The problem of homelessness gets glossed over far too often here in the U.S. We see a “bum” on the street, or maybe watch a short story on the news about the issue, but that’s pretty much it.
But when you read an exhaustive, brilliantly-reported story where a reporter spends an entire year with an 11-year-old girl from Brooklyn and her family, it becomes impossible to ignore.
Andrea Elliott of the New York Times introduces us to Dasani, an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl who for three years has been living with her ex-drug addict parents, Chanel and Supreme (seriously, those are their names) in a disgustingly-maintained homeless shelter in Brooklyn.
The five-part series is long, really long. But so, so good. We see the ups and downs of Dasani’s life; the temporary high when the family gets a little money, the temporary low when it disappears. The way she tries her best to fit in at her new school, and how difficult that really is when you have as bleak an everyday existence as she does.
Elliott gives us the sights, sounds and smells of this world most of us never have to see, and it’s brutal, and harrowing, and full of emotion.
I urge to read at least Part 1; I don’t think you’ll be able to stop after that.
It’s a tragedy what we do to poor people in this country, it really is. It’s one thing to have no sympathy for Chanel and Supreme; they have brought a lot of their problems on themselves.
But for a kid like Dasani, who aches to do good and live a “regular” life, it’s so unfair.
What a fantastic series of stories, and the photos are fantastic, too. Please take a look.
**And now, for a little levity. I’ve written about the brilliant parody videos of Mike Francesa here before, and now the genius behind them has added a “Mad Dog” character to re-create their famous radio team.
This video will probably only be funny to those who’ve heard them together, but I loved it. Best line: “FDR? He was a compiler. He shouldn’t be on Mount Rushmore.”
**Finally, you may have read the other day that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s inductions. It’s a great class, with worthy entrants like Linda Ronstadt, KISS, and Hall & Oates, all outstanding musical acts.
But it got me to wondering: Now that we’re through most of the best bands of the 1970s, is the Hall of Fame going to get watered down soon? I mean, haven’t they inducted most of the biggies now?
I’d hate to see bands with a few little hits get thrown in there with Clapton and the Beatles, that’s all I’m saying.