Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Panera Cares but the Neighbors Don't

Panera has a small group of outlets called Panera Cares, essentially a pay-as-much-as-you-can restaurant that aids local homeless, while giving folks with more money a chance to subsidize the homeless and impoverished people in their neighborhood. This has led to an unfortunate side-effect - homeless and impoverished people becoming visible to the folks with money.

If there's one thing the well-off really hate to see, it's poor people in person.

Personally, I believe this is why the Occupy movement had such a hard time. A lot of people could simply look at the marginally hippie-esque garb of a lot of the participants, their obvious lack of resources, and think to themselves, "there but for the Grace of God, go I." And then yell "GET A JOB" at the few folks who actually had laptops or iPads or cell phones, because, of course, these were and continued to be people of means, who were just protesting to get a day off work or something. Or maybe, just maybe, they were people who had lost their decent paying jobs right after they bought iPads. Unfortunately, the media had a hard time with this dichotomy as well.

Don't forget, everything is either black or white.

Of course, the media latches onto the story and makes sure everyone is concerned about "safety", quoting one gentleman saying that if a sidewalk is blocked, well that's a concern. I dunno - a sidewalk is blocked in a minimall every time they have an outdoor shoe/handbag sale (sorry, ladies, but I'm married to a wonderful woman, and I've seen these things happen). Is safety an issue at that point? Are we afraid of roving bands of women who are blocking the sidewalks, trying to get cut-rate Manolo Blandniks at their favorite Needless Markup or at DSW Shoes (haven't they thought about how that reads? it's "Discount Shoe Warehouse Shoes" - while I realize they may sell other things, do they have any locations named DSW Cars, or DSW Fruit?).


This, then, follows the state of relations between the classes in America. Some people have money, and everyone else should just suck it up and, well, stay the fuck out of sight, because you're exacerbating my IBS. Or possibly my UBS. We got our dough, and we dislike the sight of people in stretch pants (unless they have a really fantastic personal trainer, plastic surgeon, or both). And we really hate to be reminded what greedy pricks we really are. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to live with such wealth? How much responsibility we have? - to make sure our children never have to lift a finger for as long as they live, and to be certain that they carry on our tradition of really hating the poor, because the poor are just shiftless, lazy bums, who didn't pull themselves up by their bootstraps with their trust funds, stocks, bonds, or college funds. And you know, God wants us to be rich.

Seems to me something about eyes, needles and camels is in there somewhere, but I forget - didn't someone of importance say that? Oh, right, he was poor - we don't have to listen to him.


Fred said...

Love it, as usual. :) "Who Would Jesus Shun?"

Fred said...

Love it, as usual. :) "Who Would Jesus Shun?"