From the Editor
This month, the Bay Area is hosting the Super Bowl. Seizing on this goldmine of marketing potential, Verizon is presenting Super Bowl City, described as a “fan village...designed to showcase the best the Bay Area has to offer, with interactive games and activities that highlight the region’s technological progress, culinary excellence and cultural diversity.” The land on which this trophy-village was erected, however, was already occupied, and the village builders have determined that these residents, homeless people, don’t belong in Super Bowl City. The solution? Make them move. Out of sight, out of mind.
This is not unlike what we sometimes do with the parts of ourselves we don’t want to see and don’t want others to see. We don’t need Verizon; we present our internal trophy-villages ourselves. In fact, by trying to get homeless people out of sight, we are undoubtedly also trying to displace some of the occupants of our psychic villages.
In his hilarious and sharp critique of our country’s mental health services, John Oliver commented on the “Greyhound therapy” practiced by a psychiatric facility in southern Nevada, in which they prematurely discharged seriously mentally ill people and gave them one-way Greyhound tickets: “I’m sorry, but you just cannot put people you’d rather not see on a bus to another city.” Interjecting humor, he added, “If you could, that’s how every break-up would end.”
On a serious and poignant note, one homeless advocate stated, "There's homeless people in San Francisco, Super Bowl fans. Guess what? That's our reality."