The other day, as I was taking my walk, I ran into a big gathering
to feed some of the homeless in Santa Monica. On that particular
day, it was being facilitated by something called the Church of
the Open Air. Both homeless and non homeless were feeding their
(Kim: It almost seems
like yin and yan how part of our civilization is somewhere
between making a profit and making a war, and the other part
is focused on spiritual values and giving. I see faculty who
are deeply concerned about the amount of their paycheck, but
are passionate about helping students.
Some of the greatest
capitalists were also the most generous with their wealth.
Though I suspect that in the end the capitalists gave unsuspectably
through their self-interest by creating jobs and wealth for
It is very difficult
to live above the poverty level in America. After reading Nickel
and Dimed I realized that a good work ethic is not
enough. Without a marketable skill and good habits one is doomed
to be in a bread line.)
I asked if I could
stand with them, keep some of the workers company and also
help. So I opened sealed boxes with
my car key and handed out chocolate.
I'm happy to say that our corporate giants had donated
a lot of the food. There was gorgeous white and blue
from Starbuck's that retail at $1.75 in the stories.
There were miniature Heath Bars from Nestles.There was
The people with whom I was working, a woman named Viper
and another one named Angel said people liked the sugar.
Some turned down the spaghetti and salad in favor of
the sugar. I
wondered if the people who did that were junkies.
It was very telling to stand on the line. We gave out
over 600 burritos. When I remarked to Viper that not
everyone looked homeless, she said, looks can be deceiving.
that at the end of the month, some people who are not
so strapped for cash, they show up for the meal. She
also said that
a lot of people who came by were on passes from mental
Whatever their circumstance, almost everyone was friendly
and polite. A lot of the regulars joked and seemed
happy to shoot
What I found most interesting was that, whether
or not they were hungry, they still had the dignity
turned her nose up at the Heath Bars and said, "Well,
I like chocolate but not that kind of chocolate."
Viper and Angel are both homeless. Viper is staying
somewhere in Venice and Angel said she has been staying
bluffs in the Pacific Palisades until she got kicked
because too many homeless have been starting fires
Both Viper and Angel were missing several of their
bottom teeth but Angel had on bright turquoise liner
the inside of both eyes and exactly matched her sweater.
I felt in awe of her. She was so warm and kept calling
me by my first name. And I was stunned that her femininity
be so in tact under the circumstances.
Some women just need to feel pretty. I called her pretty
lady. And she was. I don't think I could maintain such
a sense of self under the circumstances.
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006