FOOD NOT BUMS: This article from the Village Voice is mostly about a sexy anarchist named Warcry, and how she’s the Future of the Movement or some such. But the part that stood out for me concerned Food Not Bombs, the crusty-punk group that hands out free vegan food in public parks. I did this in high school. (The homeless guys told us we needed more salt in our brown leftovers stew. “Y’all don’t understand, black people gotta have salt.”) The article quotes a young anarcho-whateverist who says, “Some of the drunkest kids I’ve ever seen are now going to Food Not Bombs meetings and taking responsibility. Once they find a place where they’re not on the bottom rung, where they can take initiative, they do it. They start out listening to a Subhuman song and they end up reading Noam Chomsky [your joke here].” Sure, OK, I buy that. When people have responsibility, when they work, they stop lying around on other people’s floors getting drunk. So… isn’t that the theory behind welfare reform? Why doesn’t this kid apply the same principles to the homeless guys he feeds? Why does he just hand out free food, rather than trying to get the recipients of his soy largesse to take responsibility, do something cool and anarcho-whateverist, feed people? Maybe even feed themselves? If they can’t feed themselves, why doesn’t he focus on getting them off the streets? Well, because that would let The System off the hook; and it would take valuable time away from listening to harDCore (“HOOOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLLL!!! [cymbals go shh shh shh] HOOOOWWWWWLLLL!!!”).
January 31, 2002 by