Aloe Vera for that?
Sounds like the Moderatrix lives in another guise at Vulture central - All hail Sarah Bee. Fire well, that commentard was sent packing
Since Monday, this hack has been subsisting on just £1 a day for food, in support of the charity Malaria No More UK. The "Live Below the Line" challenge is an imperfect exercise, to be sure, but is nobly intended as "an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that's making a huge difference in the fight against extreme …
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you realise they can get free internet access in libraries right?
i was homeless myself for a number of months and was lucky to end up eating even as well as the person concerned and yet i had daily free internet access in various libraries. such free access was in fact pivotal to me getting back on my feet with a job and a place to live.
just because you have never had to stoop so low as to use something does not mean that it does not exist.
to berate someone without knowing their situation - and indeed to go so far as to try and force your own fantastical delusion as to what their life might be like upon them is farcical at best. you sir are a twat.
as for the story that started it all, yes, for those of us who have been there it is more than in bad taste. it is in fact the most deluded piece of crap ive ever read on this site and that is saying something, the daily mirror probably has better taste and empathy.
Oh bullshit - your life is your life, so be it.
Lester has done what he thought right. People would whinge if he had a shit and they would whinge if he didn't.
"OH Lester had a shit - it's a put down for all down trodden impoverished people. blah, blah, blah...."
"OH Lester didn't have a shit - it's a put down for all down trodden impoverished people. blah, blah, blah...."
If the posters original posting, had been left up, people would have applauded the commentary.
If the posters original posting, had been left up, people would have denounced the commentary.
Personally I like the more imaginative postings..... whether they are crap or not.
If it's great, read it, if it's crap, tune out, read something else.
End of fucking story.
the whole point of these articles isn't to give Lester an idea of what poverty is like, the whole point of the exercise is to make all of us think for a minute about those in poverty. perhaps we donate to a charity, perhaps we help someone out directly. perhaps we do nothing. but at the very least, it's this week's articles that have brought the issue to everyone's attention.
however, evidently from these posts, those in poverty don't want such efforts and would rather lash out vindictively at anyone trying to bring the issue to the attention of the wider population.
"as for the story that started it all, yes, for SOME of us who have been there it is more than in bad taste."
There. Fixed that for you.
I WAS there... A couple of dollars' worth of various whole grains, a couple of packs of the day-old vegetables, a smoked turkey leg or two (the cheapest meat at the local grocery store) and some spices. Boil on Sunday until the grain is cooked through and the meat has fallen off the bones and the family eats for the rest of the week.
So if you're trying to pull the "You don't know what it's like..." argument, you can piss off right now; it's not working.
Now -- speaking for me, personally (the only one for whom I can legitimately speak) -- I applaud Lester for taking the plunge, for raising money for charity, and for documenting his experiences in a series of articles that were entertaining enough to keep a bunch of people -- who possibly haven't had to and <deity of choice> willing, never WILL have to live hat way -- reading, contributing to charity and possibly even thinking about the problem in real terms for the first time. Taking the step of thinking "What would I do if..." is the first step towards trying to solve the "if". I applaud Lester's sneaky, underhanded attempt to use entertaining anecdote and body-function humor (BTW, Lester -- How'd that all work out in the end? *Ba-BOOM!*) to lure people into taking that first step.
Obviously, YMMV, but it's YOUR milage, not mine and not necessarily anyone else's. Claiming to speak for "those of us who have been there" is as insulting (to some of us) as you accuse Lester of having been.
I believe the post, whilst quite aggressive, does have an inkling of a point. It's easier to endure hardship if you know you'll be out of it at the end of the week. Having said that, I'm not criticising Mr Haines one bit -- it's much easier to not endure hardship if you don't have to, and Mr Haines has clearly made his own choice with tangible benefits of sponsorship.
In terms of internet access. I spent a fortnight in a poor town in the south of Peru and I'd expected to be basically incommunicado for the whole time (the town was called communicado, ho ho). However the reality is that because practically no-one has a phone or computer in their own home/shack, nearly every other outlet on the hight street in the centre of town is either full of phone-booths (with cheap international calls -- £1 for half and hour) or internet computer booths (also cheap).
