NEIGHBORS OF DEATH
THE PERNICIOUS FORCE OF NONLOVE THAT PUTS THE DIVISION IN SUBDIVISION
VINCENT FRANK DE BENEDETTO
-- A Book under Development Comprising Part Two of a Multipart Multimedia Project --
Are You a Neighbor of Death
How considerate are you of those living around you? What you consider the normal activities of daily life, that bring you and your family joy, may bring pain and misery to those around you. This would typically involve activities that produce noise and vibration, smells or odors, or involve chemical trespass, which is the process whereby chemicals applied to your lawn, for example, will travel through the air to your neighbor's homes. It's an invisible and subtle process, but it happens. The young and the old are most affected.
When a neighbor tells you that something you're doing is causing them pain, do you take that Brother or Sister seriously?
In its general contours, a Neighbor of Death is someone who pays little or no attention to the impact of the activities of themselves or their family on the residents living around them. From such neglect and negligence, if sustained, will come physical and psychological stress to the sufferer, which if unabated, will become illness, and if further sustained without reduction, eventually death.
Moreover, one need not be a resident to be a Neighbor of Death. A police officer, for example, assigned to a given neighborhood locale, if biased, bigoted, intellectually lazy, or prone to premature violence, resulting in unfair or inadequate policing and protection, will have proven themselves a neighbor of death, because said policing is causing injury to one or more persons.
We might consider a Neighbor of Death, at least, a variant of the proverbial "Nightmare Neighbor," and at most their own class of injurious neighbor, superseding the latter class of neighbor in immorality and injury as one or more of the injuries caused by the Neighbor of Death can, or has, lead to death. Has lead to death is what occurred in Case Study #1, below, the Dimwitz case.
Are you a Victim of Such Neighbors
I, and my family, are.
Have insensitive and nonloving neighbors injured you or your family?
They have, mine--which series of injuries is the principle focus of this book, the promotional website for which you are presently reading.
Why does this happen? Whence this phenomenon? Why do people hurt each other, even family, friends, and neighbors? Its occurrence is comprehensible once we realize that we live, which is to say develop and acculturate, in a fundamentally nonloving world. Thus, what else would occur, all, most, or much of the time, but nonloving actions of one sort or another?
The answer is to recast human society from a framework of profit and ego, to one of Brotherly Love. Then, neither neighbors nor anyone else would trade in narcissism and the other forces of death, as their social and psychological development would simply not have included that repertoire of behaviors. Behavior refers to actions and attitudes.
How Bad is Bad
Using casual parlance, I'd rank injurious neighbors according to their potential for, or actual, injury to others. There can be a fluidity between groups and a member of one group, by virtue of worsened behavior or consequences of behavior, can devolve into logical inclusion in a worse group. On occasion we may find worse neighbors improving and thus moving to a less injurious group.
It sometimes requires the passage of time to clearly understand which group an injurious neighbor belongs to, or that they were, in fact, injurious. This would typically happen in the case of neighbors who proffered injury secretly, in other words "behind your back": you might not realize until years afterward that a given neighbor was working against you. This phenomenon is actually an example or subset of the larger injurious social phenomenon whereby many of the problems we face are actually caused by the action or inaction of others, near or far, to our complete ignorance. For example, as you move through each day of your life, interacting with many people in person or using telephone, email, text, or other technology, do you have any idea how many of these people have lied to you?
In considering this question, understand that lies can be 1.) of commission (deception by something you said) or omission (deception by something you failed to say), and 2.) "large" or "small." I demarcate the size or scale attributes of deception since whether an untruth is large or small or somewhere in between, or whether such differentiation is even meaningful, is determined according to a given moral philosophy. Some belief systems, for example, would consider a lie a lie, regardless of its subject matter or perceived or even understood consequences, and would thus make no distinction between large and small lies.
Happily, there is a straightforward way to ensure that you are not culpable in the pain and misery of your neighbors. Regarding any activity of you or your family that could even remotely fit the description above, simply ring your neighbor's doorbell and ASK. Then pay careful attention to their response.
And let's be clear: taking a step to relieve the pain of a Brother or Sister in our One Human Family is not a burden or something to be eschewed--it's a distinct joy to be embraced, a powerful, virtuous, and necessary lesson to teach your children, and the world.
CASE STUDIES - Overview & Key
NEIGHBORS OF DEATH is a work of categorical nonfiction. All case studies are true. This author does not write fiction.
Case studies presented at this website are drafts. Complete accounts, including analysis, will be contained in the book, itself, when published.
There are about thirteen (13) case studies, some more important and extensive than others. Extremely abridged initial working drafts of two, are below. Names, other than mine, are pseudonyms.
Pseudonyms will likely be dropped and real names used upon book publication, and geographical locations specified.
A case study is an official, formal, or formalized narrative or account of an actual situation, circumstance, or event, intended to present said actual situation, circumstance, or event as an object of study, to facilitate research or formal thought on a theme or idea, usually in support of an objective.
Regarding my case studies, here, expect the prose to become more robust and detailed as the argumentation sharpens, creating a vivid and compelling tableau. As we simply don't know when, or if, the Love Ethic will assume its central socio-existential role, my case studies here are meant for study now and through time, by Humanity.
Case Study Grouping
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Dimwitz Couple
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Pending
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Pending
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Pending
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Pending
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Neighborhood, residents sounding morning horns, reporting my family to the City, etc.
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: Community
Case Study - Transgressor, Local: City government, includes police, especially Officer RM
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: Family, Immediate: sibling and boyfriend
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: Pending
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: Family, Extended: Father's & Mother's sides
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: United States
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: the World
Case Study - Transgressor, Nonlocal: global Ruling Class
Cast of Characters
Pseudonyms used for now.
Dimwitz, Mischa, Mr. Nickname: Dimmy or Mr. Dz. Next-door neighbor. Cruel, parochial, ego-defective, passive-aggressive, erratic. Age: approximately 35 years old as of 2017.
Dimwitz, Bedra, Mrs. Wife of Mr. Dimwitz. Nickname: Mrs. Dz. Cruel, parochial, uninformed, emotionally weak; an apparent gossip. Age: approximately 32 years old as of 2017.
The Sibling. My sister by blood and only brother or sister. Ego-defective, uninformed, little family-orientation, fearful, cruel. Age: 53 years old as of 2017.
Ratto, John. Intimate of my father and close family friend--so we thought. His name was gold in my house for many years, until he betrayed me, and us, much like a rat leaves a sinking ship. The exception being a rat does not show cruelty, as John has--only a human being can do that.
Many more "characters" pending.
Copyright (c) 2017 Vincent Frank De Benedetto
RxD = Right Next Door
PxD = (the) People Next Door
VCPI = Very-Close-Proximitied Individuals (i.e. neighbors, usually next door or thereabouts).
YaS = Young and Stupid
Upon final publication, these case studies, combined and individually, will comprise and present a substantial and extensive narrative and body of argumentation that will make clear that a profound injustice has been visited upon me and my family since our arrival at our present residence.
Each case study includes a detailed narrative and my own deconstruction. Transgressors will likely be cited by real name in the final work. The case studies considered together declare and define said injustice, and conclude with a specific segmented plan by which each transgressor can approximate restitution. There can be no actual restitution, as the various forms of injury to life and limb suffered by me and my family cannot be reversed.
The program of restitution will not be easy, nor can it be, given the severity of the injuries.
More broadly, and equally to the point, these case studies underscore, imply, and recognize that profound injustice is visited upon many, perhaps all of us in this world, as it is presently constituted. My injurious experiences at the hands of other human beings represent in microcosm that similar experience of all of us. In both cases and in view of both realities, injury to me and mine, and injury to everyone else, redress can only come in our acceptance, and formal adoption, of the Love Ethic--the most powerful force available to Humankind. It is the only principle that will save us, from ourselves.
