And I bet they don’t give a crap about income trusts, either.

November 5, 2006 § Leave a comment

We were driving through a very pretty little subdivision in nearby Middle LaHave, and amid the new Not-So-Big construction and the newly restored Lunenburg Bump housesthere were four or five mobile homes. Richard always finds these offensive and disheartening, and frankly, these were offensive. They were rusting out and broken down; there were some tire piles, some angry dogs and some car-on-concrete-blocks action.

But I have some relatives who live in mobile homes, and I do understand the kind of mindset that gets you into that kind of situation: you work long, exhausting hours, probably at a low-paying blue-collar job. You come home and see an overgrown yard, plastic play sets and broken toys all over the lawn, the car you couldn’t afford to take to the shop is still up on the blocks waiting for your mechanic cousin to find time to come by, you come inside and it’s dark and chilly, and your family— for whom you’ve worked all day— is unhappy for the same reasons you are. How can you be anything but depressed? Is there enough mental health information available to the working poor?

Consider, too, that many of these people grew up in circumstances similar to those in which they find themselves today. Their parents held the same kinds of physically-demanding jobs, they were often tired and cranky, trying as hard as they can and in impossible debt, and you have people who have never seen another way of life, people who have never been happy or free of the poverty. How can they know that they have a mental illness? And, if they do manage to get a diagnosis from their GP, how do they afford the medications? Antidepressants aren’t cheap drugs.

The other option, counseling or therapy, requires time and money that are ridiculous luxuries when you’re working hand-to-mouth without benefits, you can’t request time off. So how can anyone expect these people to keep up their home and yard on the same level as someone who can, first afford to buy a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood, and then afford the energy and time to fix it up?

In other news, I just got Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I’m trying the BB-Q Tofu with pomegranate molasses tonight (I’m pressing the tofu as I type, can you imagine the excitement?!), which seemed very popular in the Amazon reviews. I’ll let you know how it goes.

November 5, 2006; 7:09pm AST

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