to have and have not

Posted by
Rick (Toronto, Canada) on 3 March 2018 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

Canon PowerShot SX610 HS 1/200 second F/3.8 ISO 160 5 mm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

oh, that's really more out in the open than i've ever seen

3 Mar 2018 5:24am

@sherri: This poor soul is "living" directly in front of Toronto's old city hall, which is a beautiful sandstone building from the late 1800s that was designed to show prosperity and importance... the irony is brutal.

Denny Jump from Bellevue, WA, United States

What a dramatic image, sir! I know people will look and say, "Why are they doing that? Can't they find a job?" etc etc etc....We have too many assholes that really could care less down here!

3 Mar 2018 6:29am

@Denny Jump: Thanks very much as always, Denny. Those types of questions are too easy. Blanket statements. I have lived downtown here for 31 years and have spoken with my share of the homeless, tried to help out when I can, and have learned that the reasons for their being in this situation are myriad. I find that big city people become desensitized and train themselves to no longer see these sad sights. They step around or over them as if they were garbage in the street. I'm always going to see them. It hurts.

Michael Skorulski from Toronto, Canada

A scene repeated all over the world. Those on drugs, alcohol or mentally ill live like this. It is all the more shocking in the middle of a busy street in the cold of winter. Unfortunately some die from exposure. Thanks for this thought provoking scene, Rick.

3 Mar 2018 6:55am

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks for the feedback, Michael. I've known some people on drugs, alcohol, and possibly mentally ill who own homes and have good jobs, too. People cut from all types of cloths, brother. I met a lot of the younger homeless teenagers when I worked at the downtown YMCA. They were prostitutes and several had fled abusive and frightening childhood homes. So many stories and such a global tragedy, really.

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Strong message...

3 Mar 2018 7:03am

@Hiro: A message repeated by the millions all around the world.

Gérard Flayol from Allauch, France

When Michael's comment makes the demonstration of Denny, it is indeed necessary to continue to go up these photos Rick

3 Mar 2018 7:55am

@Gérard Flayol: Indeed the truth being visually sought out and told is one of the prime motives to get into photography, whether it is the "truth" of a flower, a sky, or a condition of humanity. I like my city and how multicultural it is, but there are elements that break my spirit and need to be shared. I dare not post only flattering images from where I live, and I am always a couple of missing pay cheques away from being out on my ass.

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Ah, yes, it is a fine line between, at times.

3 Mar 2018 8:57am

@Ronnie 2¢: You said it, sir. Those "cracks" that people sometimes fall through, are available to all of us.

Jaya from Trieste, Italy

An ancient peasant proverb says: who has not, is not.
Thanks Rick.

3 Mar 2018 9:00am

@Jaya: Thanks for the comment, Jaya. That proverb seems to equate possession with BEING. There is another tribal saying that in essence says "one poor man shames us all", and I am more in agreement with that one.

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Hard thing to photograph I bet.

3 Mar 2018 10:02am

@Ana Lúcia: Definitely sad and very hard to see and photograph.

Martine Libouton from Bousval, Belgium

Une superbe photo de rue bravo un très beau B&w

3 Mar 2018 10:14am

@Martine Libouton: Merci, Martine.

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

a damning indictment of our society. Excellent shot

3 Mar 2018 10:33am

@grouser: Succinctly put, mister grouser, and I thank you.

Morris David Taub from Montpellier, France

democracy, capitalism, socialism, society, is not working as long as people have to live like this...great photo of sad reality in countries around the world rich and poor...

3 Mar 2018 12:06pm

@Morris David Taub: An honest comment that I appreciate, thank you. Obviously, something fundamental about how we have structured our societies around the concept of money, with its inherent dangers of debt and corruption and so much more, is as broken as broken gets. Can you imagine a highly advanced extraterrestrial species who is visiting and studying ours, trying to make sense of how we treat our brothers and sisters of Earth?

Joyce from Montana, United States

I, on the other hand, want to wake him and find out the story. What took him to this state. Our culture is birthing more and more of this. In India it has always been so...

