I've watched a lot of TV.
I'm very drained. Listening to the talking heads, trying to keep abreast of what the situation is, where our nation stands, if there will be a counter strike, will that counter strike glean nothing more than another sneak attack by Osama Bin Laden or some other organization... What would Jesus do/think here? What should I think or do here? What is up with Jerry Falwell blaming all of this on gays? I mean, it isn't like any Jews were in New York for the Muslims to strike at. So it's all the gay people in America's fault. Oy.
It isn't gay America's fault. It isn't the Jews "fault". It isn't any one person or group's fault we got attacked per se. There are so many reasons, so many variables.
Our very soft borders.
No "racial profiling" when looking for enemies of the state.
Our law enforcement system which lets people go even when there's sufficient evidence.
Flaws in our foreign policy, which funds terrorists when they suit our needs. For instance, we bankrolled Bin Laden when he was fighting aganist the Soviet Union, and we bankrolled Saddam Hussein when we wanted Iraq to kick the crap out of Iran. Yet when they turn on us we're upset. What? What did we expect?
The fact that we gave the benefit of a doubt to people who wanted to go to flight school and the fact the flight school instructor heard the "students" complaining they "didn't need to learn how to take off or land, just how to fly..." Uh, hello? Red Flag? Sirens? Didn't any of those go off?
The fact our airline industry has cheap flimsy doors and little or no inflight security measures.
The fact that no matter what there are going to be crazy people with desire, drive, and a willingness to die to destroy that with which they do not agree, in the name of whatever.
The fact that God has a big plan for all of us, whatever it is, and it just happens. Perhaps this will bring a lot of people together. Perhaps it will just drive further into our hearts a desire for isolationism. Whatever the reasons, investigate them, prevent them as best as possible in the future and try and get on with living.
I think Bart Simpson here sums it up nicely:This does both suck and blow.
I'm glad I've got a little part of me that enjoys a good laugh at this time. And Bart makes me laugh. None of this is any fun, but, it is kind of important to take all of the situation and try to find something to laugh about. Bruce Springsteen sang "Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny..." but I honestly doubt that applies here, none of this will ever seem funny. Pearl Harbor isn't funny. But if we get enough distance between this event, we can find some gems in it. It may take about 500 or so years, but as a culture we can find something to mock.
I keep getting email from people with stories from Nostradamus, or numerology lessons pointing to the last days. On the whole I enjoy debunking the emails, finding out that the author didn't write the sentiments the other day but actually wrote them in 1973 and has been dead himself since 1984 (the Canadian article by Gordon Sinclair is that one... he wrote it about something else, and ... well. Someone felt it fit today, once it was edited down and references to 1973 removed)...
I got what I thought was a funny email with a reconstructed tower in the shape of a hand with the middle finger standing up (pictured left).
A great big New York Fuck You to the world.
That made me laugh.
I thought, yeah, that's just the thing. New York at it's finest... once again looking for that shred of humor. I sent it to a bunch of people that I thought would agree that it was funny.
One friend wrote me back and told me it wasn't very Christ like to have that attitude and he asked me not to send him anything else about the WTC.
Well, seeing as that isn't very Christ like, turning your back on someone and dropping them as a friend, I emailed him an apology and explained that I agreed wholeheartedly that sure, I know that it isn't very Christlike to take an F you attitude to the world.
Perhaps I should have thought it through, before sending it.
But I'm not Christ. I'm all but too human, and all but too angry.
Aside from being angry, I'm hurt. I wish "I had a rocket launcher so I could make somebody pay," to steal from Bruce Cockburn. I thought that it was essential to express anger in acceptable ways, rather than running into the streets and looking for anyone who looks vaguely Arabic to kick their asses, or throwing rocks through business windows of people I suspect are Muslim. And you know that is going to happen, and that breaks my heart.
I wanted to send an e-mail to the Islamic Center of New England to tell them that I love them... that I don't blame them and wish them safety and comfort through this time. But they took their website down. They were getting so many threats, and so much anger.
So while a big Fuck You to the world wouldn't be Christ like indeed, it's all I got.
While the picture above isn't Christ like, what's in my heart overall is. I've got it written on my heart that I want people who didn't do the deed to go unharmed, in as much as possible, as our nation faces its options...
I know there will be innocent people who will get hurt, who are being hidden behind by the perps, there will be bombs or strikes that will probably kill kids. But I think that overall people here who are minding their own business... living their lives, I have no issue there.
He wrote me back understanding my feelings. He's been examining pacifism over the last several months, and this incident is pushing him to rework his stance on many issues and actions. He wants us all to weigh Justice with Vengance and come out on the right side, in the best and least harmful path. I pretty much agree. But we've lived that way for quite some time now. No one takes this nation seriously as a power with which to be reckoned. And it's time to stand up instead of being blown up.
I told him that since I had kids a lot of those sentiment have slipped away in my life. The desire to have goverment pay to support people here to do nothing... and the feeling that our military is unnecessary. Once I had kids though, I wanted that strong army. I wanted people to get off the dole and get to work, just like me. I may soften some of my stances as I age, become more passive, but for now, I know what I believe and hope my government can protect me and my kids while I work to support me and my kids. Do their job so I can do my job.
He hasn't written back.
I've gotten some really rude emails, and some that are so stupid. But I'm not making a federal case out of anything. I just delete them and move on. My mother in law often told me when she disagreed with me "You're entitled to your incorrect opinion." And she'd leave it at that.
My friend has a point though. I won't be quick to be rude, or stupid like Jerry Falwell and err on the "holier than thou" end of things (what a dope he is... ugh). Henceforth I will try and be more... Christlike. I won't run around with a "we're going to go ninjitsi on your ass!" attitude (not that I was in the first place). I promise I won't lose my edge, which I was born with thanks to the location of my birth, but I will be a little more careful. And I'm hoping everyone who knows me well will let me know if I'm doing a good job.