Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts for a day: 11/7/2012

Over here in New York City, Mother Nature hasn't been kind to us. We've been socked with a Hurricane (or SuperStorm, whatever you want to call it), and now a Nor'easter that is leaving behind a good amount of snow tonight. 

Throughout these weather events, I've been having a series of thoughts - what type of person would I fear to be, if everything for me, hopefully not, fails in life.

I don't fear being stuck in jail - there, you have a least a roof over you head and food, as well as "protection". Similarly, I don't fear being poor - although it would suck, one still has money to at least buy the essentials. And there's always the social safety net to fall back upon if one is really poor.

What I really fear is being a bum. Why? Because frankly, I really feel that nobody gives a crap about 'em, even though in my opinion, they are one of most disadvantaged people there can be - even gay people and immigrants, for example, have some sort of rights (although they're limited, but should be expanded upon).

I fear being a bum because frankly, once you are one, society forgets about you. Forget about the charities, about the organizations that hand out food, forget about all that. Once you are a bum, all you really have is yourself. And when you have nobody to back up when you have absolutely nothing - no food, no resources, no shelter of your own - it's really hard to come back up. You start doing anything, and everything, just to barely survive. Whether it involves sleeping under the highway, or begging for change (and hope that one guy will give you at least a penny), and going for days without eating - sometimes eating what most people would never eat - or hoping that the charity food truck will have at least a piece of bread for you - being a so-called bum, in my opinion, is the one worst things that can happen to a person. Just think about it for a moment - even a guy stuck in a jail cell, as I mentioned earlier in this post, as at least a resemblance of a bed, food, shelter, and "protection" - and the chance to dust oneself off and get back on his/her feet. A poor immigrant living in Corona, for example, can still bring home more than a bum can.

And as bum, you lose everything that identifies you - because you live nowhere, you can't get ID, and without ID, you pretty much can't do jack-sqaut in this country.

In Pulp Fiction, for example, Vincent and Jules, two of the main characters of the movie, are having a conversation in a diner about what Jules would do after he finishes the job Marsellus, their boss, gave to them. It goes like this...

JULES  That's what I've been sitting here contemplating. First, I'm gonna deliver this case to Marsellus. Then, basically, I'm gonna walk the earth. 
VINCENT  What do you mean, walk the earth? 
JULES  You know, like Caine in "KUNG FU." Just walk from town to town, meet people, get in adventures. 
VINCENT  How long do you intend to walk the earth? 
JULES  Until God puts me where he want me to be. 
VINCENT  What if he never does? 
JULES  If it takes forever, I'll wait forever. 
VINCENT  So you decided to be a bum? 
JULES  I'll just be Jules, Vincent -- no more, no less. 
VINCENT  No Jules, you're gonna be like those pieces of shit out there who beg for change. They walk around like a bunch of fuckin' zombies, they sleep in garbage bins, they eat what I throw away, and dogs piss on 'em. They got a word for 'em, they're called bums. And without a job, residence, or legal tender, that's what you're gonna be-- a fuckin' bum!
For those who prefer to hear Vincent say it (instead of reading it), here you go.

You're Going To Be A Fucking Bum

So yeah, just some thoughts on what's been spinning on my mind lately. The thought that in my opinion, being a bum is one of the worst things that can happen to anybody.

Stay safe in the nor'easter, everyone. And remember the bums who have nowhere to stay.