3 Mar 2018 3:08pm

@Joyce: I used to spend time talking to as many of the homeless/panhandlers as possible when I first moved back to the big city. To this day, when I want to photograph someone who is awake and aware of me, I give then a "loonie" or "toonie" (Canadian dollar and two dollar coins) when I can, though I am hardly well off. More stories than most would think. One of the most visceral episodes was back in the early 90s when my band used to have a rehearsal space near Queen and Ossington which is close to the huge mental health facility there... we had a nice old homeless guy who lived under the iron staircase beside the entrance to our rehearsal space, and we'd buy him a coffee and donut from time to time when he was there. One night we left our room and saw a young man urinating on this sleeping homeless person, laughing out loud. We shouted, grabbed him, and made him think we were going to open a can of whoop ass on him. I gave him a ten-bell berating and educated him to the fact that the human being he was pissing on, was also a war veteran who had served his country and suffered permanent physical and psychological injuries. That one episode mad me saddest and angriest of all that I dare to remember. It illustrates of lot of what is wrong with us as a species.

Joyce from Montana, United States

Photography can be a bitch slap. Rick please go see my post.

3 Mar 2018 3:09pm

@Joyce: Photography SHOULD be a slap once in a while, in my humble opinion. I loved your photo !

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quelle vue touchant dans cette rue quelle iamge avec cette personne au sol c'est terrible bel hommage
Belle soiree

3 Mar 2018 3:48pm

@Nicou: Merci beaucoup, Nicou.

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

The B&W brings even more drama to this compelling street scene. How many have walked past and paid no attention? It is a story repeated everywhere.

3 Mar 2018 4:21pm

@Ruthiebear: When a city has SO many homeless scattered around its streets, people in general tend to start to feel helpless about HOW to choose the ones who "deserve" help, and thus you begin to sow the seeds of apathy and selective vision... it's a very complex social problem and needs much more attention than what we give to useless pursuits by comparison, such as what celebrity is dating whom, etc... makes me puke. Thanks, Ruthie.

franz from Baden, Austria

The image itself is 'close to the bone', as it were, as a hard hitting and sincere documentary of the shadow side of modern life, but the discussion it has provoked and that I hope is continuing is even closer. I find it possible to agree with each and every statement made so far, as the 'problem' is so manifold and the fortunes of lack of them of the 'street people' are so diverse that every reason given may be 'true'. Still, if everything is said and done, the fact remains that in an affluent society like yours and mine no-one should be forced to live like this, and the fact that many are proves that much is amiss ...

3 Mar 2018 4:51pm

@franz: Wonderfully lucid and honest commentary, and that is no surprise considering the source. You are a "man of the world", well traveled and a person who appreciates the diversity on our planet. You are so right about the complexity and depth of this global problem. For example, one street person makes full use of the many downtown shelters during inclement weather, and another refuses to adhere to the house rules, thus making a choice to stay and possibly freeze to death. Another person desperately needs the donated monies to get food and sustenance, where the guy across the street only wants to stay drunk. It goes on and on, these dynamics, but more attention is needed. I recall a disgusting episode in this city when the Pope (I believe) was coming for a visit, and the city went all out to "clear the streets" of homeless people and graffiti, so that the holy motorcade could have a fake-reality view of our Toronto. Thanks very much for the comment, franz!

Jaya from Trieste, Italy

I was 10 years old. My grandfather, walking in a poor neighborhood of Palermo, said: it seems that if you do not have, you are not, in this world !
I am not ashamed, but I feel hurt, I feel pain, when, around me, but also very far, someone is denied in his Being (mostly because he has not. And not only $, but friends, roof, food... A hug :-)

3 Mar 2018 5:42pm

@Jaya: Thanks for the follow-up comment, which adds valuable context. It seems to me the only "currency" that should truly matter in our societal structures is the one we keep overlooking : love. For each other. For what is right. For the future of our survival, not as citizens of nations but citizens of planet Earth.

Existence Artistique from Angers, France

intéressant ces tissés parterre

3 Mar 2018 5:50pm

@Existence Artistique: With all due respect, I think you have missed the point.

