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Beggar art in Civic

By Kerces 21 February 2006 96

I was at Dobinson’s earlier today appeasing my growling stomach and contemplating why I’d been given bread with an avocado and some cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and cream cheese instead of the usual grilled vegetable extravaganza you get when you order a vegetarian focaccia when a drawing was pushed onto my table.

I gave a muttered thanks and half glanced at the guy who had put it there and went back to my contemplation. A minute or so later, after he had done the rounds of the few other people sitting there, he came back and said, “Excuse me but do you have a spare coin?” Feeling it would be a little rude to give him back his drawing I gave him a dollar, this time taking in the freshly-bruised eye and the scabbed gashes on his forehead.

I now present you with the picture, which I must say is only just less scary than the God-Botherer’s poems (which I was given for free once), and ask first for your interpretation or critique and second if anyone else has had the same experience, and if they were given the same picture.

Beggar's drawing


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Beggar art in Civic
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Gromit70 11:48 pm 21 Jan 07

Daniel has never been kind or genuine whenever he’s tried to scrounge money from me. A rude, ignorant prick with no manners and a blatant disregard for personal hygiene. So **** Daniel, and all the other low life that hangs around the Civic Interchange. Make your own way in life instead of leeching off the rest of us.

sunshine 8:47 pm 28 Feb 06

i’ve known Danny for years – and whilst he may have schizophrenia and at times self-medicate with illict drugs, he is one of the kindest most genuine people i’ve ever met. I feel honoured to buy all paintings he offers to me as at least i know he is still painting (something which brings him great joy)and isn’t breaking into people’s homes stealing for money.
for all those that care – danny got beaten up recently – his crime you ask? he fell asleep in the park because he couldn’t get home – the voices were telling him he’d be killed if he went home. Whilst he slept somewhere safe – or so he thought – some uncaring yob in our canberra community beat him up, stole his las few dollars and left him to rot. shame on you whoever did it and shame on you who don’t understand or want to understand what danny goes through on a daily basis!! he’s a human being – lets treat him like one.

Konrad_Lenz 9:36 am 25 Feb 06

Sorry wonsworld, I missed that, you got a point there too. My idiotic mistake.

wonsworld 9:27 pm 24 Feb 06

err Konrad .. thats what I said a few posts up. Only I didnt feel it was right to put Mrs Mac’s postal address on this site, thats why I suggested the Google search and get it themselves.

Konrad_Lenz 8:44 pm 24 Feb 06

Just tracked down this from the Radio National website and also confirmed that what Daniel has is schizophrenia not bipolar –

What’s Daniel Doing?
Author: Ruth McFadden
Available from Ruth McFadden, PO Box 792, Cooma NSW 2630. It costs $20, which includes postage.

Konrad_Lenz 8:38 pm 24 Feb 06

Bulldog, I totally agree that heroin is worse than alcohol or cigarettes. I’ll often hear naive ideas bandied about on how much more addictive smoking is than heroin which is just crap. I totally agree that alcohol and cigarettes don’t lead anyone to commit crimes. Alcohol is destructive for a small percentage of drinkers, cigarettes are only physically destructive but heroin totally changes a persons perceptions. It completely removes a person from themselves and becomes their only focus. Its probably the worst drug out there but as far as my views on legalisation of heroin go, I just feel it would be better treated as an illness and not a crime. If heroin could be administered from hospital or on prescription then its use could at least be monitored. It would probably loose a lot of its mystique as well. Young and naive people wouldn’t glamourise the life of a junkie going into hospital. I’ve known a lot of people who’ve idiotically idealized it as a sort of outlaw lifestyle. The profits that can be made from trading in an illegal substance would evapourate. I’m all for getting addicts off the stuff but the current war against drugs is a loosing battle and its self perpetuating.

As far as Daniel goes, on top of his other problems he most probably is using, he looks and acts like he’s on smack and he’s often around junkies. He’s a difficult person and like I said earlier I can completely understand if people don’t want him in their establishments, that’s fine. I have no idea if he’s ever been violent. If he hasn’t been then I don’t think he should be shut away. If he is, then that’s a good case for putting him away. As it stands, from what i know of him, he is difficult to talk to, elusive, vague, strange, annoying and totally lost. About 2 years ago I thought he was going to die soon. But he’s still around. I first met him at an art opening, he was a little more together (though not a lot) back then than he is now and still vaguely connected to his past. His mother wrote a book about him too a while back. I remember hearing her interviewed about him on the radio about 10 years back. Anyone interested could probably track down a copy. I can’t remember the title.

