Sep. 11th, 2011

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Wanna see my incredible freaking fantastic birthday gift from Jon?

You know you do.

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I am hoping everything will subside tomorrow, everyone will change their freaking internet avatars from flags and towers and crying eagles back to .gifs of dumb shit. I am hoping all of the "never forget" billboards outside of businesses will come down and everything gets back to normal. It all smacks not of patriotism but of maudlin sycophancy; it reminds me of the way people act when they only go to church twice a year so they try to be extra showy about their piety on Easter and Christmas, and then peel out of the parking lot before the recessional is over so the can catch the game and eat some extra ham.

Never forget. What the hell does that mean?

1. How the hell can we forget? We were ALL THERE. If we weren't in the wave of people who had tuned in for news and seen that second plane flying in from offscreen like a bad special effect, we were watching with our hands clutched over our mouths in horror as the towers came down. We were walking home from Manhattan, covered in dust. We were stuck at work, held by higher-ups that insisted that business continue as usual, selling discount socks rather than racing home to our loved ones; or we were allowed to go home early only to wait, and to worry. We were trying to be good and not snarl up the phone lines, waiting for emails and messages on newsgroups from our friends and neighbors and family.

2. And how the hell can we forget; because we have not been allowed to. Not just because of the typical American spectacle of commemorative coins and country music songs, but because the spectre of the Towers has hung over our every shitty foreign and domestic policy decision, the killing of unfathomable numbers of civilians, the creation of tidal waves of refugees, the destruction of sovereign nations, and the insane curtailing of basic rights we enjoyed in this country. And if we dared speak up about it, and point out the insanity behind those decisions -- really? I can't check out library books without arousing suspicion? -- we were branded as Sympathizers, not real Americans.

We won't forget what happened today, but we sure did seem to forget what happens when you arm and train insurgents and then leave them to rot when they no longer suit your purpose.

Never forget. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Never forget that we as a nation are vulnerable? Well good, I fucking hope so, welcome to the rest of the goddamn world. I'm sure the people in Oklahoma City hadn't forgotten that by the time the 11th of September rolled around, but I sure don't see their commemorative plates or memorial t-shirts, thank god.

Never forget that our government is more than happy to capitalize on our shock and horror and need and use it to advance their own causes?

Never forget that there was a time when there was a presumption of innocence, rather than of malice?

Never forget that we used to value calm common sense, tolerance, and decency?

I sure will be glad when it's September 12th.


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