Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Vox Said

Back when I used to teach Victorian Literature, I would always start with A Christmas Carol, both because it's just a fantastic story -- everyone loves it, it's a cracking good read -- and because it's such a great introduction to the Victorian World, what with Scrooge's attitude toward the poor, and the filthy streets, and the smog, and the wealth and poverty side by side.

"Richest country in the world at this point," I said.  "They owned half the world.  And children are starving to death in their streets.  What the shit is up with that?"


Anonymous said...

Crotchety-tude lives on unabated. But at least in several places a consciousness of the deep poo we all are in is developing. Maybe when a real government takes office something can be done about it.

Hope the shoulder is better now!

zelda1 said...

A few months back, I was in the grocery store and behind a man and a woman who had several children ranging in age from an infant to about five or six or seven. Anyway, they had bought baby food, diapers, milk, and stuff and were using wic vouchers and foodstamps and when they had to pay for their stuff, they didnt' have enough food stamp money for the food so they put back a couple of items and then paid cash for their diapers and toilet paper and counted, literally counted out pennies to pay for these necessary items. One of the older kids watched with obvious anxiety as they put things back and apoligized for to us for our having to wait ect. But what happend with the kids broke my heart. One of the younger ones held a thing of candy in his hand and watched as his parents struggled and when they didn't have enough, the older boy took the bag away and quietly put it back. The little boy didn't cry, he knew. My grandson would have cried and yelled and said wait, that's mine. My point is that we often forget the poor and their struggles and how hard all of this has been on them. I'm poor, but I'm poor without kids so I don't really have the same struggles. OH, I did buy the candy and offered to the kids before they left. I know I risk offending the parents, but they are kids damnit. I would have offered to pay for the other items, but I barely had enough money to pay for my things plus five bags of candy.

delagar said...

I read (I think on Tbogg? Maybe on Ezra?) that one in nine Americans are on food stamps now.

We're eating a lot of rice and peas and lentil soup here at the delagar house, and we're not actually poor, we're just feeling the crunch; I can't imagine how people who are actually poor, like my students, are dealing with this fucked situation.