Monday, September 09, 2002

Jeepers -- It's been a while, hasn't it? One would think quitting the Wikipedia would have given me more time to blog. I suppose it has, except that I'm madly preparing for this quarter's courses. And painting. And trying to get the yard ready for Autumn.
Meanwhile, the NFL season has begun. This is not a particularly big thing for me -- I don't care all that much about which overpaid athletes win. On the other hand, it is Football Season, where Football = Association Football, i.e., soccer. This is a good thing, if only because the football news is generally fun to read. I'm looking for fun these days -- especially as we come up on what is bound to be one of the worst days of the year (Da-Da-DUUUUMMM!!!) The Media Anniversary of 9/11.
It's not that I think the day should pass without some kind of memorial. In fact, I'm planning on attending Mass here, where I teach. Apparently, there will also be a Requiem concert at Safeco Field and another concert at Benaroya Hall. These types of things are fine, I think. But to me, the hype that the media have begun (broadcasting LIVE from event x) is fairly disgusting. If anything, one would think that the day be spent in reflection. Or maybe in getting on with one's life. Instead, we'll be treated to another self-indulgent orgy of ME, ME, ME --

"where were you, sir, when you heard the news?" "Well, I was in the middle of ordering a Grande, non-fat, hazelnut double shot latte...?" "And how did you feel when you heard the news?" Y'all know the rest ...

I'll be very surprised if we see any real news. There will be no answers to questions about whether attitutes towards the US and her policies have changed, no updates on the people being held in Guantanamo Bay -- what is their legal status? Instead, we can celebrate the incredibly badly titled Patriot Day. You can even buy a recording of the Patriots Day Anthem -- two new (and in my opinion embarassingly bad) verses to be added to the Star Spangled Banner.
Call me silly, but I don't think that the people who died that day died for their country. I don't think their deaths were patriotic in the least. Most of them were people in the wrong place at the wrong time. They didn't have a choice, and I'd bet that, given a choice, most of the people on those planes and in the WTC would have chosen not to participate. As for the people who had the choice -- the people on flight 93 (sort of), the emergency and rescue personnel (or whatever we call cops, firemen, EMTs, etc.), the normal folks who jumped into the fray to help out -- did they help for America? I think not. I certainly hope not. They were just good people, doing what good people (especially those who make it their profession) do. I'd be surprised if they thought, "Hey, there are American lives at stake -- I must do something!" I think it far more likely that they went in to save people, regardless of citizenship. So I think it appalling, disgusting, and tragic that their deaths, which in many cases were simply heroic, be used to fuel another spate of meaningless flag-waving. Should a day when tragedy brought out the kind of good and selflessness in people that transcends silly earthly concerns really be used to rally a nation into an "us vs. them" mentality? To ask a question that many in the current administration appear to hold dear, "What would Jesus think?"
I wonder..