Poverty Appropriation and the Faux Poor

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Poverty Survivor (White) Tee Shirt

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Updated with quotes and reposted. Please read the full article (linked below) and share widely. This topic needs to be acknowledged and discussed.

This background, this essential part of who I am, makes it particularly difficult to stomach the latest trend in “simple” living — people moving into tiny homes and trailers. How many folks, I wonder, who have engaged in the Tiny House Movement have ever actually lived in a tiny, mobile place? Because what those who can afford homes call “living light,” poor folks call “gratitude for what we’ve got.”

And it’s not just the Tiny House Movement that incites my discontent. From dumpster diving to trailer-themed bars to haute cuisine in the form of poor-household staples, it’s become trendy for those with money to appropriate the poverty lifestyle — and it troubles me for one simple reason. Choice.

This idea of “returning” to a “simple life” is one I struggle with. After all, there aren’t any glossy photos of the Palo Verde Mobile Home Park where I grew up, enticing people to live more simply and own less furniture as a means to becoming happier…Such appropriation isn’t limited to the Tiny House trend, or even to the idea of simplicity. In major cities, people who come from high-income backgrounds flock to bars and restaurants that both appropriate, and mock, low-income communities.

The drop-offs were happening at a white anarchist collective filled with people who were choosing not to participate in the system of capitalism.

And I couldn’t help but think: that must be nice. To have that choice.

The Troubling Trendiness Of Poverty Appropriation, The Establishment, July Westhale, November 23 2015.

Elderly Vampires Have Bad Hips

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Bridget’s always knitting. She was eighty-two when she was infected, so she can’t do much else. Even climbing stairs can be a problem for Bridget because of her hip joints. There’s only one thing worse than being a vampire, and that’s being an elderly vampire with bad hips.

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Contradictory Human Nature

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In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer—proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Note: This book is narrated by Death. The plot occurs during WWII. It is a very good book, with both humorous and serious aspects.

Just Watch The Dancers

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Listen to the land, listen to one another. Slow down and reach into the uncomfortable spaces ignored for centuries. Touch the wounds in our hearts and the earth. Show up with courage. Set down dominion. Step with kindness. It’s not complicated, really. Just watch the dancers. Follow the circle.

White Birch, Red Hawthorn: A Memoir by Nora Murphy

 

Happy Tickle-Treating

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Little Miss Scary burst out laughing. And as you most probably know, it is very difficult to be scary when you are laughing.

Mr. Tickle and the Scary Halloween, originated by Roger Hargreaves, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves

Haven of Peace

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There is a haven for those tired of this war. There is a haven, out of view, where dragons and people still keep peace. It will always be a haven, and we pray that those who need it will find it in time.

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

 

Creating Kingdoms

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Al went over to his desk, took out two pencils and handed one to me. “So Prince Teodoro,” he said, with a smile as big as Saturn, “wanna fly?”

Al and Teddy by Neil Waldman

When Legends Become Real

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This, Soren realized in the deepest part of his gizzard, was why they had to go to the Great Ga’Hoole Tree. For when the world one knew began to crumble away bit by bit, when not only your memories but the memories that others might have of you grew dim with time and distance, when, indeed, you began to fade into a nothingness in the minds of the owls that you loved best, well, perhaps that was when legends could become real.

The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Book One: The Capture, by Kathryn N Lasky

Safety Police and Dog

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Gloria gave Officer Buckle a big kiss on the nose. Officer Buckle gave Gloria a nice pat on the back. Then, Officer Buckle thought of his best safety tip yet…

Safety Tip #101: Always Stick With your Buddy!

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Notes of interest:

Listening, Learning and Pride

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Often, humor was the antidote to loss. The more I listened, the more I learned. Sometimes the lessons cost me my pride.

White Birch, Red Hawthorn: A Memoir by Nora Murphy