- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 27, 2007

They held, unofficially, a Homeless Shout-Out-Loud Pride Festival in mostly shutdown Adams Morgan on Christmas Day.

This is the secularist”s cue to feel the pain of the seemingly able-bodied, one of whom kept requesting a dollar in order to buy a beer. The beer-seeking homeless guy appeared to have two good arms and legs, along with the capacity to express his wants, which was a dollar bill and a beer.

He must have known something that the occasional passer-by did not know, specifically a place that was open and eager to sell a homeless guy a beer in exchange for a dollar bill. Give the homeless guy credit. He exhibited great fortitude. He worked the corridor all afternoon. If he could transfer that discipline to the workaday world, even in the menial-job sector, he undoubtedly would have several dollars in his pocket and not have to work the ghost town that was Adams Morgan on Christmas Day.

It is impossible to say whether the homeless guy ever achieved his goal. But you can be certain he is somewhere along 18th Street Northwest today, plying his craft and adding to the hardscrabble urban experience of the neighborhood.

The white-bread crowd from the suburbs loves the edginess of the neighborhood on the weekends, especially in the summer. You have the homeless people, the weird-looking sorts who seemingly try extra hard to look weird and the riffraff who are always willing to relieve you of your wallet under the cover of darkness if you venture a block or two on either side of 18th Street.

The mugging kiosks are usually set up around midnight along the side thoroughfares cutting into 18th Street. Vanilla types form lines at the kiosks and then pay $10 to be mugged by the bad guys. This is the ultimate rite of the urban experience. Your cool factor rises in proportion to the number of times you have been mugged. Of course, being accosted by an overly aggressive homeless guy is the introductory lesson in urban chic.

The rules of engagement with the homeless guys, aggressive or not, are as follows: ignore the person and proceed ahead or express sorrow that you have no spare change and proceed ahead or lament the capitalist pigs who exploited this homeless guy before handing him a ten-spot.

It is the system that keeps the homeless guy down, and it is too bad that we have not embraced the socialist practices of that island paradise off the coast of Florida. Vote Hillary or Barack, our best chance to become Cuba. Each candidate promises to give every American free health care, free car insurance, free fire insurance and free flood insurance, plus write each one of us a $5,000 check to bolster our self-esteem.

The Plato of 18th Street was at his loquacious best on Christmas Day, letting everyone know that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. He seemed to know this kernel of wisdom from experience, judging by his bedraggled appearance. He was not seeking a beer or a dollar, just an audience.

“It”s Christmas Day,” the non-secularist wise man shouted. “Love. Love. Love.” A few of us would have loved it if he had merely shut up. But no, that was not his style, and so the wise man pontificated at length on all the permeations of love and what they all mean in the grand scheme of things.

Another homeless guy was waging a massive argument with himself in Spanish. And so it went in Adams Morgan on Christmas Day, a time of the year when homeless advocates often urge Americans to contribute even more of their hard-earned dollars to the cause.

It is a difficult proposition, especially if the Beer Man, the Love Man, the Spanish Man and so many other intrusive men are challenging your patience.



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