• 2006-02-15

    One issue,two responses


    I read MALCOLM GLADWELL's latest piece in New Yorker the other day.Here is the link(hopefully New Yorker magazine online service will keep it in the accessible archive for up to a year for free) http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060213fa_fact  .It grappled with the a pretty prevalent urban headache:homelessness.And according to Malcolm,the prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author,this problem may be more easily and more,well,you hear it right,cheaply  to be solved than managed.

      I'd like to point out that,while it is true in The states that you've got to take care of the homeless streetguys even if they're modern eyesores and more often than not,public nuisance,here in China,however,the whole thing has been much simpler.They just swept those vagrants into so-called public shelter(Don't you think you can stay and shelter youself here like forever;more likely you are given some money the amount of which they believe could carry you as far enough as where you belong and sent away)So those poor tramps in China are like some kind of ball being kicked around and no one seems to care where they end up and what become of them.No city wants them for they constitute disgrace to "modern city-building";Civil charity can't cover them effectively for there're so many of them.Whereas US governments at all levels are eying the problem of "homelessness" as an issue to contend with and go so far as to make the distinction between "to manage" and "to solve",Their chinese counterparts never seem to bother at all.They choose the easy way out--make them dissappear.After all,there's a traditional saying in Chinese that coincides with the english one"Out of sight,out of mind'.Why not?They have too much else to care about,like,how to make the city more civilized,how to elevate the city's modernity up a notch,etc etc.Never mind those poor rovers will relocate to another city to "constitute disgrace",it's that other city's problem,they argue.Well,yes,but can it another country's problem?American urban Nomads may be living a tough life,but their chinese cousins are miserable.And the problem is that wretchedness will not be gone anytime soon.

        Malcolm should come to China,and he may never run out of topics to delve into.