Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The loss of American neighborliness and more

  • Face to Face calls another one: Gen X and Millennials don't say "Hi" around the neighborhood. People from the old America were taught to at least fake being nice. These people weren't. Neighborliness from when we were actually closer to equal (postwar boom: midcentury, the '50s; including what Steve Sailer calls diversity before "diversity"), before striving and cocooning, as well as the Sixties, turned people into psychopaths. (Not sociopaths: they're charming; watch your back.)
  • Ugly facts about Communist Cuba. Often a liberal establishment pulpit like the Onion, here Cracked is sort of conservative for a change.
  • Jack Webb, cultural Catholic. Good Cold War liberal, a social conservative. If he had the technology, he would have made "Cops," not settled for dramatization.
  • Gabriel Sanchez: Preparedness. The American Orthodox handled the Sixties just right, by not really engaging, just translating their entirely traditional Catholic services into English, not writing new ones. That said, I don't think they're better prepared for a real persecution. Not only do they disappear in three generations in America, but religious and ethnic folklore, while good, aren't substitutes for real theology and the church. Also, historically they accommodate the state after a round of persecution, since such comes naturally to them from Byzantium. Gabriel's point is a reason I'd love it if American Catholicism were Byzantine but it's not and never will be. (Same vanishing in three generations; assimilation.) The Southern Baptist Convention is better prepped than most Catholics (religious Catholics are ready); they rode out the Sixties and can ride this out too. But they're still not the church.
  • Manosphere criticism. Bob Wallace, in his criticism of the social hierarchy the manosphere posits, even seems to disparage Rob Fedders' better map with the true alphas as natural leaders, assets to society, not sociopaths (who do get girls short-term but not quality ones and they destroy communities and themselves). Good point: while sports and sexual prowess are measures, they aren't everything; not the only measures. Our cultural obsession with sports (which I don't share) blinds us; the best athlete or cheerleader (hackneyed examples he says manospherians buy into) isn't necessarily the brightest or most attractive, nor bound for later, long-term success. He may just be an average-looking, dumb kid who can throw a football. Manosphere truth: looks don't matter as much for men; attitude matters. (For women, looks matter, for reproduction.) Wallace's point: you can't make girls like you by approaching them cold (a.k.a. harassing girls). Manosphere counterpoint: when you have the right attitude, real or assumed, they are more likely to like you, dropping a hint of interest, the way it really works. MGTOW point, echoing the world's great religions, such as Buddhism and Christianity: giving yourself up to try to please the other sex makes you a slave (to women and to your desires), not a real man. Counter-counterpoint: Christian self-sacrifice (betas are normal; not every man is a leader; nice beta providers are the backbone of civilization whom normal women are grateful to have) and of course naturally men and women want to be with each other (kids). A real man is about 'αρετη (excellence), "being all that you can be." (Why work is a spiritual experience for men, even if we know that work isn't family like girls sometimes pretend it is.) If it happens to please the other sex (and it's more likely to), great; if not, so what? Either way you're answering God's calling for you.
  • Commercial for '58 Plymouths' Forward Look. With Betty White.


  1. I've lived in this house for twenty-five years. When I was little, before all the old neighbours either died off or moved away, everyone knew everyone, everyone got along (well, except my father with Pam), and you said "good morning" whenever you passed them or saw them in town. You shared your life experiences, looked after one another. When we were burgled we went to have tea with Betty and Harry (who moved away years ago). But the old neighbours have gradually been replaced with people who don't ever talk to anyone, middle class careerists who treat their homes as simply a place to sleep at night. There's no neighbourliness anymore. A terrible loss.

  2. My gentrifying neighbors In Phila. have found me to be a curious old curmudgeon. They seem bemused by my rad reactionary views and my paleo-Catholicism. But they have been WONDERFUL peeps, and we all mutually entertain thru the year. When I returned to my street last June, I was blown away by them - by their simply throwing an impromptu get together (cocktails, cheese) to celebrate my return.
    Down here in a Sunbelt suburb of nowhere, the folks keep much more to themselves. And only a handful are Florida natives.

  3. I, on the other hand, live in a neighborhood where I know most of the people on my block, and they know me. My next door neighbor, Ernie, is a fascinating guy who has his own man-cave in his garage, who regularly grills burgers, dogs, chicken and hot links for the neighborhood, and people respond by bringing stuff to the party.

    I guess that Tom Lehrer was right when he said, "Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put in it." Or, for all you commenters and the alleged Young Fogey: "Neighbors are as neighbors do." If ya ain't going to act like a neighbor, ya ain't gonna be treated like one."

  4. I am what you would consider a late "Gen-Xer" or early "Millennial" depending on which generation time line you use. I am a few months shy of 40 being born in early 1976. I generally greet people, wave or nod when out and about unless in a true hurry, or dodging foul weather. With older folks it is fairly simple, the gesture is returned. With folks my age and more so younger, it varies. I find I nod more at younger folks being eight times out of ten they have some form of ear phones/buds dangling from their ears, and often looking/ fidgeting with a device/phone. That, or chatting away with someone via Bluetooth (gives the impression at first glance they are "not all there upstairs" as they appear to walking along conversing with themselves). So, nod it is. Maybe I am an exception to the rule of my generation being I was brought up primarily among the old generation, and the small town I grew up was functionally still in the late 50's - early 60's. I also knew most of the folks who lived in the neighborhood I grew up in. We did have an occasional neighborhood picnic, and mom and they neighbor lady talked daily and went to lunch together every Friday.


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