June 6, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:20 pm by Iain

Oh look, another social commentary that does nothing to actually change society and just ends up serving as another bastion of privilege and whiteness. How entirely new and original.

Who gives a fuck if a bunch of middle-class white kids repeatedly broke the law to start a money-less freegan resort. It’s slumming; it’s what middle-class white people were born to do. All an article likes this really does is to make other middle-class white people proud to be white and middle-class. I mean, just look at all the quotes from all of the other “respectable” citizens. Every one stresses a cognitive dissonance between how poor they looked and how polite they were, or how really, on the inside, all those hippies are just cute capitalism embracing butterflies waiting to spring forth from their dirty freegan chrysalises.

Come on New York Times, it isn’t hard to read in between the lines there. “Wow they were so polite!” doesn’t translate to “wow good for them! but “good thing they were white and middle class, or else we would’ve hauled their freeloading asses off to jail!” How long do you really think it would take for something like this to be shut down if it was founded by a person of color or a lower class white person? A day? Probably even less? And don’t get me started on the phrase “decadent poverty, ugh.” Way to fetishize the oppression of an entire socioeconomic class, real classy stuff.

I have to say though, my favorite part of the article is easily page five. There the author quotes Tristram Stuart, one of the main apostles of freeganist thinking, and while the author seems intent on painting the freegans as social luminaries (he compares them to Thoreau a little bit later), Stuart doesn’t comply. He simply writes that although “freeganism serves a purpose, because it draws attention to a problem…it doesn’t offer the solution.” Or more bluntly, “this article is self-indulgent middle-class bullshit and frankly, you have much better things to do with your time.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Iain said,

    I guess I could say that about most articles in the NYTimes though. Meh.


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