I’m not going to pretend like misfortune isn’t out there. I’m not going to pretend that bad things don’t happen to people no matter how hard they have worked. Saints still die from cancer and little old ladies who knit afghans for people in nursing homes still face foreclosure. It is not a world where fairness is commonplace.
Nevertheless…I am finding myself being very irritated with something I read over the weekend. I’ve debated writing about it because while I need to discuss it I also want to make very sure that I’m not dismissing other matters that are equally concerning.
I’m talking about someone who is a minor celebrity once-removed (for lack of a better term) and has now become a vocal member of the Occupy movement. I’ve followed the writings of this person for quite a while now, and immediately prior to Occupy, Pat* was floundering for a new person to scrounge off of.
For years Pat lived rather comfortably off of Pat’s lover, who was a very talented craftsperson. Then Pat’s lover started a business with another talented person who also had that certain extra something that compels some people toward celebrity. Pat left the first lover and moved in on the celebrity. They were together for years and then after the relationship ended Pat walked away with enough cash to live comfortably for a very long time. Eventually that well dried up, though, and Pat became a bit notorious for living off the good graces of those within Pat’s social circle of artists and craftspeople.
Pat’s entire adult life has been about finding ways to charm or cajole living money out of friends and acquaintances.
And now Pat is part of the Occupy movement, lamenting how awful society is and how hard people have it.
And I’m sitting here realising that maybe I have a hole where some of my compassion should be. Because while I will weep salt tears over a person who was fired from their job and lost their home, I can’t bring myself to get worked up over how unfair Pat thinks the world is. Pat is in at least three different books talking about spending two decades dropping acid and living off of the fortunes of celebrity lovers.
I guess it’s the whole ant and grasshopper thing. If an ant loses their anthill, it strikes me as very sad. But for a grasshopper to moan and groan about how there just isn’t any food around and it’s all someone else’s fault…that kinda makes me a little bit angry.
*Pat is not the person’s real name