There's more than poetry at the far end of language.
A novel twist in the distortions of language was reported in this Daily Kos, Jan 16th story . Or is it?
A cop made a warantless entry into a private home and started grilling the occupant about who he was and what he was doing (he had been sitting at his computer doing what people sitting at their computers do). When the interrogation was finished, the subject asked the cop, "Why?". The explanation given was that the "No Tresspassing" sign on the outside of occupant's door provided "probable cause" to suspect criminal activity might be going on inside the house.
One might think this a really rare twist on language distortion. But if you consider the growing reach of our thought police and our ever increasing fascination with gotcha! games, maybe not strange or uncommon after all.
Dead Letter It used to mean and generally presumed by common usage and other means, 'pushing the envelope' entertained slipping a letter under the door, to be read as one wished, or not, by those who live in the house of language. Now it would seem it has come to mean, this pushing and sliding of things uninvited, an occasion to kick in the door and carry the message, by hand or gun, doesn't matter, deep into the house of words, where the envelope of language has now been pushed— about as far as it will go.
february 18, 2015re: Sac Bee, et. al.)
Report Finds CA Homeless Criminalized.
No kidding. Wow, what a grand bit of insight that must have taken. Now we have numbers, so all that's left to do is what we do with most of our scientific reports and research. Don't know what that might be? Hmm, maybe we should undertake another research project on " What We Do With Most of Our Scientific Reports and Research".
Exhibit A: Our reply/comment on Facebook's SacBee page to its post on this latest exposure on the game of 'hounding the homeless':
[note: We are not posting the link to the SacBee article headlined "UC Berkeley Rpt:..." for the simple reason that the Bee continues to charge for viewing their articles. The Z reported in 'UNLINK', last edition, that we consider it unethical for newpapers to charge for online access to their stories and archives, since they are important repositories of our culture, which the media gets from us without paying us a dime for them. There is no ethic would rationalize putting a turnstyle at the door to one's own culture -- no matter who thinks they own it. we will include a few links to other paper's coverage and the end of this article. -- ed.]
Our response to the Bee's posting:
Oh really, we needed a report to tell us that? Or, that Sacramento is one of the most brutal and ruthless persecutors of the homeless? Well, maybe if you are a Bee reader exclusively, you need a report. All the Bee has done for years is treat the matter like some kind of tennis match -- "Today the police evicted....", "The court decided...", "Sally so-and-so just got her first apartment," "XYZ organization will be busing the homeless to...", blah, blah.
Try this instead:
"What community, what society could be so deranged, so degenerate as to deny some of its own kind a place to stand, sit or lay down on the earth, save in their graves?"
Who said that? We did, on the front page of the current issue of The Sacramento Z Newspaper (http://saczee.com) and we didn't need some report to tell us what we've been doing to the poor and the homeless of California for decades (there are also 250,000 food deprived people living in the Sacramento area).
Get Real Sac Bee -- The Z recommends the Bee editors go read Orwell's "Down and Out in Paris and London" (we also provide a copy of that on our pages if they care to avail themselves) and keep rereading it until you get it -- and then use your paper to construct the reality that needs to be in place before anything gets done that doesn't simply make homelessness into some kind of disease that has to be quarantined or sprayed. Till then, spare us your endless hand-wringing. It only rings a bell that tolls for thee.
spotlight on our shameful posturing over the plight of the homeless. In 2009 she did just that. A few weeks after the spotlight was off, the city tore down the camp under cover of its "anti-camping" ordinance, cited and chased the homeless occupants from the property, confiscated and destroyed their personal belongings and fenced the vacant lot so that they could not return. In the aftermath and protests, words were lofted about finding the displaced some "safe ground" to occupy. Nothing ever came of it, of course. It was just more feel-good posturing.
To those in control, that is all the homeless, our concerns about the homeless, represent, political points and feel-goods especially during hard times. Either that or small encumbrances we must move out of the way for things like sports arenas.
In fact, since 2002 the story has been much the same. Police sweeps of homeless encampments followed by promises of "alternative shelter" which either fail to materialize or are woefully inadequate to meet the needs. Even the winter-shelters at Cal Expo (now dropped from future plans) were less about providing cover for the homeless and more about the city validating its "anti-camping" ordinances after a federal judge in 2006 declared such ordinances unconsitutional if a city did not provide shelter and the homeless had nowhere else to go.
The round of sweeps, temporary shelter for some, weak protests followed by more sweeps has continued unabated ever since. In September 2009 Mark Merin, a local attorney who has championed the needs of the homeless for decades, offered a safe haven for the homeless on some private property he owned. For awhile it seemed the homeless had a place of their own provided they kept their community safe and responsibly run. They wouldn't get a chance to even demonstrate their ability to do that. Within a few days the police showed up again (under cover of the usual "neighbor's complaint") and shut down the private. out-of-sight encampment.
Nothing has changed since then. One new wrinkle did appear when the city found it could use the fabric of "equal protection" rhetoric to apply its anti-camping ordinance to the Sacramento Occupy movement in a successful bid to harrass that effort out of existance. Beyond that, little has changed.
It's all dog&poney show, barely masking the contempt the city has for the poor or homeless in our midst (there are also a quarter of a million people who can't afford food in this town). Just postures and gestures as empty as a homeless camp after a forced eviction.
Now, we have another developer deal in the wings serving as the provocation for doing it again, 'Move Along' policies, thinly disguised as some humane "relocation" program with free, clean underwear to prove it! Hogwash.
When Oprah or some other untoward event threatens to leak our do-nothing/too-little-too-late responses to the plight of Sacramento's have-nots beyond the borders of our city a few gestures appear. After national television hung out our dirty laundry for all to see, and the usual spate of hand-wringing speeches were made, nothing had been done for the homeless.
Five years after Mark Merin's ill-fated rescue attempt the seasonal hand-wringing goes on, and on. The Sacramento Bee for all its articles serving up the poor and homeless as human interest fodder is no less in step for the perpetual charade parade. This time it's a back to back salvos.
Forget all those well-intentioned charities, for the moment. They need money to get moving. And that's not the real problem anyway. The real problem is our in-place 'Move along', 'out-of-sight', 'nothing permanent', 'divide and mainstream' attitude that really offers little but contempt for anyone committing the unthinkable crime of having nothing. The trickle-down of that system is the rapid institutionalization of any and every approach to dealing with the "problem". Heaven forbid we should ever really solve the problem and put some charities out of business. Given what we're given, don't expect that to happen any time soon.
Related Story: Z-ARTS!
'Orwell & Those who sleep rough'
(re: Sacbee, A13)
Sex, Dementia & Valentines
"Compassionate Contract" - a bad idea from the Bee's editorial pages:
Read about it in our DayStream Archives