Don't know where saintcroix was posting from but as others have pointed out, there's always the library, borrow a book too!
... most people in the Western World have absolutely zero clue when it comes to properly feeding themselves. Much less feeding themselves on a budget.
Reading between the lines "saintcroix" is lashing out here for lack of any other outlet ... Maybe instead of poo-pooing the commentary, finding a positive vector for the energy would be a better idea?
Perhaps an urban farming forum would be a good idea ... We all need to eat.
I'll get right on that ...
Pretty much anything is insulting to someone, theres lots of crackpots out there whose sole reason for existing is to be offended because their lives are empty, meaningless pits. This isn't an exercise in genuinely living off a quid a day, this is just about raising awareness, giving an idea on how difficult it would be. It's a little taste of a different lifestyle, not an all out change. Maybe if someone spent less time venting and being insulted they might be able to do something with their life and have enough income to buy more food (once\if the jobs return).
"We're pleased to see that while saintcroix's diet is indeed a pretty lamentable state of affairs, he/she hasn't been deprived of that most basic human need: an internet connection. "
If saintcroix is on benefits (and if they are that poor, they probably are), it's worth pointing out that the government requires that you have internet access for an increasing number of benefits. Anyway, who's to say they didn't just pop into their local library (assuming they still have one) and use the internet for free?
Could we perhaps get rid of Eadon too? The above rant is actually quite interesting reading, whereas Eadon's are frothy mouthed masturbatory irrelevance from a spoilt brat who probably lives off packet noodles by choice sitting at his unix terminal attached to a 14" tv, whilst his parents eat fois gras in the dining hall.
It's got so bad that imagine a 6 year old stamping their feet with a curled bottom lip every time that moron posts.
Is Eadon a pre-teen penguin, a Microsoft shill trying to give penguins a bad name or just a troll. When I see his name, I just skip past the comment and any replies. If Eadon gets banned we will just see equally annoying posts from Eadori . Perhaps one day he will grow up, but in the mean time, there is no need to feed him any attention.
No, it is not "bigotted" at all. He's a dick, plain and simple. He is a disruptive and irritating boil on this forum's backside that needs to take a trip to Switzerland to sort out a painless end to his meaningless existence.
I would be happy with a democratic vote on it. I know 100% what the result would be. He'd be gone. Most forums rid themselves of tape-worm-ish pests such as Eadon. For some strange reason, this one lets him fester and destroy any sensible discussion that could actually occur when Microsoft topics pop up.
Yes, its insulting like when posh kids go off on gap years to poor countries to see how lucky they are, and claim to be helping. Giles Wemmbly Hogg springs to mind.
The whole point is that "rich" people playing at poverty know that it will end. They have no idea what it is really like to be in poverty with no hope and no end in sight. These moronic experiments are more like novelty holidays than anything else. Worse still, people who do this then start on the poor claiming that if they can do it, so can the poor, while forgetting how unrealistic that actually is because the person in question has a whole different set of resources to begin with. Its like a poor person breaking in to an office sitting in a chair and believing that means they they have experienced what its like to run a business.
So, yes, its insulting, nauseating , not to mention unrealistic.
"Yes, its insulting like when posh kids go off on gap years to poor countries to see how lucky they are, and claim to be helping."
You sound like some people who had a go at a friend of mine.
He worked in Botswana (and several other places in Africa) for many years. He was a qualified engineer who was paid a pittance in comparison to what he would be paid here, even taking the lower costs of living into account. Yes, he was a high earner by local standards, but a very low earner compared to what he would be paid anywhere else.
He did this to help people. He was involved in designing, manufacturing and installing wind-powered water pumps to replace the increasingly unreliable diesel-powered ones most towns and villages were using at the time. He had a car, an old beat-up landrover, and a couple of motorcycles, which he raced. The locals liked him. They appreciated all the work he was doing to help them, and the sacrifices he was making to do so. They enjoyed watching him race, and cheered him on every time.
