Monday, 20 February 2006

American Poverty and Ralph Ineson

Please note the two things are in no way connected, I am not holding Ralph Ineson responsible for 37 million Americans living below the poverty line (a figure that has increased by 5 million under junior), or for the fact that a quarter of all black Americans lives below the poverty line, 22% of all Hispanic people and 8.6% of whiteys.

Ralph Ineson is also not responsible for the fact that 46 million Americans are without health insurance and that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has unemployment at over 80% with a male life expectancy of 57 years. In the Western hemisphere only Haiti has a lower number.

Ralph Ineson is responsible for playing The Swinging Man in Our Style is Legendary and is very fucking good indeed. He was in The Office but I don't watch tele so this means very little to me, all I know is he has a voice like treacle and a mighty presence.

The reading takes place tomorrow.



  1. As Ellen would (or probably will) point out, our version of poverty is living well in other countries.

    But, all that being said, I wish we'd pour the monies that we're throwing away overseas into our own people who have their own needs and issues.

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  3. I really wonder how Americans can be so programmed that, when considering their cruddy standard of living, they immediately compare themselves to impoverished countries and say, hey, they'd kill to have our problems.

    This is what happens when an administration, whether "democrat" or "nazi" carries out the exclusive agenda of the old monied guard, and can only prevent armed insurrection by faking terrorist attacks and driving the average American citizen's expectations so low, Haiti does start to look good.

    We (in every sense of the word) superior Canadians are constantly amazed that consecutive American administrations insist on beating progress out of their people, and more surprised that their citizens take it all with an artificially-enhanced sense of patriotic duty.

    Merely crossing the border at any point introduces the average Canadian to the shocking poverty which is the reality of the American Dream.

    This cannot be hidden behind fudged statistics, hyper-patriotic rhetoric, faked terrorist attacks or thirty million illegal immigrants.

    The truth about the American life experience in the early 21st Century is that it is equivalent to a British citizen of the Seventeenth Century.

    Although the age of privateers threatening the seas, mercenary armies gouging new trade routes to China, and habitual Imperialism has passed, the same "adventuring" (murderous thievery) spirit is still the prod which moves the American machine.

    There is no other nation on Earth which has less regard for the welfare of its citizens than the United States of America. United Nations resolutions designed to force America to pay heed to its citizens are routinely vetoed, or simply ignored.

    Consistent convictions by the Hague courts for waging wars of aggression (what America shot all them Nazis for) are also routinely ignored. Demands that America pay the 18 BILLION dollars they owe in UN debts are routinely ignored.

    Prior to 9/11, pleas from Al Qaeda operatives that the FBI listen to what they learned was planned for the WTC (no mention of the Pentagon or White House) were "actively" ignored.

    Universal condemnation of America's arrogant swaggering through the lives of hundreds of millions of innocent global citizens are ignored.

    The American experience of "poverty" is not considered "living well," in other nations. The argument that thirty million people risk death to chase after the "American Dream" does not explore the fact that they worship the idea of a prosperous Paradise which simply does not exist.

    It does not explore the fact that, of the 30 million illegals in America, 23 million of them send the gringo bucks back home, where, thanks to chronic American brutalisation, they have much more spending power than local currency.

    It does not explore the fact that those 30 million "illegals" operate as the "slaves" of the Roman era. Semi-autonomous drones, ranked according to usefullness, permitted to "enjoy" selected benefits of the American culture, but none of the benefits of American society.

    No illegal will receive a dollar of the source deduction benefits they are forced to remit.

    "Poverty" in America is not referred to as "living well" in other countries. It is referred to as "poverty" worldwide.

    Canada is supreme among the nations, and I'm happy to read that you, Daniel, have an excellent actor to play The Swinging Man.

  4. Sorry Saur but I don't buy it, did you read the Western Hemisphere fact?

    And I don't the isolationist stuff either...

  5. Col Dr - I agree all the illegals should continue north to Canada where life is so much better.

  6. Hey Daniel - Saw your reading tonight - very good work indeed! I liked the breaking of the narrative into monologue, dialogues and straight-ahead storytelling, and I appreciated how the piece refused to moralize... I'm Brody, I go to Central MATP right now in the Perf strand, I'm sure if you're ever around for our text project or festival stuff you'll see me there. I do (or am trying to do) activist theatre with a stand-up comedy slant. Check out my blog...

    Just wanted to comment on the Americans in poverty thing, I saw the article this weekend too, and my favourite part of all this is the fact that more people live in poverty in America... than there ARE in Canada (where I'm from). Hmm.

  7. I don't mean to be self-promoting, but I have written on this extensively. When the Census figure you cite was released August 30 of last year, it obviously did not include the millions plunged into dire poverty by hurricane Katrina. It is actually much worse than 12.7 percent (37 million) now than then, particularly here in the South.

    Furthermore, official criteria defining poverty are artificially low. The poverty threshold was developed in 1963-64 and adopted as part of the Johnson Administration’s War on Poverty campaign. Families at that time were estimated to spend a third of their income on food; therefore the government set the poverty threshold at three times the Department of Agriculture estimate of the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet. It was originally intended to assess economic risks and lack of opportunity, not serve as a guide for acceptable minimum income limits for families. Today, the poverty line still does not factor in the skyrocketing costs of transportation, child care, rent, or many other expenses in the life of a working-class family.

    The 2005 federal poverty threshold for a family of four was set at $19,350, a subsistence level. This averages out to a full-time hourly wage of $9.30 an hour. For a single parent with two children, the limit is $16,090 a year, or about $7.75 an hour. A person living on his or her own is considered in poverty only if they earn less than $9,570 a year, which averages out to $4.60 an hour. These are grossly inadequate wages in all areas of the country, but particularly in cities where the cost of living requires substantially more than the federally determined minimum for even the barest necessities.

    Homelessness is a very real threat, as is bankruptcy, premature death, and incarceration for the poor here.

  8. Ahh, but if they had to care for the poor then they might not be able to spend more on armaments than the rest of the world combined. And how would we be able to sleep safely if uncle George couldnt blow us all away on a whim?

    But before sounding too smug, the UK is the fourth richest country in the world and more than a few people struggle to get by. Got any figures for UK poverty?

  9. I read this article this morning and thought of you. Don't know if you have time for it, considering your artistic successes--congratulations!--but it is insightful.

    From the World Socialist Web Site: Financial Times columnists warns about social inequality in the US.


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