Print Story Ah, Fuck you
By Gedvondur (Fri Sep 07, 2018 at 06:40:43 PM EST) fuck it all, bookface, evil (all tags)
I read something on the Bookface today that honestly has got me down. 

 Reading the Bookface today I saw someone say that wanted to make a “get off my lawn” style rant. I assumed they were going to rant on baggy pants or cell phone obsession or avocado toast. But no. It was not to be, it was to be about heroin users, at least on the first part.

You see, they are *tired* of heroin users and believe that Narcan should no longer be used to revive them. “Just let them die.” Of course, all of the standard justifications followed, starting with crime, moving on the to moral worthiness of the heroin user, continuing that the activity was voluntary, and ending with the monetary costs that heroin addicts incur. All with the heavy implication that this money comes DIRECTLY from his pocket and what-is-happening-to-this-world.

So, they reasoned, we shouldn’t save them. The money spent on Narcan will just excaborate the problem, cost us more, incur more violence and end the same anyway.

Well, I’m here to say fuck you.

I’m tired of these amoral, poorly reasoned, and ineffectual solutions from break-room policy experts who seem to have learned morality from the Victorians. If solutions to complex problems was easy, WE WOULD HAVE SOLVED THEM ALREADY. It’s not lack of spine or some mystic ability to see “common sense” (a term which now masquerades for lack of understanding of the problem). It’s that these problems have more than one root cause and that solving them is more a best effort than a solution.

I understand that is frustrating. Problems with only mitigation/best effort often lead people to think that if we were just to enact increasingly harsh measures, we could achieve an actual solution.

I can’t endorse solutions that not only don’t address the problem but do not address the imperative to preserve life and hope. If you can stand there and watch someone die when you have the solution in your hand, then the monster isn’t the one dying of overdose. There is NOT a moral purity test to determine if people should live or die in this situation. That addict might be the worst person you’ve ever heard of, lazy, shiftless, violent, and unpredictable. But that does not mean we let them die.

We don’t have to approve of them. We DO have to help them, at minimum, from dying. If we are ACTUALLY interested in reducing the number of heroin addicts, then we have to do more. Treatment, clean needles, psychiatric help, and education. Yes, it won’t work on some, some will take advantage, and some are just irredeemable. Charity and compassion isn’t a big white tent with the humble and grateful recipients smiling up at their beatific benefactors, it’s ugly, dirty, angry, and unappreciated. Anything else is an excuse for a neat and dare I say final solution.

The second thing was around panhandlers. They have suggested that decriminalizing panhanders will make it worse, that these lazy shiftless people just want something for nothing. Commenters immediately chime in about panhandlers they know that own Cadillacs and big houses, and how some of them JUST THROW THE FOOD THEY ARE GIVEN AWAY! Or just buy drugs or beer. The Horror.

Starting to see a trend? An unfortunately common and ugly trend? “You are morally unworthy. I judge this by what you are doing right now, without so much as even knowing your name, let alone the story of why you are here.”

You know what actually makes panhandling worse? Making it illegal. It adds fines, records, and hassle from police that doesn’t deter those allegorical fakers and makes things worse for those who are actually starving. They can’t afford to go to jail, they can’t pay the fines. This also says nothing of any dependants they might have, kids, mothers, fathers, partners, or pets who may be relying on that panhandler.

So it gets worse for them, costs society more, and doesn’t actually solve any problems, other than to add to the moral superiority of those that don’t like to see panhandlers. You can’t make laws against being desperately poor. It makes the problem worse, not better. This is another problem that ISN’T EASY. Calling panhandling a moral failing doesn't help, it just vilifies and with vilification, we see punitive measures. Make panhandlers, heroin addicts and other people with issues the BIG OTHER, not real people, not deserving of help. Then you can justify locking them up and letting them die. You are on the side of righteousness, because you have judged them unworthy of help, too morally leperous to aid.

I’m angry and sickened by the thought process that lead people to these ignorant positions. The moral failing in it is bad and to make it worse, none of these punitive solutions actually work. Nothing like being morally wrong AND massively ineffective in one stupid package. I don’t even know why I bother to comment on it anymore. Stupid fucking evil is winning anyway.

