I'm a douchebag
Continuing my hate theme, here's a flame war from MetaFilter.com. I really appreciated the link and the hate. Truth is most of the folks really dug what I was doing, and a couple of folks though I was a douchebag.
Here's the flame. I edited it down to the posts that related to the "controversy" but you can read the whole thing here.
This guy may give his "earnings" to others who need it more (when he's guilted into it, middle of the entry), but he's still a douchebag.
posted by kyleg at 9:39 PM on September 5
Good God, I'm glad this guy feels entitled to fetishize the lives of people WHO HAVE TO BEG FOR A LIVING. Just to be clear- your lives consist of going to your job/school, going home, eating a meal, and going to bed. Their lives consist of wandering public areas and begging.
(Yes, yes, I'm perfectly aware of "the well-off beggar", but don't let a statistical blip blind you to the larger reality)
Why am I so interested in finding out if panhandlers are secretly living the good life, and earning more than I do working?
However "satirical" the intent, this is just fucking gross. It just feeds the brainwashing meme of "look, these guys don't have it so bad, and hey, they're perfectly capable of getting a regular job, but they CHOOSE this!" The number and nature of its panhandlers are a sad commentary on a culture.
posted by mkultra at 7:24 AM on September 6
I am that douchebag.
I'm glad that my site is triggering dialogues like this. That's the idea. I do have great sympathy for the homeless and for the majority of folks that are out panhandling. I also think a-lot of them are funny, charming people, and some of them are tragic and some of them are assholes.
I am not making fun of them, I am making fun of the pervasive Urban Legend that would have us believe that a good percentage of these folks are leading the good life. I knew this was a ridiculous idea but after hearing it repeatedly, I decided to take a humorous first hand look at it and along the way we're looking at panhandling laws, the homeless' 'lifestyle' etc. We're filming a documentary, and I think all the people who are so quick to assume I'm an asshole will actually be glad to see the results of our filming. Time will tell.
In the meanwhile, a Mummy panhandling with a sign written in hieroglyphics is funny. I don't care what you say, it is.
posted by joe beggar at 9:15 AM on September 6
I clicked on the link all prepared to be offended but then I wasn't: at least somebody bothered to find out more about it than one could learn by reading fratboy twaddle on a Metafilter thread. mkultra, did you read the site in question?
posted by davy at 11:21 AM on September 6
Yeah, I did. What "joe beggar" fails to realize, IMO, that his well-intentioned hijinks are actually fairly patronizing to those who don't really have a choice about their position, down to the "wacky costumes" and whylieineedadrink subdomain.
posted by mkultra at 2:55 PM on September 6