Showing posts from July 14, 2011

Affairs, Brawls, & Crimes... This Ain't Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

What do any of us really know about our neighbors... or more to the point, what do we think we know about them? This is a question I’ve had (alarming) reason to consider recently, and the answer, I fear, is that we don’t know very much, at all. It wasn’t always like this; in the past, people tended to stay in one place longer, which gave them more opportunity (and reason) to get to know their neighbors better. That's all changed over the last half-century, though; we’re constantly on the move, and the bulk of our communications occur electronically. All those getting-to-know-you cliches (which I'm only familiar with from Classic TV) like summer block parties, visits from Welcome Wagon ladies bearing casseroles and cakes, and cozy afternoon coffee klatsches are now just quaint relics of a bygone era. As for borrowing a cup of sugar (a couple of eggs, milk, whatever) from the near-total stranger down the hall (or across the street)? Not only is that a totally foreign concept to u…