Monday, January 13, 2020

"Snotty Writing Doesn't Help Poor People"

Last fall, as Salem was beginning to recruit volunteers for the 2019-2020 winter warming network, The Oregonian published an essay/opinion piece written by a Silverton resident who used to be on Salem Weekly's editorial board.  It went something like this: she's sitting on a chair outside a restaurant in Salem near a woman who is clearly unable to meet basic needs and is in distress.  She describes the woman's condition with exquisite dispassion, which leads her to muse on her privileged life, and then to wonder about "our ability to see beyond the political masquerade that makes us all weaker and more alone" and "our will and resolve when it comes to solving any of this."  When her tofu and rice lunch arrives, she decides to leave it for the woman.

The piece got a lot of attention, most of it approving.  So approving, in fact, we wondered whether we shouldn't write a critique of both the piece, and the acceptance it was getting.  But, after reading the comments, we found others had beat us to it.

Note: we think perhaps Bert meant to say "snooty writing", but it's a tough call.

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