Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The One With All the Quotation Marks and Italics

I noticed something telling . . ever since the "Occupy Eugene" thing, a lot of the "homeless", "jobless", "stranded,"vet" people are not on their prospective corners. . . I didn't know they were all members of Adbusters.  Go figure.  

In case you didn't know ( I didn't at first either) but the Adbusters are the one's that started Occupy Wallstreet.  They are a Canadian-based group, that's right I said Canadian, that fights against "consumerism".  They also have sister groups in France, Norway, Sweden and of all places, Japan. I won't go into detail about how it all started, however I do find it interesting that there is no sister on the Occupy family tree based in the United States.

The other day some dude in the sauna asked me, "What do you think about this "occupy" thing?". I found that I really didn't have an opinion.  At the time, the primary reason was because he had interrupted me while I was very obviously reading a book.  Frankly, it took me a second or so to leave the world of Judy Blume and go into the world of politics I care not about. What? Every woman should re-read "Are you There God? It's Me, Margarette?" at least once.  I can't believe the difference in the hidden, literal meaning from now and from when I was 11. I also have to roll my eyes at my eleven-year-old self, as you should too.

Anyway, I really had not thought about it.  I don't know if it's because I rarely leave my own neighborhood, which is blessedly "occupier" free, and I tend to just enjoy my own space or if I am just too jaded.

We in Eugene have one of the most visible (intersection signs), yet also un-enforced "no loitering" and "no panhandling" laws in the state.  The police either have no man-power or no inclination to arrest or cite the people who disobey.  Those that disobey this ordinance stand on the curb, sometimes within 2 feet of the cars waiting for the green or for traffic to lag, with a cardboard sign begging for $ or supposedly "anything" because it "helps" and "God bless".  They ask for this because they are "a vet", "disabled", "homeless", "stranded", apparently.

Just about any major intersection will have a person with their own sign on every corner.  They own their own imaginary property rights for certain corners that they consider a "good one". No joke.  I asked a few. Or sometimes they plant themselves at a busy driveway like Winco.  There is a dude that holds a sign down there stating, "The aliens are hungry and need a taco. Donations please."  Seriously.  There is another guy that is usually at the intersection of Ferry Street Bridge and 6th who begs, claiming to be homeless in his nice shoes, Levi's and Duck shirt/jacket.  If you see him, just out of curiosity's sake go inside the Good Times bar on the same day, about 50 yds from where he stands, around 6-7 o.clock in the evening.  He's usually shooting pool or throwing darts until about 9 then he leaves in a cab.  I shit you not.  Not sure what his story is.

So anyway, I went down to the latest Occupy camp site and I was not impressed.  Half the people that were hanging around the tents didn't even have an opinion as to why they were there.  Now, I'm not dissing the people who really do know what they are doing there.  Or even the people who have only a vague idea of what they were doing.  

So here is the part when I get to spout my opinion on my blog.  I get to do this because it's my blog.  See how that works?  What I saw was a lot of the dirty, skanky, people who have just recently been kicked off of Heroine Hill recently.  I know this because I used to work at a grocery store near said hill and said Occupy camp, and the same faces would come in to buy the quart glass bottled milk on food stamp day, go outside and dump the milk on the ground to then come back and receive the $2 cash deposit in their pocket.  The same faces that would come in to return the GIANT bags of beer cans for the deposit that they collected at the stadium on game day, only to turn around and buy beer with it.  These people are currently taking advantage of a situation to be able to "legally camp" in town.  They are taking advantage of the free food that hardworking people donated to the Occupy Eugene political cause.  They are taking advantage of the professional medical people that volunteer their services for the true, legitimate rally-ers.  I asked one woman what her personal reasons were for being there, and she said, "This is awesome!  I know I have a place to sleep and party until the middle of December!".  True story.  I'm pretty sure she was high.

I also understand that the Occupy people are also taking a stand on the homelessness in our city and across the nation.  Funny, it seems a convenient way to make your forces bigger without any drama.  "OK gather around . . . smelly, drunk, homeless people camp over there.  The rest of us upper-middle class wanna be earth savers will be over here.  We won't bother you if you don't bother us.  Oh and by the way, we are going to use your lack of hygiene and roof as another platform. Thanks so much."  These are not the homeless that I care about. Fuck 'em. I care about the hard-working people who lost their roof, and home due to no fault of their own and are making an effort to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.  Those people don't have time to "occupy" shit.  They are too busy busting their hump trying to live. 

So anyway there it is.  The mystery of the disappearing homeless sign guy solved.