28 November 2010

The assault of charity

Ah. Another Thanksgiving weekend done and time to get back into the swing of things. Everything went surprisingly well-kind of busy and kind of quiet. And the Bears held off the Eagles 31-26 this week in what I consider to be a test of how good the Orange and Blue are. The Bears actually managed to look like an NFL team this week and go to 8-3 on the season. OK. I'll bite. Bears to win the NFC North and (possibly) sneak a playoff win. You heard it here first.

With the onslaught of the Christmas season comes the onslaught of charities. We get it here in the States and I'd bet you overseas readers have the same thing. Every disease that has a fund sends mail or calls during supper or during the last two minutes of a close basketball game. You can't help but run into the Salvation Army kettles and bell ringers in front of every store (the Salvation Army is easy to ignore-the Salvation Marines, now, they're tough and don't take 'I have no cash' for an answer!). Disabled vets, stray animals, dysfunctional countries, churches-they all want a piece of your time and your paycheck. I think this may be part of why the holidays are depressing to some. If you think about it, there are a lot of worthy causes, but only so many spare dollars in pocket. Trying to fix everything is like trying to move Lake Michigan one eyedropperful at a time. It can't be done, and about the best you can do is pick a few causes your heart is close to (and have organizations that are accountable) and do what you can for them.

A dilemma I just can't seem to work out in my mind is giving to and for children-and not because YD hates kids. I've seen a lot of little boys and girls wandering around in the winter dirty, in ragged clothes and lightweight coats that aren't even close to being good enough to keep the Midwest chill away.

The part I have a problem with is that their older relatives-some would call them 'parents' but that certainly doesn't seem to be appropriate considering most of them couldn't train hamsters-always seem to have money for smokes, beer, and a fancier cell phone than mine, all the while collecting aid from the government.

Bloody sucks. We're all supposed to sacrifice a bit so you lazy bastards can game the system because you know no one wants to see children go without.

Don't get me wrong. There are people who are down on their luck. In this economy, we've got a lot of that going around. There are people who are making just enough on some job to keep their head above water with some assistance. Fair enough. Those aren't the ones I'm talking about. Those are the ones I'd prefer to help given a choice.

But that doesn't help the kids who can't help who their older relatives are, does it?

I'd be satisfied if someone would provide me a sock filled with sand. I'd give all those kids a decent meal, a good outfit or two, and a toy or two for Christmas. Then we should be able to whack the older relatives on the head with the sock full of sand and tell them to get with the program and try raising their kids instead of letting all of us do their job for them. I'd feel a lot better, and I'd bet most of you would too.

That's my holiday Catch-22 moment. I seem to be accumulating some topics for the week, and I reckon I'll get to them.

yankeedog out.


  1. I'm with you YDog, my policy has changed. Drag yourself from the gutter and I'll help. You got yourself in there you can get yourself out. Once you've proven that you want to help yourself, then we've got something to work with.

    As to the "older relatives" a wake up call would be nice, preferably around the face and neck.

    Hmm my Bah Humbug has started early this year.

  2. It is difficult not to stereotype. Last year the HLDW was doing a story about disadvantaged kids that do an empowerment theater program. We attended their last practice performance that they put on for the parents before they do a main stage in Atlanta. I pointed out to the HLDW that most of the people in the audience had way better phones than we did. How did I know? Cause most of the assholes were texting or talking through the performance. One was watching a video.

    We give whenever we can. Even when I was unemployed and I try to keep an open spirit about it. But sometimes my baser nature takes over. So, you are not alone.

  3. Bangar-My philosophy exactly. People want to pull themselves up, I'm there.

    Rhino-And don't think the older relatives don't know how to work the system to their own benefit. Kinda pisses me off.