September 11, 2007
A number of good things have been said about this day, the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. First, PoMo Golightly:
That’s what I want to think about today, what I want to take away from the unbearable pain of that day. I want to consider how I might be kinder in my life, and then I want to be kinder. That was the glory of 9/11, at least for a while: the kindnesses proferred by strangers. That’s what I want to see continue.
Next, PZ Myers (emphasis in the original):
I’m not impressed with moments of silence or candlelight vigils or noble rhetoric about this event. If you want to do something to remember that tragedy, the best thing to do is to simply stop living your life in fear.
The 9/11 discussions and anniversaries make me angry because there’s such a sharp contrast between the goodness that I saw in New York on that day and the days following, and all the horrible things that have come in that day’s wake — things that used the memory of the attacks for justification.
You know what pisses me off? The fact that terrorism is more of a threat today than it was six years ago. That tens of thousands of innocent people have died for nothing. That Republicans will use a horrible attack to criticize Democrats for wanting Americans to have health care. I mean, Sweet Jesus, that takes a special kind of stupid/evil combination.
So while I’m not usually the crank that Zuzu is (and we love you for it, Zuze), I’m also not Susie Sunshine, and you can bet that 9/11 makes me damn cranky. Not because it didn’t matter — because it does. And because seeing it used to prop up anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-liberty conservative aims will raise my blood pressure like nothing else. Seeing September 11th — the actual day, the actual event — turned into 9/11 — the sum of horrible things compounding horrible things that has grown so much bigger and, almost impossibly, uglier than the actual day — makes me damn cranky.
For the most part I don’t want to get into politics today, though goodness knows I’ll be back on that horse tomorrow. For today I just want to recognize that there are a lot of people grieving today, and on the other hand there are other people who are not grieving, but are instead using this anniversary to further their own political aims. To the former I send my sympathy, and hugs where appropriate. To the latter, well, I’ll get to that tomorrow.