The spirit of community is dead.
I live in the country, so we still have a little of it left, but by and large, the cities of America have become the waste bins of civilization. I just came from town where I overheard some shit I didn’t really appreciate.
Mom lives in town, and her pond pump fell into the pond. She’s worried about her fish. Okay so I drove into town and fish out the pump, clean it up, add a wire to it so it can be taken up from the pond more easily, and while I’m fixing the gig, I over hear the neighbor bitching and cursing out his little daughter. I’m getting cranky, hot under the collar, and thinking about how I’d like to go over the fence and fuck this dick up. She’s a little girl for Christ sake.
I remembered the time, God, must have been nearly 40 years ago, when some ass hole where I grew up thought it was funny to scare kids on the fishing pier with a knife while they were on their way to the bathroom. I remember telling pops what was happening. He finished his beer, tossed the bottle aside, and said, “I’ll be right back. Watch the poles.” The men around us overheard and decided it was their business to follow pops down the pier in case he needed assistance.
They all knew each other, and by the time they reached the ass hole, there was maybe a dozen with him. They fucked this guy’s shit up in a hurry, and when they were done with him, he decided it was time to leave. Never saw him at the pier again.
Within my lifetime I’ve watched the spirit of community disappear. It used to be that people actually gave a fuck about others. It used to be that when something was wrong people had the decency and common sense to know that somebody needed to be protected and somebody needed an ass kicking. There wasn’t any hesitation and you weren’t on your own going it alone without the backing of the community.
Today you can’t rely on your neighbor. If I’m you’re neighbor you can rely on me, and the few cranky old bastards out there left, but then what?
Today if you hear the shit I heard, most go hide. They might call the police. Then the police show up in a half hour to pick up the pieces. A report is filed with social services and they spend six months or a year investigating, can’t get enough goods on the dick to do anything, then the family moves and the deal is dropped.
Then I have to worry about retaliation. If I go over the fence and give this ass hole the beating he desperately needs, are these pussy neighbors going to look after my mom when I drive away? Or are they going to keep hiding in their houses watching cable? If the police show, they’ll arrest me instead of the guy abusing his daughter. I’ll have the legal problem instead of the guy who needs it. Then a jury full of pussies will hear the case and feel the guilt of their own weakness and say I should let the police handle it, the guys who show up late and arrest the good Samaritan instead of the child abuser.
It’s a society of utilitarian drones that cannot think for themselves. It’s a society of cowards that will not do the right thing if it costs them anything, and if you do good, there is sure to be a price because you weren’t supposed do be the one to do it, and the community is not with you.
This is the world we live in. The spirit of community is dead, and the specialists of radical egalitarian thought have established the division of the whole. When one cog breaks another cog on springs does not snap into place and keep the gears of civilization going. Today when one cog breaks the entire transmission fails because the lazy self-involved citizenry have been abdicating their responsibilities for so long by driving the automatic transmission of civilization that when they finally dump a gear, they’ve forgotten how to shift a manual, and they don’t have strength in their leg to work a clutch.
Society today is soft and weak. Morally, intellectually, physically, there is little left in the way of character to grease the gears. They are grinding, and a little saw dust won’t fix it. Eventually you need a rebuild.
It’s no longer the world where one can simply do good. You have to have some official sanction to do the obvious in a society that has replaced church and community with government. I’m gonna mention the shit I heard to a deputy friend soon, and he’ll tell the right person in the police department in town. This is how it’s done now. You have to whisper to get word to the right person in the right place if you want to see anything get done. It should be obvious that kids need protection, but it isn’t.
Because the spirit of community is dead, and if you want to do good you have to sneak.