Progress Report #44

I just finished my first pass through Chapter 20. Tomorrow I’ll start going through it again to clean it up. This was an easy one given that much of the material was already developed during the writing of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. Chapter 20 ends with me being forced out onto the streets to live. Interestingly, after I finished writing for the day I went to look at my e-mail and found something from Praveen Madan, owner of the San Francisco bookstore, Booksmith. His e-mail contained a link to an article he’d written about the homeless situation here in San Francisco. As someone who has lived on the street and has firsthand experience of what goes on out there, it seriously bugs me when I hear people speak with contempt about the homeless, especially when they don’t know the reality. Praveen’s is one of the few genuinely thoughtful and principled articles I’ve ever read by someone who has never been homeless. I recommend it highly. You can read it here.


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5 Responses to “Progress Report #44”

  1. Deborah Garner Says:

    Mark, thanks for the referral that was an excellent article. I am currently living in Florida, born and raised in SF and really enjoy reading your posts – you can refer to me as PIE (Princess in Exile)! Florida sucks, living in SF the first 50 yrs of my life never prepared me for the rednecks of the South! Its a different world – the homeless situation is terrible here as well. Can’t wait for your book. Keep up the posts and maybe someday I’ll make it home again.

    • markbittner Says:

      My mother in law lives in Florida, and every now and then I go there. Don’t know how long I’d last there…It is a different world.

  2. Karen Says:

    Every time I read that my fellow citizens are demanding the police throw people who are homeless in jail, I think that none other than California’s esteemed author, Jack London, was arrested and spent time in jail for vagrancy. He wrote about the experience in his book, The Road.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Is Frank Jordan’s Matrix program still in effect? I think the program was enacted circa 1995.

    That year, a college teacher of mine told my class of 30 students about the program. He asked if anyone knew of the program or its name. No one knew of either except me—and I knew only because I’d read a news item about it in Herb Caen’s column (!), although I read the newspaper every day. Caen didn’t sound impressed by the concept …

    • markbittner Says:

      I assume that Matrix is not in effect. I remember thinking that the name sounded like some kind of futuristic fascistic program, although I have no memory of what it was actually about. But I have to say that a lot of what seemed like Nazism at the time was mild compared to what’s being proposed or put into effect nowadays. I don’t mean homeless programs, per se. I mean everything. But the anti-homeless programs have taken on a particularly nasty edge. They might as well criminalize not having a job. I’m sure there are those who think that that would be a great idea.

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