Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Less Fortunate

"I don't even know what that means..."

My own words lingered in my mind. A political discourse lasting the length of the elevator ride to the 7th floor. I was parroting rancorous knee-jerk rhetoric; verbalizing ideas in which I only half believed.

Well, maybe better than half-believed. Maybe more like 65% believed... Still trying to convince myself that a primary vote for Ron Paul followed by a McCain vote in November would not be an academic abomination.

I wasn't convincing myself, and my socialist friend wasn't helping.

And so, I fell into the same old habit, picking out the emotional chink in the leftist armor and poking at it.

In this case it was the government's "duty" to provide for the less-fortunate. And to be certain, I don't really know what that phrase means, at least as it is used to justify governmental mommy-ism.

Is a person who chooses not to go to school, not to make sacrifices, not to plan, not to invest or not to work; who ends up, like the Aesop grasshopper of old, poor, cold and hungry; really "less fortunate?" Or, are they just more lazy?

I don't know. I really don't.

But the debate had to last at least to the end of the hall. I had to, at least, hold up my end, all 65% of it...

But the words remained, for the rest of the day, in my head. Bouncing back and forth. Calling into question once again, what my actual true deep political convictions are.

Then, it was afternoon. The sky was mottled and gray, the cold breeze blew from the east. I walked briskly back from Court, having just won a minor motion. I passed pan handlers pandering for pennies. I passed hard working construction workers, up to they knees in muck, earning a hard day's salary. I passed the federal courthouse. The words of Jefferson rolled around, bumping into the words of Hobbes, fueling my own libertarian flame.

And then she appeared.

She emerged from god-knows-where and hovered briefly before me. My strides were long, my pace hurried. Yet she kept up, at least for a short time.

She was strangely attractive. Surprising and out of place, considering she was asking for spare change. Most folks who accost me on a daily basis on the street, asking for money, are either able-bodied street punks with shards of cheap metal piercing their face, or they are old and well-pickled in Bourbon.

No, she was young and attractive, not clean, but not over-ratty either. Who knows, maybe she was legit. Who knows, maybe she was just another lazy street scammer. I do know, if she had been playing the banjo, or at least banging on a plastic bucket with some rhythm, I may have given her my pocket change.

As she had no act, I didn't.

But then I began to wonder...

How much does she really want money? If she will beg on the street, what else will she do? What would she do for $50? What would she do for $100?

Which then, of course, led to the next thought. If I were to set up a website, offering access to nudie photos of the less-fortunate, would it make me money?

Would it make me a lot of money? And would it be Fortune's fault if it did?

And then I arrived back at the office, the disturbing fantasy flickering out. I sat back down at my desk, and went quietly back to work.

25 comments:

  1. Naked bum shots? Hmm.. how about you just harvest their organs and sell them. Yeah, I know people are not allowed to sell their organs. But we let the dead give them away, right? And we pretend that most of the homeless are as good as dead most of the time. So it is kind of like letting the dead sell their organs, and if they make enough money, they can buy their way back into life.

    You would get a 75% brokerage fee of course. It is important that people that have nothing to lose make more off the suffering and sacrifice of the poor than the poor do. That is just they way of things. Always has been. And who are we to change thousands of years of precedent?

    Oh yeah....I am thinking of voting for Obama.

    Not sure if I will, but it sounds good and makes me seem like a better person, and sound less evil.

    Maybe I will vote for McCain and just tell people I am voting for Obama.

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  2. Dude, your standards have dropped. A woman is only attractive enough to have sex with or see naked if she has the taxi fare to get home. If you have to pony that up you might as well be Eliot Spitzer.

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  3. Anonymous9:34 AM

    I've come to believe that the main difference between the R's and the D's is the degree to which one attributes "luck" to their current situation. When you really consider all the other situations into which you could have been born (or not born at all) or as to how things could have gone differently over the years just because of a roll of the dice (in your case, waiting for the river card), it becomes more difficult (or at least hypocritical) to refuse to help someone less fortunate (or at least to justify inaction because of the "laziness" of others).

    Also, imagine how empty that last sentence would be without parentheticals (or at least how much shorter).

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  4. um ok, yeah you lost me there anonymous.

    I think its funny when people who have already made a shit pot of money or were born into money feel some sort of obligation now to tell me that I should pay my fair share.

    I have no respect for politicians (R or D) who want to impose things on my family that they arent willing to impose on their own. Look at the health care benefits and retirement plan of a 1 term Senator.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes, BUT the real question is, would you pay $$$ for access to my homeless porn site??

