardiac tests they would need to schedule fairly often seemed a bit worrying…)

Just adding to the list of ways to test positive while not engaging in illicit use. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011
I cannot think of a more important action that we could take for the sake of the victims of poverty, unemployment and hunger in Michigan than to do our part to stop the legislation which closes 12,600 public assistance cases that includes 25,000 children. Gilda Jacobs, a former state legislator and the current Director of the Michigan League for Human Services (an independent human services “watch dog” agency in Lansing) reminds us that the maximum grant for a family of three is $492 per month. Many families who receive cash assistance work, but can’t find employment that will pay them enough to survive without these grants. In a recent article Ms. Jacobs tries to inform anyone who will listen and act. She says, “These bills have passed the House and Senate in different forms and have yet to be finalized…Our policy makers are trying to save 774 million dollars through this action which will have devastating effects …That means 25,000 children and their parents – enough to fill Comerica Park – would lose an important source of income.”

25,000 Children About to Lose Cash Assistance

especially for michiganders…

(via radicallyhottoff)

image in text reads:

Find your legislators’ name & phone number on these websites:
http://house.michigan.gov/
&
http://senate.michigan.gov/
If you need help or don’t have computer access call Debra Eaton in the church office, 313-965-5422.

(via numol)
Sunday, August 14, 2011 Saturday, August 13, 2011
[An infographic. “Basic appliances do not a middle class family make.” It has two columns. One is titled “things a family in poverty could sell” and “to Get.” A used refridgerator ($150) could pay for about 8 days of food for a family of four. A used microwave ($45) could pay for about 3 days food for a family of four. A Used air conditioner ($30) could pay for about 9 days of electricity for an average home. “Source: Appliance prices based on craigslist and eBay; food prices based on USDA’s Thrifty food basket; Electricity prices based on 2005 residential energy conservation survey (recs), US energy Information Administration, adjusted for inflation.” Center for American Progress.]
pumpkinheadjones:

knifeyutensil:

cognitivedissonance:

Recently, The Heritage Foundation released a report on poverty in American, largely trying to debunk the idea that poor people are poor. They included facts like the majority of people living in poverty have refrigerators, microwaves, and air conditioners. Never mind these things might be attached to a rental unit of some kind… it’s not like those items listed are big-ticket items, particularly when bought used. 
I met a family the other day who, according to the Heritage Foundation, is living in the lap of luxury. I’ll let you folks make up your minds. 
I was at the Salvation Army last week and was looking at the appliances. There was an older microwave for $5. A woman in front of me (I’ll call her Ann) at the register bought the microwave and was telling her kids they’d get microwave popcorn again. It looked like that $5 microwave made those kids’ day. Now, that microwave would have been included in The Heritage Foundation’s analysis because she also receives WIC, and Heritage Foundation is especially interested in those receiving federal benefits.
I know she receives WIC, because she asked me if all the grocery stores in town took it. Ann just moved here about three weeks ago and was staying with a friend who was now in the process of moving away. I talked to her for about half an hour outside the store. She asked if I knew which hotel was the cheapest and cleanest, because she couldn’t afford the rent here (college is about to start, so the cheapest rentals are gone) and she’s on a list for a housing voucher.
I helped her put a suitcase on a luggage rack on the top of her car to make room for the microwave in her trunk. She mentioned she was glad to have a place to work and, she hoped, a place to live. I asked where she moved from. She said Denver, and that she and her kids were living in their car for a few months (in the midst of a heat wave) because her landlord kicked her out and she had nowhere to go. Ann said she never signed a lease and the landlord evicted her with just a few hours notice because her two-year-old was too noisy. She was afraid to go for DFS for help because she thought they’d take the kids, what with them living in the car. She interviewed for a job at a fast food place here about a week ago and starts this Monday. She’d been out of work for about 5 months when she moved up here.
I gave her the phone numbers for every community resource I could think of, pointed her towards the hotels I knew were cheap and clean, and offered to help in any way I could. Ann said that I’d helped, that she already knew how to get along the best she could, and that “being poor takes skills you don’t know you have ‘til you need them.”
But according to Heritage Foundation, she’s not poor. She and her 3 kids are living in a hotel here that has a fridge, a queen bed (or two), a $5 microwave she bought, and she’s living in the lap of luxury (as defined by them)? I don’t think so. Their report exemplifies what I (and others) call “Poor people can’t have nice things.” Basically, if you have a very basic amenity, like a microwave, you’re obviously not poor. Apparently, being poor involves some kind of “noble suffering” and if you aren’t suffering Oliver Twist-style, you aren’t poor. 
I can see Ann and her kids were struggling. But that’s seemingly not “low” enough for folks at the Heritage Foundation. I don’t care what “amenities” people in poverty supposedly have - to me, one person being one paycheck away from homelessness or food insecurity is one too many. One in seven Americans currently rely on food stamps to eat. And never mind those folks trying to subsist on the goodwill of others and/or unemployment. I’m not going to quibble about a cell phone or a television. 
I hope she’s doing alright, the job works out, and the kids get microwave popcorn.