One day, a couple of do-gooders from a charity turned up. They had a go at him for his "excessive" pay packet and "extravagant" entertainment choices. Apparently, what he was doing was not enough. He should have been working for the same money the locals were on, owned nothing and worked such long hours he didn't need entertainment.
He asked them if they'd prefer he went home, didn't help the people and earned 10x what he was on there.
Some people will never be satisfied. If you donate a fiver to a charity, they will ask why it wasn't a tenner. If you volunteer for an hour, they will ask why it wasn't the full day. Any if you sacrifice a well paid career to help people, they will ask why you aren't living in poverty while you do so.
ACx, I assume you haven't ever volunteered. By far the vast majority of people volunteering on gap years come from piss poor backgrounds. The rich kids were on a beach somewhere like grabamuff for their 'gap year'. Come bitch at me when you have spent a year of your life doing something worthwhile for nothing in return other than a decent tan and a case of shouty arse.
When I was a kid my dad owned a chip shop, until he lost his business to a combination of recession and a bypass killing half his trade. While he retrained and looked for new work we were broke and dirt poor. We lived on beans half the time.
You can however get a very varied diet on a pound a day if you shop right. My parents learned the skill and taught it to me - buy bulk, shop at Aldi, look for all those sales where they're trying to clear out stock. Sell-by and use-by dates on a lot of things can be safely ignored for anything from a week up to a month depending.
Oh, and shop at the cash and carry for staples like rice and salt. It's a cliché but if you make sure to stock up on lentils and oats you can survive (not thrive but certainly survive) on significantly less than a pound a day.
I'm not having to live off anything like £1/day and don't have to worry about these things. But if I were:
I don't have a car so I can't go to the "local" cash'n'carry. (Aldi, too, is in another town - £5 return bus fair.) Bulk buying from local supermarkets is limited for similar reasons. I'm fit and can carry quite a bit; but if I wasn't, it would be harder.
Bulk buying also demands you have storage space (freezer capacity) and the capital for the initial outlay (on £1/day, how long would it have taken Lester to save up for his frying pan?)
It certainly can be done, if you are smart and know how. But should we be asking people "to survive" "not thrive"? Should we look down on people who are chucked into this situation without the knowledge of how to do it? (I make an exception for Ian Duncan Smith.) Our whole system is set up for "smart" (well shrewd) people.
And if I was in a tight spot, I would sacrifice diet to keep the internet - because the internet would be the way out.
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.
You had a belt! My dad 'ad to thrash us with a strip of our own flesh torn from our backs cause we'd eaten our belts months ago. And he'd make us cure it with our own teeth first!
@Brewster I didn't mean feeding the freezer, that's too expensive. Bulk dry goods and tinned food, that's what I'm talking about. They last longer than frozen foods too.
Ahh, the joys childhood with a leaky roof, "You know we have to keep the beans in the bath because if we put them in the loft they start rusting, and then it gets so hot in summer that they burst."
Bulk buying meat "wholesale" from the guy on the market was something we did when young. Then there's freezing "forage" while it's in season. (And if your traps catch a deer...) And, as people have said, making up several lots and freezing them is vital to economising when living on your own. It's been many years since I bought frozen meat (the joys of not having to run a car) but that used to be cheaper than fresh, too.
I don't doubt you could make it work. But it's another of those subtle assumptions: you need storage, even for dry food, which can be a problem in a cramped terrace. And the middle class don't realise some people are stuck with a 1U freezer compartment on the top of a fridge which should be in a museum.
"Sell-by and use-by dates on a lot of things can be safely ignored for anything from a week up to a month depending."
Got some rather tasty Indian veg dishes in vacuum packs.
They were being chucked out of a cash'n'carry as the date on them is Dec 2012.
Squash drinks -- Jan 2013
cans of stuff-- go back years.