CASE STUDY #1 - MISCHA & BEDRA DIMWITZ
NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS, NEXT-DOOR NIGHTMARES
"He's Your Problem, not Mine."
Mr. and Mrs. Dimwitz are a young married couple, with children, living right next door (RxD) to me and my family. I've had ample time to become acquainted with the Dimwitz's--and it's been a nightmare. This very moment, in fact, as I write this, is just about 48 hours from my court date. Court date, you ask? Yes--and there is little a neighbor can do that is, at once, more hostile, offensive, counterproductive, foolish, and categorically indicative of an utter lack of concern for their fellow human beings, especially those living right-next-door, than taking them to court. I have lived in this city for 54 years--they, about 9, and they are taking me to court.
I have a court date assigned because these imbeciles actually filed a Complaint against their next-door neighbor--me. Again, you rightly ask: "Why?" Because they never got the memo that a cooperative spirit, fully cooperative, in fact, is a desideratum among neighbors. They are taking me to court because they have not yet shed their narcissism. They are taking me to court because they are young and stupid.
Metaphorically: imagine that I punch you in the nose. You rightly complain and request that I cease. I do not, as punching you in the nose holds some advantage for me. You punch me again, and again I complain and ask you to stop. You do not. In fact, you continue punching me as you're pleased with its advantage for you. The punching continues, as does my pain and protestation. You become tired of my protestation and begin labeling it "harassment," threatening to take me to court for "harassing" you and your wife. In other words, you wish the right to bloody my nose repeatedly and forever with complete impunity, because of its advantage for you. The fact of its injury to me is irrelevant to you. In fact, you once coldly remark that a particularly intense form of the pain caused by your punching is "...your problem, not mine."
On one occasion, I'm forced to politely insist that we discuss your punching with an eye toward ending it, as it's simply causing me too much pain. You respond summarily to this more resolute declaration by calling the police, who, failing to adequately information-gather, arrogantly and presumptuously advise you, again, to take me to court, thereby recklessly and inappropriately buttressing your own impulse to do so. And you, lemming-like, follow this advice. In real life, the VCPI's did precisely this, and I now stand 48 hours from my arraignment, a legal term referring to a proceeding the purpose of which is to establish that I understand the charge, and apprise the court of my declaration regarding my own guilt or innocence in the matter.
We're Not Gonna Do This
"He's your problem, not mine."
-- Mischa Dimwitz, Orthodox Jew, declaration in response to my efforts to protect my ill and elderly Father, over 80 years old, from actions that Dimwitz, himself, did or would take that could or likely would injure my Father.
It is important to understand just what appalling, or at least morally ignorant or obtuse, human beings, Mischa & Bedra Dimwitz are, husband and wife, my next-door neighbors of nine years. I emphasize this in part to remind myself of Mr. Dimwitz true nature; his abject lack of character, as his shifting and contradictory behavior and the apparent warmth of his tone in proferring a greeting sometimes leaves the false impression that he's fundamentally, or in significant measure, a decent person--which he's actually not. I realized this conclusively based on events of Sunday, August 27, 2017, when he called the police on me for trying to speak with him about his continuing noise production, especially that produced just a few minutes earlier that same day that caused me to jump out of my skin. Though heart beating rapidly, I approached him graciously, as usual, but he categorically refused to speak with me, saying "We're not gonna do this."
In a pathetic testament to the skewed and problematic nature of policing in my town, and the policing paradigm, itself, this incident ended with me psychologically brutalized, and almost arrested, by a male police officer, whom for now I'll call Officer "RM."
While waiting for the Police to arrive, I stood on my back porch trying to engage this neighbor, to no avail. I've dealt with him many times, directly, and heard him interact with his own children: in his mid-30's, he's a hard and egoistic man, as the young often are. What he did do, however, while waiting for the police to arrive was pull his smartphone out of his pocket and point it at me, videotaping me as an animal on display as I tried to speak to him. Can you think of a more offensive act--especially toward your next-door-neighbor?
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Dimwitz will later go on to file a Complaint against me for Harassment. I can think of little more offensive and inappropriate than this trio of actions, especially given that, at minimum: 1.) we're next-door neighbors, and 2.) have been for nine years, our houses lying about ten feet apart, 3.) I've done much to help his family over these years, 4.) my noise-related complaint is legitimate, 5.) such action would undoubtedly injure my ill and elderly mother, whom he knows to be such, 6.) he knows or appears to know that my family lost my Father recently and is likely already in a state of tumult, confusion, and pain, as well as possible financial devastation, 7.) he additionally knows that I blame, in part, the injurious actions of he and his wife for this loss, 8.) he gave a warm greeting to my Mother not three months ago as she feebly walked down our front steps assisted by my sister, and 9.) he has intermittently displayed a nominal spirit of cooperation.
Well, alluding to my above assertion, I can think of little else more offensive and inappropriate besides contributing to the premature death of my Father, and then smirking when I apprised him of it--both of which he also did. And much more. But I'm getting ahead of the narrative.
I include point #4, above, for completeness, as, actually, whether a report of pain is assessed as "legitimate" by this or that human or group of humans (court, police department, legislature, city council, city, state, corporation, nation) at a given time in a given place is ultimately irrelevant to the moral imperative to accommodate and address it. As stated by a character played by Professor Cornell West in The Matrix: "Comprehension is not a pre-condition for cooperation." In other words, Brothers and Sisters, I don't have to understand your pain to acknowledge that you're feeling it, and help you eliminate it.
murder, n. an act of commission or omission intending, or starkly ignoring the possibility of, the death of a living being, usually considered applicable only to those killed of higher-order zoological classification such as humans or other mammals.
(Definition, Vincent Frank De Benedetto)
Murder, or at least, manslaughter. In the metaphoric story, above, lies not only the basic dynamic between myself and these Very Close-Proximitied Individuals (i.e. "neighbors"), but that of so many of you, as well, battling nightmare neighbors--and for this you have my sympathy. There is, however, one distinctive feature of my sick relationship with these individuals that is, fortunately, not common to most poor neighbor relationships: one of the transgressions of these two individuals, their worst, contributed to the premature death of one of my parents. This, alone, elevates this "relationship" and its narrative to the sublime and makes it a proper and substantive subject for study by social science--so I'm doing just that. Uncharacteristically, I use the word death here, when I usually don't, because the full import of what actually occurred must be known and understood.
When explicitly apprised of this tragic outcome, Mr. Dimwitz smiled. I saw it with my own two eyes. One is reminded of the scene from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith when the categorically and abjectly evil and Machievellian Emperor Palpatine, as Darth Sidious, upon experiencing Anakin Skywalkers gross pain at hearing that Padme, his wife, was dead, and he killed her, actually smiled in pleasure. This response on the part of Mr. Dimwitz should generate your realization that I'm negotiating evil, or the most abject kind of stupidity, with these individuals (and that his pseudonym for purposes of this draft is well-selected). In fact, the presence of evil, or its secular equivalent, is generally true of all my case studies. The smile of this sociopath is a bookend behavior: prior to the commission of the act that helped cause the death, I exhorted Mrs. Dimwitz to refrain from the pending act, apprising her that my parent was elderly and in fragile health, and the pending act could injure or even kill him. She would not refrain, and barely took me seriously, tossing out several reasons why the act had to be done. Mr. Dimwitz later partially contradicted her principle reason, and this would not be the first time that these individuals would lie--to me, the Health Department, and even the Police.
The act that I sought to prevent was committed, and 4.5 months later I found myself with only one parent.
I can't say that contributing to the premature death of my Father is a differentiating characteristic, at least not a categorical one, between the Dimwitz' and my other local case studies, as those other "neighbors" also committed actions that arguably contributed to the premature death of my Father. They're all guilty.
