Around eight o’clock at night and the quiet is veritably rent by a bellowing, ranting, screaming human voice. The man across the street is communicating with his female partner. The epithets are not very pleasant, either – if I had children in the house, I really wouldn’t want them to hear most of the invective which flows from his mouth like pus from a wound.
The yelling is really at full volume too; the entire street of maybe twenty households are treated to this son-sans-lumiere maybe twice a week- more likely three or four times in the summer. And this has been a feature of our lives for over eight years, ever since I bought this little house in the quiet suburb .Goodness knows how long it has been a part of the lives of the family across the street, who are unfortunate enough to include this childish man among their members.
Yes, I said childish. This is a fully-grown adult male, probably in his late ’40s, who cannot communicate with his wife, his children or his dogs without frequently descending into a rage more suitable to a two-year-old with teething problems.
Sure, we all yell sometimes. We all feel, and express, rage, outrage, hatred and loathing – unless we’re some kind of saint or bodhisattva. But to keep this up as a mode of communication for over eight years speaks of an ego in full command of the body and soul; an ego denied its perceived status and needs, a petulant, pouting, rancorous sphere of me,me,me: hear me, or I bellow. Give me due deference, or I will call you a whore.
And this appears to me, more and more, to be the level and the capacity at which much of Western, modern-day people have settled – that of the screaming child deprived of what it wants. And every time it opens its eyes it sees more that it wants. The covetousness and selfish greed of humanity given full expression in a hate-filled, ear-shattering temper tantrum which the individual never seems to move to correct in himself (and yes, I use the word himself advisedly). This is humanity at its peak, in full flower and at the pinnacle of its radiant beauty.
Not a pretty picture, is it?