April 2, 2008

Under the Overpass

I think that the problems of the world would end if everyone would just all have a hot dog. Poverty goes away, because everybody is eating, and is sharing the experience of the hot dog. No wars could start, because everybody is enjoying the hot dog too much. And there are lots of different kinds of hot dogs; beef (for Americans), pork (for Hindus), turkey (for Muslims and Jews), and even tofu (for vegetarians and Buddhists, although they could just have the bun if they wanted).

Failing that, go read this book. I just finished it, and it has a lot of good things to say. It was written by this guy, Mike, who decided to spend five months living in the homeless communities of five cities with his friend Sam. It's an amazing insider's perspective on the world of homelessness and poverty in America. I must confess to a certain surprise to finding out that one percent of Americans are homeless and living in poverty. My first reaction was "wow, that's a lot!" and my second reaction was "gosh, that's not that much, India is like, eighty percent." So it's an interesting read from both sides.

Maybe forget the hot dog comments, my brain is fried from working on this stupid ethics essay (involving Wesley and politics, neither of which I like much). But definitely read the book.


Mike said...

forget boring old hot dogs.

try the HAMDOG!


Also, for the record, we began planning Dogfest, a event based around the consumption of hot dogs, during a team meating today. We were maybe a little bored.

Dan said...

I'm currently reading Wesley's sermons which I have mixed reviews on... ssshhh... don't tell my district committee on ordained ministry... My eyes are tired and I'm thinking a hot dog sounds pretty good right about now.
Hey, Joanna and I really enjoyed meeting your parents and "fondue-ing" it up with you guys Saturday. We need to get together more often!

Chris said...

Funny thing about Wesley: after reading all the stuff he has to say about slavery and poverty and economic injustice, I wonder why it is a) that the Methodists aren't active in social justice, and b) how it is that he's come to he conclusions he has. I understand his reaction against alcohol and distilling, but I hate to break it to him, it wasn't the alcohol itself that was the problem, it was people taking it out of it's balanced place! I could go on and on about how he basically swings the pendulum way too far the other direction ... he was a reactionary. And it's nice that he has some good things to say about poverty and he makes some increadible connections between economic situations to show where injustice is happening ... but it's not like his present-day followers a) care or b) practice what he preached. Why on earth do they venerate him like the Catholics do Mary?

Dan said...

I'm going to have to do a paper on Wesley's social ethics also. Dr. Collins put together about 22 pages of info. for us to read about Wesley (I haven't read it yet) and if it's decent, I'll pass it along to you.
I'll agree that most of the UM church (and other wesleyan denominations) don't always exemplify each of Wesley's good points. However, he was an extensive man with many "irons in the fire" (there's an american phrase for ya), so it's hard for any person or church to focus on all the things he did (not excusing it though).
We (yep, me included) revere Wesley because he organized the structure for what would become the Methodist church and organized thoughts around conversion and what grace truly entailed. Those were huge contributions for his time.
My issue with John Wesley is when he says we can be entirely perfect in this life. I'm not sure I agree that this is possible after reading through Paul's letters.
Anyway, after this semester is done and I'm an expert (wink, wink) on J-Dub, let's sit down and hash this all the way through.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting read:
Barbara Ehrenreich's book: Nickel and Dimed (on not getting by in America)
She conducted a similar experiment trying to live on minimum wage.
A. Annie