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The homeless are capitalism's exes. We try to ignore them because we're living with capitalism and believe everything it tells us about how they deserved it, how it was their fault, how it would never treat us like that, baby, all while taking our money. So we spend our lives doing everything it says, in case it dumps us out on the street too. And then there are the assholes working to extract even more money from people who have less than none in the first place.

A Right-Wing Radio Safari Mocks The Homeless LIVE


The John And Ken Show is one of the largest local radio talk shows in America, and so far right on the destitute that they're outside their studio and wearing wireless mics to directly mock a homeless encampment. That isn't a metaphor. They did that last month.

Then they went to gawk at the poors.

The eponymous John and Ken -- and they'd think that big word is an elite insult -- donned wireless headsets and mics to lead dozens of fans on a safari excursion through a Santa Ana campsite. This actually disproved most of their own accusations about the homeless being dangerous, because if you tried that against almost any other group on Earth, you'd be beaten into sausage. Most flower-arranging societies wouldn't take that shit calmly.

They'd wedge this right up their fertilizer's source.

Gloating over those on the street and radio transmitting it to millions listening along in their homes? That's the kind of scheme you'd get if Rush Limbaugh ran SPECTRE. John and Ken gloatingly recorded a woman with clear mental issues, criticized the smell, then blamed local charities for feeding those in need, as if human beings were some species of rat attracted by food left lying around. Jesus, even Scrooge only got annoyed when directly bothered for donations; he didn't set up a chair outside the workhouse to holler at the poor filing past.

When your solution to any problem is letting people starve to death in the street, you probably shouldn't be talking in public, let alone on air. In fact, maybe they should have their talking privileges totally removed for a few days. Because if the theme of your show is "Haha, the HOMELESS!" then you deserve to sit in the corner with your back to the rest of the class until you recognize what you've done.

Homeless Fashion

Vivienne Westwood via Salon.com

You can't criticize catwalk clothes for being impractical, the same way you can't criticize Star Trek for getting the science wrong. That's not what they're for. They're meant to be vaguely-human figures showing off strange ideas. But being an artist and an asshole aren't mutually exclusive. In 2010, Vivienne Westwood literally carpeted her catwalk in cardboard boxes for an array of "homeless chic" models.

Vivienne Westwood via thesocietypages
That cart contains the entirety of shits that Westwood gives.

You can't claim to be raising awareness when your inspiration would be arrested for arriving at the event. When you sell thousand-dollar coats, awareness instead of donations does not cut it. At what point in your million-dollar fashion show does your conscience kick in? It should be somewhere between "Frosting highlights in a model's hair so it looks like they nearly froze to death last night" and "Jesus Christ, what is that previous sentence?" Or would be, if anyone involved in this had a second thought or a human soul. When you have a fashion model pushing a shopping cart filled with rubbish down a cardboard catwalk in front of photographers and millionaires, you'd better be in the last stage of a scheme by Heath Ledger's Joker.

Vivienne Westwood via thesocietypages
The one and only time we'd be happier if it was another goddamn zombie theme.

Billion-dollar industries have a history of exploiting the inventions of the marginalized. Vivvienne Westwood just forgot to grab anything in particular and simply stole their existence. From her own press release: "Perhaps the oddest of heroes to emerge this season, Vivienne Westwood found inspiration in the roving vagrant whose daily get-up is a battle gear for the harsh weather conditions ..."

Does that ... does that call Westwood a hero for ripping off the only thing homeless people still have? We'd assume it was shitty grammar, but so far, she's betrayed less awareness of herself and the world around her than someone building a monastery on top of an active volcano. This show came out nine years after Zoolander, meaning it's the satirical "Derelicte" fashion-of-homelessness parody done for real. And even Derelicte was a parody of a previous campaign by John Galliano, so Westwood was doing it in full knowledge of how screwed up it was, and ripping off a record three separate sources.

This is the sort of thing the Elites are enjoying the day the teenage dystopian heroes lead the rebellion from the Factory District to storm the Central City. So if you know any feisty nonconformist (but still conventionally attractive) young teens, try to make friends real quick. Just don't teach them any important moral lessons, because then you'll die in the first act.

