We were standing in line at the grocery a few days ago, and my partner picked up a copy of Rolling Stone and starting flipping through it. The cover story was about Justin Bieber and there were lots of pop star photos inside.
Do they ever write anything decent anymore, he asked.
Sometimes they do good long form writing, yeah, I answered.
This beautifully written story on the newly homeless is exactly what I meant. The story is a kind of Grapes of Wrath in miniature, tracing as it does the lives of several people who used to have something, but now, have close to nothing. It has that same, haunting quality as Steinbeck’s novel does.
It’s also set in my home town, and so for me, it’s geography is familiar. If the Disney set out to build a Spanish theme park, it might look something like here.
But I’m not sure even Disney could tile over the grand canyon-sized chasm between rich and poor. Here you can see what it means to be part of the 1%, or even the .5%. Roll through the wealthy neighborhoods and peer through the gates the giant estates. They employ an army of people to service them, those estates, though few if any of those employees make enough to live anywhere nearby. When the properties turn over, the new owners knock down the houses and build new ones they like better. Because they can.
You can also, as this story shows, see here what it means to be poor. And the contrast between the two never becomes any less shocking.