CHAPTER 5

Community chills

That which is not good for the beehive cannot be good for the bee.

—MARCUS AURELIUS

People are so fascinating that I love to sit at my computer and learn about them.

TIME COLUMNIST JOEL STEIN

You may have seen the ad for an SUV, picturing a suburban street of expensive, identical ranch-style houses with perfect lawns. The SUV being advertised is parked in the driveway of one of them. But in every other driveway is … a tank. A big, deadly Army tank. It’s a stark, ironic ad, reminding us how chilling our communities have become as our war of all-against-all consumer competition continues. How much our sense of community has changed since the 1950s! Back then, Dave used to walk with his grandfather four or five blocks ...

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