Wednesday, April 10, 2013

American Town Square – Sense of Community – Lost in the Modern Age?

I was totally struck by the statement in Russell Brand’s youthful POV in his Guardian article, about the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and how she broke a “Sense of Community” along with the Coal Strikers in 1980’s Britain.

That the solidarity that got Britain through a World War with Satan and his minions literally breathing down their necks was the sense of community and sacrifice and blind hard work for the cause.

The Brits turned out Churchill after that war because they did all the heavy lifting in that war and created a sort of socialist state for the benefit of the many and or the all.

That ideas of Marx were not exclusively communist but like the earliest traditions of the Christian faith, a community based on common survival and shared sense of all.

I have written somewhere here or there how I thought of Ronald Reagan’s breaking of the Air Traffic Controller’s union as Conservative ideologue and not as fellow American being the root why we could not protect our skies twenty years later on September 11, 2001.  

That losing experience and sense of camaraderie and common purpose and sticking one’s neck out left us with a scooped out pale reflection of an air controller’s network that could have been an asset in our national defense but instead had been turned into some hollowed trophy of Conservative dogma.

That Ronny fed off of Margaret’s actions in Britain and vice versa in their one upmanship of ways to break humanity in favor of profit and all at the loss of a sense of national purpose or on a local level a sense of community that used to exist in the American town square.

That so much rhetoric these days serves as politics and PR drivel as the ship of state fades from greatness and into the deep forgotten abyss of history like all past empires etc.

Spilled milk? Or a sense of purpose to redirect our personal goals if we are a basic Christian and our national goals if our combined sense of ancestry and common ethic can be re-galvanized into something like the idealized forum and town squares of our youth?

Is the eventual global town square going to be a great place to meet and hang out with your global neighbors or is it going to be one cold stone faced plaza that nobody cares to frequent?


Russell Brand - A Very Interesting Article By Him On Margaret Thatcher - As Mother of the Nation? - "I Felt Sorry for Her Children"

..."What's going on there, mate?" John asked a nearby chippy loading his white van. "Maggie Thatcher," he said. "Comes here every week to water them flowers."

The three of us watched as the gentle horticultural ritual was feebly enacted, then regarded the Iron Lady being helped into the back of a car and trundling off. In this moment she inspired only curiosity, a pale phantom, dumbly filling her day. None present eyed her meanly or spoke with vitriol

When I was a kid, Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. 

Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in. She became leader of the Conservatives the year I was born and prime minister when I was four. She remained in power till I was 15. I am, it's safe to say, one of Thatcher's children. How then do I feel on the day of this matriarchal mourning?

We are all on our own. Norman Tebbit, one of Thatcher's acolytes and fellow "Munsters evacuee", said when the National Union of Mineworkers eventually succumbed to the military onslaught and starvation over which she presided: 

"We didn't just break the strike, we broke the spell." The spell he was referring to is the unseen bond that connects us all and prevents us from being subjugated by tyranny. The spell of community.

Those strikes were confusing to me as a child. All of the Tory edicts that bludgeoned our nation, as my generation squirmed through ghoulish puberty, were confusing. When all the public amenities were flogged, the adverts made it seem to my childish eyes fun and positive, jaunty slogans and affable British stereotypes jostling about in villages, selling people companies that they'd already paid for through tax. I just now watched the British Gas one again. It's like a whimsical live-action episode of Postman Pat where his cat is craftily carved up and sold back to him.

You could never call Margaret Mother by mistake. For a national matriarch she is oddly unmaternal. I always felt a bit sorry for her biological children Mark and Carol, wondering from whom they would get their cuddles. "Thatcher as mother" seemed, to my tiddly mind, anathema…

In the Meryl Streep film, The Iron Lady, it's the scenes of domesticity that appear most absurd. Knocking up a flan for Denis or helping Carol with her algebra or Mark with his gun-running, are jarring distractions from the main narrative; woman as warrior queen…

She is an anomaly; a product of the freak-onomy of her time. Barack Obama, interestingly, said in his statement that she had "broken the glass ceiling for other women". Only in the sense that all the women beneath her were blinded by falling shards. She is an icon of individualism, not of feminism.


Juno and Jupiter - gods on Earth? - Thatcher and Murdoch

The Perfect Couple?


Glenda Jackson, Labour MP In Parliament - on the Evils of Thatcherism - Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing