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Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Proof Of The Phoney Beggar

I had a post 'Tis The Season To Be Marley in which the following occurs:

"She filled out some detail for me of the whole affair of her trip to Chicago two years ago in even more ghastly detail:
"I mean, Montag, you could look through the windows and see white people with their little girls all dressed up for Christmas tea, and right next to you outside there was a young black mother with three kids sitting on the sidewalk, holding a sign saying 'Help me feed my family.' "
She did not think I could take the Real Dickensian, the horrible irony of Wealth against Grinding Poverty. She thought I would start dreaming of the arrogance of the masters of the world who built the Tower of Babel. I might act up rough, and go all prophet, denouncing Dives taking tea while Lazarus starves."

Someone tells me the story of the beggar lady who, as 6 o'clock comes, straightens up, puts her cane over her shoulder and struts home to her place in the suburbs: a case where an able-bodied person is shamming disability and poverty and making a good living at it.

I sort of stared at them when they finished.
I mean, what does one say?

What does one say when confronted by someone who argues from one specific case to a general normative law?
There are beggars;
There is at least one phoney beggar;
Therefore, all beggars are phoney.

I mean, the overpowering smell of the illogical nature of it all.
Dr. McCoy - Bones, if you will - often disagreed with Mr. Spock about his emphasis on logic, but I think even Bones would say that it is most definitely "Illogical!"


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