John Scalzi on poverty and privilege

John Scalzi is a science-fiction writer who wrote an on-line essay, “Being Poor,” that has been widely copied.

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends’ houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get  free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Click on Being Poor to read the whole thing.

Recently he wrote a new essay, “Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today,” which I think will also be widely copied.

Today I don’t have to think about those who hear “terrorist” when I speak my faith.

Today I don’t have to think about men who don’t believe no means no.

Today I don’t have to think about how the world is made for people who move differently than I do.

Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m married, depending on what state I’m in.

Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.

Today I don’t have to think about whether store security is tailing me.

Today I don’t have to think about the look on the face of the person about to sit next to me on a plane.

Today I don’t have to think about eyes going to my chest first.

Click on Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today to read the whole thing.

Click on Whatever for Scalzi’s home page.

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