They never tell you which ingredient is likely to possibly, maybe, perhaps come towards the end of it's best condition even though the product is not going to kill you, it might just taste slightly different or oils might begin to separate.
Also, many people look at BB or BBEO dates and chuck stuff out --
Someone brought round a huge pack of bacon the other day "I was doing catering at the weekend - last minute job, bastards didn't tell me it was mainly veggie!"
Today it gets split up and put in the freezer.
Sell-by and use-by dates on a lot of things can be safely ignored for anything from a week up to a month depending.
That's true. The corned beef I had in my sarnies this week 'expired' over a month ago and It's been fine. It was vacuum packed though which probably helped. I've also got some nearly a year-old Tabasco sauce in the fridge although to be fair it's hard to tell what difference it would make if that had gone off :)
"Use by" is a hard limit. If you eat stuff after the date it may well make you ill.
"Best before" is advisory (except for eggs, apparently). The product won't be as good after this date but if it looks and smells OK it won't hurt you.
sounds like my diet while living in halls. Except I didn't have teh spices, pretty much lived on asda smart price noodles (6p per pack at the time, bout in massive bulk)
Two packs of smart price beef noodles, 1 spoon of beef gravy and you have a pretty good meal. On days asda had sales on whole chickens (fairly often) I'd get 3 for £10, that was 3 weeks worth of food.
Somebody getting butthurt over somebody else raising money for charity are probably even bigger scum than the people they accuse of being scum.
And what's with the whole "claiming if they can do it, so can the poor" I'd call BS on that right now, if anything it has the opposite affect, after living below the line for a week you know how hard it is, by the end of week 1 you crave something with a bit more flavour and if anything you'll understand how hard it is.
I don't think I could ever go back to the student eating habbits now that I'm earning enough not to, a diet of nothing but noodles, rice and pasta is not a good diet.
And I still envy Lester being able to find 12 eggs for a quid. Honestly shocks me, still can't find half that for the same price, each egg costs 20p or more. I need to look harder.
"We're pleased to see that while saintcroix's diet is indeed a pretty lamentable state of affairs, he/she hasn't been deprived of that most basic human need: an internet connection."
Not to defend this person's naysaying of an effort designed to do good but did you check to see if said connection was via a library or other academic institution? Even if it wasn't it could be via a kindly friends house.
I approve in general of what he is doing but I wish he wouldn't make it sound like he is going through such hell. His colonic eruption piece yesterday was funny but it's not helpful to encourage people to think that healthy/frugal/whatever eating is something you do for a limited time as a sort of penance which brings nasty toilet consequences. I am sure his guts really do feel a bit funny but this is actually the result of suddenly loading his body with high-fibre food when it has previously been used to an easier ride. If you eat this sort of food all the time you are no more gassy than anyone else. Just sayin.
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It's not about asserting authority - it's about defending ourselves against abuse. If you're going to give it out, there's always the chance you'll get it back, in spades.
It's too easy to gob off on the internet. YouTube is the proof of that. If you mess with Vulture Central, you might get slapped. It has always been thus.
El reg is very very difficult to get a comment deleted or withheld. I have had 4 comments on one article moderated, noteably by one member of the yankee writers crew, because I dared question the legitimacy of a study he posted (it was absolute ballcocks, completely biased and I fairly politely pointed out how it could be improved), he then deleted all the comments, and then the article itself. Thats it in quite a few years, and to be fair I spout a fair amount of shyte at times and I am rarely without an opinion :-)
Lester has always come across as a fair person, nothing here has changed my mind on that, note he is actually taking part in the comments, many writers here don't.
Somebody doesn't know Lester... he *is* BOFH and very good at hiding bodies, a real bastard. I don't like him (goes back to 1999, a contest, a Reg pin, and Lester's dicketry).
However, I do support slapping a newbie who strolls into your 'home' with muddy boots and kicks the cat. This is not a democracy, there are rules and basic politeness for the most part (Apple/Android/Microsoft pillow fights excepted).
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Why? It's their game, nobody has to play.