In bringing the Dimwitz account to the world I pay deference to the realpolitik principle of the blind leading the blind, and offer you the following additional account of the police officer who threatened to arrest me If I uttered "one more word," and befriended the Dimwitz's, helping guide them to the decision to file this complaint against me.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
Judaism 101 is an educational website written by Tracey Rich, who states:
"I do not claim to be a rabbi or an expert on Judaism; I'm just a traditional, observant Jew who has put in a lot of research. I must be doing something right, because one of the rabbis at an "Ask a Rabbi" website routinely copies material from this website!" Mr. Rich additionally states, "The information in this site is written predominantly from the Orthodox viewpoint...."
On the prescriptions and proscriptions of Orthodox Judaism concerning the preservation of life, then, Mr. Rich states:
"Everyone knows that the Ten Commandments command us not to murder. The full scope of Jewish law goes much farther in requiring us to protect our fellow man. We are commanded not to leave a condition that may cause harm, to construct our homes in ways that will prevent people from being harmed, and to help a person whose life is in danger, so long as it does not put our own lives in danger. These commandments regarding the preservation of life are so important in Judaism that they override all of the ritual observances that people think are the most important part of Judaism. Almost any commandment may be violated to save a life."
It would seem, then, that these imbeciles next door were completely ignoring these laws, in ignoring my plea to save my Father's life, an appeal based not merely on the possibility that my father would be harmed by their imminent major outdoor construction, but could actually die from its effects given his advancing age and fragile state of health. Were I an Orthodox Jew who took my faith seriously, I would be extremely disturbed by this account.
And indeed, though not an Orthodox Jew, a large part of my painful emotional and intellectual posture regarding this situation is pure vexation: as a philosopher I take ideas, including religious ideas, very seriously. Yet the actual behavior of these two individuals is in almost categorical contradistinction to the principals of that religious philosophy to which they daily bear witness and maintain public profession, not just as Jews, but Orthodox Jews, privately and publicly wearing the garb of the faith all the time, and privately and publicly observing and executing its revered rites, rituals, and customs. I find this juxtaposition and contradiction deeply confusing, as though we have turned Aristotelian logic on its head, asserting that A is not A. An apple is not an apple, but an orange. Or a school bus.
Is A, A? An apple a school bus, or an apple? If what we think is, is, if the product of our senses is real, we must scrutinize the behavior of these two individuals, and aggressively correct their, our, and my, record, lest we admit culpability in the implicit and explicit global socio-existential exercise that defines our world as one of manifold chaos: personal, social, moral, emotional, intellectual, and certainly, with an economic system that is as errantly revered, as it is odious and deadly, economic.
In the wake of the incident of police abuse, mentioned above and elucidated in an essay, my deportment toward the "neighbors" in question has shifted: since then I have uttered literally not one syllable to them--nor will I, no matter what they do. I thought, accordingly, that common sense and some measure of decency would prevail and their impulse to file a complaint against me for harassment would extinguish itself. After all, it's been obvious since the incident, perhaps a month now, through my silence that essentially constitutes my categorical disengagement from that relationship, that I've given them carte blanche to do whatever they want, in any regard, with nary a peep from me. And in doing so are providing what they think they want: to be "left alone" as they do anything they want in and around their residence, with zero concern required for how any action might affect me and my family, living contiguously next-door.
You won't go broke overestimating the narcissism of people, however, and after living right-next-door to these individuals for nine horrible years (so far), I'm in a position to competently and confidently declare them Master Practitioners: I received an official complaint against me for harassment from the city about 36 hours ago: "State of New Jersey vs. Vincent De Benedetto." These two individuals actually went through with it--they filed a complaint against me. However, Ladies & Gentlemen, it is true. These two persons are being harassed. But what plagues them is not any pattern of injury of mine, there clearly is none. What plagues them, and roots their corruption, is their own errant, malformed ego structure, developed in the context of a larger national and indeed global culture that is fundamentally nonloving.
One might, as I have and will continue to, decry such behavior and even declare it hypocritical given their flagrant religious display and deportment. A more savvy deconstruction, however, realizes the possibility that it's their very paucity of intellect and rectitude that drives their religious compulsion in the first place. In that case, one wouldn't expect from them any genuine impulse to the best that religion offers, and insofar as they do feel such an impulse, one wouldn't expect any great capacity to act on it; to act on it in any meaningful, profound, or otherwise substantive way. One might speculate that for them, morality doesn't comprise or even drive a transformational belief; lack of morality drives a deformed belief, consisting in the egoistic, perfunctory, pro forma, or a pitiable combination.
When the complete narrative of my relationship with these individuals is published, I would not want to stand in their shoes. The world will be apprised, and I believe they, themselves, starkly reminded and perhaps at that later time in their lives aghast, at all they've done and said over the course of a decade or more that has hurt me and my family, in response to what can only be seen and understood as my earnest, pacific, reasonable, appropriate, and indeed required attempts to secure the welfare, and indeed life, of my elderly and ill parents. These two individuals will have to explain to their appalled children why mom and dad treated their gentle neighbor, obviously a suffering soul, so atrociously. And in this age of a partial resurgence of anti-Semitism, whereby the Jewish community wants to show its best face to the world, I also assume the ire and disgust of Rabbinic authorities here and in Israel, as they read this shocking account, and view the accompanying photographs, of how shabbily two ostensibly deeply religious Orthodox Jewish persons treated the ill and elderly couple living right next door. And when they, and everyone else, read the unspeakable conclusion and consequence of this treatment, murder, a tipping point in the global view of Jews and Judaism may be reached.
Moreover, at such time, individuals like Officer RM will be transparently understood for what they were: unwitting and unthinking facilitators, mediating in favor of, or deference to, the most pernicious and undesirable general social force plaguing humankind: nonlove.
Orthodox Jews, Paradox Jews
These killers are nominally "Orthodox Jewish" persons, presumably claiming a special and loving communion with God. When their relationship with me was better, I would routinely ask Mrs. Dimwitz how she was, and her typical response was, "Good, Thank God, Good." Well, Mrs. Dimwitz apparently loves God very much--but apparently he's the only one.
As every group that shares characteristics, whether a body of belief, a common ancestry or culture, or anything else, Jewish persons probably want their religion, Judaism, to be taken seriously, considered fairly, and viewed positively. Judaism, in particular, wants this, given the history of persecution that it is understood to have experienced, and indeed perhaps still is experiencing. One of the reasons that Judaism likely and comprehensibly seeks accuracy and favor in its perception by the public is that it wishes to reproduce its numbers. It is said that Judaism does not encourage, and in some measure actually discourages new members, leaving it to the prospective new member to exhibit a genuine level of interest sufficient to garner membership. Such an organizational posture might change, however, were the religion to experience a drastic drop in numbers.
But insofar as Judaism does wish a favorable public perception, I must point out that Mr. and Mrs. Dimwitz, for the nine years that they have lived next-door to me, have been nothing but a walking advertisement against Judaism. Against the notion or assertion that Judaism has anything positive to offer the world: love, peace, wisdom, establishment of sacred silence or a contemplative environment, respect and care for the elderly, promotion of the idea of the connectedness of all peoples, or anything else. When the finished volume of this work, NEIGHBORS OF DEATH, is released, elucidating the entire breadth and depth of cruel and narcissistic behavior exhibited by the Dimwitz's, several of which constitute clear violations of Jewish law, this point will be crystal clear and likely irrefutable.
Another indicator, for example, of compromised intellect or morality in the Dimwitz couple concerns the Jewish concept of Mensch, a person of honor or character.
