Downtown Detroit 8/13/21
They removed the benches from the Westside waterfront, probably because people were sleeping on them. I guess I am supposed to respect them not adding spikes or related contraptions, like some cities. Brutalist architecture designed to dissuade the homeless, addicted, or otherwise tired, from resting. Exterminate the brutes. House the homeless.
I was fashionably-walk-of-shaming down Woodward Ave this morning. A uniformed jock strap on an electric scooter stopped me and said that unless I worked for X local corporation, I would have to walk around. …
I have a long-time-friend named Jeff Friedman. A very sharp-minded, practical, outwardly-caring person. The man who would be President in another life and we would all be better off for it, type of good-guy.
We are always debating something or other over email, text, and outside-beers in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philly. More often still, synchronizing our head-shaking at all the political hand-wringing that goes on around entrenched civic and social problems. This past week or so, it’s been all talk of murder.
Both Jeff and I understand that we the people will NEVER outlaw guns in this country…
I am a white guy. Want some proof? Google me. I’m one of a handful of people in the world that has gone viral for being white. In my case, I was a MEME against the backdrop of white-people-led gentrification in Detroit, Michigan: circa 2013. According to my Mother, it was because I am so handsome, but I digress; even if she never will.
I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a majority-black-resident city, and I moved in my late 20’s to Detroit. Everybody reading this knows Detroit is a black city because they’ve been there? Or more likely because the…
We don’t talk about homelessness as a society for the same reasons we don’t talk about child abuse. It’s a generic reason: simply makes us uncomfortable. You can’t even really write about child abuse. And so I won’t here.
Let’s talk about homelessness, or more specifically, let’s talk about panhandling. Or even more specifically, let’s talk about aggressive panhandling. This term, aggressive panhandling being in vogue among the nonprofit industrial complex set over the last decade, lots of money and meetings; lots of white papers from a cottage industry of capacity builders.
But what are we really talking about here…
A year and a day ago today, George Floyd went to buy a pack of cigarettes and was dead inside a half hour. And for the conservatives in the back, yes, he was arguably high when he did it.
Same time, the pandemic, mass-unemployment, the stimulus checks and near perfect weather conditions, prompted mass protests across the country. Black Lives Matter was the chant.
What has changed?
Joe Biden is successful as a juxtaposition to Trump. Which simply means not tweeting obscenities at 3am.
Now that the nine-and-a-half-minute-neck-kneeler Derek Chauvin is tucked away in isolation, on 23-hour-lock down, in anticipation of an appeal that will ultimately fail. And, with his accomplices, who stood by and watched, about to go on trial:
Let us recognize Darnella Fraizer and the people who raised her. A seventeen year old at the time of George Floyd’s death. The film shot on her phone was crucial to the conviction of Chauvin. She found herself a half dozen feet from the end of a life. She could not of known George would die. …
This past year, my neighbor lost his daughter, a police officer, during a heinous act of domestic gun violence. My other neighbor, who was actively becoming my closest friend, lost his own life in a way that his immediate circle still doesn’t fully understand.
One of the chief personalities inspiring my work dies from Coronavirus in the first days it was announced. My sister overdosed on Valentine’s Day and we had no idea she was even struggling with addiction until a week before.
These people are each gone too soon. Under forty some years or below, half your life expectancy…
It is respectable to be addicted to money.
Tobacco kills six million people around the world each year.
It is understandable to be addicted to power.
Trump being delusional about the Democrats stealing the election.
Drug addicts should go to jail.
Reluctant we are to visualize and accept being addicted to substances. Which, by design, is intentionally addictive. These people are somehow not worthy of our empathy and service.