Argh.. I actually started crying reading this. This sounds so much like my mother’s life. I’d be that kid excited for popcorn. Fuck the Heritage Foundation. 

This made me think of my mum and now I’m crying too. Fuck fuck fuck the world needs to change.

My home has a microwave that was gifted to me when the local country store changed hands and got refurbished. I don’t have a fridge or an air conditioner. Because the house I live in was being re-done- in fact that’s the only reason I have a place to live- there are no sinks, just a shower and a toilet. The hot water heater doesn’t work, as it was left sit. sometimes the water will get to be luke warm, but most of the time it doesn’t work at all. There is no heating. My mother pays for the electricity- which is usually only about $50/mo tops, and that’s with all the borrowed fans I can find running. Yet there are still people who think that I don’t really need any of the funding I get- possibly because I have a ceapo netbook and broken lap top from several years ago which I use for accommodation, and right now (in part because of that bias in state gov.) I only get food stamps. I’m struggling through the disability process. 
I’ve been Dickinsonian poor before, too. I’ve lived in tents in state parks and eaten only school lunches as a kid. I still find the assumption that having a microwave, a fridge, or an air conditioner means you have luxuries bull shit. 

[An infographic. “Basic appliances do not a middle class family make.” It has two columns. One is titled “things a family in poverty could sell” and “to Get.” A used refridgerator ($150) could pay for about 8 days of food for a family of four. A used microwave ($45) could pay for about 3 days food for a family of four. A Used air conditioner ($30) could pay for about 9 days of electricity for an average home. “Source: Appliance prices based on craigslist and eBay; food prices based on USDA’s Thrifty food basket; Electricity prices based on 2005 residential energy conservation survey (recs), US energy Information Administration, adjusted for inflation.” Center for American Progress.]

pumpkinheadjones:

knifeyutensil:

cognitivedissonance:

Recently, The Heritage Foundation released a report on poverty in American, largely trying to debunk the idea that poor people are poor. They included facts like the majority of people living in poverty have refrigerators, microwaves, and air conditioners. Never mind these things might be attached to a rental unit of some kind… it’s not like those items listed are big-ticket items, particularly when bought used. 

I met a family the other day who, according to the Heritage Foundation, is living in the lap of luxury. I’ll let you folks make up your minds. 

I was at the Salvation Army last week and was looking at the appliances. There was an older microwave for $5. A woman in front of me (I’ll call her Ann) at the register bought the microwave and was telling her kids they’d get microwave popcorn again. It looked like that $5 microwave made those kids’ day. Now, that microwave would have been included in The Heritage Foundation’s analysis because she also receives WIC, and Heritage Foundation is especially interested in those receiving federal benefits.

I know she receives WIC, because she asked me if all the grocery stores in town took it. Ann just moved here about three weeks ago and was staying with a friend who was now in the process of moving away. I talked to her for about half an hour outside the store. She asked if I knew which hotel was the cheapest and cleanest, because she couldn’t afford the rent here (college is about to start, so the cheapest rentals are gone) and she’s on a list for a housing voucher.

I helped her put a suitcase on a luggage rack on the top of her car to make room for the microwave in her trunk. She mentioned she was glad to have a place to work and, she hoped, a place to live. I asked where she moved from. She said Denver, and that she and her kids were living in their car for a few months (in the midst of a heat wave) because her landlord kicked her out and she had nowhere to go. Ann said she never signed a lease and the landlord evicted her with just a few hours notice because her two-year-old was too noisy. She was afraid to go for DFS for help because she thought they’d take the kids, what with them living in the car. She interviewed for a job at a fast food place here about a week ago and starts this Monday. She’d been out of work for about 5 months when she moved up here.

I gave her the phone numbers for every community resource I could think of, pointed her towards the hotels I knew were cheap and clean, and offered to help in any way I could. Ann said that I’d helped, that she already knew how to get along the best she could, and that “being poor takes skills you don’t know you have ‘til you need them.”

