Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Innovative ideas....

Well, I haven't posted in forever and so I thought I'd better get something up. I decided to post a paper I wrote for one of my classes... our assignment was simply this: Write a persuasive essay...Here's what I wrote... (For those of you who may have read "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift, this is somewhat of an ode to his writing..)
I apologize in advance for my insensitivity...

My Humble Suggestion
The Homeless: A Drain on Society – or a Marketable Product?

Although Canada is a thriving and prosperous nation, as a society, we still have our issues. One of these issues is the dilemma of our country’s homeless. Canada’s homeless are diverse and many, all carrying their own stories and their own reasons for the circumstances they are in. Some people see this as a big problem, but not me. The homeless of our nation need not be an affliction to society. In fact, I believe that they can be an asset. With a little marketing creativity and some capitalist values, Canada’s homeless situation could be transformed into an entrepreneurial dream come true.

Now the possibilities are endless, but to illustrate my point I will make a few suggestions as to how we could begin taking advantage of our most recently discovered natural resource. For our first idea, we can look to Canada’s youth, who are always brimming with new and innovative ideas. In the recent past, in both the United States and Canada, there have been reports of teenagers staging what are called “bum fights.” In these bum fights, two homeless are pitted against one another in a physical fight, usually for a food reward, a sandwich for example. The winner of the fight evidently receives the prize, while the losing bum presumably slinks away to find other means of satisfying himself. Apparently these kinds of staged events have become popular among many young people, which makes it clear that the question is not “could we market this?” but rather, “why hasn’t anyone packaged and priced this yet?” Cost for putting on these events would be practically nothing, especially since the best place to watch bums duke it out would be in their natural habitats, under bridges and in back alleys. These venues cost nothing to use, and by creating an enclosed space and acquiring some kind of security personnel, one could make it possible to charge a nominal fee to gain entry to view the bum fights.

Once again, these small details can be easily taken care of free, or relatively free of charge, if only one uses a little creativity. For example, a few strategically placed trash cans and empty boxes, which will undoubtedly be many and nearby, can create a grand, and portable, stadium atmosphere. As for the security personnel, why not use homeless people for that too? They will be close by already anyway, and can be paid in sandwiches, or some other equivalent, as ultra cheap and convenient labour. Watching a bum fight could be an excursion you take alone, with friends, or with the whole family, and could really bring us back to times like the ancient Romans had in their grand coliseums. This brings forth an additional idea -- themes for bum fights. With just a visit to the local costume store, the event has been turned into not only a form of entertainment, but also an informative and memorable history lesson. Bums could be transformed into World War Two-like soldiers, brave Roman gladiators or British and American patriots.

Another example of how we can best take advantage of this natural resource is by reverting back to some of the age-old, yet brilliant tactics of our forefathers – human trade. In the modern world, life is much too busy, and sometimes many of us could just use another pair of hands. This could be made completely possible if homeless people could be packaged and marketed properly. Anyone could purchase his or her own homeless individual; they would be very affordable because of the large and easily accessed supply. Life could go back to being simpler, less busy and less stressful. Want to go out with your significant other but need to have that report on your boss’ desk tomorrow morning? Let your bum take care of it; having to use wiles and trickery living on the street, bums can be very innovative and productive with their ideas. Need those rain gutters cleaned out but just can’t find the time? Climbing on dumpsters and sleeping in narrow spaces makes scaling the roof easy as pie for your bum, and don’t worry about the mess, it won’t bother him, he’s used to being dirty. Should a person be worried about the cost of keeping a homeless person, they may put those concerns to rest. Maintaining your bum is simple: Sleeping quarters can be arranged in the garage or shed and cost of feeding your bum is so minimal, it’s comparable to keeping a small house pet. They need to be fed only a small amount once or twice a day, and otherwise need little care, as street life has made them minimalistic and surprisingly resilient. Homeless people can also make wonderful companions in your leisure time, many of them having interesting stories to tell, and hilarious antics to perform for you and your whole family. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll grow attached to your homeless person.

The most fortunate part of these new and innovative ideas is that everyone wins in the situation. Canadian people can have access to cheap entertainment and a helping hand in everyday life with the use of homeless people. Many young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs will be able to get new businesses off the ground and bring in some great revenues because of the aforementioned low cost of marketing the homeless, and the certain success of the product. Bums will be able to get a sense of pride, belonging and contributing to society as they become useful products and assets to their nation and its people.

Why no one has taken advantage of this amazing resource yet is unknown to me, but it need not go on being a wasted opportunity any longer. With virtually no disadvantages, and many benefits for everyone involved, the pros outweigh any cons by tons in this new, exciting and innovative proposal. With these modest ideas put forward, my hope is that some intelligent, motivated individuals will grab hold of the concept of marketing the homeless and put their own personal touch to it – so that no longer will there be the question of if this marketing sensation might happen, but when.

( Sorry I know it's long.. I got a pretty good mark on this..=) )