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So, my evening
2012
unknownj
An expensive one, really, but in a good way. I got the train into Brighton, and jogged down to Burger King and bought myself a couple of burgers. I then wandered down to the beach with them, and sat by the sea for half an hour, eating, and just watching the waves. I have moments of cynicism where I realise that in actual fact, by "beach" I actually mean the band of pebbles which lie between the polluted water and the tarmac... But most of the time (like earlier), it's not the beach, so much as the sea - and more importantly, the horizon. I love just being able to look out over the vast sea - reminds me of being on holiday in Wales...

Anyway, on the way back, there were a couple of homeless guys, being given 20p pieces by suited executive yuppie scum. Man, that pisses me off. I mean really, do these guys earn so little that they can't afford to give a couple of quid? If they're going to give anything, they may as well do so in large enough quantities that it makes a real difference. And I hear so much bullshit from people "Oh, I expect if I give them money they'll only go buy themselves some cheap vodka or meths with it". Well if I lived on the streets, I'd probably want alcohol too, and I'd be mightily pissed off at anybody who decided that I shouldn't have it.

So yeah, walking behind this suit-encased hollow shell of a man (well, that was my impression), who gave some homeless guy 20p, the guy said "Thanks", and the guy turned around with a huge grin on his face and said "You're very welcome". The fucking nerve of him. And it wasn't a nice grin either, it was a smug self-satisfaction grin. Grr. Anyway, I was pissed off, so I got out my wallet and gave the guy a good few quid, and deliberately didn't do the whole "Look at me, aren't I a generous smug prick" grin. The guy was very grateful, and part of me felt bad just for that - he shouldn't be so grateful just to get a couple of quid - in a nice world, that should be something that happens all the time to him.

Then, of course, my fairness kicked in, and I felt obliged to also give money to the next homeless guy I saw, just because who am I to judge who should have money and who shouldn't? That used to be my rationalisation for giving to nobody - the fact that I could never do it fairly. Until I grew up and got a sense of social responsibility, or something. So yeah, he got a few quid too, which made me feel like I'd at least been fair.

Then there was this third person asking for money. A lass, can't have been much older or younger than me (I dunno which, mind), who was casually asking "Any spare change?". She was sat in a shop doorway, but was wearing nice clothes, certainly had at least some makeup on. Bloody nerve of these people. She blatantly had somewhere she could go, even if she was at that point choosing not to be there. So I ignored that one. Fairness is all well and good, but it's only applicable to people who suggest to me that they deserve fair treatment. Bloody fakers.

Anyway, jogged the rest of the way back to the station, got the train back to Falmer, and jogged back to the flat. Am feeling slightly worn out, but certainly fitter (marginally). Anyway, I will continue this later - right now, I'm off out - it's Lollo's birthday, and I'm obligated to go out socialising. Later, kids :o)

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Not visiting David Lees' house?

Judging books by their covers

Interesting observations:

being given 20p pieces by suited executive yuppie scum ..[snip]... suit-encased hollow shell of a man (well, that was my impression), who gave some homeless guy 20p

You seem to have a thing about suits. Altho' too old to be a yuppie (but only just..) I wonder whether people judge me when I am walking in London wearing a nice suit, bought from a charity shop. As for handing out 20p - perhaps that was the only change in his pocket. I don't often give but sometimes I put my hand in my pocket and pull out 20 or 30 pence worth of pennies. Should I say "Sorry mate, I haven't got enough to give you"? Perhaps I've been giving to others on the street and that's all I have left, or perhaps I walk along that street every day and give 20p or 30p each to a few people every day.


the guy turned around with a huge grin on his face and said "You're very welcome".

Perhaps he was surprised that he had been thanked. I have certainly given to surly buggers (yes that's buggers not beggars) who haven't acknowledged that I had given. Not, I hasten to add before I get flamed, that I expect gratitude but sometimes it is nice.


She was sat in a shop doorway, but was wearing nice clothes, certainly had at least some makeup on. Bloody nerve of these people.

Nice clothes can be bought at Oxfam for very little money and charities also give clothes away. Of course she might have been new to the street and so not yet looking sufficiently "scruffy(?)". As for makeup - if it's OK for the homeless to spend money on alcohol (& I agree that on the street you probably need the Special Brew) then why not allow someone to buy makeup?

...but it's only applicable to people who suggest to me that they deserve fair treatment. Bloody fakers.

But who are the fakers? Someone who perhaps still has the will to look presentable or someone who looks as if they have been on the street for a while? I dunno I'm just questioning your judgements. Also if the "lass" had looked genuine would you have given money to her? And if there were another 10 people by the time you got to the station, what about them?

It is a difficult problem. I still tend not to give to individuals, altho' to my shame I don't really give to homeless charities either. Which is why I salve my conscience by giving to individuals. But th eproblem still arises as to who to give to, etc When I was in Oxford recently I was approached when I parked my car and I gave the guy some loose change. When I went to buy my ticket there were another couple of guys asking. SO I actually explained that I didn't really have any spare change and that I had just given to someone else. They said "no problem" but even so, I felt mean.

On a final note you said:

If they're going to give anything, they may as well do so in large enough quantities that it makes a real difference.

How do you know that they don't have a standing order to a homeless charity? Probably not I grant you but you don't know that.

Anyway enough from me on my hypocritical soapbox.

Re: Judging books by their covers

As for your first point - you will never look smart enough to come off as yuppie scum ;o) And the impression I got was not one of "Oh, this is all I have to hand" - rather one of "This is all I'm prepared to give you"...

In answer to your second point - there is a difference between nice clothes from Oxfam, and the sort of ourfit you wear for a day out. The sort of person dressed up who wouldn't look in any way out of place hanging out with people like Vicky and such, in their nice clothes. It doesn't get much more obvious than that...

Had she looked genuine, I'd still not have given money to her - I had, by that point, run out of money. However, had I had sufficient on me, I would have, yes. If she'd looked like she really needed the money, I would. It's all about presentation - if she looked like she needed a few quid, I'd have given it to her. The only motivation I'd have had to give her money as things were was that she looked far too thin (in a very deliberate way though).

As for standing orders to homeless charities - bah. As you said, not that likely. And frankly, I'd rather give to individuals anyway. It's kinda like, I dunno, it's so impersonal to give to charities. Not that you shouldn't - but it's just nice to be able to make some guy smile for a few minutes when he realises that you just gave him more money than the last 10 people added together. It's probably all an ego-trip, but still, it feels good to me because it makes them happier, so that's OK.....

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