No, Betsy, we don't hate ourselves. We hate 'them.' The 'them' who isn't as healthy as we happen to be at this moment, and who have medical needs that we don't have right now that they can't pay for. The 'them' who have better insurance than we do. The 'them' who have less than we do, so they might run out of resources a little while before we do in a crisis in their lives, and need help. The 'them" who have a bit more than we do, and are therefore (presumably) less anxiety-ridden about their futures, as well as being able to buy 'more' stuff right now. The 'them' who have kids in school who need educating, and the 'them' who don't, so how can they possibly know what it's like to raise children today? The 'them' who can manage to have a stay-at-home parent, and the 'them' who are single parents struggling to put food on the table. The 'them' who have lost jobs and can't find work, so they deserve what they get because they're lazy, and the 'them' who had and have good jobs, and educations in fields that ensure they will continue to do so. The 'them' who lost their home to foreclosure, and the 'them' who can still buy houses, cars, and luxury items. We don't like any of 'them.'
For whatever reasons, we no longer seem to consider ourselves as communities. Not in neighborhoods, towns, states, or the nation. We no longer feel we should pay taxes for schools if we have no kids in school, or for health care for everyone, or for maintaining our crumbling infrastructure, or for apparently anything else that benefits 'us' as a whole society, and for which we or someone we love will use, need, or suffer from the lack of. Nope, don't need it right now, tough for those who do, move along folks, nothing to see here.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
And a great comment below:
From the Salem Public Library newsletter, sponsored by the Friends of Salem Public Library:
The City of Autosprawl Blight and Rapacious Developers just doesn't have that same ring . . .
Q. Salem is sometimes called the Cherry City. How did it get this nickname, and has Salem had other nicknames as well?
A. According the Salem History Database (www.salemhistory.net), cherries have been grown in and around Salem ever since Henderson Lewelling introduced the trees to the area in the 1850s, and the first Cherry Fair, sponsored by the Salem Elks Lodge, took place in 1903.
Over the years, many other nicknames have been bestowed, but none have had the sticking power of The Cherry City. Joseph Nathan Kane’s Nicknames and Sobriquets of U.S. Cities, States and Counties (R 910.3 Kane) lists The City of Orderly Growth, The Charmed Land of Unequalled Beauty, and The Happy City Life as just a few of the nicknames Salem has held.
A true man-bites-dog story: Monsanto runs into a government official who can't be bought and sold the way the company does with politicians and USDA cronies spinning through the revolving door.