01 October 2007

Ignorance, Stupidity and Bliss

A blog begun a month ago and never posted:

It is late Sunday morning and I was awakened from a sound sleep by my Landlord for the second Sunday in a row. I responded to pounding on the door by calling down from my second floor bedroom window "Who is it?" "Landlord," a gruff voice replied.

"Are you the same person who woke me last Sunday?"

"Yes, Ma'am. I'm here for the rent. It's due on the first."

"Stay there," I said. "I'll come down."

Last night, for the first time, several tenants of the complex sat in the courtyard together, listening to music, drinking, laughing and talking. It felt good. It was an important, positive turn of events. A suggestion that perhaps "community" is possible here.

The conversation turned to definitions of and differences between "ignorance" and "stupidity." There was nearly unanimous agreement that "ignorance" resulted from lack of exposure to ideas or information and "stupidity" was an inability to absorb new information and make a choice to change. Someone mentioned the folks in "the Delta," whose lack of social grace and notorious racial and sexual bigotry was the epitome of ignorance because they live isolated from the larger Mississippian community. Everyone thought it's "better" to be ignorant than to be stupid because at least with ignorance there's a possibility for improvement.

What of my landlord? He's a "businessman." He owns property in Los Angeles and San Diego as well as Gulfport. In other words, he is exposed to other ways of doing things. I learned today that he and his wife were "born poor" (to use his words) and "worked for everything we got." So we might say his life started in ignorance. Is that still the case or did he slide over to stupid at some point?

What a difference a month (and perhaps the fiery vehemence of the protest/reprimand I launched when I got downstairs that Sunday?) makes. My windows are open on this beautiful morning with Best of Chopin on the turntable. Outside it feels like Fall but sounds like Spring--something very very green in the birdsong.

The landlord is across the way pounding on the door at #4. He beats and beats the door. Of course, no one responds--they moved out over the weekend. As did #2. The folks in #5 will be gone in a few days and the kind hearts of #6 moved out while I was in Boston.

After only nine months, I am the senior resident. A young couple moved into #6 last weekend so two of the seven units are occupied.

Just how stupid/ignorant is my landlord? Can he observe the connection between his taking ownership in late July and nearly every one of his tenants voluntarily moving out within two months?

Or am I the stupid one--not realizing that he wants everybody to leave. He's got something planned and I'm the last rat on a sinking ship...

1 comment:

  1. I think that landlord is sadly on a thorny path, at the very least.... sounds ignorant AND stupid to me; sounds like he took his expereince & tucked it away like a squirrel with a nut,ready to dig it up at the slightest sign of... what? fear of poverty? fear of disrespect? Certainly not compassionate relationship to Community.... and Alex,YES,I want to be notified when there's a new post- it'll save my daily checking yr blog to see if there is one! Thankyou.

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