Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Homeless Guy

Some of you may have noticed my link to The Homeless Guy (Kevin Barbieux) before now, although I have never said anything about him. Well, I guess now is the time.

I found Kevin's blog by accident about a month ago, after reading a news article on Yahoo. The article had nothing to do with Kevin; it was about people making money by blogging. But there was a link to the Yahoo Directory page for blogs, which I followed.

As I made my way through the directory, a few blog titles and descriptions stood out as potentially interesting. One of them was Mark Cuban's blog; another was some guy who incorporated "Fair and Balanced" into his blog theme; and the other was The Homeless Guy. (Wil Wheaton didn't suck me in.)

Like most people, I don't picture homeless folks as computer-carrying, internet-surfing bloggers. I don't think of homeless individuals as having any kind of audible voice except when I encounter them in downtown Columbus or the Short North. It's not because I think they are incapable of blogging or sharing deep thoughts or anything; it's because I realize most homeless folks don't have computers or access to computers. It's because most homeless folks have been silenced and made invisible by those more fortunate.

I was drawn to Kevin's blog immediately because, truthfully, I'm more interested in what a homeless person has to say than what almost everyone else has to say. Sorry America, but you're mostly boring and selfish, and you refuse to look at life through the eyes of anyone else. (You're youcentric.) People take good fortune for granted and blame the less fortunate for being in that position because it doesn't require any thought. Some compassion and caring is too much to ask of the typical American. Hey, but as long as you name-drop God and Jesus on a regular basis, you know you're a better person than, well, everyone.

Now, before anyone starts calling me names because I implicitly talked shit about Christianity, go back and read what I said. It's not about Christianity; it's about selfish people, many of whom use Christianity as a shield to deflect all the responsibilities Christ himself actually stood for (based on my limited historical knowledge of the man). Many of the people I most respect are devout Christians. However, most Christians I encounter are selfish, hateful, racist, sadistic, homophobic, hypocritical, promiscuous, judgmental, evil people. But I don't see much bad shit going down in the atheist world. No killing in the name of God or oil. No killing in the name of anything. No hate. No dodging responsibility. No hypocrisy. (I just call it as I see it.)

But that's not what this entry is about. It's about Kevin.

Kevin is the kind of person I'll be looking for whenever I finally hit the road to make Aimless. Every homeless person in this country is invisible, but Kevin is even more invisible because most people refuse to recognize the possibility that a homeless person might actually have an intellect.

Kevin's life is more interesting than most other people's lives. That's what I'm looking for. That's what no one else is looking for. Everyone else is looking for the next stupidly catchy reality show idea, but I'm looking for the stuff people are afraid to see in person, like homelessness. I'm looking for the things that make people think a little bit. And I'm willing to live with the homeless people. I'm willing to live under the bridge or in the shelter for a while. And when I do that and other things like it, I'll end up with a kind of documentation of American life that no one else has ever been able to create before. I'll end up with a documentary that people want to see.

Some people have asked me if I realize how dangerous it is out there. I'm not talking about in the homeless world; I'm talking about in the regular world. They've asked me if I fear random victimization. "Aren't you worried that someone might steal your gear?" "Aren't you worried that someone might hurt you or kill you?" Stuff like that. And yes, I recognize that there is some potential for me to be victimized. But get real, people. Shut out the fear mongers for a while. Stop watching the lying-ass news. It's really not dangerous "out there," folks. When you treat people like people, they don't victimize you. You know who does, though? Your boss. And his/her boss. And that person's boss. And everyone else up the ladder. Yeah, you get victimized and otherwise fucked in the ass every day at work. That's where the criminals are. And I did it, too. But I don't do it anymore because I refuse to be victimized. I don't like being ripped off. And there is no way I could possibly be victimized on the road like I've been victimized at work.

I've been meaning to write an entry on that topic for a while. Maybe I'll get to it soon.

I think I'll probably write more about Kevin because I have only said a fraction of what I had in mind, but this entry is already long enough. So it'll have to wait. Here is an entry I liked from his blog.