Vancouver Panhandlers

What is the difference between someone begging for money, and another shoving towards us a “newspaper” such as 24 Hours or Metro? Why is one considered more annoying and unacceptable than the other? Some might say that the former is asking for something, while the latter is giving us something else. They’re almost certainly both out there in an effort to survive. But the commuter rags are panhandling as well. They’re not asking for our money, but for our attention: the “news” gathered almost verbatim from wire services is simply a carrier for advertising. (Sometimes these papers don’t even pretend to be news-oriented, printing full-page ads on the front page.) And my attention is far more valuable than my money. In fact, I get paid for it.

One thought on “Vancouver Panhandlers

  1. Excellent last line. I don’t think there’s anyone in this city who doesn’t feel constantly bombarded by requests for money, time, and attention, whether it’s from a schookid asking us to join something or a panhandler with open sores who needs a beer badly to a dignified woman on disability hawking 24 “magazine.” Walking to the bus in the morning feels like walking to Delhi’s main trainstation. What are we to do?

    What are we to do when there are people on those morning buses who actually like what 24 is selling them?

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