Provocateur / activist / friend Dan Valenti has video-chronicled pandemic neglect in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He strolls through urban scenes of weeds, litter, abandonment, indifference, foolhardiness, ignorance, indignity, and self-defeat. It all adds up to neglect that reflects a lack of care, class, or hope.
Sadder yet is the inescapable conclusion that the locale could have been any of — what? — 137 cities in America.
I don't have a simple answer (or even a complicated answer) except to lament bygone days of community, commonweal, pride, and humanity. How does one teach or inspire those attributes? Can leaders instill those civic virtues? Can these positive energies and exertions swell upward, churning a rising tide? Or are we condemned to cumulative attrition, an oxymoron of loss and despair?