Denny Jump from Bellevue, WA, United States

It's me again...I appreciate your response to me and I agree wholeheartedly with your responses to Joyce and other.a...These stuck up jerks who think they know everything and cast their vote for Drumpf, they think they have all the answers! They have no answers at all....Your story about the fellow - the old fellow- who was a veteran, is just one example f the REAL truth that exists out there....I am a Vietnam Veteran as you might recall..and one of my best buddies was an Ontario native who volunteered to serve in the US Army and I loved that guy...He got killed in an ambush on a mountaintop in Vietnam....Just one story...And there are SO MANY Homeless Vets here....and what does this jerkin charge do? He sh!ts on them!!!...Sorry dj

3 Mar 2018 6:44pm

@Denny Jump: I always remember what you gave and what hells you experienced, sir, and it makes me respect you for the extra depth of "perception" you carry around on a daily basis. I find it galling that the presidency has been usurped, taken hostage by a conman who won votes under a guise of representing the "common man"... a joke to make me choke. A silver spoon billionaire fat cat psychopathic narcissist pathological liar is going to be in touch with the "common folk"? Pahhh-leeeeze. I tend to avoid commenting publicly about politics these days, because it tends to reveal to me the sheer paucity of people who know what the hell is going on or even care. I believe that unless we get our acts together, species-wide, inexorably we shall be eradicated from this precious planet by the sheer forceful truth of Nature. My thanks, Denny !

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

An image and a title to think ... I like it rick! Great shot!

3 Mar 2018 7:07pm

@Adela Fonts: Thanks a lot, Adela. The discussion below the picture is proof that not everyone has become apathetic.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A sad story of our times captured in this photo. In this country, we are becoming much more a society of the super rich and the poor. Sort of the third world model it seems.

3 Mar 2018 7:19pm

@Steve Rice: Yes sir, the gulf is widening to a scary degree and also up here in Canada. We have nothing to be smug about.

Peter from Te Aroha, New Zealand

In our reasonably prosperous country without obvious extremes of wealth and poverty this sort of thing has been starting to seen for the last decade so and increasingly. At least we have a mild climate without extremes of cold but it is no real comfort. Just like in your image people walk on by.

3 Mar 2018 11:07pm

@Peter: New Zealand is one of the world's most progressive and eco-aware countries (and Canada aspires to the same), but it seems there are no places without this type of scene. On the west coast of my country, where the winters are easier, you see a lot of homelessness per capita. I appreciate your comment, Peter.

Ehsan Hemmati from Kermanshah, Iran

Sad but true

4 Mar 2018 7:38pm

@Ehsan Hemmati: Thanks for having a look, Ehsan.

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Oh superb shot and your framing gives much impact as well with the subject commanding our attention while in the background city life carries on oblivious.

5 Mar 2018 6:59am

@Stephen: "Oblivous" is the key point, especially as my city seems to be heading upscale and the gulf is rapidly widening between the spenders and the hungry. My thanks, Stephen.

k@ from Paris, France

Ah, geez, this speaks aloud to me, since we have the same disparity here in Paris and since I live in a district, by a big train station, full of misery... It hits us in the bowels, each time... Impotent as we are even when we help, it's so little compared to what is needed to be done. How come that we "evolved" so badly ? Thanks for your eye.....

5 Mar 2018 10:47am

@k@: Thank YOU for your commentary, Karine. I collect films and recently added a little-seen BBC production from 1984 called "Threads"... it depicts in the most harrowing realistic manner, the instant breakdown of society after a nuclear war, with all the choices and comforts we take so for granted gone in a horrific flash. One of the rawest and most painful movies to watch, ever, and sadly as relevant today as it was then. It seems to me the fabric of our societies is woven with very flimsy material, because we have forgotten to include the spiritual and empathetic ingredients. Sad indeed, but one must somehow retain hope.

Anna Cherer from LA ROCHELLE, France

A great documenary in beautiful B&W even if it's a hard subject !
I saw that in downtown Toronto, but maybe the less than somewhere else in the world, the less that in Paris. It is unfortunately the scene which repeats all around the world. I come back from Africa and I saw a lot of poverty and precariousness !

6 Mar 2018 3:09pm

@Anna Cherer: Thanks very much for your comment, Anna. I have been enjoying your Arica series very much. Yes, it is truly a global phenomena and not just a problem in "developing countries"... as this city becomes more and more expensive and oriented toward those who can afford it, each year sees more human beings living in the streets. It is the one thing that wears down my spirit the most when I am here.

This image has been featured in 2 Remix collections.

"simple" by Jaya

That's just love... by Jaya