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Timothy Edwards, the "Bum" in question

Timothy Edwards, the "Bum" in question

I came across this site on Stumbleupon, and then saw it on Yahoo News.

I do not know what to think, but I’d rather err on the side of positivity.

A lot of people have praised the effort, the making of a homeless man the symbol of all the homeless. Here’s a man, funny, educated, living on the streets, and he does not have a home. He does not blame others or fate for his plight, only himself. Why not help this man?

Others are calling it exploitation.

For me, I feel if it is not a hoax (an actor dressing up as a homeless man etc.) then it is better than a spade of celebrity websites out there, which pimp the celebrities. Pimping a bum seems positively useful and noble in comparison. And the calculated lash out at human sensibilities has worked before to get the job done, so why not now?

It is sad and a terrible comment on humanity that it takes a viral marketing campaign to get us arguing about the homeless instead of Victoria Beckham’s latest outfit on the internet, but if this brings some attention to the plight of homeless people, not just in the States, but the world over, is that such a bad thing?

It might become an internet sensation/ ironic joke/ human circus, with Timothy, the main participant ending up a millionaire, while other homeless friends of his continue the way they are. I hope that does not become the case, and Timothy gets a real job soon.

I just pray (not too naively, I hope) that some good comes out of this, and that the founders of this website actually realize and carry out the moral responsibility of what they have started.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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