But according to Heritage Foundation, she’s not poor. She and her 3 kids are living in a hotel here that has a fridge, a queen bed (or two), a $5 microwave she bought, and she’s living in the lap of luxury (as defined by them)? I don’t think so. Their report exemplifies what I (and others) call “Poor people can’t have nice things.” Basically, if you have a very basic amenity, like a microwave, you’re obviously not poor. Apparently, being poor involves some kind of “noble suffering” and if you aren’t suffering Oliver Twist-style, you aren’t poor. 

I can see Ann and her kids were struggling. But that’s seemingly not “low” enough for folks at the Heritage Foundation. I don’t care what “amenities” people in poverty supposedly have - to me, one person being one paycheck away from homelessness or food insecurity is one too many. One in seven Americans currently rely on food stamps to eat. And never mind those folks trying to subsist on the goodwill of others and/or unemployment. I’m not going to quibble about a cell phone or a television. 

I hope she’s doing alright, the job works out, and the kids get microwave popcorn.

Argh.. I actually started crying reading this. This sounds so much like my mother’s life. I’d be that kid excited for popcorn. Fuck the Heritage Foundation. 

This made me think of my mum and now I’m crying too. Fuck fuck fuck the world needs to change.

My home has a microwave that was gifted to me when the local country store changed hands and got refurbished. I don’t have a fridge or an air conditioner. Because the house I live in was being re-done- in fact that’s the only reason I have a place to live- there are no sinks, just a shower and a toilet. The hot water heater doesn’t work, as it was left sit. sometimes the water will get to be luke warm, but most of the time it doesn’t work at all. There is no heating. My mother pays for the electricity- which is usually only about $50/mo tops, and that’s with all the borrowed fans I can find running. Yet there are still people who think that I don’t really need any of the funding I get- possibly because I have a ceapo netbook and broken lap top from several years ago which I use for accommodation, and right now (in part because of that bias in state gov.) I only get food stamps. I’m struggling through the disability process. 

I’ve been Dickinsonian poor before, too. I’ve lived in tents in state parks and eaten only school lunches as a kid. I still find the assumption that having a microwave, a fridge, or an air conditioner means you have luxuries bull shit. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011
But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.

Gustavo Gutierrez (via thirdw0rld)

“Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.” I get this.

(via courageuse)

I don’t have anything relevant to add—just that it’s 2:30 a. m. and I am worried for my neighbourhood. The local food bank almost had to shut down this month.

(via wildunicornherd)

(Source: thingsandschemes)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When you are poor

People won’t consider you a reliable source of information about your efforts. You are forever the leech, and no amount of words you can produce will change that. 

People will either assume that the system is already in place, or that you are trying to game it. Can’t get  source of income? I’m sorry, but you might not be eligible for those services that non-poor people think exist to help (or “enable”) you.

People will assume that the services that are available are suitable. While they’d never take their family member to the county MH office, they are shocked if you say that they aren’t suitble and you need help to get money for the other provider in the county.* They will think that if you are going to be picky, you need to just earn more. 

People will second guess when you say that your SO, Brother, caregiver, room mate is abusive or harasses you. Or maybe they’ve just made life untenable. After all, if that were true wouldn’t you just move out? Or hire another caregiver. (Though maybe the caregiver is family, or a land lady, or the only one you can afford in the area.) And after all, there’s  reason for the protection and advocacy centers isn’t there?

They will point out all the options they think exist, and give you a new label when you walk them through why you aren’t eligible for them, or why they cannot help you. After all, look at all these things that are supposed to help- surely you are “shooting them down” because you aren’t “reasonable” or are “unstable and paranoid” or maybe even a specific diagnosis.

And when you come to them with a solution? Maybe if they know you or even care for you, they will see some solutions as appalling, or as surely too hard or scary or whatever for you to do or “sink” to. Otherwise they might call you presumptuous, especially if it’s anything beyond you “pulling yourself up by your boot straps” and “getting on with life.”

ya know? (I’m venting, but it’s all true, and all things we hide behind that stiff upper lip or cheerful facade.)

