Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Never use the word 'community' when you mean 'town'

  Every day in Canada people in print media or electronic broadcasting crank up the drama as they solemnly use the word "community" when referring to people who happen to share a geographical location.
  Cover your ears or switch the channel when you hear this.
   This misleading showbiz terminology comes with seriously corrosive propaganda implications and the misuse must end immediately.
   A community is a group with shared interests. Your knitting group is a community. The football fans on the internet form a community. Heroin addicts meeting at Narcotics Anonymous are a community.
   Some towns are communities but only if all of if its residents share deep ties or bloodlines. That does not apply to Canadian towns or cities, except maybe a Mennonite village if there is one remaining.
  Take this quiz to determine whether your town, village, city or borough is a community.

  1.   Does the jackass who plays his Soundgarten Greatest Hits CD loud at 11 p.m. share a deep connection with you?
  2.   The neighbour who parks her car so far from the other cars that it gobbles up two spaces, are you bonded to her in spirit and function?
  3.    The single mom who lives above the pizza place and buys beer at the corner store five minutes before it closes, would she come to your funeral if you died?
  4.    Did you and your neighbours join hands to create a human chain of unity anytime recently?

   So no, the place you live is not part of a warm fuzzy place known as a community.
   Not only do the people in your town or borough not care about your interests, just about all of them would absolutely love for you to lose your house to them in a poker game.
  The illusion of shared interests is a lie: tolerance, diversity and rule of law rule is what keeps us together, not a false notion of being bonded to neighbours or sharing a voice.
  No Canadian town is a monolith. Almost all contain Muslims, welfare recipients, socialists, right wing gun nights, professors, libertarians, tenants, landlords and Slovakian conspiracy theorists who bounce tennis balls off of school walls.
  Using the word community implies that such a diverse population speaks with a unified, singular voice.
  It suggests that a group of people living within some unseen border form a united front. It's a false narrative but it's a convenient way of manufacturing consent.
  It's a lie folks.
  Media folks will tell you that they use the word community because it has the advantage of being vague, as it covers all forms of town, city, village.
  When in doubt, call it a town, which comes with a formal and informal definition and vive la difference. 


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