26 July 2007

Self and others

Found this surfin' around today - from a Richard Flanagan interview in the Guardian. Flanagan has written the Unknown Terrorist and before that the luminescent Gould's Book of Fish.

There is a crisis that is not political - an epidemic of loneliness, of sadness - and we're completely unequal to dealing with it. We're obsessed these days with believing that the answer is always individual, that it lies in ourselves. This takes every form of madness from self-help manuals to step aerobics, and is always about improving yourself. But the reality is, it lies in other people and making connections with them, yet it is a world where it's ever harder to make those connections.

4 comments:

meririsa said...

Interesting topic I find - I've been and amateur commentator on many aspects of this topic for a while. I think a large problem is how we design our suburbs and housing, so that we don't see each other regularly enough to strike up conversations, we don't walk enough etc etc. Our suburb had a blackout on Sunday afternoon, and a huge number of people came out of their houses and started chatting & comparing notes, and in my building, usually "too cool/private to talk to" people collaborated on how to get in with teh lifts not working!!

Betty Sue said...

Mmmmm, and the fewer connections there are, the less likely we are to trust people and the more we 'need' safeguards. I was thinking this about the proposed ID card - it's only 'needed' because communities have broken down to the point where we no longer know who is suspicious and who is not.

BSharp said...

I love you girls.

J said...

We all do try very hard to pretend we aren't connected to each other and affected by each other's well being or otherwise. But in a systems sense, that makes no sense! Makes you wonder how we can all pretend to be happy in the west with repressed guilt about all the people who are doing badly elsewhere, when our system kind of needs them to do badly so we can do well (in a material sense)...