LA Hipster takes picture next to homeless man: How did one image come to rile the internet?
A Los Angeles Hipster has become the scorn of the internet after nearby witness Rich Michalowski snapped photos of a woman boisterously posing for photos in front of a Silver Lake neighborhood mural promoting peace and love, with a homeless man sleeping at her feet.
While the gesture of peace and love may ring true with the millennial set, the tone deaf ‘cringeworthy’ picture has led to many wondering if today’s youth are really in touch with the community around them, save for a moment to score another ‘perfect selfie’ and a self promotion scoop.
Reads the message on the Los Angeles mural by artist, Dallas Clayton, who told of being mortified when he came across the ‘offending’ images: ‘Stand here and think about someone you love.’
In this case, the person you love is oneself. A notion in the age of never ending self promotion and elliptical social media self flagellation (did I just say that?) has become a natural tour de force.
Notes TakePart.com: Although Silver Lake has experienced significant gentrification over the past decade, the neighborhood’s homeless people live in tents, sleep under tarps, or huddle at bus stops—just like the approximately 44,000 other people with no place to live in Los Angeles.
Reflected Clayton: ‘It’s unfortunate that any person would have to sleep on the street. It’s unfortunate that someone could be so disconnected that they would step over someone to take a photograph and also it’s unfortunate that the spectacle of documenting this is easier to discuss and comment on than the root issue is to solve.’
Sounds about right.
Clayton went on to tell he ‘felt sorry for everyone involved.’
Not feeling particularly sorry for the young woman who has since become the symbol of gratuitous insensitive self promotion is Rich Michalowski, a real estate agent who ended up taking several images of the unfolding scene which by Tuesday evening had gone viral.
Told Rich Michalowski: ‘The photographer was directing the woman on where to stand, how to pose and suggested she take off her jacket,’
‘At one point the photographer directed her to move closer to the homeless man so she could center the photo. They were still at it when I drove away.’
Notes the takepart post: While Silver Lake has experienced significant gentrification over the past decade, the neighborhood’s homeless people live in tents, sleep under tarps, or huddle at bus stops—just like the approximately 44,000 other people with no place to live in Los Angeles.
And then there were the reactions on social media that made me wonder too. See what you think?
‘There’s a certain amount of irony involved in posing for a warm fuzzy picture while trying not to stand on a homeless man’s head,’
‘When there is a homeless man in front of the grocery store camped out asking you for money … most people still walk right by and do their shopping … so I am not going to be pissed at these girls for wanting an instagram photo,’
‘Our economic and political system treats us like garbage as soon as we “fail”, it’s even more ironic that anyone is judging 2 girls when our laws make certain people ‘illegal’ for having no resources. What’s even funnier is the photo going viral vs. the hypocritical photographer not doing anything to help the man.’
‘What do you expect those two women to do? Buy him a house? Drop him at a shelter that he’s already aware of? Give him food or money? The latter would only draw more criticism from many of you, and either would only be a temporary measure. Don’t take your own guilt out on two women for ignoring a man sleeping just as you’ve done hundreds of times before.’
‘So Mr. Michalowski felt that the young women should instead have awakened this man and done something to help him? And what exactly did Mr. Michalowski do to help this man?’