Living a life devoid of simple happiness, believing that every gesture, every emotion is utterly negative, enforcing and re-enforcing social inequity - I pity you.
It makes them happy.
I think it's a nice metaphor, but I think you're projecting a little Charles. It's probably just "something to do", especially for some men as they get older and their "routine" becomes all-important.
Also it's fucking insane anyone in a city would feed birds. In SF the city actually introduced hawks to, I assume, "manage" the pigeons. While waiting for a bus a few weeks ago, a group of us were recently treated to an awesome, and gruesome, display of natures - ehem - pecking order. Hawk 1, nest of pigeons, 0.
Of maybe Charles might be right, and I’m simply telling my own, bourgeois version of his metaphor, from a few rungs up the ladder. Where the homeless sooth their shame by helping the birds of the bottom caste, I’m patronizing a gladiator spectacular, comforted by my standing as well fed and having a home - rooting for one of the same.
Not really, but still.
Somehow this comes off as condescending. I would guess that the homeless are doing it because it makes them feel needed and wanted and they simply enjoy being with birds (a common feeling shared by anyone who has a pet - home or no home). The pigeons are hungry and are probably enjoying themselves too. As to the homeless at least, you could go talk to them about it if it's such a cerebal puzzle for you. The piece sort of smacks of the ivory tower attitude that is being derided within it.
Say it, Charles, they empathize with the pigeons because in the modern, overpopulated human world, they are both useless animals.
You won't feel so powerful after I shit on your giant head.
In prison people use to be allowed cats and they were treated kindly, and were taken care of and the comisary use to sell cat food and shit, whereas, your fellow cons were treated with suspicion and violence. Vittles for the cats a shank for the peckerwoods.
Charles is right, pity is a motherfucker, but sometimes it feels good to be able to help, even if youre doing it to feel good about your self and to excercise your power.
I imagine the reasons for sharing their meager repasts with others are as varied as the homeless themselves. There is not a single monolithic entity called "the homeless" with a single mindset or a single reason for sharing their food with critters.
In other words, Charles, if you were truly curious about this, you'd go ask individual persons. You aren't, you're idling speculating as a form of intellectual masturbation.
Duh, "idly speculating," not "idling speculating." Not being able to edit comments makes us all look quasi-literate. Which is not to say that is not true.
Bird pity is the lowest form of dishonesty.
The hummingbirds come to and jockey over my feeder (a feeder I took over from the long-time apartment-dweller before me). They're afraid of the bees that visit the feeder more than they are of me.
It's more marvel and respect that I feel for them. They are as uniquely equipped to survive as I am, and this is the one place we can recognize each's otherness.
Funny how people feed birds that are not even indigenous to this continent and carry decease but then they are here and there is no getting rid of them.
Pigeons starlings and sparrows all never used to be here but survive on human waste and feeding.
The Buddha is quoted as saying: "If you want to learn how to love, start with plants and animals. They're easier." Perhaps in a world that shows them little love, homeless people can still love the birds who love them for their generosity.
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