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BS: Bowling Alone

flattop 01 Sep 08 - 10:19 PM
flattop 01 Sep 08 - 10:20 PM
flattop 01 Sep 08 - 10:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Sep 08 - 10:57 PM
CarolC 01 Sep 08 - 11:25 PM
catspaw49 02 Sep 08 - 12:13 AM
katlaughing 02 Sep 08 - 12:18 AM
CarolC 02 Sep 08 - 06:17 AM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 08 - 11:23 AM
flattop 02 Sep 08 - 11:34 AM
flattop 02 Sep 08 - 11:45 AM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 08 - 03:59 PM
Little Hawk 02 Sep 08 - 07:50 PM
flattop 02 Sep 08 - 09:15 PM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 08 - 10:04 PM
Little Hawk 03 Sep 08 - 12:40 AM
Gurney 03 Sep 08 - 01:48 AM
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Subject: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 10:19 PM

I quoted from the book, Bowling Alone (The Collapse and Revival of American Community), on another thread.   The book is about us playing on Mudcat and watching TV instead of participating in community groups.   The first half, which I've read, examines how our stay away syndromes have been escalating since the 60s. I haven't gotten to the revival yet.

One part of the book reminds me of a brother who keeps telling me to not lock his car. It says, 'In short, people who trust others are all around good citizens, and those more engaged in community life are both more trusting and more trustworthy."

The next sentence reminds me of myself, 'Conversely, the civically disengaged believe themselves to be surrounded by miscreants and feels less constrained to be honest themselves.'   

Despite the title, bowling is one activity that is not in decline.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 10:20 PM

A few quotes from the book:

- Oregon firefighters fundraiser slogan, "You come to our breakfast, we'll come to your fire."

- David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher of the Enlightenment, on the problem of trust, "Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. 'Tis profitable for us both that I shou'd labour with you today, and that you shou'd aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know that you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains on your account; and should I labour with you on my account, I know I shou'd be disappointed, and that I shou'd in vain depend upon your gratitude. Here then I leave you to labour alone: You treat me in the same manner. The seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security."

- Mail-order groups permit a form of political participation which can be labeled cheap participation. For a cost below the threshold of serious analysis by the relatively affluent member, they can make a political statement of preference, without engaging in the costs (time and money) of 'real' participation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 10:22 PM

Does anyone go out anymore, except to get drunk in loud bars?


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 10:57 PM

Bowling alone makes for a pretty lousy game of Cricket - it's a Team Sport!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 11:25 PM

We spent the last couple of evenings hanging out with our neighbors. They're wonderful people. Fred and Helena were having their 33rd anniversary (both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon). On Sunday, after saying hi to Fred and Helena, we walked over to the Davis' house to see why they weren't there. Mr. Davis and JtS went over to Fred and Helena's while Ms Evelyn and I went over to their daughter's house to look at her flowers. Ms Evelyn's daughter, granddaughter, and great grandson were all there, and we hung out for a while, and then Ms Evelyn and I headed over to Fred and Helena's. They were cooking barbequed chicken, fried chicken, pork, pork ribs, and steaks. Fred and Helena have a basketball court, so all of the kids were playing basketball, while some of the adults played cards.

A lot of the people in the neighborhood are related to each other. Some of them have lived all or most of their lives in this neighborhood. Others grew up here, moved away for many years, and have moved back to stay. A lot of the people who grew up here come back to hang out with the ones who are still here.

This neighborhood started out as slave quarters for a plantation. It's had a very interesting history since that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 12:13 AM

Better than balling alone I'd think. 'Course that's just me, you may disagree if you like......................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 12:18 AM

The quote from Hume sounds like the Little Red Hen story.

I hope the author takes into account that a lot of shut-ins or folks who just cannot get out much for whatever reason, get a lot of good out of being on the computer through connecting with friends of support, etc. as we do on Mudcat and also that a person CAN put their money into the political process through being online, thus spending time and money. Obama has proved the latter to his benefit.

Having said that, I wish we lived in a friendlier neighbourhood. I know I could call on a couple of them in an emergency, which is comforting, but they are none of them overly friendly and not esp. the types of people I'd want to spend a lot of energy or time with. Not being snooty, just know we come from very different walks of life and that I have to be careful how I spend my energy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 06:17 AM

Mr. Davis has three walkers: an old beat-up one that he uses when he goes out to the garden, a nice new one with no wheels that he uses for getting up and down the three steps to his back door and for church and things like that, and he's got a spiffy new one that has wheels, brakes, a basket and a seat, that he uses around the house and also when he goes places like Fred and Helena's. He's also got a motorized chair that he cruises around the neighborhood with. Roy Lee has a lawn tractor that he uses for the same purpose, although he does cut grass with it and other things as well. Sometimes he uses it as a lawn chair if he's cruising around the neighborhood and he stops at our house to shoot the breeze. It's got cup holders (or beer holders, as the case may be).