You also miss the human aspect, most titles are just that, titles. Don't mean anything except to HR for whatever metric they come up with. Titles get hung on you, doesn't change the you.
'They' say I'm a business network security consultant, yet still an asshole at times. Sometimes I spill my beer. Happens.
"...Is it really fair to moderate someone's comment "straight into the bin" and then use it to mock him in an article?..."
Of course it's not fair, but sadly par for the course. I find it's generally the sites which are the most self-consciously "maverick" which tend to be the most ready to abuse their editorial powers, when anyone calls into question their studied "cool".
I've had a free internet connection ever since TalkTalk brought it out back in the days of the original TalkTalk bloke.
I did get a warning about D/L limits when I rebuilt my machine recentish from XP to 64bit Win 7 and there were all those interminable 'updates' plus all the other D/Ls required.
TalkTalk don't seem to have taken account of the bloat caused by recent O/S rebuilds.
He has a very good point and the Reg's response is testament to the arrogance he is referring to. Libraries offer free internet. But you wouldn't know that because you've never been poor enough to need to use them. Or maybe because free market obsessed politicians closed them down before you ever got a chance to use a library. You should be ashamed of your ignorance.
... you have made an assumption about the original poster Lester so its rank hypocrisy to then criticise someone else for making assumptions about your circumstances.
For what its worth I applaud what you are doing and you're damned if you do and damned if you don't try to highlight these issues.
Oh, bugger me. I'm not poor yet I've been using public libraries for years, hell of a lot of them, both years and libraries. Where should I go to confess? Have I been unwittlingly depriving a poor peasant sorry person of a resource I shouldn't be using? Here's an ignorant thought for you, maybe if the poor went to the libraries to read books and improve their level of education instead of browsing these hallowed pages they'd have a chance of getting a better job or maybe even any job and pulling themselves out of their current situation.
Whilst saintcroix has a minor point that wealthy people do not know the true meaning of poverty I do think he has rather missed the point. The challenge isn't about experiencing poverty but surely highlighting poverty whilst earning money through sponsorship.
Also, as Lester is possibly the only journo that I would be happy to defend in a knife fight (SPB is the foremost reason I stick with the Reg) I can safely say that he probably isn't a millionaire tycoon. Not many journo's are. Usually they are greasy sweaty men that look like poor people or overweight puff balls that spend any surplus expenses on irn bru and cake. Of course I may be incorrect, and if I am the Lester can you lend me a few quid guv?
"The challenge isn't about experiencing poverty but surely highlighting poverty whilst earning money through sponsorship."
I agree. If Lester had merely wanted to experience poverty, surely he needn't have gone to the bother of writing about it. Writing about it, however, does highlight it.
Also, can you ever truly experience poverty if you know that at the end of the week, you are going to have enough money to cover your bills, other expenses, and, I dare say, a few "luxuries"?
So Lester, did you weigh yourself before this charity starvation? And if so, after your final day (and hopefully evacuation) would you be willing to share with us any weightloss you have suffered as a result of living off £1 a day?
Doubt it'd be much, considering the timescale, but could be interesting.
Also how are energy levels etc doing.
Given where the bulk of your calories came from (bread and rice) the weight loss might not be particularly high.
Hopefully the colonal mass ejection is not this bad - but is as funny
True, most of us rich people will (thankfully) never understand what it is like to be poor, but is that a reason to berate those who are at least trying to get *some* understanding of the difficulties while, at the same time trying to elleviate poverty a little, for a few people in a small way? It is hard for your average every day rich joe to know HOW to help those in poverty and any attempt by people who do this sort of fundraising surely should be applauded, not denigrated?
The fact is that, even if it seems rather inadequate to saintcroix, people are trying to do something. Turning around and judging motives that you have no idea of (how do YOU know this is done for self-publicity and not a genuine desire to help people) is more likely to turn people away from raising what they do, regardless of how little it appears to be!
Bloody face, you're going to have no nose for that! Oh damn, now I really DO have a bloody face!
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I've seen people banned for less in other locations. But seriously the guy was effectively cutting off his nose to spite his face.
