During the dark hours of what is now a previous crisis for America but an ongoing one elsewhere, Queen Elizabeth delivered a message of uplift. She sought to remind her people that “the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”
The Beatrix Potter sound of that hyphenated “fellow-feeling” is what lingered. In the context of Twitter vocabularies fed from a dump at the edge of town, “fellow-feeling” arrived like a bunny hopping across the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.
At this moment in America, all we can say about fellow-feelers is that we have two warring factions. The national discord we have anguished over for years. New York City, on the other hand, has always managed to pass as a cunningly diverse (if spectacularly unequal) assemblage of fellow-feelers, whatever the scale of crisis. Read more