DATE/TIME: Sat 15th Feb 2014 13:42 PM GMT
MEDIUM: Digital artwork/MS Paint, Laptop computer/Touchpad drawing
LOCATION: Home, London/UK
DESCRIPTION: Social Commentary: Down and out in the park
Here I portray a ‘down and out’ lying down, and, using as their bed…an ‘empty’ park bench; while, at the same time, a rich young girl who has just done a regular bout of shopping…completely ignores him…walks on passing him by. Of course, she needn’t worry; as she’s going home to a ‘safe’ house; and, ‘warm’ comfortable soft bed in which to sleep.
It just seems to me that absolutely anybody could one day end up ‘homeless’; through absolutely no fault of their own; but, merely due to the nature of their individual circumstances. Those circumstances could be quite as severe as war…where people lose their families/homes/land…or, their business went bust/or, they really couldn’t stand living with their family, anymore…so they decided to run off/broken homes/marital strife/wife beatings/or, it could even be due to reasons of suffering from ‘mental health’ problems, etc. So, it really doesn’t matter what your life was before…you could have been born either ‘high/or, low’…and, you could still end up, one day, having to go live homeless.
I also think about the utterly freezing weather such as whenever Winter comes along…; in fact, it’s Winter, at this very moment, right now; then, how do the poor manage to survive through living on the streets/or, sleeping rough inside of parks. In my own home, whenever the central heating breaks down; then, I absolutely hate it having to endure the cold; and, I’m ‘inside’ of the home; so, it must be one hell of a lot colder being stuck ‘outside’. As well as, of course, the streets are NOT safe…; there are people out there who live only to go prey on people who are far weaker/or, more unfortunate than themselves…?! So, how would you know exactly who to trust…; which stranger is either friend/or, foe?!
Of course, one has to bear in mind, too; the general public’s view of ‘down and out’ people; that they are either far too stupid/or else, too lazy, totally unwilling to find work. Then, there is the employer’s own viewpoint…this person appears to be slovenly; and, is of no ‘fixed’ abode; maybe, has no clear identifying papers/or, references; so, why on earth should I bother to employ them for?! Whenever people see you ‘begging’ on the streets; they will often tend to scorn/or, ‘look down’ at you; thinking to themselves, ‘why should you be allowed to get money for FREE; when I myself do have to go out and work in order to actually ’earn’ it!’ To the police, these people are just merely ‘vagrants’ to be harassed: stopped/questioned/then, very quickly, moved on…seen as being a total nuisance! To the politician’s these so called, drop out’s, are nothing else but merely a ‘burden’ to all the rest of society!
Then, there is the problem of somebody who has to suffer continual scorn/rejection…how would this tend to affect one’s sense of personal dignity/self-worth as a human being. Plus, the constant non stop ‘pressure to survive’…eventually, how would it affect the state of the person’s ‘mental health’…?! Some people, I’m sure, do deteriorate without being able to find sufficient ‘love/respect’…which are amongst our most basic human wants. I myself do recall having a ‘close friend’; who’s mother kicked him out of the house; after living on the streets for a while; his whole entire attitude/appearance did change; last time I heard people told me he went, quite literally, MAD!
The really ‘big’ question, at the end of the day, is…‘how would you be able to look after, and, sustain yourself effectively…keep clean/eat/drink…without having any money?’…indeed, this would be your same very bitter struggle for each and every single day; a battle lasting all the way straight through from morning ‘till night: 24/7/366! I myself do imagine, it would be sort of like living in a ’third world’ country; where human ‘survival’ can never just be taken purely for granted; but, instead, remains always in doubt…? It’s, quite truly, ‘living on the edge’…!
I suppose, if there is any one good thing about being a ‘down and out’‘; it’s that you are FREE from normal society’s rules. FREE to go travel/see anywhere/and, do almost anything you please. In a way, you have found…what many people like Buddhist’s yearn for…non-attachment to possessions. When we are living in very highly material world…where everything costs money, including toothbrush/toilet paper/drinking water/food/etc.; then, that is a huge ‘spiritual’ goal that most people are just not capable of ever attaining. Then, again, many of these so called ‘down and outs’ didn’t necessarily choose to be a ‘hippee drop out’; but, instead, they often felt that they, quite simply, had no other choice; that the choice was, in fact, ‘forced’ upon them from outside.