Hello, Neighbor........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

My "good friend" Donn over at HomoEscapiens just posted a treatise concerning how isolated we are getting from each other, even going so far as to attend Raves where everybody is digging their own personal iPods rather than house music.

Bullshit. We are NOT all isolated. Why, all I have to do is power up Yahoo messenger, and IF anyone on my list is online, I can connect with them. I can even speak with and view them if we both so wish.

Which we rarely do. Because, it always seems that one or the other has a different version, one having video but not audio and vice versa. Or, one uses Skype and the other MSN messenger, or some really obscure messenger no one ever heard of, or we live in time zones something like 12 hours apart.

I love this new technology. Ever since Americans fled the farms and the crowded, crime ridden cities in favor of the suburbs, no one knows their neighbors anymore, and thanks to the internet, we have now torn down those six foot high fences and gotten to know each other, no distance to great. Of course, we STILL don't have any idea who our IMMEDIATE neighbors are (who are probably lieutenants in the new Crips and are growing mary jane in their huge two-SUV garages while running porn sites from their living rooms), but that doesn't matter, because once you know your neighbors, you are stuck with them, wanting to borrow your lawn mower and never bringing it back, until such time the SWAT team moves in or they are foreclosed on for having bought that home via predatory lending) Think about it; you can connect with all the Wiccans or KKK or Martha Stewart Fan club members or Rosecrusians you could wish for thanks to the internet, but if your neighbor happens to be a nudist or a swinger or a Daughter of those South of the Mason Dixon, well, you are stuck with them forever more. You can't remove them from your favorites, you can't block them; they are THERE, and you have to acknowledge them when you are both out on the front lawn picking up the paper. That sucks.

But, that is the way it USED to be. And it wasn't so terrible, if you can remember it. Those in the cities knew each other because you greeted them walking to the corner grocery or butcher, you knew them on the bus or subway going to work, you knew them as you sat on the porch swing savoring a cool autumn night. In the country, you knew your neighbor even though he lived 2 miles away because he was always there with his truck or his tractor when you needed it and you returned the favor. You knew everybody in the small town in the middle of it all because all of you bought your kerosine, your flour and sugar, your plow heads and horse shoes from the same general store several times a month.

We all knew each other, we all DEALT with each other, and there weren't any delete, block, or remove buttons to turn each other OFF with. We may have had differing opinions about things but we respected each others right to them unless we were feeling lucky or intoxicated enough to think maybe we could change their minds one Saturday night.

Alot of you who read my blog and my comments to yours think you know me and sometimes take offense to some of the things I say. Trouble is, you don't really know me well enough to make the assumptions you do, and vice versa. You don't see my face or experience my mood when I type, thus the things I say via the almighty font is interpreted through the filter of your own present and unique experience, thus things get lost in the translation. I can assure you that half the time you're really off the mark when you think I challenged you on an opinion or a concept. That is why some of us waste so much time on "damage control" when one reader takes unnecessary offense to a post. If there's one thing I truly believe, it's that most of us view the world in much the same way as everybody else. I also believe that we think about things in our own unique fashions, and that is a wonderful thing that is very necessary.

I do not have the cosmopolitan approach to the world that some of you have. I do not have the rough and tumble awareness of the belly of this beast that some of you grew up with. I do not have the innocence and ignorance, however sweet, that I see in some of these blogs that makes me smile despite harsh realities. And, I do not have the arrogance that I have witnessed that makes me want to cry and give up totally on this human race.

But, I AM human, I AM unique, and I AM going to rub some people raw, entertain the hell out of others, and somehow forge an unbreakable bond with some, all due to this need we have to amount to something in the eyes of others, for whatever reason. So, having said that, all I can do is hope you ALL can forgive me for being who I am, and give me the benefit of the doubt when you might otherwise be tempted not to. Why? Because this is the new front porch, and I am going to sit on it, and I am going to be seeing you on yours, and I want it to be a pleasant experience for BOTH of us.

Hello, neighbor. Nice night, doncha think?

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at Sunday, April 27, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

7 slick comments

Interesting post. I believe that, more often than not, we don't truly know most of the people we claim to know - be it in real life or cyber life. We always react according to our filters. Sometimes those filters are highly developed and knowledgble. Other times they couldn't possibly be more ignorant.

April 27, 2008 at 9:16 PM

I do not have the cosmopolitan approach to the world that some of you have. I do not have the rough and tumble awareness of the belly of this beast that some of you grew up with. I do not have the innocence and ignorance, however sweet, that I see in some of these blogs that makes me smile despite harsh realities. And, I do not have the arrogance that I have witnessed that makes me want to cry and give up totally on this human race.

Am I the only one wondering which category I'm being placed in?

April 27, 2008 at 10:18 PM

Citizen, am I the only one wondering if you read the entire post, yet decided to zero in on that one paragraph? Has it not occured to you the high esteem I place on you, based strictly of course, on what I read, because, like I said, I can't KNOW you as well as I should? And, can you imagine that nothing in that paragraph had ANYTHING to do with you personally? Good, bad, or ugly, I consider you one of my neighbors, and if truth be told, I think you drove up the property values the minute I noticed you were here. Just as most everybody on my link list did. All things being considered, you are not a "category". You are who you are. Glad to meet ya!

April 27, 2008 at 11:59 PM

It happens that I have a real front porch. Here's what happens with it.

In the winter, it's too cold out there to use it.

When the weather turns nice in the spring, the nearby pine trees spew chartreuse pollen all over it, so if you try to sit out there you wind up blind and sneezing.

When the pollen subsides, mosquitoes the size of twin-props invade in hordes. Most brazen creatures I've ever seen.

I've come to prefer the virtual front porch, screens and all.

April 29, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Bullshit eh!?

I think that you just proved my theory. Being connected on an electronic level is no substitute for borrowing lawn mowers...out here we can carefully manage and manipulate our persona.

In REAL life I am not anywhere near as tedious as I am out here..I'm the quiet, shy, reserved, considerate, friendly guy down the lane who always says Hello and nobody has any idea of my wacky left of centre agnostic cosmology or my plans to alter the space/time continuum and force the Silver Surfer to do my bidding as I fully intend on sucking the lifeforce out of every planet in the Universe...
oh and yes it's all just to impress Monica Bellucci.

April 29, 2008 at 11:48 AM

And Donn, you just proved MY point, that in real life you are simply going to borrow my lawnmower and that's the last I'll ever see of it! lol

April 29, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Hello neighbor back at you! We were pretty fortunate when we found our street that we now live on. Dead end road off a dead end road, 10 houses, we're the 6th on the right, canal's across the street. We all know each other. Share the fruits of our labors. Heck, our neighbor comes over and blows our driveway off for us when he has his blower out. He also walks around with his "Big Dog's Garage" boxers on with no shirt. That's the neighborhood I live in. We love it.

Glad to be part of your neighborhood. I like it here. I think I'll stay.

April 30, 2008 at 5:34 PM

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