Friday, September 30, 2016

From 1903 to 2016 -- what's changed?

Jack London, in 1903, wrote a book titled, "People of the Abyss."

You can find it here. It includes pictures -- black and white, but pictures -- of the deplorable conditions found there.

In over a hundred years, nothing much has changed. We still see the same conditions in many "civilized" countries, "modern" cities, and "technologically advanced" areas. Silicon Valley. The Bay Area. Greater Seattle.

Here's a quote...
Tenements spring up like magic, gardens are built upon, villas are divided and subdivided into many dwellings, and the black night of London settles down in a greasy pall.
Has anything really changed? The names, the faces, the locations...

But still, today, we have corporations, faceless entities, buying buildings that people less well-off can live in, and replacing them with 38-story skyrises -- where those same people cannot afford to live. This creates homelessness.

Hasn't changed a bit.

And the conditions of the ghettos haven't changed much either. Landlords still try to suck every last penny out of the pockets of their tenants. Even landlords ostensibly trying to do the right thing.

Perhaps we should do something about that. What, I'm not sure. But something.