The theme underlying most, if not all, of my conflict with these individuals is my attempt to caregive my ill and aging parents. Doing so has trajected me on a different life path than would have been. I have deferred my life plans and everything has changed for me. It's a price that I have, and do, willingly pay, and would do so, again, but it has changed my life in ways that are irreversible.
One would expect that Orthodox Jewish persons, particularly, would appreciate such efforts, and accordingly show me respect, and indeed perhaps even a reasonable level of cooperation and decency in this objective. They are aware that I caregave one parent and now caregive the other. Instead, these individuals, since their arrival about nine years ago, have done almost nothing but the opposite: they have not only made it difficult for me to care for my parents, but they have visited manifold injury upon my parents, themselves, notably including contributing to the premature death of one parent. It's not an unreasonable observation that they now, in effect, appear to be working on the other parent, and they've seen her obvious ilni (i.e. illnesses) with their own eyes.
I caregave my Father for 14 years and now caregive my Mother, almost completely by myself, with very little money or other personal resource. All the while continuing to help others locally at every turn, including my own Orthodox Jewish neighbors, whether personally acquainted, or not, and globally, I continue to devote my life to serious work in social science to save our human family. In sum, I maintain a serious and comprehensive life practice of Agape, the Love Ethic.
If I'm not a Mensch, who is? Yet to these individuals, I am garbage, or some sort of animal. I must note in this regard that several years ago, some Rabbis in Israel saw rebuke from some quarters because they preached that those with different beliefs were animals. Kindred spirits with Mr. and Mrs. Dimwitz, perhaps? On Sunday, August 27, 2017, the last time Mr. Dimwitz called the police on me, as I simply tried to speak with him (yet again) about his inordinately noisy SUV doors, whose sonic and resonant effects caused me to jump out of my skin, twice, about 15 minutes earlier, and hope-against-hope that the din would not awaken or rouse my sleeping 86 year old Mother, he actually videotaped me with his smart phone as he waited for the police to arrive, as if I were some kind of ruffian, or animal in a zoo. I was actually standing on my own back porch as he recorded me, doing what I've always tried to do: communicate wisdom to this persistently foolish, arrogant--and dangerous--young man.
The police officer who responded, Officer RM, himself committed several injurious actions, notably including asking me--in front of all parties--if I was "on meds." This was only one of several important breaches of professionalism during this encounter, as recorded in a separate developing account.
Mr. Dimwitz videotaping me was one of the most offensive actions I've ever experienced with him and his wife, which is saying a lot, or anyone else. And it was this action that facilitated my realization that any previous overtures by him of apparent cooperation or love were likely disingenuous or half-hearted, which is probably why they all proved so ephemeral and simply never lasted. This futility is why, as of this writing, I have not spoken to these individuals in 63 days--nor will I ever again. And it's the same reason that my Mother and me have all but given up on my sister--the fortress of narcissism in such individuals is so powerful as to be virtually impregnable.
The point above is not to be discounted: a condition of nonlove does indeed pose dangers of many kinds to the individual, and our superordinate group of individuals usually referred to as society. This reality will be treated explicitly in the narrative through many examples, and is implicit, there, as well.
Angel in this World
In caregiving my Father for fourteen years I was the recipient of any number of compliments for my diligence, sensitivity, and commitment to his care. However, while knowing that many adult children do not care for their parents, I never elevated myself or my actions. I left that to others as they saw fit. Today, however, early this morning as I engaged in a complex extended session of care for my Mother, whom I now caregive, and who seemed today to suffer if not every malady in the book, then every malady and personal care requirement in the Cliff Notes version of "the book." Bleary-eyed, I braved it all.
I not only dutifully performed every task, large and small, but any number of times inquired as to whether the action underway, pending, or completed was adequate to its facilitating point. In other words, I was repeatedly opened the door to even more grinding and convoluted work. It was then that I realized just how unique and powerful my behavior was, and that it did, indeed, define me as very unusual. An Angel in this world. Imperfect, to be sure, but an Angel, an assessment and declaration based not only on my solicitude for family, but my substantial and growing body of work as a writer and artist in attempting to create an explicitly loving world.
As mentioned above, I also help a fair number of people in various ways outside my house. Just yesterday, for example, December 06, 2017, upon seeing a young Caucasian man standing outside a local supermarket with a shopping cart full of groceries, yet not moving and appearing in distress, I approached him for conversation. He was, indeed, immobilized at that moment, in distress, suffering many life problems and at that moment physically unable to walk. I spoke with him for about fifteen minutes, during which time he said "Thank you for caring," and gave him my contact information for further assistance. I offered twice to assist him in traversing the parking lot to get to his car, and load his groceries, but he declined. Frankly, it appeared that his time in conversation with me proved an ad hoc therapy session of sorts, and he felt better. As I recall, he told me that he did.
About four days before that, a young African-American woman approached me at another food market, stating that she was a graduate student at a local university, but had been robbed and sought my financial help in securing the $12.xx required for her bus fare back home. I broke a $20 and gave her $13. Upon then realizing through further conversation that she had no food, either, I gave her another $6, the balance of the $20. She hugged me unsolicitedly multiple times throughout this interaction, noting same, and said something like "I'm crying inside." This young student obviously felt deep gratitude toward me for my unexpected, and somewhat unusual, kindness toward a "stranger." She stated, somewhat humorously, "I guess you weren't counting on *this* when you left to go shopping, today." I pointed out to her that such Love should not be unusual, and that it is reflects the gross structural moral deficit in the world.
Additionally, perhaps six months ago a small gaggle of young orthodox Jewish boys were obviously having difficulty paying for their selections at a local supermarket checkout. I offered to help, and as I recall, immediately putting my hand into my pocket to withdraw some cash produced an audible gasp from one of them. "Why would you do this," he queried. Didn't their religion already answer this question? Apparently not, so as Agape Master I briefly explained why: We're all brothers and sisters in one human family, and must, accordingly, love each other. We must look out for each other and help shepherd each other through this manifold journey called life, or existence.
As it turned out, when the boys saw that I was serious about assisting them, they declined. I note, however, that, as a full-time family caregiver I have no paid income, nor have had for years, receiving only what amounts to a very small stipend from the state. And at the moment that I plunged my hand into my pocket to assist the boys, all I had was a $5 bill, my last bit of money, which I was about to give them.
There are many such examples of my active, often unsolicited, assistance to both people and even organizations such as companies, though I eschew the corporate system. I'd estimate that I help several people a week in one way or another; sometimes it's a kind word or Hello to persons who usually go unnoticed such as security or crossing guards, or guys on the supermarket night crew. A precious few of you likely do the same thing.
Consider my work in social science earnestly intended to save the world; serious daily personal practice of Brotherly Love, briefly just described; founding of The Agape Order, intended to provide an organizational framework to persons seeking to learn and practice Love, and intensive, years-long course of family caregiving, first my Father and now my Mother. Given all this, I declare myself an Angel walking through this world. Perhaps you are, too. If not--please become one. I proffer this self-identification in the spirit of the question posed by philosopher Erich Fromm, who queried how many people are actually exposed to, and interact with, even one genuinely loving individual in their lifetime. Thee, imperfect, but reasonably considered such an individual, though not the only one.
Orthodox Jewish Crime Snapshot
The crimes of Mischa and Bedra Dimwitz, at first blush family-oriented, clean-cut, moderately prosperous, and law-abiding, set against the demographic pattern of the continuing growth of the Orthodox population in America, suggest the prudence of learning more about its religion: the system of beliefs, and lifestyle and personal characteristics of its members.
Those of us living in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods not of that religious community may find a gentle whimsy and general innocuity in these individuals, as they travel the streets, often on foot since their Sabbath observance proscribes driving, wearing their trademark black and white garb, often with large, flat hats and ringlets of hair on the men, framing their faces. We see them routinely on their Sabbath together in small groups of men, often on street corners, presumably debating and discussing this or that point of the Torah and other religious texts and principles. They appear to the outsider as a gentle, high-minded group, though resolute in their beliefs and way of life.