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Ah, Fuck you | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden)
Common Sense by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #1 Fri Sep 07, 2018 at 08:55:46 PM EST
That's pretty much why I won't run for town office again.  I was a minor expert in Massachusetts school funding and could hold my own with the true experts.  But I had to deal with people who didn't know the basics and trying to educate them as to why their "common sense" solutions were illegal was just a pain in the ass.  Losing my last election wasn't a happy situation at the time, but in hindsight I'm glad it happened.  I no longer have to pretend some idiot on the street has an opinion worth listening to.   

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Misanthropy by marvin (4.00 / 4) #2 Fri Sep 07, 2018 at 09:39:07 PM EST
I no longer have to pretend some idiot on the street has an opinion worth listening to.
Feeling it more as I get older. So many people are unbelievably stupid.

The customer is not always right, there is such a thing as a dumb question, and firmly held opinions based on limited experience and zero knowledge do not outweigh scientific consensus.

[ Parent ]
That was the last straw for me by hulver (4.00 / 3) #3 Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 03:20:55 AM EST
I didn't even bother to chime in on the hate fest, there would be no point. Nothing you could say would change the mind of him or the people cheering on the death of those human beings.

The hate pouring out of threads like that is like poison. I don't want any thing else to do with the guy.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Not an FB user by marvin (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 12:08:27 PM EST
Did this originate in reponse to a FB post by someone with a husi account?

[ Parent ]
Yes by hulver (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 12:35:51 PM EST
Somebody who's not posted here for a very long time. He was on my list of HuSi facebook people.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
I didn't either by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 01:09:58 PM EST
I stewed on it for a half hour then unfriended him.  Then I spent another two hours stewing before I wrote this.

The commenters cheering him on were the worst part. I know there are assholes out there who hate for no good reason, but to see so many of them sign up for the unthinking version of the world and the shallow way out, brimming with the evil that only ignorance can bring was disheartening.

[ Parent ]
FB by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #7 Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 04:39:26 PM EST
The two things that broke the last straw for me were seeing posts of friends of friends because the algorithm decided I should and the comments on friends’ posts. I started getting exposed to people I would avoid in real life with limited control over it. And no matter how many times I purged my friend list and how small it got it didn’t solve the problem. I could avoid “those people” in real life, but not on FB. So FB had to go. 

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
This kind of behaviour is necessary by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Sep 09, 2018 at 12:23:07 PM EST
for "the war, on drugs" to work. If they can't absolutely vilify drug users the sham falls apart.

I'm honestly surprised that we aren't seeing widely organized protests of the war on drugs. But I guess punching L I T E R A L NAZIS in the street is in again, and my guess is that crowd still draws Xs on the backs of their hands. We gave them no sympathy when they got their heads kicked in back in the day.

The tl;dr on our begging situation is Canadian cops have the same chauvinism that US cops are famous for and mt city has asked them to bully the hobos and the mentally ill and if I say anymore I could get in trouble.

See you, space cowboy.

Most Canadian cops I knoew are very nice by debacle (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 01:23:35 PM EST
But a few have been dicks. Most cops, and most people, are like that.


[ Parent ]
I'm speaking more to the culture by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Sep 11, 2018 at 01:34:00 AM EST
I mean, I've met nice cops (but I wouldn't say even 50/50.) You get stuff like what prompted slutwalk. There is this "I'm a cop so I am in a position to judge you and tell you what to do" thing going on, and it's not isolated to the public snafus.

But in this instance I'm talking about cops that are willing to further marginalize the disadvantaged. I'm sure some of them are nice people. Citizens who are not willing to behave that way are not cops because of the bad behavior of the police force and how it had been handled. But that's a story for another time.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
Canadian cops are better trained by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Sep 12, 2018 at 08:08:28 AM EST
(in general)
...and better regulated.  I've known many that were complete assholes, but when you have to do 30 minutes of paperwork just for unholstering your gun you find better ways to deal with problems.

