11 September 2006

A smattering of infinite wisdom

Well, all I can say is thank God I had my television on at some point this weekend, or I might have forgotten that tomorrow (actually today by the time that this is complete) is the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

What ever happened to private reflection?  When did our society become completely dependent on ridiculous media production?  And who decided that the people who read the news on various networks should be leaders in healing?

I love it when we are told "never forget" when 9/11 is brought up. Really?  Never?  You mean I have to go through the rest of my life with what happened on that day?  You know, thank God for Harry McTeleprompter on CNN, Sally O'Whiteteeth on MSNBC, and Marty Van Flagwaver on Fox News.  Without the wisdom of their pontificating, I might have forgotten all about it.

Hmm, let's see . . . last I checked, I had a soul.  I was alive five years ago, my sense of sight and hearing were working properly, and I was not in the middle of an alcohol-induced blackout.  I remember vividly everything that happened that day, from the moment I woke up until about a week or so later.  How could anyone possibly forget this?

I want to walk through the streets of the loop today during rush hour and randomly ask people if they know what today is.  I'll put one thousand dollars in my pocket and give it to anyone who says that they don't know.  I guarantee you that I'd come home with that money still in my pocket.

Yes, "never forget."  Thank you so much for reminding me.  Please remember that you are to crawl back under your rock precisely at midnight.  You can come out again if they arrest someone else for the JonBenet Ramsey murder.

I really hope that people watched the "9/11" program on CBS tonight, if they watched anything at all.  It was indescribable the first time I saw it a few years ago, and just as powerful tonight.  To see all those firemen in the lobby of the first tower hit, getting ready to climb the stairs and go seventy floors up, knowing that most of them were in the last hour of their lives--absolutely gut wrenching.  I watched that and I knew that I would never have been able to do such a thing.

There should be nothing broadcast about 9/11 unless it focuses solely on the people who died that day.  Anything else is propaganda.  I don't watch much television anyway, but I can guarantee you that it'll be a long time before I express any kind of loyalty to ABC.  I watched fifteen minutes of their "fictional" docudrama tonight, the scene where Madeleine Albright allegedly warns the leaders of Pakistan that missiles are on their way to Afghanistan, which gives them enough time to warn Osama bin Laden and enables his escape.  It's well documented that this scene is not accurate, that it never occured.  So why broadcast it?  Politics, pure and simple. Think about it: ABC knowingly put forth false information on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and by doing so seemed to pin responsibilty for the attacks on a Democrat's presidential administration (instead of, say AL QEADA); two months before a contested mid-term election; in a society where radio and television companies tend to be big-time donors to Republican candidates.  Brilliant.  ABC politicized 9/11 with this program, and it was not right to do so.  And I'd say the exact same thing if it were five hours of recreating George W. Bush clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford, ignoring the August 6 2001 PSA warning that bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States.  Either depiction is a political statement, and either depiction is wrong.

I cannot possibly describe the contempt I have developed for those that have used 9/11 as a political tool these last five years.  The 2004 GOP convention in New York City was nothing more than four days of tap dancing on the memory of almost three thousand World Trade Center victims.  We have some Democrats in office who seem to celebrate any event that hurts America's image, simply because it drives the president's poll numbers down and gives them a better opportunity to reclaim the House of Representatives.

And of course, we have the current administration, um, I mean regime, which has spent the last five years doing their best to convince you that you should wake up each day and be absolutely terrified.  They've even colored it so that you can better understand just how frightened you should be.  And they have started a war in a place that had nothing to do with what happened on 9/11.  As a result, as many (if not more) Americans have been killed in Iraq than were killed on 9/11.  Why doesn't anyone talk about that?

If there is one thing to remember about 9/11, aside from the innocent people who died that day, it is this: it started two wars.  The "war on terror" (though I still do not see how one can declare war on a concept), which includes Iraq (whether you agree or disagree with it), and the new civil war in America, brought about by the polarization of the political and social atmospheres.  At times I believe there is as much hatred between sides in this country as there is for whatever our declared foreign enemy is.  If I'm to believe what I've heard lately, it's Hitler again, right?

I believe it was Lincoln who said "A country divided among itself cannot stand permanently and prosper."  He said that almost 150 years ago, but it applies today as well.  We've allowed 9/11 to be politicized like everything else in this country.  We are more divided than ever, more vulnerable than ever, more ineffective than ever.  We need a modern-day Lincoln.  We need him or her badly.

And they still say "never forget."  How could we possibly forget what has happened these last five years?  How could we possibly forget what started it all?  I swear, sometimes I wish I could forget. 

Not 9/11 itself, and certainly not the victims of that awful day.  But I wish I could forget a lot of what has happened since.

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