Right now I’m feeling like that painting called “the Scream
Cin made a good comment about my last entry. If we aren’t careful our children aren’t going to know how protest. We’re already so fragmented that I’m honestly surprised when anyone does mount a protest about anything. But, the first time a group agreed to hold their protest in a designated “free speech” zone, the first nail went in the coffin. Whenever we agree that we need a permit to hold a rally on public property, our property, there goes another nail. The constitution doesn’t say anything about speech only being free if it takes place in a certain area.
Once upon a time (sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale) the market place was public space. You actually had to interact with people to get what you wanted and there were no private security guards to tell you to shut up if the discussion got a little heated. Of course you might end up in a brawl but better a bloody nose than scared rabbit silence.
There were town squares with the obligatory statue of a local hero or a slightly rusty cannon, cliché I know but it was public property where the public could meet and speak. But, the new strip mall cities in the southwest don’t have town squares and the market place has been replaced by private merchants on private property.
We can get in our big ol SUV’s with the tinted windows and drive to the store or the mall. We can avoid making eye contact with any one, in fact a lot of us are probably afraid to in case we honk off some nutcase. We park and go inside, again basically ignoring anyone around us. We do our business. We pick out our packaged, plastic wrapped, pre cut, pre-measured, pre weighed goodies and most of the time there isn’t a clerk in sight. In some stores you can check out and bag your purchases on your own. You don’t even need to interact with a checker. You can go back out to your oversized chariot, drive home and never interact with another human being. Home to our environmentally controlled cocoons and our pre packaged music and entertainment. God, I’m a surly bastard this afternoon.
If you know even one or two of your neighbors it’s a miracle. Heaven knows I don’t want my neighbors knowing about everything I do or get a gander at everything on my reading list but how can we get enough voices together to be heard when we can’t even get together?