By this point, unless you are living under a rock to practice social distancing, you have likely heard or seen different people posting videos online from Italy or Spain of neighbors in quarantine singing songs together from their balconies. While this is obviously charming, reassuring, and life-affirming in this time of crisis, it also had us reflecting on America. More specifically, America’s capacity for a similar viral quarantine singalong. Unfortunately, after consulting various charts, books, and reports, we have come to the conclusion that American society and the architects who built it were not preparing for this type of viral sensation. We’ll never get the views we want or deserve.
Now, clearly with such a wide-sweeping statement such as the one I just made, there will be certain exceptions to the rule. For instance, people in certain parts of more urban cities such as New York might have a better chance of participating in a singalong than others. However, we are talking about America as a whole.
Let’s look first at other downtown areas that are close, but still not close enough to make it in our post-Youtube era. An easy example such as Washington, D.C. comes to mind, what with the row-houses and everything. Unfortunately, those are only good for a telephone-style singalong, with one house passing on the words to the next. Unfortunately, it does not bode well for choruses or harmonies.
But then as you start to look at more spread-out cities like Dallas, you can forget about any sort of singing together at all. Have you been to Dallas? You could hardly throw a rock and hit the next building, much less sing What a Fool Believes with your neighbor.
And finally, as we enter into the various suburbs and commuter cities that surround these downtown areas, you experience places that were built for separation. The only reason to live in the suburbs is for the exact purpose of quarantining yourself from the outside world, but on a regular basis. Am I wrong?
The irony is that the people living in those suburbs are the most likely to want to be famous from something like a viral video. But in the end, isn’t that how things work out?
If you haven’t gotten it so far, the point I am trying to make is that America’s obsession with individualism rather than community living is going to play a large part in our downfall. End of opinion.