Thursday, June 16, 2005

Random Thoughts

First of all do you think this is child abuse?

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Secondly, and this has nothing to do with anything, I watched this show last night 30 Days and it really disturbed me. The whole premise was he and his girlfriend moved to Columbus, Ohio with nothing and tried to live off minimum wage for 30 days. I wasn't upset by how hard it was for them. I was more iritated by how cavalier they were about it. At the end of the day they knew they would have their normal life back when the month was over, and that knowledge changed the way they did things. I don't think it was a true representation of what life is like without money. One case in point his girlfriend got a UTI, they had no medical insurance so they went to the emergency room rationalizing that they would find a way to pay for it later. For them later meant at the end of the month when they went back to their normal lives. I can tell you from experience when you have no medical insurance and you have a UTI you drink as much cranberry juice as you can afford and gallons of water for a week until you flush it out. Later that same day they went back to the emergency room because the man had a sprained wrist. And again when you have no medical insuarnce and a very small limited income you don't go to the emergency room for something like that. You wrap it and keep working. They got their furniture from a local charity. But they were only borrowing it for a month. They didn't feel the true shame of not being able to provide their family with the basic necessities of life. The soul crushing feeling of relying of the charity of others. They weren't able to pay all their bills from their minimum wage income, but at the end of the month they went back to their normal lives and were able to pay their debts. They didn't know the true pressure of too many bills and not enough money. Sometimes it's hard to breath. For them this was an experiment with an end date. But a real life lived paycheck to paycheck has no expiration date. There is no end in sight. When you are only a month from being homeless, I can't describe it. But these people did not really live what it is like to work at minimum wage. But the fact that they so arrogantly think they have, that it is that simple, that at the end of the month when the bills aren't paid you can just go back to your regular life and it will all be alright, it really upset me. And the fact that other people who haven't been there will watch the show and also conclude that it is that easy disturbs me. He made this show to promote awareness. But I think he isn't making people aware of the true reality. He showed his reality, but for people who don't have a normal life to go back to at the end of the month, for people who actually live this reality every day, I think he did them a great disservice.


rincaro said...

I had meant to watch that, cause I really enjoyed his film. Interesting perspective on it. I'll have to try to catch the next one - if I can stay awake that late.

Rachel said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. Your perspective really affected my own thoughts on the show.