HOMELESSNESS SUCKS!! Glad I got that off my chest. I hope I said it loudly, and strongly enough.
Last night Suzanne and I watched the film "Everything's Jake". To say we were "disappointed" in it would be a large understatement. It's more like "Why are these people trying to bullshit the public"? The movie was supposedly about a happy-go-lucky homeless guy teaching a newbie on the streets the intricacies on being homeless, and how to enjoy the experience.
30 years ago I moved to Portland with virtually no supporting resources. Being 27, I believed I'd be fine. Uh uh... I was not fine. I too ran into a savvy homeless character, who was kind enough to teach me how to survive. I wrote about our relationship on this blog 3 years ago. http://dawgoregon.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-friend-marvin.html
Upon reading the post, I think it's clear that the experience I had was anything but pleasant.
If their misrepresentation of homelessness wasn't bad enough, their story line was possibly even worse. They are telling us how Jake (the happy homeless man) plays bongos on the street to get enough money to buy food and keep cardboard over his head in New York City. Granted, the film was made in 2000, but not much has changed in 13 years in the NYC homeless scene. It's a dirty, dangerous existence for the 50,000 plus people living out there. He also spent much of his time playing chess with his alcoholic peer, who obviously also experienced mental health issues. When Ernie Hudson (the actor who played Jake) was interviewed about the film on The View, http://www.everythingsjakefilm.com/view/ he said he was trying to live the homeless life for 4 days, but could only do it for a few hours.
Then you have the other guy; an Englishman who was somewhat picky about his life of homelessness. He slept in trees in the park, hiding from what they called "The night patrol". When Jake showed him how to eat from garbage cans (I've been there, done that), the fellow couldn't bring himself to join in. As if he actually HAD A CHOICE! He was able to pick up rich people's dog shit and charge them $5 for doing so... yeah right.
Here's where it got REALLY weird. Toward the end of the film we find out the Englishman was only faking homelessness! In reality he's an author who takes on various characterizations to write about the experiences. Darn!; they had me fooled. And guess what? Jake had at least $10,000 hidden away! Those rascals! They only pretended to be homeless, so they could have fun on the streets! It was all a joke! And neither one knew about the other!
That movie is a joke. Although there were scenes where they showed some pain involved in being homeless, for the most part it was STUPID! My concern is that there are some people who probably believe other people become homeless on purpose. Believe me. They don't.