The 700 billion dollar bailout. People living on the streets with stolen grocery store shopping
carts for homes. Years of greed and lies. Years of money sucking speculation. The editor of The
Wall Street Journal warns that bailout plans steal from future generations. He calls it “child
abuse” to focus attention, compares it to telling a bed time story to his children:
“Someone is going to take your piggy bank.”
The greed advocates blame people who can’t pay their home mortgages.
I teach in expensive art schools that are surrounded by homeless people. I’ve seen this
contrast for over a decade. I decided to draw these things, these people, the greed. Started in
Las Vegas where greed should have been evident. It wasn’t. Gamblers there were petty. At
home in San Francisco, I began to study the shopping cart people. They were zombie like, the
living dead. They were poor, it seemed to me, though I’m told that most are mentally
disturbed, many are drug addicted. It doesn’t matter. I’ll draw them.
“Homeless zombies are coming to take your piggy bank”, I heard the man saying to his child.
I knew where those people lived. In the trash strewn lots behind my art schools. Places where
the homes had no mortgages because they were made of cardboard. A song had tuned me in
to cardboard towns. “…writes the last shall be first and the first shall be last… on a cardboard
box beneath the underpass”. Bruce was right about cardboard boxes. I saw them everywhere
the homeless people congregated. Cardboard towns. I heard the Wall Street man’s bed time
story again.
“Homeless zombies from cardboard town are coming to take your piggy bank, Charlie.”
Charlie asked his dad to give his piggy bank to the zombies. “Why, Charlie?”. “I like zombies”,
Charlie said.
This was in my imagination; but the cardboard towns were real. I had seen them. Almost every
day. When I was fortunate enough to be asked by Bert Green to do some drawings, it seemed
like they should deal with these subjects that had been on my mind. I called the whole group
of them… Cardboard Town.

By Barron Storey