Probably one of the benefit scroungers with 7 kids and an 8th on the way who moans because the government won't give them that 10 bedroom £1,000,000 propperty that they so desperately need.
In the west it is pretty much impossible to live in true poverty unless done as part of a conscious choice. All but the absolute poorest in the UK are still in the global top 5% for wealth if you take into consideration our free education, free healthcare, free internet in libraries and various other benefits of living in the west. This project does not aim to truly represent what it is like to poor in the global sense of the word as it is impossible when you are cosy in your house in the UK with carpets, windows and free immunisations for the diseases that cause massive child mortality in the developing world; it does aim to raise money and make us all think.
So keep up the good work doing this event, it's great to see people taking on a challenge of any sort to help others think a little harder about how lucky we are and from the looks of your total this week will go quite a long way towards saving lives in areas where there isn't the same basic health services that we clearly all take for granted.
"he/she hasn't been deprived of that most basic human need: an internet connection. Cake? Let them eat Gmail. "
You do realise, I hope, that this comment makes you sound a bit of a twat? You can usually get online in a public library; it is becoming more and more necessary for interacting with the government, DWP, finding jobs etc. Just because somebody posts using a computer, doesn't necessarily mean they are blowing their minimal cash on telly and internet instead of, you know, food.
Plenty of sanctimonious commenters here today, it seems.
This is El Reg's Special Projects Bureau.
You want to some touchy-feely feelgood stories? The Gruaniad website is a click away!
More power to you, Lester. You've done a damn sight more than I have, and I dare say a lot of other commenters here. You don't have to take no shit from no-one !
I would try and walk a mile but I'd probably just get accused of being a snob demeaning and insulting the poor who can't afford a car ;-)
That and I live in the states and I'm pretty sure walking is illegal here (most likely lobbying from the car and segway industry) and I'd probably get sued for traumatising the customers of whichever 14 fast food joints I'd pass in that mile.
FOTW quality is dropping again. What happened , an attack of lethargy ? Inquiring minds want to know.
Where are the the flaming rants these days, I tell you these young people no idea how we did it on USENET. HTML, bah humbug, XML bloat. Bring back 7 bit ASCII and 1200 baud modems. Oh hang on, thats happening if broadband speeds drop much more in this part of a dustbowl. Back to the fencing to keep out the neighbours starving stock...
seriously for once, well done Lester. Your experience of critics mirrors acquaintances and my own in remote Oz areas working with tribal people. Lots of visiting do-gooders full of carping criticism of those on the ground doing something practical. They did not ask the locals they claimed to be "supporting" what they thought. Exactly like an earlier commentards reference to a friend in Africa. Hmm, flame inspiration here, will try later.
I remember a visit to Nepal. A camp site that was literally in a shit state. Hip touristas managed to whine about it, but did nothing.
A British army group arrived - officer cadets in the charge of an RSM straight out of Zulu. Apparently they were touring round the country to actually learn about it. Said RSM looked around and said "Right". or something to that effect. And went to talk to the locals about what they reckoned was the solution.
24 hours later, when they left, a functional outhouse had been constructed from dry stone walling. Built by the cadets. And the er.... problem tidied up a bit.
The right out types were still hating on the evil military. While using the outhouse.
Back in the day, I was homeless and destitute and during one part of that period, lived in the UK for over a year without any reserves or handouts - not even a coat. I commend the current vogue of £1/day eating, because it is walking a mile in the other guy's shoes.
Anon because this isn't on my CV
I've been following these quid-a-day posts and think they are great. I too once lived in poverty and it was horrible, with no clear sign of it ending. I was at the point where ramen was too expensive. I found this user's intended post ridiculous. Hunger is something that most people who don't deal with forget about. Projects (or "stunts") such as this are attempts to remedy the situation and make life better for all. Also, for those who aren't impoverished, but still concerned about the high cost of food, an demonstration like this can hopefully open eyes to more fugal ways of living to help make people's lives better. Don't hate.