Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, September 10, 2007

September 11th: A Pointless Story

This is completely irrelevant, but anyway…

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was riding the bus to work as usual. I never listen to any TV or radio news in the morning, so I hadn’t learned about the attacks yet. Later on during the bus ride, a coworker got on and told me all about it.

When I got on the bus I had that morning’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle (as usual). Their front page story was about a guy somewhere in California — I forget where — who did the standard cliché of killing several people and then killing himself. Before he killed himself he made a video and sent it to the local police department, confessing everything. At the end of the video he said “well, this oughtta keep me on the front pages for a week or so.”

Oh, and don’t forget — for the people of Chile, September 11th has a totally different meaning.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Candace said...

Whoa! I'll be looking for that - The Preemptive Empire. Thanks.

September 11, 2007 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

Sadly, what has become of 9/11 is what the rude pundit wrote today:

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com

September 11, 2007 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

Sadly enough memories of that day are clouded with the smut of a useless war.

September 11, 2007 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

I used your post as part of my 9/11 edition of the Blog World Report.

September 11, 2007 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Candace: Yup, the Preemptive Empire, coming soon.

Mike: Thanks, I'll check that out. He can express angst and fury more colorfully than anyone I've read.

Larry: Yeah, it's become nothing more than a prop for encouraging more invasions and a tighter police state.

Robert: Thanks. I appreciate that.

September 11, 2007 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I often think that if there is one thing I would go back in time to try and change, it would be "9-11". I hate what happened, and I hate the way it has been used. I don't need to be constantly reminded by the news media of what happened in order to remember the event... I get totally pissed every year around this time...

I'm not big on anniversaries, either, other than the anniversay of my marriage or to celebrate the birthdays of friends and family members. It seems to me dates are kind of arbitrary, in a sense.

When do particular ceremonial behaviors (sometimes, but not necessarily associated with anniversaries) border on superstitious behavior? Like for example, the origin of the 21-gun salute...

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/salute.htm

Or ringing a bell a certain number of times on a particular date to commemorate that number of victims who died on that date? Or bagpipes being played at police funerals?

Call me a misanthrope if you like, but sometimes I just get awfully tired of this kind of behavior. Re. the September 11 attacks, such ritual/ceremonial behaviors seem to perpetuate the maudlin in people, rather than causing people to really pause and reflect. It seems to perpetuate a false sense of patriotism, something that is more akin to nationalism, rather than causing us to stop and think about why things happened the way they did. Such behavior is based not on reason, but on emotion.

And I don't want to suggest that the expressing of emotion is a bad thing, because it is a necessary part of our lives. What I do suggest here is that by reducing the events of September 11 to something based almost entirely on the sad, the maudlin and the horrifying, we dishonor the victims of the attacks, we dishonor those who fought the attackers, and those who fought to rescue victims. By reducing September 11 to the level of something as base as a tool for perpetuating feelings of fear in the American people, our government and our politicians dishonor everybody who suffered in the attacks or as a result of the attacks. By allowing our politicians to do this, we help to perpetuate the bullsh*t.

How many years will it take before America is able to collectively view the events of 9/l1/01 in a clear-headed manner? It is something we need to remember, but it is also something we need to deal with and "get past". Is this possible?

September 11, 2007 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Interesting history of the 21-gun salute. I agree, this annual 9/11 event is too overdone. Maybe people need to have a receptacle for all their negative feelings, and 9/11 is it. And of course the Far Right uses it to fan the flames of hatred and more invasions. There's always another "Them" that we have to squelch.

We need to learn from 9/11, but wallowing in it isn't serving any purpose.

September 11, 2007 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

really nice post- very poignant...and sad that nothing has been really learned about 911 - mostly it just has been "used" to terramonger...so sad...

September 11, 2007 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

I decided not to do a 9/11 post. I think what Larry said sums it up perfectly.

September 11, 2007 at 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Cheapens and overshadows other massacres:
Oklahoma City Bombings
Rosewood
East St. Louis
Wounded Knee
Mormon Massacre

I would define them all as terrorist attacks

Erik

September 11, 2007 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Enigma4ever: Yup, sad but true. 9/11 just gets used to fan the flames of xenophobia.

Lizzy: I wasn't planning to do a 9/11 post either. I just decided at the last minute to post on my personal trivia incident (and the "other" 9/11 that happened in Chile.)

Erik: Oh come on, there's no comparison. Those other massacres only involved blue-collar people, low-income types and minorities. On the other hand, it was mostly VIPs who worked in the World Trade Center. See, it's completely different :)

September 11, 2007 at 10:53 PM  

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