Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why Lie? All I Need Is Beer!

The above was spotted on the sign of a pan handler in this part of the world...What strikes me about this are two things. Firstly, the numbers of pan handlers, both men and women, appear to be increasing, despite governmental prognostications to the contrary. Many are still without work, and others, like this sign holder, may be in the grip of personal problems so profound that they cannot manage to keep a job. I wonder when the continual fraying of social and community services will finally give way, filling our streets and corners with more people who have exhausted personal resources and plead for respite in whatever form they can find it?

I'm also thinking about the loss of life among addicts and alcoholics, most recently Amy Winehouse. Her death is no surprise given her public battle with addiction and her resistance to rehab, but it is tragic. She had a voice and the talent to make it heard across the world. That it has been silenced is yet another lesson about the frailty of life and the harrowing truth of addiction.

11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

it is sad to see one so young, as amy fall victim to it...i guess you can say the guy was honest...

Megan said...

I saw a lot of incredibly varied comments and opinions today about Amy Winehouse's death. A lot of people mentioned that those around her failed her by not helping her or "not getting her the help she needed."

I don't think there was any lack of trying.

Baino said...

We're seeing more and more here as well although our social security safety net is pretty fantastic, I am suspicious of some who actually make quite a good living out of begging on the street. Hard to know who's needy and who is entreprenurial

tut-tut said...

It's hard to feel hopeful right now.

Alan Burnett said...

Indeed. There are few things worse than addiction : whatever that addiction is to.

Steve Reed said...

As I understand it, there are very few places for addicts, the mentally ill and others who are troubled to go when they don't have resources to pay for care. I've always heard Reagan is responsible for the changes that defunded and closed so many of those programs. At any rate, it IS tragic, and a country like the US should be able to do better. (Another argument for some form of national health care.)

nick said...

Addiction of all kinds is such a widespread human weakness and causes so much psychological pain and anti-social behaviour. How different life would be if we could find a cure for it. I've never been an addictive personality and I'm completely mystified as to what causes it and why some people have so little self-restraint.

Barbara said...

Just to counter what seems to be the increasing norm these days, I heard a piece on NPR tonight about a program whereby Bates College is educating prisoners, many of whom are convicted felons, with amazing results. One man who was paroled a couple of years ago is making $80K as a middle manager in a recycling business. This totally goes against the idea that recidivism can't be turned around.

e said...

Brian: Perhaps he was...As for her, a real tragedy.

Meg: You cannot help someone who does not want help, no matter how much they may need it.

Baino: I share your concern but always wonder what I would want people to think were I in their shoes and act accordingly.

Tut: Believe it or not, I'm thankful everydaY.

Alan: Too right...

Steve: You are correct!

Nick: Biochemical, environmental. It is a disease, nothing to do with character and requiring the support and teaching of new ways of being, not simply a matter of self-restraint. It is painful, for everyone involved with an addict.

e said...

Barbara: It can be but it requires a lot of support and resources as well as the desire to change.

Anonymous said...

And I don't think many members of the public (i won't even mention the ignorance of politicians) have even a remote clue about the realiteis of addiction and the lives of those so afflicted.