I imagine that virtually every blog written by a United States based author will have the same subject today, how could it not? The events of Sept. 11th, 2001 will never allow this date to pass without it’s recognition in media, bars, cafes and anywhere humans gather and communicate. I wonder if the passage of time, when eventually those of us who were alive and bore witness to the attacks are all dead and gone, will change the way it’s viewed and remembered. Events like D-Day and Pearl Harbor are more and more being viewed with detachment because those who witnessed it in their lifetimes are slowing dying away. In some ways the films that claim to bring the feelings and horrors of such events back to their viewers may actually be contributing to their objectification. Events depicted on film largely have lost their ability to be associated with real events, since we are now all numb to a medium that routinely brings back dinosaurs, makes men fly and blasts planets apart with death rays in realistic CGI splendor. Of course, one can argue that Ben Affleck’s “Pearl Harbor” taught moviegoers a whole new form of horror, but it had nothing to do with the film’s realism. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.
Now we have films depicting 9/11. I haven’t seen any, and to be honest don’t have any interest in seeing them. Thank god I was not in New York that day, but I easily could have been. I watched it all unfold on the TV, saw the tower collapse live while the TV news people were talking in the background. Saw the second go as well, knowing at best it was only a few seconds of difference from real time. I saw people jumping from the upper floors. I read the countless stories of loss over the next year. The memories are vivid and the feelings are still close to the surface. I don’t need to pay $8.00 to see a bunch of overpaid and pampered actors pretend they were the people who really lived that nightmare. Maybe someday it will be necessary to get reminded of what that day was really like, but it’s not today. Not for me, and I was thousands of miles away.
I am constantly reminded of Sept. 11th literally every day. Certainly whenever I fly anywhere, which today entails removing my shoes and going through about 1/2 the security measures I should be going through in an airport. I used to drive directly into the Mall of America loading dock to deliver supplies for my booth, but since 9/11 I have to drive my vehicle to an off-site inspection point, where it is searched front to back and underneath with a mirror and I am cleared with a time and mileage sensitive document that will allow me through the other two checkpoints and eventually to the dock. These and other minor inconveniences are now a part of everyday life, and I have absolutely no problem with them, but they serve as a reminder of how life changed that day 5 years ago. A certain innocence was lost in this country.
Originally This post contained a lot more about my opinions on the reasons why I think we are so hated by these terrorist nutcases. I was suprised when a person I thought was a good friend wrote me letting fly with terms like “Michael Moore spiel” (for the record, Moore’s high on the nut-case dial himself in my opinion) and “anti-U.S. screed” for my daring to question U.S. foriegn policy (even though questioning our government is perhaps the most basic of all our freedoms, and thus the most pro-U.S. thing one can do). Well, I learned my lesson. No more political commentary on this blog, and it only cost me one friend so maybe I got away lucky.
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