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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sleeping In Jeans

As I observed the body painting display of Mike Lee, a group of my friends became engaged in a very spirited discussion over the validity of Mike's homeless experiment. Mike is a senior at Dartmouth College and, as an adventure, decided to try living on the streets of New York City with no money and no shelter for 14 days, in the period between his commodities trading internship and the start of fall term. However, the self-imposed homelessness did not sit well at all with my friends, who had many issues with a boy of privilege, enrolled in an Ivy League college, asking for food and donations.

In addition to foraging for food and sleeping in his pink sleeping bag, Mike was given challenges, reminiscent of reality TV shows. The controversy is understandable. Mike's appearance, education, and the voluntary nature of his exile does strain credibility as to the how much of a hardship this really was. On his youtube channel, one film segment shows Mike snagging food and drinks on SoHo's Fashion Night Out, something impossible for a truly homeless person to pull off. Another episode shows an evening with a table setup in Washington Square Park and Mike dining with a series of guests.

But for someone of his means and background, what's a boy to do that fancies to experience homelessness, except to try Sleeping in Jeans?

Related Posts: Caught in the Rain, Because It's Not, Down On His Luck, Stephanie, Aspiration, Caravan of Dreams, Homeless Art Scene


time traveler said...

I agree with your friends..Mike can't know the desperation and depths of frustration that being truly homeless carries..He knows he can 'punk out' at any time (I quit-going home now)..Almost an insult or a mockery of those who are trapped in the ugly reality..

Mary P. said...

Maybe by putting a toe in the water he will be starting a learning experience that will lead him to do something useful in life.

Brian Dubé said...

time traveler - true.

Mary P. - true also. after all, it is unreasonable to think Mike Lee can strip himself of his privileges. So in spite of arguments that this is disingenuous, it is an effort to see the other side.

0man said...

Interesting ... I never seen anything like this. Aaaa... I heard, but I actually didn't saw pictures or someone painting with his body ...