Maelinar 3:16 pm 24 Feb 06

I don’t paticularly fancy that the illicit drug trade is doing too successfully in Alice Springs, perhaps a $50 one way bus ticket and a ban on entering any capital city for at least 5 years might resolve the issue.

I still think that there are other options left over shooting galleries, and it’s nonsensical to continue to promote them as the final option. Pandering to junkies will only ever leave you poorer, and with a whole heap of junkies.

Mr_Shab 1:21 pm 24 Feb 06

Bulldog – I disagree that heroin (in a bland medical way) is profoundly harmful. It’s a remarkably non-toxic substance compared to most medications out there. I gather the difference between a lethal does and an effective does is much larger than benzodiazapenes (sleeping tablets). Any medical types out there, please tell me if I’m wrong there.

Of course, we’re dealing with 100% pure heroin, which you just don’t get outside a research lab.

The trouble starts when you introduce the healthy spirit of free enterprise into the smack trade, and the pure stuff gets cut with christ knows what (nothing like the thrill of the Ajax high…) and your smackie can’t tell the purity of the stuff till there’s a spike their vein. I’m sure I needn’t remind you of the waves of relatively pure stuff that came through Canberra in the late 90’s. They were dropping like flies.

If the government was “issuing” the stuff, at least you could vouch for the purity (no more OD’s), and you’d stem the transmission of HIV and Hep.

And people do die as a direct result of acute drinking…usually by choking on their vomit.

Of course, I’m up on my soapbox fully aware that none of this will ever happen, and that things are only going to get worse.

Mr_Shab 1:06 pm 24 Feb 06

Bonfire – true; junkies on methadone still commit crimes. A lot of them still take heroin, too. And people not on smack commit crimes.

I agree with your contention that crimes are not committed solely because heroin is illegal. It’s a fallacy of logic (post hoc, ergo propter hoc? C’mon you philosophy students out there – back me up). It doesn’t mean that smackies needing a fix aren’t driven to crime cause they can’t scrape enough cash together from their dole cheque. There’s a link, and to deny it is foolish.

Crime (B&E, bag snatches etc) is a last resort for a junkie, because it’s the riskiest way of getting money; but they will still commit crimes because it can be a FAST way of getting cash. Important when you’re going into withdrawal.

As for forcible detox – you can lead a horse (no pun intended) to water…

You can’t force people to be productive members of society. Especially when you’re dealing with addiction, and the sorts of people prone to addiction. You need to convince them that not being addicted is more rewarding than being addicted. Tough ask when you’re dealing with the high you get from smack, and the baggage of addiction. Boot camp won’t work.

Although the thought of an R.Lee Ermy-esque “drill sergeant” yelling at some scrawny smackie on a frosty parade ground at 5.30am does have a certain bent appeal…

bulldog 12:55 pm 24 Feb 06

What other model do you need than the physical effect Heroin have on the body? Furthermore look to the Opium Dens of the China (and the Chinese poulation around the world) which still operated legally in some places until the 1950’s .

Yes alcohol is bad for you. yes cigarettes are bad for you – but Heroin (or Opium) for that matter is pure filth. I have known more than a coulpe of epople who have turned to heroin over the years – three of them are now worms food courtesy of the garbage, so you’ll forgive me if I say there is a BIG difference between alcohol, cigarettes and smack becasue I have not known anyone commit a crime to get a beer or a smoke; and I have not known anyone who has overdosed and died after drinking or smoking too much.

yes extended and over use of these products will eventually not be good for you, but the process seems to be alarmingly accelerated when using smack.

Konrad – perhaps I’m guilty of being holier than thou, but my note about ‘all talk and no action’ it was a suggestion rather than a statement – and I also said that I hoped you’d prove me wrong. All I ask is that also think about the labels and language you use in the forum as it is detrimental to open and thoughtful diatribe. No hard feeling from end, I’ve said my bit now watch me move on.

And – can anyone confirm that Danny is in fact on smack? wons, you might be able to answer if you have managed to read the book? Konrad, you’ve said that you have spoken to him? Does anyone know if he is a junkie or if he is just ‘altered’?

