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March 07, 2009

Cell phones prevent homelessness

Cell Phone, originally uploaded by KB35.

A cell phone is a magical talisman that prevents homelessness, according to the right wing blogosphere.


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The sense I had was that they weren't arguing that people with cell-phones simply can't be homeless people. With wingers it's often hard to tell exactly what they mean, but to me it sounded more like anger that a homeless person could still afford to have a cell-phone than it did like anything else.

As usual.

Republicans moan and Republicans bitch
Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich

With kind regards,
Dog, etc.
searching for home

(h/t to Tom -- godspeed and sweet dreams, wherever you are)

Ghost of Joe Liebling's Dog -

I like that poem. Where is it from?

A friend of mine recited it to me about the time the Bush tax cuts were first being promoted as The Answer To Everything. I've never found it in print or online ... it may have been his own ; that wouldn't have been surprising.

With kind regards,
Dog, etc.
searching for home

No one ever said that "cell phones prevent homelessness"... just that cell phones and soup kitchen-risotto makes life on the street so easy, attractive and luxurious we'll be lucky to have anyone to show up for work in a few years.

Are those guys so disconnected from reality that they think cell phones are still an expensive status symbol? Do they realize that kids growing up these days get cell phones long before they get a land line, if they ever do?
Do they realize that third-world countries full of people living in mud huts have mobile phone networks? What other kind of phone could people without homes have?

About ten years ago, I read a multi-page article in an Israeli paper about a panhandler in Tel Aviv, who was against taking regular paid work on the grounds that it was exploitative. He made his living panhandling, and doing some occasional irregular work. At one point he was an extra in a few commercials. Most of that work required him to have a cellphone, which he got after someone left him 100 shekels every day; after a few days, he told him that if he really wanted to help he should buy him a cellphone and stop giving him money. I think that at the time the article appeared he still begged for money, but he did get some money from work using the cellphone.

One aspect of anti-marginalized-people-having-camera-cell phones: many Republicans (and some members of other parties, more rarely) think that cops should basically be able to get away with ignoring civil rights when dealing with marginalized people -- not expressly legally, but certainly they many don't think it's a serious matter and don't think prosecuting it is often worth the effort. That's a lot easier when there aren't cell phone cameras around. For many conservatives, the problem with the YouTube video of some innocent person being tasered by cops is not that an innocent person is being tasered -- it's that it's recorded and on YouTube.

[cellphone = not-homeless] is so crack brained I won't read the article.
I live in a deliberately rural [we have zoning requiring 2 acres before you an site a house] and crunchy granola but rabidly NIMBY Boston exurb. Until a few years ago we had a majority that would not permit cell towers to locate in town. the carriers were suing us. The result was our town was a "dead phone zone" for commuters passing through and some of us who could damn well afford a fancy cell phone did not find them very useful unless we were away from town for our working hours. So we spent years as a town the 3rd highest per capita income in the state, nothing even resembling homelessness and many of us had no [use for] cell phones.

Why don't the wing nuts remove their heads from the stinky sheath and look around?

When I was homeless (or at least at "no fixed address"), I bought a cell phone with some of the last money I had specifically so that when I was applying for jobs, employers would be able to call me and I wouldn't have to spend all day hanging around the service bureau downtown hoping someone would call for me. At least I'm lucky enough to live in a city that has a government-run service bureau where they'll take phone calls for you if you don't have your own phone.

I think that at the time the article appeared he still begged for money, but he did get some money from work using the cellphone. Good site.

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