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  6. Hillary Clinton10:29 AM

    Dont worry, I am going to provide everyone with free health care and a puppy come Jan. 2009.

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  7. No Brian, but I'll throw in some free bleaching if the girls have enough teeth.

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  8. Barack10:37 AM

    Get yo-sef to da back a da bus, bitch. The nomination be mine!

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  9. The Real Obama11:34 AM

    I am disappointed, to say the least, by your vocabulary malfeasance. You have misappropriated my persona, and libeled my credibility. However, I remain resolute, guided by the lessons learned from our forefathers, that we must rise above the fray. We must look forward, with hope for future generations, to time when men and women of all traditions and origins can act with one voice and one purpose. Can we do this? Can we make this a better place?

    Yes we can.

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  10. hillary11:46 AM

    Fatuous jackass

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  11. I cannot even begin to understand American politics, I have enough trouble with British. (Budget yesterday - nasty...)

    However, I can say this - How the hell do you take anyone seriously that has the same catchphrase as Bob the Builder?

    Every time I see it I start singing - "Bob the Builder - Can we fix it? - yes we can!"

    As for less fortunate, I have no problem paying taxes for people who can't legitimately work but I begrudge paying for the wankers who have never worked in their life and yet still have all the material fineries of life.

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  12. Let's look at the title of your post Brian. Do you consider yourself "More Fortunate"? Is it because you grew up in an affluent area and went to Ivy league Schools? No, You worked hard, studied, took out loans(which would have been grants if you were black)cheated, and drank lots of alcohol along the way. You have paid your dues.

    Stop feeling guilty for your sucess. You have earned the right to be a money grubbing insensitive conservative. Come to the dark side, its nice over here.

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  13. Go Dr. B. The "less fortunate" need to get their shit together, work hard, get jobs and pay their taxes like the rest of us. And the rest of us shouldn't feel guilty because we don't want to give change to some bum playing the banjo on the streets of downtown Portland.

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  14. Banjo2:14 PM

    Spare some change?

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  15. Banjo: Get a fuckin' job...

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  16. By the way. The blogs are getting better. But the comments are still in Shitsville.

    Yes. I see the irony in this.

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  17. Mayor of shitsville2:59 PM

    And you, Inog, get the key to the city...

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  18. Inog's voting for Obama so he doesn't count

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  19. Anonymous6:48 PM

    lets not mention how quite a few of the crazee fuckers panhandling on Portland's streets are victims of Saint Reagan's closure of mental institutions. They need meds and are largely incapable of existing in normal society. and before you turn your animosity to the gutter punk kids, realize that many of them have been kicked out of their homes by conservative parents for coming out of the closet or simply being fuckups. There are plenty of "summer campers" out there playing Gypsy and alcoholic losers who have ruined their own lives, though.

    and so what if, in the midst of compassionate giving, a few fakes reap the benefit? how does that fuck up your life?

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  20. Anonymous7:21 PM

    Remember, this post began with the notion that Mr. G&T doesn't know what it means to be "the less fortunate." Without a point of reference, this makes sense, right?

    So, to clarify...Mr. G&T, in the calculus, you are the fortunate (i.e., lucky). By world wide standards, you are tremendously fortunate (that whole white male American thing, not to mention being in the top fraction of a percent as far as education, earnings, etc.). Let's be clear. I'm not suggesting that Mr. G&T actually is made of such rarified air. Heavens no. Have you read some of the posts on this blog (if he had earned or was worthy of what he enjoys, you think his spelling and grammar would be better)? Nope. Just dumb luck. Play poker with him and you will see.

    Not to begrudge. We all get lucky (and shouldn't feel bad because of it). Let's just acknowledge that position and effort are not perfectly correlated (or, as I maintain, not correlated much at all).

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  21. Dude they had a special on Oprah about doctor's and lawyers dumpster diving in New York.....the chick was probably a rich chick looking for a thrill because she's bored with crack.

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  22. Yes, thank Jesus I am an white male American. As we all know, that entitles me to wealth and respect without any work or effort whatsoever... (always a well-thought-out argument)

    And no, I cannot spell to save my life, but the question remains, would you pay for homeless porn???

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  23. Position and effort are correlated if you are a prostitute. Do you need a hug Anonymous?

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  24. By the way, Luck and Fortune do not equal the same thing. One can bring the other but they are still very different.

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  25. Check out the dentist waxing philosophic...

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Be compelling.

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