[ Parent ]
To be fair by debacle (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Sep 12, 2018 at 10:04:26 AM EST
It's pretty hard to complain about cops in our area. We've got bad cops for sure, but not "gun down unarmed man in his own home" bad.


[ Parent ]
As someone said by LoppEar (4.00 / 2) #9 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 10:32:37 AM EST
Why did it seem like a good idea to mix my internet friends and family into one pot of underbelly undermind? Having all experienced the troll, seen the addictive selfish way trolls kept hitting the button, still how were we to know that anyone of our friends or family who we haven't really cared for in years would unwittingly reveal their heart to be as empty. And that they would want the public to know it. I realize this was an internet "friend", and yet also so many college classmates, and uncles, in law, and... mostly men.

As someone else said, should the government start arresting homeless people or should it start seizing empty homes to redistribute? The law and common sense in their majestic equality.

As you said, punitive ignorance is evil and doesn't work and is winning over minds everywhere I look.

I don't know by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 02:18:25 PM EST
I dropped FB as my real name years ago. Friends and family daily showing me ignorance and stupidity was just too disappointing.

The "gedvondur" account I use now was just for facebook auctions for cast iron pans. But I thought it would be nice to connect to the Husi people there too....but it's been a little not as nice as I had hoped. Sigh

[ Parent ]
Heroin by debacle (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 01:21:51 PM EST
It's just such a fucked up phenomenon.

Some subset of people start popping pills for whatever reason. Some subset of those people find out they really like the way they feel on those pills. Some subset of those people start abusing the pills. Some subset of those people can't afford to keep abusing the pills. Some subset of those people try heroin once. Almost every single one of those people's lives is now irrevocably changed for the worse, and many of them will die.

Panhandling is a more complicated topic. I don't think it should be legal, but doing things like specifically constructing spaces so that people can't sleep there is inhumane. Shipping homeless people to other cities is dystopian levels of fucked. It doesn't cost that much money to feed people and give them a bed for the night. The kind of people that think there's moral hazard in providing basic human amenities (or god forbid tampons) to people are fucked in the head.


Unfortunately... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 08:07:28 PM EST
These day's it's more like this:

Joe gets injured at work.  The insurance decides that the operation is too expensive, so Joe gets pain meds.  Oxycotin.  Joe keeps popping pills to work.  Because he's working injured, he pops more to be able to keep that paycheck.  Then Joe's insurance decides he's had enough, so they cut him off.  But Joe's cousin Dave knows a guy who knows a guy, so they get him some.  One day that runs out, so he tries something different, but the dose is fucked up so he falls asleep on the job.  Get's fired.  Ends up on the street.

Then some dickwad steps over him, saying that the lazy addict should just die.

As far as panhandling goes, from what I've seen in downtown SF, "panhandler" and "homeless person" are almost two entirely two distinct classes.  The really bad off homeless guys aren't panhandling in any obvious way.   I tend to suspect panhandlers in the city as being scammers.  On the other hand, I'm pretty sure most of those at freeway entrances in the burbs are the real deal.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
In every instance of addiction I know of by debacle (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 08:50:10 PM EST
Pain was not the major factor in addiction, even if it was the reason the individual started taking pills.


[ Parent ]
My experts tell me by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 12, 2018 at 08:18:09 AM EST
That you start to get into addiction trouble with legal opioids when you take them past the point where you have serious pain.  People are terrible at regulating these things for themselves and take their prescribed oxy until the bottle is empty, like it's an antibiotic or something, and then things get bad.  They would then turn to prescription hunting or buying oxy illegally, but that can be hard to come by.  Well-intentioned laws meant to limit prescriptions and curb prescription hunting cause a two-fold problem - opioids like oxy are harder to find, legally or otherwise, and the street price for them jumps through the roof.  Heroin becomes the cheaper, easier option if you are already addicted.

Then you get a bad batch, or a too-powerful one, and you die.  You've probably ruined your life long before that happened.

[ Parent ]
Ah, Fuck you | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden)