ethel’s words

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FOOD AND JOBS AND OTHER TRIVIA

As millions of Yankee Americans are piled up under a heading of “jobless”, do we expect to see our streets littered with starved-to-death humans (not to mention meat-gobbling dogs)? No, we don’t expect that. Our systems of food production have not dissolved--the missing link in the chain of food supply is an imaginary wisp of logic (imaginary) that dictates that food must be earned--should not be free (“there’s no free lunch”).

But in reality, the whole lunch system is free. It’s unfree only because we let some con-person convince us that certain human blood is royal and from there it is a laughable tragedy of starve the honest and the weak and the compassionate.

The jobless could take turns producing food; the jobless could build new housing. (Fates, forbid it!!) The jobless could even figure out a way to curb population. (We don’t know how, but we could ask China.)

All over the continent are new Hoovervilles: what name can we give these--these encampments of homeless persons in the urban scene? I suggest “Yankeevilles”.

As I write so nonchalantly about homelessness, let me say the real thought of it is gut-wrenching to me. I see homeless birds, such as quail, trying to cross a busy street. I have seen Evening grosbeaks looking confused and helpless. I no longer see the delightful “flying dandelions”, nor colorful orioles. I see homeless squirrels: I invite them, with corn, to stay, but they disappear. Some urban situations can accommodate them, but apparently not ours in Salt Lake City.

There will come a time--if we do not change superstition to science--when the battle for water, space, and food will be hand-to-hand combat or something hideously worse.

Ethel C. Hale