Gary Gulman's new comedy special on growing up poor

Originally published at: Gary Gulman's new comedy special on growing up poor - Boing Boing


And for anyone who hasn’t read it, Scalzi’s essay “Being Poor” also hits home.


Depression has myriad causes and factors both external and internal, but anyone who says “money can’t buy happiness” has never been poor. However true that may be, poverty certainly buys misery.

@OWYAC, that’s a great link, thanks. I identify with about 80% of it, which really made me reexamine the other 20%. Despite growing up in the lower economic echelons of rural Missouri, I didn’t really experience much food insecurity, thankfully. My grandparents were farmers and all of the family had canned foods made by my grandmother, meat raised and hunted and the occasional treat of morel mushrooms lightly breaded and fried, foraged from our bottom land by the fields. Plus lots and lots of government cheese. I think a symptom of that poverty is the deep gratitude I still feel when sharing food with friends and family. Nothing else feels as extravagant or generous as feeding loved ones. My heart aches for anyone going hungry. The Payless shoes, the dollar store toys, the ill-fitting thrift-store-musty clothes all seem trifling next to hunger.


We never went hungry, but there wasn’t anything left over for extras. Lots of hand-me-down clothes, cheap cuts of meat, etc.


Where my government cheese peeps at?

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The comedy special does speak to me so i might check it out :slight_smile:

Looking back on my childhood is weird because there’s complexities about my family’s situation that are hard to explain because i grew up in Venezuela. But arguably it could be said that we grew up as comfortably middle class, maybe lower-middle class but it never felt like we were left wanting for anything. My parents made sure to give us what we needed, we couldn’t afford brand name stuff but we never really asked my parents for expensive things anyways but moving onto adulthood as an 18yo was pretty traumatizing (again for a lot of complex reasons i can’t easily explain except that democracy ended in Venezuela). Moving to the US by myself i found myself barely able to keep shit together and struggled with on and off near poverty for a long time. I still struggle with the mentality of being poor but i have slowly shed a lot of those insecurities as the years go on.


Sunday rump roast still haunts my memories.

That… seems sufficient.

Scarcity mentality is really the most difficult and emotionally taxing aspect for sure. Fortunately my wife and I have somehow worked ourselves into fairly rewarding careers (for poor kids) despite going the hard way around (farming, public service, non-profit work, etc). We’ve found that putting monetary imperative on the top elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and then sort of letting the rest sort itself out has alleviated at least the persistent feeling of poverty and shielded our kids mostly from it. We’ve had to say no more times than I’d like, but they are also more resilient and respectful than a lot of their peers. I can’t help but think not having excess has informed that.


Never apologize for linking to Gary Gulman’s “state abbreviations” bit. It is still one of the best pieces of standup I’ve ever seen. The number of “cleverness” hits is astronomical, but it’s never mean.

Let’s get through New Year’s before we start up on Easter.

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A thought that’s somehow simultaneously revolting and intriguing.

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