Wolraich: Best 'O Dag: Vote for your favorites
Doc Cleveland: Police, Danger, and the Social Contract
Hello all - I got a comment here that told me most of what I write is "about me." Tell me if I'm doing that too much please. Since I'm writing about social isolation, it would probably be appropriate to not sound too socially isolated, right? Heh.
After I had my breakdown, which was so significant I don't know how to write without talking about it, I became a frequent at a local psychiatric clinic in Seattle.
I was there every day. They all know pretty well. Everyone there knows one another pretty well.
That's the thing - the community was strong and, as a result, the place is fairly safe. Fear breeds fear - people act rashly, violently or self-destructively when they are confused. Violence never happens out of clear thinking. I have my doubts that any of the people there will go bananas with banana clips any time soon - they will have outbursts sure but the outbursts may be talking about hurting themselves or others, not piling other people up with firearms - certainly not doing what Adam Lanza did.
That's an abnormal situation in modern America. The poverty that the mentally ill have may have created it - people in poverty often have to be more communal. Americans have become so isolated in the last fifty years that they became totally detached from reality - families grow up so strained by work that they never talk with one another, kids growing up enthralled by video games, computers, etc. to the point of never leaving that environment.
In Seattle, where I grew up, it's too an extreme. My uncle in Guam called it "myopic" - people will be on the bus and not say a thing to each other. Alot of people have moved in to the city looking for an opportunity - you can tell how alien they are when they say foreign language stuff like "How are you?" and "Hello."
Whatever diagnosis he had, and I've said many times here that I have my doubts "Asperger's" is even real, Adam Lanza was really isolated mentally. His mother's survivalism was lurched in paranoia - that mentality of constantly thinking the world is going to come to end is rooted in a disconnect with society. He self-isolated from his own father - another sign of the roots of social decay that leads to this sort of thing.
That's probably a big part of what is going on with all these mass shootings. No matter the stress of modern society, there is a step beyond stress and shooting large groups of people. Hell, there are several steps. If so many people in our country are literally jumping over those steps, perhaps it has to do with a society in which no one is ever taught those steps.