"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).
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