It's been a damned long time since I've posted anything here, so I'm not so sure anyone really cares what I have to say, but I'm going to say it anyway.
There's a community that I'm a member of - a somewhat casual member, true, but still, a member of said community. It's the kind of community where people feel safe not only holding public memorials for friends who've died, but where others, who never knew the person who died, will join in because even if they never knew the person who died, the people who are left behind are hurting, and that matters. It's the kind of community where people get together and throw events for charity, just because it's the right thing to do, and helping other people makes them feel good. It's the kind of community where, when a college professor decided to try to infiltrate it and stir up trouble so that he could write a paper about it, the members of the community joined together to protect each other from him.
In short, it's the kind of community that we see so many lamentations about the loss of, in nearly every form of media. It's the kind of community that people used to find in fraternal organizations, their local church, and (in some ideal situations) in their local neighborhood.
On November 30, barring some kind of miracle, that community's home will close its doors forever.
The community is fighting to save its home, but at the moment, it's fighting in the dark. You see, the community's home is owned by a corporation that has apparently decided it's not profitable enough to continue running (even though it's one of the few investments the corporation owns that has consistently made ANY profit, no matter how small), and besides, they just don't seem to be interested in the North American market (unless said NA market is interested in the products that are popular in Korea, anyway), so they're just going to destroy this community's home. And, yes, there ARE a lot of "seems to be" and "apparently" statements in there, because said corporation has done absolutely nothing to communicate - with the community, or with anyone else, regarding anything to do with this community's home, other than a single statement in which they simultaneously announced that they were destroying the home and firing everyone who made it work.
Since then, the community has tried to communicate with the corporation that owns their home, individually and in aggregate, and received absolutely nothing in reply. Not even a "go away, stop bothering us." Once again, operating in the dark.
The attitude of those outside the community has ranged from "you're all a bunch of whining children" to "I personally don't care, but knock yourself out." It makes me wonder, does no one understand the concept of community anymore? I've even seen statements that compare the community to a can of beans on the grocer's shelf, as if it's as easy to replace your home as it is to replace a can of beans.
What has happened in the world, that communities this vital, this involved, are seen as disposable? Oh, I know that the corporation has the right to do anything it pleases with its property, but with the way it's leaving everyone - including the people it just fired - in the dark, we have to start wondering about the rationality of the people running it.
Before you question why I would question the rationality of the people running the corporation, let's consider how this would translate to you or me. Suppose you owned a couple dozen different restaurants. Most of them are fast food joints, designed to process customers through like cattle, but a few are more like old British village pubs, where people sit for hours, buying drinks, enjoying hearty meals, getting to know each other, holding socials, proposing marriage, raising their children, etc. Each one of those pubs has a smaller customer base than the fast food joints, but those customers are loyal, and a fair percentage of them spend more in one month than any of the customers of the fast food places spend in a lifetime. Everyone assumes things are going fine, until one day you walk up to one of your pubs and torch it. And then a year later, you do the same to another pub. And then a year later, a third. And then a fourth.
Now we're on the fifth pub. The torch has not been applied yet, but you've announced that you WILL apply the torch on the 30th of November. When the customers of that pub begin asking why, ask you to let someone else buy the pub, even offer to buy it themselves, you respond by ignoring them. The employees of the pub have been trying to negotiate to buy the pub from you. The only response was contained in the original announcement of the burning, which said that you are "realigning" your business.
Wouldn't you expect that people begin asking what is going on? Wouldn't you expect that people would ask if you're sane?
Sure, there may be other pubs in the world, although every day there's one less because of the people torching them. But even those people who compare communities to cans of beans must be able to see that a village pub and a fast food joint are far from equivalent. At least, you would hope so, in a rational world.
But then again, it's situations like this that make me wonder just how rational this world is.