Sunday, July 17, 2005

Formerly existing socialism

I saw the most extreme version of the Russian alcoholic today. They tend to hang around in children's playgrounds, which are between and around all apartment buildings. They dig through garbages, competing with the wild dogs. But today I saw one who had become one with the garbage. He was covered in dirt, and was moving from garbage to garbage. He looked like he'd become a worm. No social safety net for him ... but he's free to buy a rum & coke or a gin & tonic in a pull-tab soda pop can.

I also saw an armless & legless veteran, crawling on the metro, asking for help. No social safety net for him. But he's free to beg, and compete with people hawking handbags on the metro.

Saw a boy, about five years old, playing accordian and singing soulfully on the metro. The boy was quite good, a natural musician/performer. Who might have been nurtured twenty years ago ... today he's free to pursue a career as a street urchin.


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