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The Raging Reaction To A Homeless Doll


Mattel added the homeless "Gwen" to the American Girl doll series in an attempt to promote understanding, and also to see if you can sell solid irony, because it cost $95. And it wasn't for charity. Their attempt to raise awareness literally turned homeless people into a cute object to be fussed over.

American Girl
Raising awareness of hairstyling.

There's also the awful oxymoron of a limited-edition homeless doll as part of an exclusive collector's set. She's sold as a "companion" doll to the Girl of the Year, Chrissa Maxwell, so even the dolls are only keeping a homeless friend around as an accessory to show how understanding they are. But while the doll wasn't a direct charity strategy, American Girl has supported HomeAid with about half a million dollars in donations, which puts them firmly in the "fantastic" side.

No, the worst attempt to make money from this came from the rage columnists. While there were quite a few concerned about the representation issues -- which is a fair point, but not nearly as useful as a six-figure sum sent to the charity working on it -- the worst appeared in The New York Post. Hint: You can tell you're in for a quality article when one of its first points is complaining about "a Jewish one."

Even our Emergency Lighten-The-Tone-Of-The-Article Kittens are wondering "WTF?"

Andrea Peyser -- the columnist so bad that even Rupert Murdoch once issued a personal apology over her -- complained that Gwen was "all-out political indoctrination." She was extremely angry about children being tricked into viewing the homeless as real people and worthy of help. Apparently, the spiders shrieking through her mouth are upset that potential hosts for their spawn might be placed in less vulnerable conditions.

Homeless-Blaming Job Advertisements

Shit London/facebook

Viral advertising campaigns are how our souls sicken and die, leaving nothing but viewing figures and PowerPoint presentations with the word "engagement" as a cruel mockery of how we once knew how to love. Last year, London commuters were surprised by abandoned sleeping rolls and blankets under cardboard signs saying "FOUND A JOB." This low-rent version of Left Behind was advertising for career website City Calling. Had they reached out to help homeless people? Nope! Was it in association with a homeless shelter to which they'd donated? Double nope! Website advertising campaigns don't do anything; they just sniff and roll in whatever shit they can find to get attention, without the benefit of a wagging tail.

Shit London/facebook
Someone laid this out and thought "YES! I have done a good job! I AM a good boy!"

The campaign was actively worse than nothing. It reinforced the idea that the destitute just need to pull themselves together and get a job, so it's absolutely fine to buy another latte instead of helping. Which is much more palatable than understanding they've just fallen and found that most of modern civilizations' safety nets are cobwebs spun by Andrea Peyser's hate spiders.

The company earns an extra level of hell because they clearly sent people around to buy things homeless people would find useful, then used them to do this instead. Maybe their next campaign could be branded bootstraps for them to read while they pull themselves up out of the gutter. They defend themselves by saying that their website is free to use, although it does still require a CV, photograph, and postcode, so for many homeless people, it might as well be blueprints for a spaceship.

City Calling's idea of a reasonable intern commute.

It's taunting. It's like setting up a fake food bank to advertise caviar without giving out any caviar, as that might actually be useful. Just remind everyone involved that you have caviar and other people really don't. The number of people rendered homeless in even a city like London has doubled in the last five years. So City Calling's users have to decide whether or not they want to trust their career to a company that's either actively malicious, stupid, or simply doesn't think of people as things which need food or shelter.

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Craigslist Sex Servant Adverts


Having a home should protect you from the elements. It shouldn't turn you into a feudal king demanding flesh tribute from the destitute. But most rich people are permanently trying to undo all societal progress except for their own security squad's firearms. Cavemen on Craigslist want to undo pretty much all of civilization and recreate the pre-language glory days by exchanging their cave for a live-in sex servant. Although Craigslist is at least technically better than pictures daubed on a cave wall, if only because you can't actually smell the bodily fluids, only imagine them by reading the ad.

Quite literally friendly as fuck.

