Instead let me share a letter from a satisfied reader:
Dear Dr. Wess,
I here u have rit thet I am ilitable illitu that I'm not gud with wurds. Aktuelly I didn’t here it my bruther red it and he told me. He sez u also sed I am not as compassionate (didn't no I cud spel lik that did u?) as I hev sed I am. I wil show u how gud I am with wurds. I even rote this pome witch u can stik in your crabby colum.
So u think I'm not compassionate?
When I ain't dun nuthin yet?
Well I'll have u no
u libral so-an-so
yore sociopolitical (I can soo spel, see) band-ade-applyin
muny-flingin and freedum steelin and while I'm at it
Anti-ballistic-missile-not-buildin (hah!), baby-killing, and
2nd-Amendment-Rights-takin-awayin (take thet!)
is all wet.
-- Anon Anun I'm not telling u my name
I really appreciate input like that, Mr. Name, and be sure to keep your brother reading!
While we're talking carp, our glorious Mayor Schell is beginning to look more like a candidate for Bush's cabinet. What else could explain this recent exchange with a Beacon Hill resident (quoting from Schell's monthly talk show on KUOW.)
["Chris"]: "We have a very small business district that's being badly affected. What are you going to do about Tent City and when?"
[Mayor]: "I absolutely agree with you. I don't think living outdoors in a tent is acceptable conduct. And I do think it is by and large a political statement."
OK, Mr. Schell, the honeymoon's over. I've been nice to you so far. I didn't say hardly a word about you the whole first year you were elected except to wish you a happy birthday and offer to help you with your arithmetic.
Did I complain much about you last year? Yes, but who didn't? You had your WTO, what did you expect. But I wasn't the one who said you looked like Uncle Fester from the Addam's Family. I could have, but I restrained myself, because I was being a nice guy.
No more. You've made me mad now.
SO. Our Mayor thinks living outdoors is "unacceptable conduct." What a coincidence. To most of the people living at Tent Village on Beacon Hill having to live outdoors would always be "unacceptable," particularly in winter. But since they don't have the kind of power our Mayor has, they accept it anyway, as the alternative, more shelter beds, isn't happening.
So far, reading Mayor Schell's comment all we have is the usual failure to grasp the fundamental facts of homelessness which we here at Real Change have come to expect from a Mayor who thinks the homeless should just retire to their villas in France and leave him alone.
That's not what has us fuming. What has us fuming is Paul Schell's little deprecation of political statements of the homeless.
Are the homeless of this city not entitled to make political statements? "Chris", Beacon Hill resident, can call into KUOW every month to complain about Tent Village, but when the homeless complain about a lack of any alternative it's just politics?
Last month I was invited to speak at a Shoreline Community College philosophy class. They wanted to hear about the politics of homelessness, in that ethics is an important branch of philosophy, and politics is the sub-branch of ethics that concerns life and power in the cities.
Maybe Paul Schell could benefit from a course in ethics. He might learn to give proper respect to political statements, which are after all only statements about what is right.
Meanwhile, since when is sheer survival a statement of any kind?