.............................all the recent accounts of bullying and LGBT suicides got me thinking...... why so many now? And to cut a long story of my polluted streams of consciousness - they converged on a single thought....... do you know who your neighbours are? And here is why..........
...When I was in school - Primary and Secondary - I was the "school faggot". I was the target of bullying both physical and verbal that had me crying into my wheaties more often than I could count. To make matters worse, I was an over-achieving faggot - something some of the school homos-in-hiding couldnt quite accept - hence the bullying.
The bullying dropped off at around age 15 - Year 10, 3rd year of Australian high school. The reason for this was eventually, everyone knows everyone else and everyone elses Mum knows everyone elses Mum. Word got back quickly if someone said something and hell hath no fury like a pissed off Mum on the phone to another pissed off Mum.
Which brings me to the above statement........... and no......... I don't know who my neighbours are.
For the last several residences I had NO clue who my neighbours were / are. I hear the footsteps on the shared staircase outside my bedroom. I hear the door open and close. Sometimes I ever hear the music or occasional banging of a bedhead against a wall. But I have no idea who they are or what their names are.
When I was a kid (yes I'm totally channelling my mother here) I knew everyone in our neighbourhood and all the parents looked out for ALL the kids in the street no matter if you were their child or not.
There were no guns or knives at my high school. There was the occasional pregnancy, usual drinking weekends and - to my delight - the occasional same sex dalliance - but nothing like now.
What the hell has changed?
I'm curious what you think of all this...............I'm not necessarily sure this *IS* a coherent thought - but maybe it might spawn a thought or two of yours.