They're why true New Yorkers develop that New Yorker stare. You peer at the ground, at the advertisements on the subway, brow furrowed as if you're either furious at or fascinated by whatever random collection of molecules happen to occupy your field of vision. Because you can't look at them. You can't because there's nothing you can do. (I will look at them if they speak to me, look them in the eyes and say "Hello" or "I hope you have a pleasant evening too sir." Politeness and respect are free of charge, everyone deserves dignity.) Give them money and it will go to booze or drugs. Give them food and it will just allow them to avoid finding help for another day. Give them shelter and they might kill you in your sleep (Or rape you if you happen to be a female.) They're not all like that, but enough are that it just doesn't pay to help. The best you can do is lobby the city and state to take better care of them. It IS the government's job to care for these poor creatures among us. To not let them be crushed under the wheels of the wagon of prosperity that they have clearly fallen off.
For some people it's out of sight out of mind. In my opinion it should be "Out of sight, into sanitary shelter with food, medical care, and dignity, out of mind."
The rest of the conference was alright. Jesse Jackson Jr. Is a powerful emotional speaker, but he does not really appeal to rationality. Many of his numbers are just off and his dates were wildly odd. He kept saying "as sure as I'm sitting here today" even though he was standing. Listening to him speak was an odd experience. On the one hand I agreed with a good deal of what he said and his speaking style was definitely charismatic and compelling, on the other hand I kept wincing at the logical fallacies and inaccuracies. In comparison Representative Adler was really impressive to me. He came out with statistics and reasoned well thought out policy. Very impressive.
The conference as a whole was just okay. Way too much of it was stuff that I just don't agree with, some of I REALLY don't like. For example there was a talk about how the Democrats need to enforce Republican style party discipline. Fuck that. We need to remain diverse and thoughtful, not Sieg Heiling to a fucktard like John Douchebag Kerry.
Then this woman said "If all the poor Americans pooled their finances and contributed to politics, we could beat the rich Americans in November at their own game." WHAT? Look, I'm no statistician, but if, say, 60% of the population were devoted enough to the Republicans losing that they were willing to spend money on it, chances are that they wouldn't NEED to spend money. They would just need to vote. Add in those who don't like Bush but don't want to spend money on politics and Kerry would win a landslide. What she said just didn't make logistic sense at all (I'm simplifying) and any reasonable person would recognize this.
Frankly I question the quality of some of these people's staffers. They should have caught this crap.
After the conference I hung out with a couple friends, and a shitty time was had by all. Whatever.
Frank wants me to work with him on a short script for a competition. I said fine, don't have a heck of a lot going on right now, but this will probably mean putting off that short story for a bit. It might never get written now, I've lost some of the inspiration for it in between thinking of it and now.
New York is getting fucking hot and muggy. I could barely breath yesterday for the incense in the air. I wanted to say "Incest in the air" and I did. It wasn't funny.
I got an A in my first amendment seminar. It looks like my decision to not give up and force myself to work my ass off after the last final of the school year paid off. That's not a terrible way to go out, having successfully buckled down and completed your final piece of work rather than caving, which is what I desperately wanted to do.
My hand is scratched. It was my cat that done it.