Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2003
(misc) Sometimes, this is a great town...  
Sometimes, things happen that make you think the world isn't so bad, that the people who think and behave decently are still in the majority. Right now is one of those times. A few days ago, Rob Jones, a homeless man known as the Bucket Man, died in Wellington. He was a familiar figure to many people here, and apparently never begged, or took more than he needed (to the point of taking only one sock from an offered pair, becuase he already had one good sock).

In death, Rob has become even more well-known. First our local paper devoted an editorial to him. Then, today, his funeral was the main news item on the newspaper billboards around town, and received front page coverage. The whole town, even those who didn't know him, seems united in grief. Grant Buist had a touching cartoon in the Capital Times, who also carried an article about the film being made of the life of the Blanket Man, another well-known homeless figure who covers himself only in a torn blanket, because of his disdain for possessions.

And then there's the other side. On the same day that Rob Jones died, the City Council announced that it is considering banning the homeless from the city - effectively making being homeless illegal. In what is perhaps the most unnecessary newspaper article ever, the Dominion-Post reports that Auckland mayor John Banks supports this move.

As one of the middle class liberals who are supposedly threatened by the homeless I'd just like to say - I ain't. Live and let them live, Mr Jones and the Blanket Man never bothered me.


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