Appearances can be deceiving, however, in any personal or social milieu, including religion.
What is the general record of crime committed by Orthodox Jewish persons, particularly in the United States? As NEIGHBORS OF DEATH develops, it will correspondingly treat this and similar questions, painting a more accurate picture of this idiosyncratic group.
Such an inquiry may be of greatest utility when made in the larger context of an inquiry into the actual morality of every branch of religion and philosophy, and NEIGHBORS OF DEATH may, indeed, eventually traverse this terrain. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Janism, Humanism, Atheism and every other body of belief and existential posture should remain open to such a critical inquiry.
A DuckDuckGo.com search on November 07, 2017 using the search string "crimes orthodox jews america" generated an incredible number and diversity of crimes committed by this community and those affiliated with it. Here is an introductory few:
Relevant Web Sites
The above list will likely be changed for the final draft of NEIGHBORS OF DEATH: expanded, and culled for relevance.
Aura of Death
aura, n. a field, force, pattern, or energy, usually invisible to the naked eye, said to emanate from, and surround, a person or thing.
(Definition, Vincent Frank De Benedetto)
In August of 2016 I contacted three Atlanta-area real estate firms to obtain a sense of the price of property in that town near the King Center, in Atlanta Georgia. I did this because I felt, and still feel, an impulse to live near the Center.
Why? Because I want to live in its "aura," or more properly, in the aura of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King, while not perfect, no human being is or can be, possessed a goodness and morality achieved by relatively few in this world, and to which I'm drawn. I, too, though imperfect, walk this world attempting to assist it now, and ultimately save it. I think my 22+ web sites, all informed by, and most explicitly advocating, Brotherly Love, in addition to my developing book LOVE ETHIC and other Love-themed artistic work, and my actual daily practice of Love, speak adequately enough to this claim.
What I do is a lonely, misunderstood, and grossly underappreciated task. I thus find it helpful, and comforting, to be around those persons with a similarly grand design for humankind. Dr. King is among the few, and thus would I find it comforting to be as close to him as possible. Living near the King Center would bring me about as close to Dr. King as I could be, not to mention the opportunity that I presume it would afford me for frequent time passed on its grounds studying, reflecting, writing, and talking to people. The Love of this man, represented and in some good measure embodied in the Center, is magnetic, and for me and those like me, a special draw.
In similar fashion, however, can there be said to be a negative aura; even an evil one, and this is one of the most pernicious aspects of existence near a neighbor of death: their aura of death. The existence of this aura doesn't necessarily or routinely come as they stand there with a gun or a pitchfork to shoot or stab you; it more generally comes in the form of their forcing you to continually bathe in their hostility, hatred, condescension, or just as commonly their categorical silence toward you, and glaring and obvious lack of concern over whether you and your family live or die. In some cases this odious deportment does occur concomitant with their active attempts at physical injury, but even without, such a posture constitutes as much an attack as that with a conventional weapon.
This kind of attack, in fact, can be worse than that executed with a conventional weapon, because 1.) it constitutes a slow injury or series of injuries that 2.0 can be subtle and hard to discern, much like the latter stage of freezing to death involves no physical discomfort, because 3.) such attacks often involve no behavior that is explicitly illegal, and are thus extremely hard to eradicate, and 4.) attempts to negotiate or navigate the shifting and uncertain terrain of behavior that is injurious but not illegal can sometimes land you in legal trouble, as has happened to me, here, with the Dimwitz', and inordinate amounts of personal or professional resource either time, money, and/or energy can be lost in the attempt, which may or may not be successful. A comparison to sinking in quicksand would not be inappropriate: much energy expended might yield you nothing but a faster death.
No theoretical exercise, I can tell you that living right-next-door (RxD) to those with an aura of death, which I have and still do, is extremely stressful. As foundationally asserted, above, any substantive stressor that remains unabated will lead to death; if it is continual, so much the worse. Thus is the "aura of death" real, whether we embrace this language or elect for other.
In my case, I have lived in extremely close physical proximity to several such persons, neighbors of death with their concomitant aura of death, hence my roster of multiple case studies, as stated, above--and the necessity of this book.
Israeli Hegemony Writ Small
In my continuing attempt to deconstruct and understand the behavior of the Dimwitz', I've conjectured that religious bigotry might be a factor. I've often speculated, for example, that were I like them in custom, culture, and belief, it is un-, or far less, likely that I and my family would have received the shabby treatment that we have, and continue to, receive. However, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the further related notion of a relationship or connection between said bigotry and bullying by this local N.J. couple, and the bigotry and persecution ascribed to Israel by many, such as writer Miko Peled, occurred to me. It's hard to escape the feeling or perception that the seemingly categorical bias and domination against non-Israeli persons or groups by ruling elements within Israel, concomitant with their continuing protestations against this charge, and the established pattern of persecution and cruelty against me and my family by the Dimwitz', punctuated by ephemeral and apparently disingenuous or noncommittal periods of apparent cooperation, fall within the same general sphere of perceived Jewish arrogance and bigotry.
My present level of knowledge on, and conversance with, the topic of Israel and its formation and behavior is unsatisfactory to me, and the above notion of a relationship between these two described vectors of perceived egoism and persecution is a novel idea for me, so I pen this section tentatively, and remind the early-stage reader that the content at this website is a draft of NEIGHBORS OF DEATH.
I intend to specifically target this book to Jewish markets in the United States, Israel, and around the world, to engender a public conversation about what it really means to be Jewish, especially Orthodox Jewish, what the character and nature of Judaism really is and means in the modern world, including the question of how its practice pertains to non-Jews, and what the utility of this, and perhaps by extension and extrapolation all, belief systems really is.
The narrative will be submitted particularly to Rabbinic and other Jewish authorities in Israel and elsewhere for their perspective, official statements, and adjudication on the actions of this purportedly if nominally Orthodox couple, especially insofar as said actions are argued to have resulted in contribution to the death of a precious human being, noting that use of the word precious is redundant. That said human being is my Father only adds to the angst and vexation, for as a human family we must maintain a record of zero deliberate deaths of anyone, and near-zero accidental ones. While the Jewish couple, themselves, the Dimwitz's, remain as stolidly unconcerned about this tragedy as they have regarding any of the body of injury they've committed toward me and my family, with special reference to my Father, indeed Mr. Dimwitz actually smiled (smirked?) at the allegation of manslaughter or murder, this writer presumes that Jews of other national or theological quarter may exhibit a more proper and appropriate emotional, moral, theological, and even legal, response.
Line Forms to the Left
Some might ask, "Why did you put me in your book?"
The proper answer to this query is: I did not put you in my book. I do not put people in my book. If you are in my book, your behavior put you there. If your behavior toward me and my family has been atrocious, then you've caused us much pain and you will likely be in this book. If your behavior has been wonderful, then you have spared us pain, or perhaps even helped us overcome pain from other quarters, and will likely also be in this book. In both cases your inclusion is warranted because you are an exemplar, as such useful to the several objectives of the book: in the former, you're an exemplar of a human being whom we must studiously seek and resolve not to emulate, for such persons make life hell for other people and degrade quality of life, and thus ultimately destroy society. In the latter case, you are an exemplar of a human being we love and respect, and want and need to emulate, a human being of love, sensitivity, respect, and care. The kind of person we must emulate, for, collectively, they bring our human family together and make our existential sojourn bearable, if not wonderful.
Such persons help us ensure that our time alive is lived fully and happily, and we, theirs, which cannot happen if our lives are characterized by pain and inordinate burden.
