Saturday, October 04, 2008

Having Some Compassion

I appreciate your patience with my recent obsession with world events and politics. I'm really hoping to get back to normal. I have two writing posts brewing in my mind, but they don't seem to be coming out.

I don't know.

I'm writing a ton, wrestling with a non-fiction essay a ton, so I just may not have anything left over for here at the moment. Things should calm down soon. I do have a writing post coming soon. I just don't have the mental space to write it, if that makes sense?

How are things going for you? How's the writing? Y'all are doing some cool things. How do you balance your various types of writing? Do you find you need to balance them? Do they feed each other, or does one drain the other? Or, like Edie and Kath talked about this week, do they unblock the other?

***

Have you heard about the 90 year-old woman who shot herself in Akron while she was being evicted from her foreclosed home? It's gonna make you cry. But I think it's important to feel, to relate, to remember or imagine how it feels when you're trying to claw your way back to solid financial ground.

It's like clawing your way out of a pit with slippery mud walls.

Since I started this blog entry, there's been a happy ending for that 90 year old woman. I'm thrilled. On the other hand, there are many more people like her who are trying their best with no hope, feeling like they're drowning.

Here's a man with two houses in foreclosure. He didn't buy "too much house." Sure, he didn't handle the timing well. In retrospect, it's easy to see what he could have done to prevent the mistake. On the other hand, it's also easy to see that he wasn't being irresponsible.

Every time you handle money, it's a risk. No matter where you invest it, no matter what kind of loan you take out, it's a risk. It's a risk you calculate, but it's still a risk.

People keep talking about this crisis as if these people in foreclosure are irresponsible idiots, or people who asked for what they're getting.

It's just not that black and white. It is definitely gray. I don't know what to suggest, honestly. I do think we need to have some compassion. If we're bailing out these big companies who were irresponsible, why not the common man?

And where is the root problem? Is it with these foreclosures, or is it with the energy crisis and the rising food and gas prices? My food/gas/entertainment budget has more than doubled in the past couple years. That has to affect the foreclosures, too.

It sure is complicated.

Here is one more. Let's listen:

20 bonus scribbles:

Edie 10/04/2008 05:24:00 PM  

My husband is napping in the next room (he was up really early), so I can't play the video. But I read the article and wtf was the bank doing, giving an 87 year old woman a 30 year mortgage? Something stinks there.

And my mixing up fiction and nonfiction didn't work. I'm back to plugging away, inspired or not. But thanks for the shout out. :)

Robin 10/04/2008 10:02:00 PM  

The poor couple! Why is it so disturbing to see a man cry? I was OK but sad to see the mom cry, but as soon as the dad became tearful, I got all choked up. I'm a sympathetic misogynist.

spyscribbler 10/04/2008 10:10:00 PM  

Awww, Edie. I was a napper today, today. I wonder if that could have been one of those reverse mortgages? I don't know anything about those, actually.

I know what you mean. Writing non-fiction is hard, and I have to shove it out. It inspires me to write fiction. It doesn't work the other way around, though. :-(

spyscribbler 10/04/2008 10:13:00 PM  

Robin, me too! Totally! Isn't that terrible? Maybe because men typically cry at a higher cost, both socially and personally.

And it's rare to see a man cry. We're not as accustomed to it as we are to women crying. Even in movies. Women cry all the time, but men hardly ever.

Aimless Writer 10/05/2008 11:40:00 AM  

Scary.
And I think we all must know that it all comes down to; there but by the grace of God goes I.
Things happen in life that can set you back, screw up your finances and your life. Not everyone can have that emergency fund because they are just trying to get from paycheck to paycheck.
I believe Obama knows this, he worked with the less fortunate in Chicago. Met them face to face. McCain...he got himself a rich wife, bought too many houses and cars and knows not what these people are going through.

Melanie Avila 10/05/2008 01:36:00 PM  

I'm with you on the crying man. Sigh. I really hope something gets figured out for these people. I was going to say "I wish the government figures something out" but I don't believe they can, at least not for the next several months. Meanwhile more and more people will become homeless.

Polly Kahl 10/05/2008 05:54:00 PM  

That is very sad and I also am a "man cryer" but mostly my heart goes out to that poor little girl. Go read Robin's post on this, she did a great job discusing the child's needs in these situations.

Kath Calarco 10/06/2008 10:43:00 AM  

I agree with Edie. Why would a bank give a thirty year mortgage to an 87 year old? Predatory bastards! They see the weak and sweep in like a pack of hungry vultures.

Same goes for credit card companies who approve naive eighteen year olds. They know the majority of kids are going to max out the card in a month and then pay only the minimum.



P.S. Thanks for the mention!

marciacolette 10/06/2008 01:02:00 PM  

I had to take a minute before I commented because this just pisses me off. There was a time when I used to think people were at fault for getting themselves into this mess. Then, when I read about the amount of lying going on along the way, I just threw my hands up. When it comes down to it, I'm pointing a finger at the banks. Something is seriously wrong when the execs like Lean-on-poor-man Brothers can buy $20 million condos and these people have to live in a tent. Someone should put the execs in a tent and let them live homeless a year for every million they walked away with.

As for the writing, it's about to be stellar, now that I'm reenergized from Moonlight & Magnolias.

StarvingWriteNow 10/06/2008 05:24:00 PM  

The root problem is greed. Add a helping spoonful of gullibility and you get a recipe for financial disaster.

And yes, I totally agree--why the government is stepping in to bail out businesses that, through their greed, sent their companies down the tubes is beyond me. Isn't that a mark of socialism/communism when the government runs business?

Rick 10/06/2008 11:43:00 PM  

I just got off a 3 day writing convention as a panelist, and after listening to what all the new writers want to know, I realized I need to write more and worry less.

I'm going to let CNN handle the world for the next week or so!

Barrie 10/07/2008 02:35:00 AM  

I drove past a house today with a for sale/bank foreclosure sign on the front lawn. I think that would be really hard to see on your (ex) front lawn.

spyscribbler 10/07/2008 01:30:00 PM  

Aimless, it was sort of funny. You know, it wouldn't take much for me to live full-time in a tent. I have to tell you, I've been pretty close to packing up the car with a tent and living on the road. Just because. If I didn't have cats, I'd probably be out there now, LOL.

But you're right about the grace.

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:42:00 AM  

Melanie, so true. And there's so many more stories coming out, it breaks one's heart. I can only hope this makes us a better country, somehow.

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:43:00 AM  

Polly, Robin's post was great. (As her posts always are!) And so true. Their child really should see it as an adventure, especially a three year-old, you know?

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:44:00 AM  

Kath, amen to everything you said! Definitely! Remember when they were even sending out credit cards to freaking pets? LOL! My bird was offered a credit card, back in the day!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:46:00 AM  

That's great, Marcia! And yes, it's a complicated situation. I think everyone is a little at fault. I just don't see why we should bail out the big companies and not the little guy. Either help everyone or no one. Or help the root problems: energy and the foreclosures.

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:47:00 AM  

Writenow, love that comment. It is greed. I'm definitely for capitalism over socialism, but cripes. When greed starts driving the country and the people, we have financial disaster!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:48:00 AM  

Rick, what a timely comment. I've been spending way too much time worrying. And I need to write more. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:49:00 AM  

Barrie, it's so sad. It has to feel humiliating, too.