What do we do with society’s misbegotten?

tent cityWhat to do with society’s misbegotten? The downtrodden, the poor, the addicted, the addled are all part of the world we live in. Always have been, likely always will be.

I recall reading a comment years ago by a man who was high in the Soviet hierarchy in Stalinist days – I cannot recall who it was – and he noted that when the revolution came they convinced themselves that the bums would go, once they were provided the material benefits of an egalitarian society. To the surprise of the party the bums did not go. They were still there. His only conclusion was that they were there, as bums, because they chose to be bums.

There is an implied freedom in ‘bumdom’.

And this all, of course, leads quite naturally to Victoria’s so-called Tent City: a square of public space that has been co-opted by an ever-increasing group of indigents and ostensibly ‘homeless’ folk as their own little bit of squalor in an otherwise pleasing little city.

It has become dirty, nasty, and violent, if reports are to be believed, and I suspect they are. Those who reside in the area are aghast as this ‘thing’ continues to exist. It has its supporters, some souls who believe the folk therein are genuinely needy and a compassionate society must ‘care’ for them. Our lame-ass judiciary (lame-ass and judiciary seems like a tautology at times) seems to side with the placators and will not order the lot to move on.

This is to say, shelter has been provided for the genuinely needy and many have opted to go there – to be safe – to be clean. Who are the rest? Why would anybody willingly stay in suck a place that has come to resemble the shacktowns of Rio? Well, mainly, I suspect, there is an implied ‘freedom’ in being able to carry on being dysfunctional; lots of booze, lots of dope and lots of sex, I suspect.

Why hasn’t the provincial government done something about it? It has been aptly observed that if the squalid mess was in Vancouver – well, it wouldn’t be. The province would address it. But since it is in Victoria, and even though the Legislature sits in Victoria, the government has consistently proved it doesn’t give a flying fuck about the various plights of BC’s capital.

And so it stays. And festers a little more each day.

And some people are happy with that. People who have apparently chosen to be bums.

 

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One response to “What do we do with society’s misbegotten?

  1. roselefebvre24@comcast.net

    There are bums and there are homeless. We have the same problem here in Portland, OR. Homeless are those who are willing to seek work to get them out of their circumstances. Elderly homeless are those seniors who, for some circumstance, end up losing everything and are out of their homes. They have more difficult times getting back on their feet as work is not easy to find when you are 60+. The bums are those who do not seek work, would rather just lay around and possibly drinking and/or doing drugs. They do not strive to achieve to get back on their feet. They have problems which need to be addressed. Our church offers help to those who want to get out of their bad circumstances, and they usually tend to be families. We offer assistance in creating resumes, assistance in finding work, transition help to shelters, and more. Those in homeless camps should have an expiration date. Assistance to find a job should be required attendance. Someone who does not make any attempt to seek work and accept it obviously does not wish to improve their circumstance. There must be a way of controlling this so people who are their do not just accept the bottom of the barrel life and will not become a problem for the neighborhoods. I do not know how to control, enforce and solve it. Maybe someone does.

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