Sunday, January 23, 2011

Broke-Ass Grouch Tells It Like It Is

A friend posted this link on Facebook:

Memo to ecovores: It’s cheaper being green

Listen up, locavores, opportunivores, dumpster-diving fermentation fetishists, and Dave Matthews Band fans: A great many of us live by the same ecologically sound principles that you do. We, however, are not doing so because we nurture an abiding desire to "create choices" for ourselves or to "live intentionally." We don't have any more than a passing interest in "sustaining biodiversity." We are known as poor people. (Follow link to the rest of this article.)

I'll have to go and look up the people this middle-aged, educated, professional, unemployed divorced mother of three addresses in her first sentence, but I do get her point. Not to mention admiring her hard won, take-no-prisoners, attitude.

This was my comment:

Ouch. There was a feature on Gente (Spanish state TV vox pop programme) last week on "ángeles de los sin techo" an outreach team from a religious order that goes out nights, offering hot drinks to homeless people to give them some defence againt the night temperatures.

One of the brothers said that some of the people they see are architects and engineers. A lot of my (ESL) students are architects and engineers, from undergraduates to people with 20 years' experience. They are unemployed, but forking out for intensive English courses to enhance their prospects of working in the US, the Middle East - wherever the opportunity might arise. This was us and a lot of our friends in the 90s recession. All things pass. BUT!!!

Mind you, my grandparents met in the US, where he (English) and she (French) had moved for new opportunities, and my parents and my mother- and father-in-law all moved to other parts of Britain because that was where the work was. And my generation and the one reaching adulthood now have grown up that we have choices - that we can be flexible and respond to change, reach for opportunities. But it's one thing to jump, quite another to be pushed. And to feel yourself pushed into a corner.

Still, all things do pass. And although (%(&$·%/(())!!!) it appears that they can bloody well come back again, I've discovered that it's true what they say: what doesn't kill you makes you strong. I'd add that what doesn't quite crush you teaches you about yourself and other people, and expands your understanding of life's possibilities, as well its pitfalls and your potential pratfalls. But by God it hurts at the time.

So my heart goes out to Susan Gregory Thomas, a.k.a. Broke-Ass Grouch, and her children; and to all the other people in a similar position, who thought they had done it right, and were secure, and could provide for themselves and their children, and are finding out how wrong they were. Or at least, that they need a whole new game plan, and another for back-up, dammit.

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