Persons who think they are in this book, and/or its companion volume LOVE ETHIC, may experience an impulse to relocate to avoid embarrassment and notoriety. However, while I likely wish to see you go if you are, or have, caused my family pain, which is probably the case if you're a subject of my work, I must apprise you that your crimes will follow you everywhere. There is simply nowhere to which you can relocate that will exonerate you, or remove you from my attention. If you are in my book for transgressions against me and my family, I want, and justice requires, restitution from you insofar as this is possible.
Moreover, if you aspire to said restitution, and wish to fully understand your transgressions, I will require your contact information no matter where on this planet you elect to reside.
I have fashioned the rough outline of a plan for redress and restitution for the Dimwitz', though not yet presented it to them. I do not anticipate their cooperation at this stage of their lives. Perhaps later, if they grow wiser with age and life experience. Their crimes and the consequences will not go away, however, and neither will the need for redress.
I could assert that as extremely, if ostensibly, religious persons, I assume that, at least in principle, they'd agree, but in fact I don't think that most religious persons take the principles and tenets of their faiths seriously, certainly including them, so such an assertion would be disingenuous.
In fact, our one human family requires a new morality, or certainly a new delivery vehicle for its existing morality.
RECENT TRANSGRESSION LOG
November 08, 2017
In my kitchen cleaning up, starting to nurse my cup of coffee (from yesterday, actually, as I was again so busy y'day that I never got to make it), when at 8:16 am....BAM!
After about five seconds I peered out of my kitchen window--I'm somewhat afraid to look out of my own window in case Dimmy has a camera pointed at me--and see no one, but I'm still essentially positive it was them, given the volume and character of the sound, apparent very close proximity, and my having heard that sound from them many times before. I see no one for about twenty seconds. I actually open the blinds about three inches (brave move, eh? ) and shift my position so I can freely see their vehicle likely without being seen. I then see Mrs. Dz circling around the side of her car going back into her house; she's wearing a dark gray fall or winter coat.
Upon my first peer out after having heard the noise, I took note of where the vehicle was parked. Was it parked all the way up Dimmy's driveway, as I requested that he do, in a vexing attempt to pick from almost no options at all to solve or mitigate this problem? Since the "conversation" when I gave him this suggestion, he and Mrs. Dz have begun parking their car somewhat further up their driveway, several times a week. But they do not park it all the way up, which would create the greatest distance between their noise source and my house, especially my kitchen, as I asked him to do. They don't park up the driveway, as often as they do. These two failings render the effort negligible.
They have not parked up the driveway this morning. Had they, the obtrusive, intrusive, sonic nervous system irritant sufferd by me at 8:16 am might not have been so severe.
8:37 am - again, but more of a BOOMPH sound, like a BANG or BOOM, and still loud, but somewhat muffled. I'm less sure that this is Mrs. Dz, as I'm no longer in the kitchen, but it sounds like it. Ultimately, whomever it is, is producing objectionable sounds, also known as NOISE.
8:32 am - single vehicle beep outside; unrelated.
November 05, 2017
4:59 pm, vehicle door, BOOM. At just about the exact moment this sound occurs, I'm in my kitchen, mere feet away, about to take my first sip from an overfull and hot, if not very hot, cup of coffee. Were the sound a bit louder or more resonant, or I a bit more sleepy, or both, I might have dropped that cup, creating a complete mess and possibly scalding myself. Even greater the chance that my Mother, 86, would have done the same were she in the kitchen at that moment, about to sip her coffee--which she does, daily.
The start of this problem about nine years ago was marked by my Father falling down at the same time that one of the Dimwitz vehicle doors sounded. Mr. Dimwitz would not entertain even the possibility that the overwhelming sound and resonance of his door could have been the cause. This will be the first in a number of categorical denials Mr. Dimwitz will proffer over the years pertinent to this or that problem. This is a man unwilling to ascribe even the possibility of blame to himself.
But, according to a slight and reasonable variant of an actual declaration of this neighbor, Mr. Dimwitz, all such concerns are "...your problem, not mine."
November 01, 2017
8:45 am, vehicle door, BOOM, twice in succession. As my last entry, these moderately loud and resonant sounds definitely would have woken me up--no doubt--as soon as they occurred, and again, I'm hoping they don't wake my Mother up.
October 23, 2017
8:13 am, vehicle door, BOOM. This resonant sound would have definitely woken me up, and as soon as it occurred I worried, as usual, about whether it would rouse my mother. Especially now that she's in such arm pain, yet to take her pain pill, and sleep is so important to her.
As of this writing, November 01, 2017, my beloved Mother is 86 years old. She is an 83-year resident, and former employee, of this city. The Den Mother of our local Cub Scout troop! The kids used to meet in our basement! The history of she and her family in this town goes even deeper, as NEIGHBORS OF DEATH will amply illustrate when completed.
In contradistinction, in the 9 years that Mr. and Mrs. Dimwitz have lived in this city, in unwitting alliance with other hostile and obtuse locals, they have not merely toppled the Apple Cart--but targeted the cart with an Israeli missile and blown it to smithereens.
The particular noise problem mentioned above is unexpected and somewhat odd, but a huge, concrete, and real problem, nonetheless, from which I've been asking for relief from these neighbors for literally years. It has yet to come. Then, on Sunday morning, August 27, 2017, the noise occurred several times in succession so loudly that I jumped out of my skin, and when I attempted to quietly discuss it, yet again, with Mr. Dimwitz--he called the police on me. This act was rash, thoughtless, very heavy-handed, and unwarranted, and as such, grossly inappropriate. In fact, it set in motion a cascade of effects deleterious to me and my family that as of this writing, November 01, 2017, we are nowhere near recovering from. Unfortunately for all concerned, we must add this cascade to the other such cascades this man-boy's abject egoism and stupidity have set in motion, for us. The man who walks around with a Bible in his hand.
Terrorism can be broad, sensational, explicit, and political, or narrow, subtle, incremental, and personal. The actions of the Dimwitz couple, speaking loosely and somewhat figurately, fall into this latter class of Terror, although their Transgression Set (c. 2017) and its deconstruction by me will, I believe, have global and historical implications. Relatedly, for persons like me doing such analysis, and trying to permanently eliminate such human behavior, I'm pleased to observe and note that the notion of microaggression has gained currency, as the Dimwitz' are all about passive-aggressive behavior and microaggression.
CASE STUDY #5 - JO ANNA DECCERO
"I'm not in the Area"
Persons related by blood aren't necessarily more loving than anyone else. They don't necessarily treat other family members better than they treat anyone else. My sole sibling's entire adult life, or the major portion thereof, for example, is an acute and effective study in avoiding family, and responsibilities, thereto. Your cousin, or even mother, father, sister, or brother won't necessarily comport themselves in any more loving a fashion than a nearby unknown neighbor, or even a stranger* you might meet on the street, and such is unfortunately the case in my own extended, and nuclear, families.
(*There are actually no strangers. We're all Brothers and Sisters in one human family.)
In fact, history records an almost limitless number of incidents whereby family members engaged not merely in neglect, benign or otherwise, of other family members, but out-and-out, explicit injurious action toward these family members. How many family members have murdered or otherwise caused grievous harm to other family members, for example?
In the more benign of cases I suppose I refer loosely to the black sheep phenomenon, such errant family members being referred to as the "black sheep" of the family.
To wit: there are two adult children in my family, of whom I am one. I presently caregive our mother, and have done so full-time and officially since February 2015, after having caregiven our father for fourteen years. My sibling has proven nearly worthless in her measure of concrete support and assistance rendered to our immediate, nuclear family, and the condition of the family, general and specific, regarding any parameter by which a social group can be assessed, no matter how bad, even when discernibly devolving or deteriorating, has appeared relevant neither to the quality or quantity of help proffered by this ostensible family member.
