I wouldn't call an anonymous board "my friends". Maybe some of us are. But death is usually not a topic for public discussions, is it?
Not in today's social economy. We have become a local and global society of locks, burglar alarms and privacy fences and this has internalized like osmosis into the very essence of our beings. As it turns out, I am writing a paper on the "Invisible Privacy Fences" right now. I will link you to it when I am done (Q1 '10), if you like, but I digress.
The crux is that this is a contemporary phenomenon. Life did not used to be that way. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting some Pollyanna-style delusion of sticking our heads in the sand. There is badness in the world we should be alert to when necessary. I am saying that the conception of "community" has been suffering an ever-advancing anemia with the cancer of vox populi vox dei
It is irefutable that urbanization has, does and will degrade human relationships by ever-expanding usurpation of the capacity of individuals (neighbors) to provide what others need through public "services;" thereby destroying the womb of community adhesion. Simply, urbanization aborts the unborn child of community by displacing the nurturing habitat. Community never gets a chace to form, let alone grow which leaves us impotent and ineffective. This is a maxim well understood by "others" that would leverage their agendas.
Let's test this and see if it holds...
- Do you run out of your house in the middle of the night ready with bucket-in-hand or hose to bring aid to your neighbors down the street when you hear the siren of the fire truck a block away?
- When you hear your neighbor (or even friend) planning to put up a large shed (or, ironically, a privacy fence) in his back yard next Saturday, do you arrive at his house uninvited just in time for a hearty breakfast in your overalls with gloves, hammer and saw in hand?
- When you hear of the loss of a child in a neighborhood family do you take days off and make sure they know that you are there for them without thinking about what it will cost you at the end of the week in lost wages? Are you even close enough to your neighbors to know when a loss has occurred?
The answers are pretty obvious, except in very rare circumstances. The questions were rhetorical. It is the nature of the desensitized culture we have all been duped by in this age unless we examine it further. When we stand in our pajamas, our feet wet with dew, in our front yard after midnight distantly viewing the conflagration and the commotion, we feel helpless and emasculated. We stand with our arms limp at our side, useless to render aid. Not because we want to, but because we are stripped of purpose at the moment. Our natural inclination to assist has been lobotomized from our essence by the effect of the juggernaut of public works and urbanized economies. In our displacement we don't realize how gladly our neighbor's wife would be to "add another plate" being girded up in knowing her husband won't be alone all day in his task. In the same vein, the timid smile that would creep on to the face of your neighbor when he opens the door and sees you standing on his porch, realizing that somebody cares about his tragic loss can not be provided by or explained with words.
Perhaps the scenarios I am suggesting may seem far-fetched and unrealistic to you. That would be no surprise, but I assure you this is the way life existed and still exists where the membranes of "progress' did not and have not been able to consume life-cells in their phagocytosis. People used to be neighbors in this way as I describe. I have heard about it from grandmas and grandpas. I have read it in American and foreign histories. I have seen it in the lives of my parent's generation. I have lived it for twenty years of my fifty. One would be considered maladjusted if one did not
ask their neighbor for help or let on that they were planning to raise a barn. Society is supposed to be vibrant with caring.
Please do not feel that I am condemning you in any way. I anticipated that someone would find Stoic Joker's expression a bit beyond the acceptable norms in the public arena. I only wanted you to know one reason why you felt about it the way you did. The good news is if you have discovered something in this that, although it seemed odd at first, now seems to be growing on you then you are seeing the first gleams of dawn about what this DC Community is all about and why Stoic Joker felt the need to share his loss.
I realize I have rambled some. Perhaps a careful review of this thread
may prove instructive.[Edit - formatting and additions.]