The only acceptable location for ads like this is in the first 10 minutes of a thriller movie, and even then, we hope it's one of the cool modern ones where the women kick ass. When someone describes themselves as "friendly" while asking strangers to turn their spare room into a sex chamber, they make Hannibal look like the Swedish Chef. When they call themselves "genuine," it's better evidence than any radio telescope signal that aliens exist, are among us, and have worked out how to use our crude Terran technology in the hunt for flesh. Though with so many uses of the term "females," they might just be Ferengi.

The ads are about as subtle as a dick pic from a stranger. "Open minded fun," "freebies available," and some outright looking for "slim attractive housekeeper," because why not make them clean up afterward while you're at it. One advert in Paris offers rooms to women "open in spirit and elsewhere," which we think is how you induce vomiting in the human soul.

But this dude is all about solicitation.

"Resource?" The only reason that doesn't look like Skynet is that cyborgs don't want to sexually assault people. Make no mistake: Once someone is in this dude's house, he's going to think he owns her and act accordingly. This erases even the concept of consent. Never mind how these dudes probably think protection during sex is making sure the roof doesn't leak. And who will kick the woman back onto the street the second she gets pregnant, says no, or winces too visibly when he looks directly at her while licking his lips.

It's the housing crisis going from a battle between age groups to outright victory and claiming body servants. The young simply cannot afford to live in cities owned by the old, and the old think, "Well, I might as well own them, too." This is the sort of shit that should start revolutions. Owning everything only works as long as people believe the system works instead of setting fire to it.

YouTubing The Homeless


There's a sub-industry of YouTube stars getting millions of views by doing something heartwarming and affirming with the homeless. On the surface, it looks nice -- the YouTuber gives the homeless person something, we get a feel-good video clip. But the homeless are treated as props, because they're in no position to refuse any asshole who comes up to them. There's a reason YouTubers don't march into buildings with security guards and expect people to put up with their shit. They just assume, "The homeless should be happy because I'm showing them some kind of ambiguous generosity. They're homeless! They HAVE to be."

"I am taking your only possessions on camera because you had no choice! Awesome!"

Especially when the asshole is clearly having it all recorded. The homeless person has to play along in the hopes that something good might happen, and when the other person can't say no, what you're doing isn't good. One of the most-viewed has "fousey" wandering around barefoot and asking well-heeled strangers and then homeless people for their shoes. People with jobs tell him to fuck off, the unfortunate give him their sneakers, and we're meant to be touched by this harsh contrast. But fousey doesn't look desperate. The guy is built like the bouncer of a health food store, and radiates smug like Trump underwent gravitational collapse.

Everything about him screams "Look at this asshole," which is unfortunately fousey's entire plan.

None of the businesspeople accosted are thinking, "No, I must selfishly keep my preciousss shoes for myself." They're thinking, "What does this asshole think he's doing?" And the homeless people he targets aren't thinking, "I must help this fellow traveler on life's dusty highway, for he has no shoes." They're thinking, "Shit, that dude is asking for my shit, has a camera, and probably won't die untreated in a ditch if this escalates to violence." When fousey returns with exclusive Air Jordans for his victims, he asks, "Do you know what Air Jordans are?" and expects the homeless person to be excited about them, and knowing which is worse is the new frontier in total assholology.

Oh, and we blurred the poor dude's face, because fousey sure as shit didn't. Fun note: He blurs businesspeople's faces in other videos!

"Air Jordans. Wow. I really could have done with the hundreds of dollars instead, ya know?" These videos don't just embrace but commodify the treatment of homeless as lesser beings, then bask in the feelgood of temporarily treating them like real people again. Then the YouTuber strolls off with the advertising money, while their co-stars ... well, fuck 'em.

Part of this article's fee went to The Big Issue Foundation. You can find your local homeless charity, or help the next person you see, instead of buying a spiced latte.

See the hidden hardships that face the homeless in 7 Things No One Tells You About Being Homeless and learn how gender affects homelessness 5 Awful Things You Learn About American (As A Homeless Woman).

Subscribe to our YouTube and discover the sad origin of homelessness in The Invention of Homelessness: Stuff that Must Have Happened, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!

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