EDITOR’S NOTE: This is satire, but all too-true about some people, and those are the people we’re making fun of today. This article is reprinted from McSweeney’s.net without permission, but where you can find lots of articles like this that will rub certain people the wrong way.
I’ve never actually met a homeless veteran and I forget for like, decades at a time, that the military even exists because the bubble of privilege where I reside is literally impregnable
By HOMA MOJTABAI
Homelessness has reached crisis levels and I am determined to do everything in my power to fix the problem as long as it doesn’t involve changing zoning laws or my ability to drive alone to work or, well, changing anything, really. I’m more than happy to give a hungry man a sandwich once a year and then brag to my friends about it as long as he doesn’t sit down anywhere in my line of sight to eat it. Same goes for hungry women because I’m also a feminist.
This is so important because everyone should have a bed to sleep in at night and also nothing destroys property values faster than a desperate person on a sidewalk asking for change. I’m not saying I don’t care about human suffering, I just care much, much more about my immediate self-interest because I’m the kind of person who contributes to society by starting companies that leverage technology to build smart tea kettles that brew themselves while you sleep at night. I’m a fucking innovator.
I’m innovating for win-win-whatever solutions where I win, my community wins, and we do whatever to get rid of homelessness. Fixing the problem means lots of things: letters to the editor of my local newspaper, bombastic statements to the press that will make the fruit of my loins cringe for generations, and especially writing vaguely discriminatory, definitely ugly posts on social media about the crisis as it unfolds in my community. Also, I call the police a lot.
Ending homelessness doesn’t mean building more homes because this town is full of homes already, especially mine, which is a single-family mini-mansion on an acre lot that I inherited from my parents and/or managed to purchase with the kind of job and bank terms and economic equality that don’t exist anymore for anyone and only ever really existed for well-educated white Americans. Either that or it’s a magnificent luxury condo with expansive views that I don’t want marred by more luxury condos or — god forbid — affordable housing.
Every room in my Instagram-worthy abode is either filled with clutter or rented out nightly to hipsters from another gentrified, monotone city also suffering from a homelessness crisis — this is a national epidemic, after all. I’m a good person, a generous person, and what made me the person I am is having to work hard for everything my parents gave me, and everything I will, in turn, give to my children.
Listen, I know that the unholy concentration of wealth in America is a big, big, problem, but so is having to constantly say no to people asking for change as I whizz into Whole Foods in my Tesla or Prius (depending on how my startup investments pan out). What’s the point of having all this money if I have to feel bad about it? Also, has anyone actually verified that the homeless people claiming to be veterans aren’t just pulling some elaborate fraud? I’ve never actually met a veteran and I forget for like, decades at a time that the military even exists because the bubble of privilege where I reside is literally impregnable, but I’m suspicious nonetheless.
I know we need more housing, but I was here first and I’m not giving up even one blade of grass on my water-guzzling, pesticide-leaching lawn or a single burner on my twelve-burner Viking range that I never actually use to house another human soul. Tough luck, homeless people. You and your allies can call me names but I won’t hear you over the lushness of my climate-inappropriate rose bushes and the stucco walls I’m paying some desperate immigrant under the table to build for me on the cheap before I low-key call ICE and have them deported.
Look, if you give people homes the next thing you know they’re going to start to get their lives together and then get jobs and start organizing and then they’ll expand Medicare to everyone and build a fucking light rail line instead of a goddamn border wall and no one will drive anymore and cars will die out and the air will get clean and can you imagine the problems we’ll have then?
No. Stop it with the new housing; I’d rather have a homeless crisis.