Bonfire – did you ever see that doco about Junkies in Russia? They would try boiling them and freezing them to leach the toxins out of their system, thus compacting the detox process down to about five hours. Only downside is that of those that didn’t die as a result of this treatement, something like eighty percent of them went out and got on the scag again. Are there any real cures for heroin addiction if the person in question has no will power to stay clean?

bonfire 11:42 am 24 Feb 06

The contention that because heroin is illegal, that crime is commited is wrong.

Junkies on methadone STILL commit crimes.

The state owes a duty of care to all, junkies included, but it cannot hand them a tool with which they kill themselves, and harm society by their actions in the process.

Forcibly detox them. Boot camp them if necessary. Modify their behaviour and teach them social skils, self discipline and self respect.

Shoot dealers. Or send them to Denpasar.

wonsworld 11:27 am 24 Feb 06

For anyone who is truely interested. Danny’s mother wrote a book about his problems and diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The book is titled “What’s Daniel Doing?” and should be available from Monaro Books and Music (49 Vale Street, Cooma – 02 6452 4225) or directly from his mother.

A quick Google search will give you her contact address.

Konrad_Lenz 10:57 am 24 Feb 06

Bulldog, what’s ridiculous about legalization of heroin? There are several problems associated with heroin, one is the addiction and all that goes with it and the other is drug related crime which is a product of the addiction combined with prohibition. On top of it all, prohibition is what creates such a lucrative market for narcotics. Without prohibiition no one would be making the profits they do out of selling the damn stuff. Where there’s no market for something it has a tendency to evapourate. You should think a little yourself.
As to all talk and no action, that is something which could, rightfully or wrongfully, be levelled at anyone writing to this site. You don’t know my life and I don’t know yours so I’ll never levell that one on you. You’re just as guilty of being holier than thou in that respect.
And Slapp Monkey, it ain’t a baiting game. I’m just pissed off at your attitude.

Mr_Shab 10:56 am 24 Feb 06

S_M – your education is beside the point. Take a position and stick to it. Also – coming across all hostile (“blow me”, etc) from the get-go is going to get you flamed. Still – you’ve managed to put forward an arguement to counter mine/konrad’s/johnboy’s; so kudos.

I still reckon locking people of Danny’s ilk up is not the answer. A properly funded monitoring and support program to keep him on his meds would be a better, and less stigmatising way of sorting him out.

Locking people up fosters dependency on the institution. For example, a newsagency I used to work in was held up by a lady not actually wanting to rob it – just wanting to get arrested and sent back to Hennesy House (the mental health ward at Calvary) because she couldn’t deal with the outside world.

A community-based solution will keep people on the straight and narrow, but give them a degree of self reliance. We want to rehabilitate them don’t we?

Also – if you stabilise a person’s mental condition, in my experience (yes – I do have some experience, albeit limited, in mental health) you’re nine-tenths of the way to sorting out their substance abuse problems.

And another thing (I’m nearly done)…the heroin trial should have gone ahead. How else are we supposed to work out if that approach might work? If it’s an unmitigated disaster, I guess I’ll have to think of some other tack to take on solving the problem. But I guess we’ll never know now…

Absent Diane 10:54 am 24 Feb 06

I would be very concerned if I was in your head random…

The only people who should be allowed to abuse any form of mind altering substance be it grog or drugs are those who produce amazing art…. everyone else are pretty much become annoyingk

Slapp_monkey 10:18 am 24 Feb 06

Thanks Bulldog,

I’m not the most educated person and I suspect there are a lot better speakers on this forum then myself. I am glad that I have the chance to voice my opinion. The introduction of opium based products to the market/community is not one that can be safely predicted. the long term result are completely unknown there is no model we can base our release on. I’m not a smart person I don’t work in a high paying office job yet I suspect that introduction of opium based products will lead to the same old problems that occur with booze or smokes. Just with a much easier and valuable product to produce at home. All this is really another issue which is not Danny, perhaps it should be a new discussion topic.

As to the state of the current medical system that allows the disadvantaged like danny to go off the deep end. Yes something does need to be done, they are under funded and poorly empowered.

I prepose that He needs to be removed from access to any non-medicated drugs. One of his problems is not just smack but also his consumtion of other drugs even legal ones. Booze is just as bad.
This nutbar needs time to get clean and get in control of his life. Perhaps he never will in which case he should be kept out of harms way.

Yes locked up for good if he cannot be cured/or atleast treated to managable level.

I haven’t seen danny in awhile I wonder if someone as finally done something about him.

Sorry Konrad but I’m through with this baiting game of yours. Have a nice day.

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