Roy Lee's got a huge garden in the power line cut behind the houses that he calls his "George Bush" garden. He says he needs that garden because of George Bush. He's a disable Vietnam Vet and inflation is making it necessary for him to grow his own food. Sometimes we find shopping bags full of collards or cabbage hanging from our front door knob. We're going to put a garden in the power line cut, too, this fall. Roy Lee said he'd till it up for us. He said there's deer, foxes, bear, and alligators back there and in the creek behind that. So far none of the wildlife has tried to eat his garden. The neighborhood is surrounded by a meandering tidal creek and a cemetary, and people used to have moonshine stills in the woods between the houses and the creek. Now the city wants to put in a greenspace with a walking trail and a canoe/kayak ramp. Mr. Davis says he'd much rather have a restroom for the neighborhood park than a walking trail and a canoe ramp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 11:23 AM

I've been writing, here, about the connectedness of the community we're living in, for years. Of course now that "community-ness" has been studied, by someone with credentials, I'll have to start all over to learn how to live here and what I "oughtta" be doing.... just let me drop a coupla commitments on their heads without warning to make the time..... and first of all, log out here....

Yup, that should take care of it.


This thread can too easily be just another example of what happens to people's thinking when one tries to apply a group phenomenon to individuals. The easy anology would be racism-- I'll make up my numbers-- say someone opines, "83.897% of people are racist." That gets translated into people's thinking as, "There's an 83.987% chance YOU'RE a racist;" and then "Are you saying I'm a racist?!?!? But the study didn't talk about being "a racist," it talked about being subtly affected by racism and the resulting "racist" worldview. Being "racist" is not at all the same as being "a racist." The former is descriptive of a way thinking; the latter is pejorative of a person.

People (individuals) tend to move through cycles of development. At one point, for perfectly good reasons, an individual may live what looks like a fairly isolated life. "Proves the perfessor's theory!" At another point they hook up more with people/community. "Disproves the theory!"


Whatever! Why not just assume that most folks are doing what they need/want to do, for logical reasons, and that if or when they stop wanting to do it, they'll do something else?

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 11:34 AM

Kat,

The book deals with the decline in participation in most community organizations since the 40s & 50s. Shut-ins shouldn't be a major factor in the numbers since the percentage of shut-ins probably has increased in the population. Instead, the population increased while the real numbers of people participating declined.

Surprisingly, one of the first causes the author mentions was a decline in dinner parties. As more women worked outside the home, fewer were left with the time and energy to put on parties. Those left were burdened with too many parties to handle so they too dropped out of the party circuit. Now we've altered our habits to frozen dinners and fast food joints where we gobble food quickly without taking time to chew, let alone scintillating conversation.

Does this ring true to you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 11:45 AM

Do you not see a decline in church participation over the years, Susan? Seems to be happening to veterans groups, churches, Elks clubs, etc.

When I was a teenager, Charlotte St. in Sydney was crowded with walkers bumping into each other. They are few and far between today.

I could care less about credentials. Sorry if the tends intrigue me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 03:59 PM

Long thoughtful post apparently lost. Vision too dicey to re-write; sorry.

This is twice now in the last week.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 07:50 PM

"Does anyone go out anymore, except to get drunk in loud bars?"

Yeah. I go out to play music with friends. I hate loud bars.

Look, flattop, if you want to be where people go out a lot and have great social lives, you have to go to places like Cuba or Trinidad and hang out with the locals. They are still living like real people in those places, like people once did in North America, mostly because consumer technology hasn't take over their lives yet.

************

Susan, I've been losing a lot of posts too. Boy, is that ever frustrating!


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: flattop
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 09:15 PM

Ah, those warm climates where folks can socialize late into the night.

Can't find places like The Orillia Song Circle or Don's Coffeehouse in Cape Breton where you can sing several songs in a night without drinkers. Always a few parties for sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 10:04 PM

LH, it war full o'country wisdom and sociological insight. Oh well!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 12:40 AM

The Monday night song circle is still happening here and there's also a good one on Tuesday over at the Red Roof Studio. Pretty much the kind of thing you would remember, flattop, but the Red Roof is a bit more informal atmosphere. People talk more between songs there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bowling Alone
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 01:48 AM

Times change. In my parents young days they went to the cinema, to dances, shows, musical evenings, and other social occasions, perhaps because it was boring at home.
Now we have lending libraries, radio, television, cheap music reproduction, and the WWW. Not so boring at home. Going out for the evening has become more expensive, possibly because we can go further (but it costs) or because the few people who have developed their talents want to be paid for them.("Half a week's pension for a show? No thanks!")

Of course, this is about ordinary folks, not folkies, eh.


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Mudcat time: 15 August 2:45 AM EDT

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