*I’m rural too- so there’s an additional limit on resources or alternatives here. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Link: The Mental Burden of a Lower-Class Childhood (from Sociological Images)

duyukdv:

strikematchlightfiyah:

janedoe225:

Link: The Mental Burden of a Lower-Class Childhood (from Sociological Images)

thetart:

classragespeaks:

This part hit me especially hard:

But I recognize the sentiment expressed in the postcard — the ever-present possibility that you’ll un-self-consciously mention something from your childhood and be met with gleefully horrified looks and giggles, and not know what’s so funny about shrugging and off-handedly saying, “I don’t know if I really need to see a movie about it, I’ve watched my relatives do it tons of times” when someone suggests watching the documentary Okie Noodling. It’s an extra little mental effort you have to expend as you navigate social encounters, trying to imagine whether something as small as honestly answering a simple question like what was your favorite food when you were a kid might open you up to ridicule. It’s not really the laughing itself, which is often good-natured and comes from people who do honestly like you, that’s so bothersome; it’s the realization that you still don’t know the cultural rules, and thus can’t necessarily protect yourself from being laughed at even if you wanted to — or in my mom’s case, that you don’t know what it is you’re doing that makes you a redneck in other people’s eyes.

Some of this is why I refuse to give a shit in informal situations like tumblr. I write precisely what’s in my head, even if it starts with a y’all and calls everyone Children and cusses a lot. Welcome to my brain, y’all; we serve Dr Pepper and Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese. This is one of precious few spaces where I don’t have to be conscious of sounding like everyone else’s construction of an intelligent person - so I don’t. And you kinda can’t make me.

I agree with the above. This entire feeling of caution and tension can be applied to both my childhood (lived in a lower-class neighborhood in this tiny apartment with parents living paycheck-to-paycheck) and as a person with a non-American background. You learn that there are things you cannot mention, like traditions or practices, things you can’t joke about, stories you can’t tell, etc etc because you know people would not be able to understand it. As a kid (up into my last day of high school) I never brought any traditional/”poor” food to school. I couldn’t deal with being laughed at or, worse, having someone question what I was eating. Food is just a small example of this, but for me, it meant a lot. Everyone understands peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with crackers, but very few understand fufu (a traditional Nigerian dish) or cereal (which is what I would take when we had no food) or rice and stew (another last minute, shit-there’s-nothing-else-to-eat dish.)

This is why I don’t really care to censor or watch myself on Tumblr. I have to be so fucking cautious everywhere else that I need a place to just be. I don’t have to type in capitals or use commas and I don’t have to avoid slang or whatever. I’m not looking to sound intelligent and I’m not looking to impress someone—if my writing style prevents you from reading my words, THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM. I’ve seen people reblog me and correct my shit (add capitals, punctuation, edit slang) and that pisses me off. Let it be, for God sakes. That’s just the most obvious (and disrespectful) way to show that you don’t think I am as smart or as capable as you. That’s not true. I just do things differently.

I have actually been trying to give the damned self-censor some time off, but that’s not always easy. (Spending half my time growing up with a grandmother trying to be a self-loathing, internalized racist Appalachian answer to Hyacinth Bucket did not help. *shudder* *twitch*) With the school system I ended up in, I also forgot how to relax to some extent. Even knowing now that there’s nothing to be ashamed of (class, cultural background, disability, etc.), I still fight the feeling of having too much to prove a lot. It’s hard sometimes just to do what seems most right here: let people make their own assumptions, which they will no matter what you do! To some people, you’ll always be a stupid hick/etc., and that has everything to do with their own assumptions.

From the OP:

It’s not really the laughing itself, which is often good-natured and comes from people who do honestly like you, that’s so bothersome; it’s the realization that you still don’t know the cultural rules, and thus can’t necessarily protect yourself from being laughed at even if you wanted to — or in my mom’s case, that you don’t know what it is you’re doing that makes you a redneck in other people’s eyes.

Actually, for me it’s the laughter too, which brings back all the times that it was not good-natured at all—outright vicious, in a lot of cases—and I mostly could not tell what I was doing “wrong”. (I have gotten triggered and turned verbally nasty on friends who really were trying for lighthearted ribbing. Which made me feel like an ass every time. *sigh*) That is such a rude way to treat other people, regardless—by my standards, at any rate.

But, indeed, the “still don’t know the cultural rules” bit is probably disconcerting and demoralizing enough. Thrown in autism and a culture of origin rather different from the dominant US/now UK ones, and I’m not even sure what a reasonable multiplier would be. Being aware of what the problem is—and that it’s not limited to you, but rather has little to do with you personally—helps, but that can still be difficult to deal with.

yeah, being Autistic (and rural) totally does add multipliers to this cultural class divide.  

Interestingly, the anecdote I used in my latest wordpress post got more comments than the subject of the post because it dealt with the class + Autism thing.