Friday, March 06, 2009

The Homeless Cellphone Kings?

The dust-up over the photo of Michelle Obama being photographed by a "homeless" man's cellphone reminds me of President Reagan falsely highlighting the notion of the "welfare queen".

Conservative bloggers have been merciless in poking fun at the fact that a person at a soup kitchen has a cellphone. To that, I say, is it 1995? Who doesn't have a cellphone and do any of those critics know how much a phone costs these days. Back in the early 90s, George H.W. Bush famously did not know the price of a gallon of milk. Have conservatives gone to the T-Mobile kiosk at their local mall lately? For all we know, the phone in question may be linked a billing plan suited for low-income people or more likely a pay-as-you-go type deal.

What is funny are the cracks about a homeless shelter serving mushroom risotto (in the above photo you can see the day's menu posted). Salon's Alex Koppelman didn't grasp its humor, though, sounding much like one of those liberals oblivious to jokes centered to closely to politics he wrote, "(For the record, it was actually mushroom risotto. And her nasty 'weird crap' remark? It's rice cooked in chicken stock with some vegetables, something most cultures are quite familiar with, no matter what you choose to call it. Come on.)" I love risotto. Maybe being homeless wouldn't be so bad, after all.

All I have to add to this story is that I have encountered an instance of homelessness that Bill O'Reilly would love. In November of last year, I wrote an article about a homeless woman in San Francisco named Rhonda who sat on the same spot near Market Street seemingly without notice of passing businessmen and tourists. Read the article here.

It would seem to conservative eyes that Rhonda is the richest of the poorest. On many occasions, I've seen Rhonda sitting in the nearby Starbucks sipping a venti coffee. Ah, those latte liberals, O'Reilly might scream, but how much is a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks? Two bucks. Don't tell O'Reilly about this, but if you do, the offending Starbucks is near the corner of 4th and Market and the barista is the fastest I've ever seen.

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