Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Justify Occupy

Before we get stuck into this post, dear readers, I want you to know that I really struggled with writing it.  I generally stay away from truly polarizing issues on this blog, and even when I identify myself by my political leanings or my socio-economic background or my degree qualifications I hope I do so with humor and without causing offense.  However, the point of this blog isn't to give us an excuse to bury our heads in the sand - we have discussed some tricky topics here together like tuition fee raises, the riots in London this past summer,  and the identity of faith.  I'm really glad we've been able to put our heads together about these issues, and I hope we can continue to do so without feeling like we have to tiptoe around each other.

That being said, the first few drafts of this post reeked of diplomacy and politesse and, really, lacked any conviction.  And, as you know very well, that's not who I am; I have opinions and I like to air them.  So here goes:

Tomorrow's post, which I wrote a little while ago, is a nuts-and-bolts entry on living in London.  I did a Cost of Living in London post months ago, and I wanted to follow that up with a sample grocery receipt.  As I point out, it's all well and good for me to tell you that I spent £30 on a weekly shop at the supermarket, but it's not terribly worthwhile to you unless you know how far that money stretched.  Given what's going on globally right now, though, I felt really guilty about broadcasting the fact that I spent £53.05 on one grocery trip.  I thought about prefacing the post with disclaimers like, "But the haul lasted me for two weeks!"  But then I realized that excusing my spending was absurd.  Yes, I spent £53.05 on one grocery trip when there are millions of people in the world who can only dream of spending that much on food annually.  I know that.  But I shouldn't have to justify my grocery receipt.

I recognize that we live in a time of massive inequalities, financial and otherwise.  I recognize that I am enormously lucky to be able to live the lifestyle that you read about here.  And I recognize that, while I am proud to work tremendously hard for what I have, I come from a privileged history that has enabled me to start from a more advantaged background than others.

That being said, I should not have to justify my grocery receipt - and so I'm not going to.  And, in fact, I'm not even going to discuss the Occupy movement, which was going to be the original purpose of this post, because every time I have begun to write about it it has turned into tiptoeing, which is not what this blog is about.  Just as I respect the right of the protesters to make their points, I hope you will respect my right to share my life on this blog.  And if you don't, then you've been warned: don't read tomorrow's post.

When I visited the #OLSX camp at St. Paul's last week, I was greeted by a double rainbow.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think anyone should ask you to justify your grocery bill! Unless you are buying some poached zebra meat ;)

    £50 is on the lower end of what groceries cost in London. If anything- you are showing how hard it is for low-income people to be able to afford food in this city.

    Plus if you can't voice your opinions on your own blog- where can you?


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