I was reading about how people are getting scared of each other in Seattle and how developers are fueling an emotion of fear.

In terms of that fueling of an emotion of fear, I can assure you it’s not simply a Seattle thing. (Honestly, I’d be happier if it was since it would give me some hope of fixing it.)

When I was living in the Cleveland, Ohio area I saw the same exact progression. Growing up in the 70s and 80s in an old inner-ring suburb (I was born in ’73 to give more context) I would always go out trick-or-treating with my mom and brother. It was cool. Some time in the 90s there was this weird shift to fear. My theory is that it’s the 24-hour news cycle that constantly needed more grist for their mill, but honestly I don’t know. By the early 2000s we never got more than a handful of trick-or-treaters at all.

Fast forward again to 2008 or so and I was living in a well-to-do outer-ring suburb of Cleveland (Solon, Ohio if you want to look up demograhics). This was a fucking safe place to live without a doubt. There was incredibly little crime, and what there was usually wound up being rich teenagers doing stupid shit because their parents were rich and could buy the problems away.

In this setting, Ennie and I were taking a summer walk through our neighborhood. Both of us were in our 30s, white, white, priveledged and all that shit — few would slap the “scary” label on us. We were walking on the sidewalk and a pair of maybe 8-10 year-old girls were playing on a front lawn. They spotted us, turned tail, and were screaming “STRANGER DANGER!! STRANGER DANGER!!” all the way up to their front door. My wife and I just looked at each other in utter disbelief.

This isn’t just here in Seattle, it’s everywhere. :-(