2003-09-12 - 1:00 a.m.
Yes, It's Time Once Again For Our Annual 9/11 Bullshit FestivalWell, it's 9/11. My Lord of the Rings calendar has a nice picture of the Balrog, close-up only all it looks like is a huge ball of flame. Kind of a bad choice for today, eh? Guess you can't think of everything.
What you can think about is flags. Apparently, we're all so distressed about the lack of flags in our lives, we're never going to win the war, we're never going to fix the economy, no one will ever love us and we'll live an unhappy life alone forever.
See, I read this article today on MSN.com's Slate. The author was talking about how he didn't like the idea of all the flags after 9/11, and I thought, "hey, me neither." So I kept reading, and he said it was because he foresaw the aftermath... the bigger picture, where, two years down the road, people will feel disheartened by the lack of flags after seeing so many flags so proudly and prominantly displayed.
Me, I felt better when all that shit died down. Fat lot of good any of that patriotic fervor did. Maybe sold a few hats for the fire department. Maybe got Paul McCartney to write a song about how great America is. Maybe didn't get Osama bin Laden or answer any questions about why the air force never responded to the threat of airliners being used as missiles against buildings that house important people, documents, and, oh yeah, thousands of innocents. Maybe never did answer why our government wouldn't protect us after receiving numerous warnings of a terrorist threat on 9/11 from a number of nations, and maybe never answer the question of why all this "direct action" we've taken in the aftermath of 9/11 was already on the agenda, proposed and detailed prior to the "election" of the commander and thief.
No, but it made us feel good, didn't it? All those flags. All those proud kids believing in America again. All those barflies singing "Proud To Be An American" through a mic on karaoke night.
But at least the author of the Slate article was thinking about the effects our reaction to terror has had on us. That's a step in the right direction, I guess. What has changed about the world views of your fellow countrymen?
Sure, I think it's a bit shallow to worry about the effects of flags in the aftermath of 9/11 when he should have been worried about the trimming down of his civil liberties and the use of his and our taxes (at the expense of our health, job security, and education) to blow up a lot of brown people who weren't Osama bin Laden and capture a lot of brown people who weren't Osama bin Laden and torture a lot of brown people at bases stuck out of the way in Cuba because these P.O.W.'s might know where Osama bin Laden is and might talk before being executed in secret without a trial. Maybe he should worry why no one cares about this. After all, they're brown people associated with Osama bin Laden. Let them be executed with no trial and no records ever released to the public; nope, no chance anyone would ever abuse that sort of power. We little people who have to adhere to such trifles as law and logic really are better off staying out of the way on this one. Better not to ask questions.
You can tell I'm fired up when I start choking on my own sarcasm.
But hey, this guy on Slate, the flag-ponderer, at least he was thinking, which is more than I can say for most of America, blindly accepting what the news media feeds them and pushing aside the unpleasant issues because they're nowhere near as entertaining as whatever sporting match is on at the local skin bar.
So while I disagreed with this author, I showed my respect and read on. "I was glad for similar reasons when the order was announced that 'coalition' flags would not be flown in Iraq. What is required is a steady, unostentatious stoicism, made up out of absolute, cold hatred and contempt for the aggressors, and complete determination that their defeat will be utter and shameful."
Man, and this guy was worried about the effect of flag-shrinkage on the American psyche. Hello, Mr. I-won't-feel-justice-has-been-served-until-they're-all-good-and-fucking-dead. Lost the focus of your rage much? Maybe it's because its been shrouded in deceit. Look for it, Mr. Slate op-ed man. It might be under your self esteem. Oh, great, you lost that, too? I swear, you'd lose your head if it wasn't attached...
You want to look at the most dangerous element in America today, I wouldn't focus on whether we're having separation issues with the flags that used to be on every S.U.V. that burned four gallons of gas backing out of the driveway. No, the real danger lies in this sort of fanaticism. We can't defeat extremist radicals if we act like them, too, flashing righteous anger and misdirected hatred.
What did these Iraqis do to provoke this conflict?
Where are those weapons of mass destruction?
Why does Bush say one thing, and then two weeks later, say the opposite?
Most importantly, WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS WAR AND HOW DO THEY BENEFIT?
After you ask those questions, ask yourself this one: How far are we going to be willing to let this go?
A week ago, Bush gave a public address asking for 87 Billion more dollars to help fight a war he called a success in his last public address. We've now lost more soldiers in this "post-war" than we have in the "official" war... and while I'm on that subject, what the hell is going on in this sad, sad country when Bush can smile and wear a flight suit aboard an aircraft carrier and say "the war's over" and people will believe it even though it's still being fought?
I guess John Lennon was right--"War is over if you want it." He really hit the nail on the head there. Too bad about the whole "Give Peace A Chance" thing though. Well, can't win them all.