Fear Unites Us


I lived in Berkeley for about twenty-five years.  I loved my neighborhood.  Gorgeous older Berkeley brown shingles one block away from a commercial area with top-notch restaurants, bakeries and cafes.  Years ago we organized and got from the large hospital near by, two pocket parks.  This is what we do in California, if you want to expand or develop, you have to give to the community you will impact something.  We had a block party from time to time and for a few years we did a fantastic holiday progressive dinner.

With the advent of modern communications, we created a yahoo group.  For years, the yahoo group served one and only purpose.  A noble purpose, reminding the various blocks of street cleaning days.  It was a better solution to knocking on doors in panic before Officer Lovely, yes Lovely, ticketed your car.  I moved away two years ago and now it seems like the neighborhood blog has become the vortex of panic, fear and hysteria.

  • Man walking down the street.
  • Meat found behind a bush.
  • Stolen cushions from front porch.  (We all had cushions, I had chairs stolen.  There was no posting on a blog filled with panic.) :

A thief came on to the porch  and stole the nice bench cushions which fitted my  park style bench. The cushions cost me $90.
The porch is at the corner of ________ and __________.  Now I am concerned that the thief may return for the  iron and wooden bench. Tues night is when can collectors are collecting  between ____________ and _________, before the Oakland trash pickup Wed morning. I often leave my porch light on at night, but the light was off when the cushions were stolen.

  • Mountain lions was the panic today.  Up in the hills, there are mountain lions.  “Carcasses were found” .  There have always been mountain lions on the Berkeley hills.

Of course this is not on tenth as bas as my friends neighborhood blog.  This neighborhood is younger, hipper.  They don’t just share fear and panic.  They seek advice.

“My toilet is plugged, what do I do”.

“I need swimming lessons for my kid, it has to be an Olympic size pool, with parking, reasonable, within five miles of downtown and fourteen miles of the house.

” Did you see that truck go down ______________?

” We should buy the nice little grocer a gift, let’s put the Yemeni flag on the bench in front of his store”.

Outrages abound:  “people walking dogs putting wrapped dog poop in their garbage cans”.

“Last night I was walking my dog and a cat jumped out from some bushes
and tried to attack my dog and when I got in the middle to get it away
– it went after me and scratched my ankle. It was dark so I don’t
really have a description of the cat. This is just a heads up.

Nice sentiment on the flag, but I think the guy does not want to be a target for anti-Arab sentiments.

I should not talk cause I chit-chat a great deal on the internet with friends and acquaintances.  I find it a great place to laugh and talk politics, I avoid fear and panic.  Some how, when one writes down their fears and panics, it gives everything such urgency and importance.  Some people enjoy terrorizing others with hysterical stories.  We all have a relative who is committed to giving you the bad news: sickness, death, unemployment, accident reports.

Then we have the bloggers who will warn us about predators, scammers, tricksters.  Some of them, are peddling fear, fear is a great industry of security products.  The more stories on fear, the more we demand for security from our local governments.  ” Look, we need this, it’s all over, the internet”.  Beyond normal panic circles, when you see bloggers who thrive on fear, do yourself a favor and follow their links.  In those links, you will find some interesting fear mongering that leads to whirling around the fear vortex.  When we enter the fear vortex, we stop thinking.  Well, actually we give up our thinking to the fear vortex grinders.

Remember last time, we went to war against the wrong country.

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One thought on “Fear Unites Us

  1. Oh thank heavens it’s not just the old people in Texas who act like this. If it can happen in Berkeley, it can happen anywhere.

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