Supernatural Collective Nouns
After spending three years in the Bronx, documenting the life of street addicts, and after countless frustrations – seeing friends relapse, friends beat-up, friends harassed by the police, friends thrown in jail for long stretches for minor offenses, and a friend die – I finally felt that I had done something unquestionably good.
Still, whenever my path detours into kittens, I get an uneasy feeling that helping animals can be a distraction from helping people.
In my time documenting the homeless, I run across stray cats and dogs regularly and, when I write about them or photograph them, I immediately get a flood of responses – one that almost always surpasses my stories and pictures of people.
I do get amazing offers to help people, including donations for blankets, books, socks, clothes and even just money, all of which is appreciated and all of which comes from a very good place. But I just get more interest, both in money and offers to help, when the subject is an animal.
Why? Because helping animals is ethically easy, and because helping people – especially addicts – is complex and often filled with judgment.
It’s not just that people ask the question, “What if they use the money for drugs?”: it’s the unspoken subtext when people think (and say), “The kittens didn’t do anything wrong. They don’t deserve their plight – they are innocent.”
Implicit in that sentiment is that a homeless addict is not “innocent”, but an agent of his or her own mistakes. It feeds into the stereotype that all addicts are lazy, that they are all weak and that they all lack willpower. It plays into our belief as a society that their fates – addicted to drugs and living under a bridge, for instance – are somehow all their fault.
That narrative is appealing because it allows us to abdicate our collective responsibility for a society – and an underlying set of public policies – that accepts and even ensures that a portion of our society will live on the streets, that some of us will be addicted to drugs, and that some of us will just have to deal with grinding poverty – and the traumas that often follow from it.
It is uncomfortable for many people to contemplate that perhaps homeless addicts are just as smart and just as ethical as anyone else. It requires us to come to realize that maybe “success” (as society defines it) has to do with luck, with being born in the right place and at the right time, and with being subject to laws and law enforcement that are designed to help instead of hurt you.
|—||Tatiana Maslany: the subject of more than a few stories declaring her the people’s lead actress (vulture)|
How to read a George Orwell book:
1. Open book
2. Read book
3. Close book
4. Stare off in to spare for at least 4 consecutive hours questioning politics, media, authority figures and humanity as a whole until your entire perspective of social structure comes crumbling down around you and you wander about reality suddenly aware of your insignificance, ignorance and cattle-like demeanour
Things Dumbledore Did That’d Be Creepy If You Did them
TELL ME AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF AND I WILL REPLY WITH AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT MYSELF THAT I THINK OF WHEN I READ YOURS. IT MAY BE ENTIRELY RELATED, OR ONLY RELATED IN THE WEIRDEST, BROADEST DEFINITIONS.
DESTROY THE MYTH THAT TEENAGE GIRLS WHO IDENTIFY AS BISEXUAL ARE DOING IT FOR ATTENTION
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and remember to like, comment and subscribe if you’d like to see more works like these!’
Although it would’ve seemed unbelievable not too long ago that a straight person would risk being mistaken for LGBTQ while on the job market, apparently some straight MBA students these days are being told by their teachers to attend LGBTQ career fairs.
In 29 states, there are no state laws that prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 32 states, there are no state laws that prohibit job discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Overall, 52% of LGBT people live in states that do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Job fairs for minority groups are set up because these groups experience disproportionate discrimination in the job market and, well, almost everywhere in their daily life. It is very uncool to come into these job fairs and compete for face time with job recruiters when you already have the upper hand in the job market.