Friday, March 9, 2012
Detachment, Decadence and Dystopia
Scott, my brother, had to sign his name a lot this week. We had the annual review of his living situation through the agency that supports him. Scott has Down's Syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. His mind is disconnecting itself from his beautiful soul. As time moves along, we see his behavior become more rote, less personal. He holds on to his training. Thank you is his response to almost all communication. He signs as much of his name as his focus can handle. I wondered this week whether he feels connected to his name, to the person with his moniker, to his identity as a human, a man, a son, a beloved brother. His brain is trying to keep up. We do not know where his emotions are just now. This week I am making a habit of calling my brother Scott, rather than the affectionate diminutives I have been. I wonder if our world is in the same sort of shape. Detachment. We experience more incivility in the world, more disconnection from humanity. I wonder if there is a correlation between people who type hateful comments and use the nonidentity anonymous to hide behind. We see profile pictures that are just an eye, or the back of a short skirt, but not the whole person. We couldn't identify them in a line-up. A man who missed the parking space I got felt just fine yelling "bitch" through the windshield. Our college grads are failing job interviews because they do not know how to communicate face to face. With what are we connecting? What is the psychological and sociological result of solo existence? We know some of the answer. If a person cannot bond successfully with a loved one at an early age, one possible result is sociopathy. We are experiencing the pop emergence of violent dystopian scenarios in literature and media. We are experiencing the rise of violence against women, both physically and legislatively. Someone actually used the search phrase "funny pictures of bullying" and I'm sure was disappointed to find my blog. What happens to a culture that disintegrates into its component cliques? We've seen the results in history. Chaos. And the rise of weak yang dictators. How do we encourage, support and find new avenues of connectedness in the face of artificial social networking? How do we reverse this 3D trend of anonymity and isolation and the violence that supports?