The Sore Spot


Friday, February 08, 2002

SKATING NOT A SPORT Ice-skating is lascivious gyration masquerading as sport. This much is clear. The last winter games, in Japan, blared incessantly on the television at the shelter. I can assure you that the audience there, despite their inebriation, did not fall for this sham. The nitpicky commentators kept eyes peeled for slips, and the corrupt judges gave scores, but it was a spectacle more reminiscent of pole dancing than athletic competition. How these lies persist, I will never understand.
posted by Robert 11:43 AM

THE TRUTH Analysis begets truth via eradication of contradiction. Hence, a rational being can easily assess the real threat to the United States is not starving North Korea, raving Iraq, and irrelevant Iran. One need look no farther than today's edition of the Times of India to conclude that the real axis allied against unilateral US domination is India, China, and Russia. China denies interest in forming such a Eurasian triumverate, but this is a rhetorical smokescreen that logic can easily dispel.

Lesser powers, being rational, must move to counter US dominance. With nearly half the world population, and control over an equally large portion of habitable landmass, these three countries are natural allies. Only foolhardy pride has thus far kept them apart, but this resistance will soon fall to the necessities of power balance. They shall ally, if the deal hasn't been sealed already in secret.

I admire their willingness to fortify their strategic position through strength. It stands out in dramatic contrast to the new "leader" of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, a world-class sycophant who shuttles about the globe to beg charity from conquerors. He forgets that Thrasymacus had it right: Justice is merely the interest of the stronger.
posted by Robert 11:27 AM

PRESIDENT PRAYER I do not believe in a God. The Christians, the Moslems, the Jews -- I think that while they are good people (some of them), and while their religion might bring them solace, they're basically living in a dream world divorced of reality. In reality, people starve, and God doesn't help those people. In reality, people have to make it on their own.

Since I'm an atheist, I take offense at the President's particular interest in "prayer." The Washington Times reports that Bush "praised Americans of all faiths for turning to prayer in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks." Well, I didn't resort to prayer that day. I resorted to geopolitical study; I read Stratfor and Foreign Affairs, studied Bernard Lewis and read about the Great Game, and I even found time in my day for fitting in such pop-strategists as Thomas Freidman (someone get that fellow a muzzle, please).

Did I ever appeal to God for help? I did not. And do I believe that God was instrumental in the U.S.'s eventual win in Afghanistan? Only insofar as God clouded the minds of the Taliban.
posted by Robert 10:28 AM

Thursday, February 07, 2002

A NOTE ON REALITY. More than a few people have contacted me with a curious inquiry: "Are you for real?"

I don't understand why anyone would wonder about my reality. Yes, I am real, and yes, I am really homeless. This doesn't make me in any way curious; I choose not to let my homelessness brand me like a scarlet letter.

I am not any less of a man if I happen to be a man without shelter. My lack of a home does not affect my aptitude, my facility, my wit, nor the sharpness of my ideas. I live in the same world as the homed, and I will make my views known just as well as they do.

How do I have access to the Internet? Most of the time, I use one of the three computers at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. When I'm sorry enough to spend a night or two at a shelter -- which, due to the suffocating melancholy that lingers around such places, is not too often -- I use one of their administrative computers.
posted by Robert 8:48 PM

AXIS OF EVIL BURNS I'm still burned up with the State of the Union speech. Heard it on my radio that I found behind Macy's. They throw a lot of good stuff out back after Christmas. (NPR's the only station that comes in well, though.)

Bush was talking about the Axis of Evil so he can steal more money from the people to pay defense companies. The world is a lot like the streets, and out here, you only got to be strong enough to kick another man's butt once, not fifty times over. Seems to me if all we have to worry about is a horny old kook, the mother of all blowhards, and an Ayatollah in a funny hat, we ought to cut military spending, not raise it. Close the borders, close up shop, and bring 'em home. I don't understand who's buying this hype.
posted by Robert 5:20 PM

J. LO'S GLOBE I hardly ever read Slate, but I wandered over there this afternoon and stumbled onto a piece about how the tabloids are getting muckier and muckier of late -- I suspect they're essaying to get an apathetic public jazzed over something other than the war. The Globe touts, for example, "I see London, I see France … I See J. Lo's Underpants."

Now, two things I hate about tabloids: First, the small paper and technicolor ink make them terrible to sleep under, especially in the rain. Last time I slept under a Star I woke up looking like Bozo. Number two, there's no journalistic integrity. I must say that I have a harder time beleiving the Globe than the New York Times, and that's saying a lot. The biggest problem, of course, is that they pay for their interviews -- and any homeless person will tell you that desperate people will say anything for a dime.

But that's not to say I think the tabloids are evil, as some people do. There's vital need, in our society, to cut down our demi-gods once in awhile. I think that when someone gets as big as Jennifer Lopez does, it's dangerous to democracy; it's just as dangerous as having a president with an 80-percent approval rating. That's why we need the tabloids. They keep the stars in check. They remind the populace that Jennifer is just like you and just like me. She doesn't get a pass on showing her underwear, just as I don't get a pass on smelling like old mayonnaise.
posted by Robert 5:04 PM

CRY, PAULY. The Washington Post says Robert Byrd almost made Paul O'Neil cry while they were arguing over the new budget. Looks to me like a big show to make it look like these two aren't in cahoots. These two are birds of a feather. Just two more sell outs pretending they care about something other than spending other people's money on aluminum and pork.

Byrd's making himself as a man of the people when he rules West Virginia like a king, and O'Neil is preaching efficiency when all he knows about is making money off corporate welfare. These two make me sick. They quibble over hundreds of millions of dollars -- and neither one can see, as I do, that a two trillion dollar budget is just out of this universe. It's anti-American -- and that's what we should really be crying about.

The politicians disgust me. They couldn't walk one day in my shoes and not disgust themselves.
posted by Robert 4:49 PM

HELLO. My name is Robert Sore. I am now at the San Francisco Public Library, a monumental building erected at taxpayer's expense three years ago. The story about the new SF public library is that it has LESS room for books than the old library. They thought all the important volumes would be online.

If there's one thing I hate, it's waste and excuses. Wasted time. Wasted lives. I may be homeless, but I'm always doing something useful. I don't make excuses. And I don't waste anything. Ever. Period.
posted by Robert 2:36 PM

SAPIENTIA.VERITAS.LIBERTAS.

Joe Pesci
This isn't me, but it looks like me.
The library doesn't have those scan machines. And I don't have a camera.

----

My name is Robert Sore. I am a homeless man in San Francisco, scraping out a living from trash cans and odd jobs. But don't think that I need your pity. If you see me on the street, keep walking, buddy. I don't need your money and I don't need you, in fact -- but I'd be willing to wager that you need me.

I have lived a long time, and I spend a lot of time in the library. A lot of time. I know what's wrong with this world. Why the politicians have it wrong, why the fancy professors have it wrong, why the United States has it wrong. Why the liberals are wrong and why the conservatives are wrong.

But I damn sure know what's right, too. And I'm going to tell you what.

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