Today I watched the viral Vancouver documentary “$treet$ of Plenty”. It follows this guy who decides to spend one month living on the DTES (downtown east side) to experience the seediest area of Vancouver. My first thought was what an original concept. It was a really creative way to document the issue. It was shot in what I like to call “youtube quality”… nothing that made my eyes burn but there were some scenes with poor focus and exposure. On the other hand there were also some really killer looking shots with awesome colour balance etc. But onto the content… despite my visit to tent city during the Olympics I still am fairly naïve about what homelessness is like. I think I would like to experience a night on the streets at some point just to know what other people go through everyday. I’ve noticed that although I am sympathetic to the homeless I don’t have a concrete reason as to why I feel that way. It’s one of those things indoctrinated into me by my middle-class upbringing – homelessness is bad.
The film deals with the complicated issue of addiction. I think all human beings are addicted to one thing or another. Some people like hardcore drugs, some people like gambling, some people like shopping… I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what mine is. I think the only thing that separates us is how we deal with our addictions and how often we indulge ourselves.
The past year of my life has been an experiment of sorts. I keep challenging myself to live a simpler life, eliminating unnecessary things. I often find myself asking, can I do without this? Many North Americans get so bogged down by possessions and data – we live in a very consumption based society. I believe it is possible to overcome addiction but it is very much an individual journey. Hell, if you look back at my life two years ago many of the things I couldn’t live without have no part in my life today. People can learn to life differently.
I would like to take some education classes at SFU as part of my degree. In a way the study of education is similar to the study of persuasion. In order to persuade other people you need to find a way to make them come to their own conclusions about things. You can tell someone something a million times but it won’t stick until they figure it out for themselves…
Now go watch the movie (it’s only an hour long) : P