On 'Heartwarming' Photographs
The story in The Times and related notoriety (e.g., gazillions of 'likes' and 'shares' on the NYPD facebook page) was prompted by the picture I've lifted above, snapped by a woman from Arizona visiting NYC. So, here is my problem. First, more or less random acts of kindness are, by definition, random. They will not systematically address the difficulties of the poor in America. Second, the picture has elicited lots of 'heartwarming' response. Screw that. Heartwarming is just people feeling good vicariously about themselves. It will not induce anyone to actually do anything about poverty - like stop electing right wingers whose first instinct is to blame the (unidentified) homeless guy for being out on the freezing streets barefoot on his being a 'taker' or a 'moocher.'