First, I can’t say enough good about Rhyd Wildemuth’s esssay on the Spirit of Poverty. It has clearly touched a nerve, and I’m frankly embarrassed how many writers I respect have jumped up to condemn it. Maybe condemn is a strong word- contest it might be better- but clearly emotions are running high. Being reminded how destructive and entitled your expectations are is never comfortable in the abstract, and Rhyd has concretely outed himself as a survivor of the kind of poverty that puts most of our frustrations with the electric bill and the price of burritos firmly in their place. That feels like a challenge to the face, and well that it should, because we have an entire industry- multiple industries- committed to ensuring that the people with the moral authority to challenge us face to face on the consequences of our consumerism are never permitted to do so.
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