For example, as this is written, Wednesday, October 11, 2017, this family member has offered no assistance of any kind to the family, though it has required such assistance more than ever, for about two weeks. This, because the condition of physical health of the Matriarch, our Mother, devolved significantly about three weeks ago, deteriorating in such manner that she has become a near-invalid, and though this family member in question (FMQ), missing in action (F-MIA), was apprised that said retrogression in health would require even more care, an increase, has actually proffered even less assistance than usual. This family member was apprised that her failure to increase her level of help would mean that her brother, would be forced to undertake an ever greater amount of work than I already provide.
The tagline above "I'm not in the Area" refers to an assertion, indeed proclamation, of this individual, nothing but utterly self-serving, usually proferred as a response to a request for help with the family. Another such exculpatory utterance of hers, again offered in response to a request for help is, "Have Vincent do it," or its variation, "Can't Vincent do it?"
Such protestations are proferred though this sibling is unmarried, childless, and five years younger than me.
Beginning of the End
Our lives are framed in large measure by the actions of others. And it's common for particular others to have a special or extraordinary effect on us, family members chief among these special actors. My family is no exception; the arc of my family has been determined by the actions of each member, but the actions of the sibling in question have arguably determined its downward and deteriorating trajectory, or at least an exacerbation of said trajectory. Now, October 2017, the health of our remaining parent has worsened considerably, and perhaps decisively. Though I'm trying to prevent it, the beginning of the end of this family has arguably begun. If it turns out mercifully to be the very beginning, we'll be grateful. Our remaining parent requires immediate and extensive assistance with multiple dimensions of her health and life; a concerted collaborative effort by her two adult children would likely do the trick. We could probably pull the rabbit out of the hat, victory from the jaws of defeat, were such cooperation to occur.
But it's not occurring. Not by a longshot. In fact, the opposite is occurring. I apprised this sibling a month ago that Mom's health had taken a turn for the worse, and I'd require extra help to attempt to negotiate it. Not only have I received no such help, her level of assistance has actually declined over the past 30 or days, to just about nothing.
Her rationale or explanation, insofar as one can be ascertained, is something along the lines of, when she calls I'm not accommodating to her and her circumstances. This is preposterous, as has been so many of her remarks and perspectives over the years on family matters. Mom, herself, has berated and tried to correct her on multiple occasions as she has expressed opinions that were frankly ridiculous and bearing little relation to reality. Mom told her, for example, about a year ago: "Everything you say is stupid." And this from our Mother--who has been, and in general terms still is--the sibling's biggest defender and cheerleader. But advocate or not, one cannot easily escape the patently preposterous and wrong-headed interpretations and explanations assigned to events by this sibling.
This ultimate airing of dirty family laundry is not easy, but I'm doing it to serve the social science that I'm trying to forge. To illustrate, from personal experience, just how extensive and deeply-rooted the pernicious combination of nonlove and irrationality is. To show that, in addition to the loathsome behavior of a small grouping of my neighbors, odious behavior also issues from my own, and only, sibling, a sister--and in the most dire family circumstances where love, maturity, and even wisdom should and must prevail.
RECENT TRANSGRESSION LOG
"The family" = my Mother, myself, and my Father though absent.
November 07, 2017
As last or the weekend before, The Sibling proferred no assistance to the family this weekend, at all. I left her one email and numerous voicemail messages, none of which she responded to, regarding the help we needed over the weekend, and why: Mom's grossly deteriorating condition of health, and our grossly deteriorating financial condition, leading us at present, among other things, to the possible loss of our house. Yet, like the sociopath, no amount of suffering communicated moves her to compassionate action.
Then, last night, my mother apprised me that The Sibling, though working a full-time, permanant position, earning $23/hour and having neither husband nor children to support, nor rent to pay, asked her for money. Sometimes, one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at such gross transgressions as this.
Shift into 2nd
Let's shift gears for a moment, as I describe another incident, this one illustrating the disconnection between extended family members. This concerns a female cousin, a young woman, to and for whom I attempted wise and necessary counsel regarding her relationship with her family, specifically her mother, my Aunt, aging and increasingly debilitated and ill. My cousin, however, refused said counsel, and months later her mother, the intended recipient of the benefit that the counsel was meant to provide, asserted of her daughter's response to my attempt at counsel that I "freaked her out."
This response, if accurately described, is preposterous, as my actions were not just completely reasonable, but admirable--which the cousin in question did initially acknowledge.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Principle #1: No Man is an Island
No man, or neighbor, is an island. For example, Mr. Mischa Dimwitz (Case Study #1, above) thinks, essentially, that what he wants from his relationship with me, his next-door neighbor, is essentially no relationship. He thinks that he wants, and indeed "has a right" to simply be "left alone." He wants he and his family to enjoy the ability to live out their lives with neither interference nor complaint from anyone, whether someone halfway around the world, or right next-door. He thinks that he wants for he and his family the ability to engage in any and every daily activity whether another human being finds adversity or injury in said activity, or not. And by the way, he might argue, isn't this the "American Way"? Freedom? And on a neighborhood level, being "King of One's Castle"?
This entire perspective comprises an untenable social, community, and neighbor strategy, as it's based on an illusion. It only appears to work now because the contact stream of the relationship has been distorted by my failure to exercise my right as a resident to fully, or more fully, live. The contact stream has been one-way, only, as the disturbance pattern has been based solely on him disturbing me, and thus my need to contact him to attempt to redress said disturbance, never the other way around. But the second I elect to begin exercising my right as a resident, indeed as a human being, if the object of such exercise is an activity that Mr. Dimwitz or any of his family members finds irritating, annoying, or disturbing, say, playing my electric guitar, the nature of the contact stream will shift, as he will now find himself with an unyielding need to contact me, to attempt to redress what he finds disturbing.
Instead of a one-way pattern of telephone calls, front or back-door visits, and outdoor conversation, all initiated by me, we'll begin to see a healthier two-way pattern, as he'll now find himself required to initiate contact with me. At that time, the desirability and indeed the explicit need for human reciprocity may begin to slowly dawn on his dimwitted primal brain, and he'll realize that categorically or functionally demanding to be "left alone" does not and cannot work as a long-term community or social, or even individual strategy. Moreover, the point will become painfully clear to him should I elect to visit upon him the kind of pain that he visited upon me and my family, in not merely ignoring entreaties to cease painful activity (usually in a neighborhood context involving noise, odors, or chemicals), but in calling the Police in regard to said entreaties, enhanced by pressing charges and forcing the neighbor into the stress and expense of court, underpinned by the anger that the neighbor will feel toward the perpetrator, in my case a next-door neighbor, for responding with such hostility and injury. In other words, for doing something as lousy as taking one's next-door neighbor to court, instead of putting in the effort required to resolve any problem.
As regards the issue of freedom, the American legal principle does not speak to categorical or otherwise unlimited freedom, but is, in fact, and may have always been: "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." I can tell you after nine years of life with these individuals living right next door, mere feet away--they have little interest in probiscus demarcation.
Principle #2: We All Make the Same Mistakes
We all make mistakes, and generally the same ones as each other. The gaff that you decry on the part of another, has, or will be, committed by you if you think back far enough or give yourself enough time. The challenge for me is the recall of any stupidities and insensitivities that I committed against others, when Mr. Dimwitz age.
Copyright (c) 2017 Vincent Frank De Benedetto
Transgressor Geometry, specifying pictorally the relationship between a given set of victims and their transgressors, can be conceptualized and diagrammed in two ways: by 1.) physical location, specifically, by physical proximity to the victims, or 2.) level of harm done to the victims. Either way, the members of Transgressor Set (TS) can be understood as residing in, or forming, a series of concentric circles, like a bullseye--not an inappropriate metaphor, given, for example, how transgressors wield nonlove like a weapon. Nonlove is a weapon--Humanity's most pernicious. Just ask any victim of ISIS, or the Nazis.
