Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Dear Passers-by and FotHB (Friends of the Holy Beggar):

The national election in the USA has zapped all my attention. Instead of improving my begging sign, I have spent much time creating protest signs for the Women's March against the vulgar he-who-shall-not-be-named and his cadre.

I did not abandon my spot, although someone might come along and use it if I'm not working it.

In the meantime, I'm offering this review by Rebeca Solnit.

"From the new book by Sunaura Taylor about animals and disability and intersection, Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation, she writes: Animalization has long been used as a tool to segregate and police disabled people. We can see this in the “ugly laws” legislation that existed from the 1860s to the 1970s across the United States, which made it illegal for “unsightly” or “disgusting” people to be in certain public spaces. These laws were often intended to get rid of beggars, and at times overlapped with laws designed to clean the streets of stray animals. 

In her book The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public, Susan Schweik, a professor of English and disability studies at UC Berkeley, describes how anxieties about disability, as well as poverty, class, race, gender, nationality, and animality all intersected in these laws. In some instances, human beggars were compared to stray dogs or other animals, and Schweik suggests that “the threat of unsightly beggars who might spread disease or bite the hand that fed them got phrased at times as a problem of animal control.”

While I was not consulted about the begging sections, nonetheless, I trust the recommendation and hope that you will find it useful.

Remember, no matter what,

Don't forget to ask for the money.

Yours truly,


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