"Transgressor Geometry" can be applied to any group of persons, living anywhere.
Transgressor Geometry by Proximity
In the first, and most fundamental conceptualization, the transgressors most local to the victims, in other words in closest physical proximity, in this case me and my family, would form the innermost ring in the concentric circle pattern (CCP); transgressors living on the same street, for example. Persons living in the neighborhood, but not on the same street, would form the next outermost ring in the CCP. Persons removed further still from the victims, such as those living in the larger community, would form the next outermost ring, and so on. The basic pattern continues thusly.
Forming a variant in, and additional dimension to, the pattern are transgressors physically removed from the victims, yet exercising a significant deleterious influence on them. For example, if the victims are harmed by genetically modified food ingredients manufactured by a company located elsewhere, perhaps halfway across the country, or the world, said company would comprise a transgressor. Transgressors of this kind can be represented by a diagrammatic overlay, placed upon the first pattern, forming connecting arrows pointing from outermost rings to the center hub that represents the victims, themselves. The resulting weblike diagram would reveal or begin to reveal a more complex, though illustrative and accurate and hence powerful picture of the webbed or web-like dynamic of human injury (DHI).
The third variant of Transgressor Geometry includes pictoral representation of a local transgressor acting as a proxy for a nonlocal transgressor. Perhaps, for example, a next-door neighbor using lawn chemicals, considering that such chemicals never remain where they are applied, that may contain ingredients harmful to my family, that are manufactured by a company located elsewhere, perhaps halfway across the country, or the world. This structure can be represented diagrammatically or pictorally, as well.
Transgressor Geometry by Harm
The second conceptualization representing the relationship between victim and transgressor, or victimizer, would see the innermost ring in the concentric circle pattern representing transgressors not in closest physical proximity to the victims, but causing greatest injury to the victims. Transgressors causing the next least level of injury would comprise the next outermost ring in the CCP, and so on, and this basic pattern would continue accordingly.
Agent & Publisher Sought
I seek an agent for my work, and a publisher for this book. Once published, the stars of the show, my clueless neighbors, will begin to suffer the fallout--for a lifetime, as good books don't go away. Especially in this case when 1.) their message is of such socio-existential power and import, and 2.) being presented to the world not only in this book, but also threaded through my manifold other creative product. NEIGHBORS OF DEATH and its counterpart volume and theoretical ground LOVE ETHIC will remain important, if not key, works in moral philosophy whether they find a publisher or not. I will self-publish if necessary, and even give the work away free on the Internet, to 1.) achieve justice, and 2.) promulgate my critique of our global crisis, and corresponding solution, our most seminal message of hope.
Neither the crimes of Dimwitz, and others, nor the abuse of officer RM will go unattended and unrepatriated. These sorry excuses for human beings injured me and my family, are held responsible, and must provide apology and restitution. This reality will never go away.
About this Site
This site, NEIGHBORS OF DEATH, is the official promotional site for one of my books in development, working title NEIGHBORS OF DEATH. The book is part two, a key part, of my multipart multimedia project under continuing development, themed around the need for, and content of, radical human transformation. Said transformation is based on, in the language of Greek philosophy, Agape (uh gop' ay), or "Brotherly Love," properly understood as the most powerful force available to humankind, and the only thing that will save us, from ourselves.
Multimedia is an older word indicating multiple communication forms including written word, spoken word, music, live music or talk, recorded music or talk, photographs, painting, drawing, sketching or other illustrating, radio broadcast, and television broadcast.
NEIGHBORS OF DEATH and its theoretical ground LOVE ETHIC are counterpart volumes, written and understood as a set.
The horrible narrative chronicled in NEIGHBORS OF DEATH is extensive, but will be presented in full there. This site comprises a highly abbreviated draft. As this is a narrative key to my work in social science, it will also appear in, and threaded through, the other segments or parts of my multipart master project, which includes at least one other book, as well as music, poetry, radio, and other media forms and creatives.
While the book NEIGHBORS OF DEATH remains under development, I may periodically update selected parts of the draft version presented at this website. You are reading that draft material right now.
Alternative titles under consideration are Descent into Hell, Green Lawns, Black Hearts, and "He's Your Problem, not Mine," the latter odious sentiment an actual declaration of my morally clueless and obtuse next-door neighbor, he and his equally retrogressive spouse superficially very "religious" persons. Chalk up another one for religion.
My critique of persons and systems herein does not imply that I, myself, do not err. I have and I will. However, my mistakes are arguably more permissible and tolerable as they occur in the context of my awareness, and serious practice, of Love, which means that 1.) I'm trying, consciously and continually, not to err, 2.) my mistakes are likely less frequent and less severe in commission and effect, than would otherwise be the case, and 3.) I apologize and attempt restitution for my errors.
I'm not perfect, but, though the results will remain imperfect, there is perfection of a kind to recognizing, and concretely living, Love.
Phases of Development
General Phase 1 in the development of this volume is ending about now, October 22, 2017, since the presence of this online draft makes it possible that said research subjects may become aware of that status and change their behavior, even if slightly, compromising the research.
Contact Vincent Frank De Benedetto at OneHumanFamily @ fastmail.net. In addressing your email, omit both spaces surrounding the "@" symbol.
This site went live on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
"Love is the only satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence." -- Erich Fromm
"Most people are stupid." -- Frank Salvatore De Benedetto
"Hell is other people." -- Jean Paul Sartre
Hope You're a Reader
"Everything goes in the book."
This sober and resolute declaration reflects and embodies my attitude regarding persons who have, or upon learning of this book, will, attempt to injure me or my family, or injure us further. Every single act and event, committed by anyone, is, for posterity and with names, going into this book, its companion volume LOVE ETHIC, and very likely one or more of the other parts of my large-scale, multi-part, multimedia project. I have nothing to lose, I'm not getting any younger, and above all, the world must have my particular message of hope. Thus will I utilize every artistic form and media type to convey it, and do so resolutely and without deviation until my death. Afterward, if the message has rooted, others will continue its promulgation.
(Dateline, yesterday, November 01, 2017: ISIS-inspired terrorist runs down and kills eight tourists and others in New York City.)
The crimes of those who hurt me or my family will be publicly chronicled and discussed, forever. And the worse the transgression, the more unflattering a permanent and indelible picture of the transgressor will be painted, for their children, grandchildren, and all posterity to disdainfully ponder.
I'm not inviting injury nor do I wish it. But for those of sufficient ego and malice to seek it, an impulse that several of my "neighbors" have clearly demonstrated, I must make clear that journalism, solid non-fiction narrative, composed with care by someone with great facility in language and other creative arts, is a potent defensive, and offensive, weapon. Perhaps the most potent available. Who wants to see themselves and perhaps their family indicted, in detail, on the world stage? For example, in a book on a bookshelf in a bookstore? Or in a newspaper or magazine article, on-or-offline? Or repeatedly castigated in a series of television or radio interviews by an articulate author on a book tour? Or skewered in one or more pieces of poetry, or popular musical composition? Who wants to hear a hit song ad nauseum on the radio whose theme is they and the evil deeds they've done, that have caused pain to other human beings?
As mentioned above, transgressors can begin to partially correct this circumstance by 1.) immediately terminating all injurious behavior, and 2.) remaining radically receptive to the difficult program of restitution that I will eventually be presenting. If you relocate, apprise me of your new location and contact information.
Powerful ideas properly expressed and skillfully presented are a weapon. And frankly, for the near-24 years that my family has resided where it presently does, it's the only weapon I've had. I have just begun wielding that weapon.
The Pernicious Force Of Nonlove that Puts the Division in Subdivision
- NEIGHBORS OF DEATH -