Posted on September 11, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 32 Comments
Over at By The Way we asked folks for their 9/11 memories and thoughts; they posted them on their own journals and left links. I’ve posted quotes and links to their original entries here. It’s worth checking out.
If there is any way to say “I’m really getting tired of hearing about 9/11” without sounding disrespectful I have not found it.
Mostly, then, I don’t say the phrase, but I really am getting very tired of hearing and seeing 9/11 images all over the place.
Yeah, I know, I have a problem.
Oddly, I was having a conversation about the topic with a friend this morning.
I think it is right and proper to remember 9/11 and those who died that day. I also think it is right and proper to be fed up with those who wish to use it primarily for political gain.
I hate to put salt on a fresh wound but the following video gave me real concerns, and I feel compelled to share them:
Before you ask, I did consider that this video may be inappropriate for a day of mourning, but on this day of mourning the old feelings of outrage will run high, and the possibility that this outrage is misdirected is one I can’t abide by.
Please watch and open your minds to the possibility that the hurt of that day’s events runs even deeper than we had previously thought.
Timmy – the video you link to encourages the conclusion that BushCo was behind the 9/11 attacks. For that to be true, hundreds of people, from Bush on down, including the 9/11 commission, would have to be in on it.
While I do not like what BushCo has done to this country, in fact, I loathe it, your video doesn’t hold water. While I dispute their methods, their ideology and their stubbornness, I do not doubt the patriotism of the people in our government who would have to have been behind a coverup like your video describes.
I personally know some of the people who would have to have been involved, and I have not the slightest doubt that they would have not only refused to take part, they would have blown the whistle.
After the authors of the video establish that the moon landing was faked, I’ll listen to them on 9/11. Until then, let’s not join them outside of the ‘reality based’ world that I live in.
I’m choosing to spend the day thinking about my friends who didn’t get caught in the Towers as well as those who died in the attacks. I’m avoiding conventional media outlets – in fact all media as much as possible – and choosing to use the day as a day of personal rememberance, reflection and mourning.
Well said, Tor.
It’s bad enough that there are those who seek to make political gains off this somber anniversary. What’s worse is the all too typical orgy the news media engages in – and the people that feed on it. I guess John Mark Karr had just enough gas to get us to the 24/7, 9/11 hump-a-thon…
And I was just thinking, “Well said, Chang.”
I stand by what I said, but I don’t feel like today is the right day for this – for me, anyway.
It’s worth noting (as NPR did this morning) that today is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement in Johannesburg.
In response to a law requiring their registration, Gandhi urged his fellow Indians living in South Africa to defy the new law, calling on them to suffer the punishment for their defiance without resorting to violent resistance.
I’ll take to mean you don’t want to discuss it, which I can accept, but I cannot accept the arguments on which you base your stance.
You say that for this to have gone through, hundreds of people would have had to have been involved from the presidential level down, but I could just as easily imagine scenarios involving only involving a handful of people, not including the president. I do, if fact, think that if the conspiracty theory is true, Bush would not have been let in on it.
You say that you know people who would have had to be involved, and just as you cannot mention their names in this forum (I suspect), I cannot accept your claim as legitimate without names.
I’m not saying that any of the facts pointed to in the video are conclusive evidence, but they’re to be taken seriously I think, and warrant more serious discussion.
I expect you have better, less ethereal reasons for believing what you do and I’d like to hear them, rather than being dismissed as you’ve done here:
“After the authors of the video establish that the moon landing was faked, I’ll listen to them on 9/11. Until then, let’s not join them outside of the ‘reality based’ world that I live in.”
Not not every facet of reality is true. Lies are real, and the consequences of the one I’m suggesting are grave enough that it deserves serious attention and scrutiny.
That last post was addressed to Tor, which I forgot to put at the top.
Just two thoughts on today.
I want Osama’s head on a spike outside the Pentagon. I think I’ve said that before. No, it won’t end the war, it won’t make us safer, but I want it. My blood calls for it.
I still want Sec. Defense Donnie Rumsfield to resign or be fired for his handling of the war in Iraq and ignoring Afghanistan. But I give the man props. After he was evacuated his aids tried to get him away from the Pentagon and the man ran toward the fire to help pull people out. Donnie faced the music, and for that I give him some respect.
I can fly. Without assistance of massive delta V or an airplane. I’ve made a video of it but the Transportation Industry tried to have it removed so I had to disguise it and move it around and consequently the image quality is pretty poor, but it is evidence. Trust me.
Stupidly implosible claims, and the idea that our government would conspire to kill 2k citizens in order to get us to where we are today is pretty implosible, requires better evidence than some kooks video on the web.
There is a common misconception that all beliefs are created equal and should be given equal time. Probably foisted on us by the same people who teach our children that results don’t matter, only the effort does and gives out participation ribbons instead of actual awards. Your opinion is not valid when it is just plain stupid. Your opinion does not deserve any benefit of the doubt unless you have some pretty amazing proof of what you say. You don’t. There is none. Don’t bother trying to say there is proof, there isn’t. All you are doing is insulting the memories of the people who were lost on that day and who have since given their lives in the resulting reprisals.
Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I believe his statement applies to you on this post…
I agree that it is pretty implosible. I think I should point out that this theory is not one I believe. I do not stolidly believe anything without evidence, and as you point out, this video contains none that isn’t circumstantial.
Would everybody in government consent to the mass murder of two thousand citizens? Not a chance, but could a special interest group operating within the government arrange it? Maybe.
I know that there are people in government who do not value human life, this has been evidenced by the military actions (and inactions) taken by the United States abroad. The Iraqi Body Count Database (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/#) has brought the toll over 40,000, a number which I believe is well over 2,000.
Do the individuals in government value the lives of their own citizens over the lives of citizens in foreign countries? I should hope so, and at the same time, I should hope not.
I know that these 40,000/2,000 numbers and the video are unrelated, but what those numbers do indicate is the monstrous disregard this administration has for human beings overseas, and for this reason I jump at any and every chance I get to scrutinize it.
Many of the actions taken by governments are unthinkable to right-minded individuals, so I can understand where you’re coming from in not wanting to think about it. What I’m saying is that for your country, unlikely as this theory is, you can do better. It’s your general attitude toward your government — trusting it — that I find reprehensible.
Actually, I’m glad it’s well covered in the media, and while it hurts like hell to relive it, it’s like a psychological itch that I feel I must scratch each year. With all the misinformation (cf. the video mentioned above) and political jockeying that get associated with something like this, I think it’s critical that we remind ourselves once in a while what actually happened that day.
Also, for what it’s worth, I think Bush’s visits to the three sites and his national address this evening are entirely appropriate. I expect that every President in the foreseeable future wil acknowledge this day in a similar fashion. If you think it’s politically motivated, consider how you’d feel if it were a different President doing the same things. This, IMHO, is part of the President’s job…
Lastly, for those who are interested, here’s what I wrote this morning on my way into New York City.
Tripp – I completely understand the desire of some to ignore it all. I hope you understand the desire of others not to (and btw, you may want to avoid the link above).
Immediately upon clicking the Post button, I regretted the use of the word “Ignore.” (damn lack of edit rights on comments!)
I meant no offense (maybe “avoid” would have been better?) Anyway, apologies to Tripp if I offended in some way – that was not my intent.
I’d like to state that I didn’t bring that video into this thread to aggitate anybody, I brought it in to be disproven. It’s been dismissed by the people here many times over, but not disproven.
I should think that disproving it would be possible, so someone, please do, for my benefit — and I say that sicerely, because I do not want what I am suggesting to be true.
“Also, for what it’s worth, I think Bush’s visits to the three sites and his national address this evening are entirely appropriate. I expect that every President in the foreseeable future wil acknowledge this day in a similar fashion. If you think it’s politically motivated, consider how you’d feel if it were a different President doing the same things. This, IMHO, is part of the President’s job…”
I don’t see the president commemorating the event as political at all — as you say, that’s his job, and he ought to do it. I do expect that he will inject some of his political agenda into his speech tonight, much of which I expect I will disagree with, and wish that he wouldn’t have used to event to try to make up some political ground.
Prove I can’t fly. You have it backwards, there is nothing to be disproved because nothing has been established as a fact. Until there is overwhelming evidence, the burden of proof is in the tin foil hat camp.
Before proof comes investigation, which results in proof. What I’m wondering if an investigation was called for, but never happened. Obviously I don’t have the resources to prove or disprove what I’m suggesting, what disturbs me is that I can’t think of any person or intitution outside of the government that does, and that American citizens don’t seem to be asking for it.
I should think that disproving it would be possible, so someone, please do, for my benefit…
Here you go. First published over a year ago and recently updated and expanded in a paperback book you can order at the site or buy (I should think) at any bookstore. I was, in fact, looking at it this afternoon in a Barnes & Noble.
Hrmn… I remember the day.
I am also tired of being told to remember it (and lately that recalling seems to be agenda driven).
Today I got fed up enough to make comment.
More people die in a day in the world than died in the towers. If we want to get all hot and bothered about world problems, there are lots of better ways to do it. There’s a really great article on wired.com about how people die. Based on the statistics here, I have to say that it’s really too bad that we didn’t spend 300 billion dollars figuring out ways to prevent traffic deaths instead of blowing up Iraq.
Sorry, John, I have to agree with Tripp – we need to find something else to obsess about. Obsessing about 9/11 is not only tiresome – it actually hurts our country.
Of course in theory it’s great to memorialize the dead, except that I think most people who died in the towers would, were it possible to consult with them, rather be remembered for something other than the manner of their deaths. And for the rest of us, it’s an unhealthy obsession: the more we dwell on what happened, the less able we are to attain the perspective we need to set our priorities appropriately.
Like the folks uptopic, I am tired of it all. Not because 9/11 was a trivial event (it obviously was not) but because of the way people continue to use the event for their own political ends. I’m not watching TV news today, and I’m sure as hell not listening to the shrub tonight.
Even being a good liberal, I would not object to seeing Osama’s head on a pike outside of the Pentagon. That said, we had no business expanding any “war of retribution” outside of Afghanistan (OK, maybe the bordering mountains in Pakistan).
I reposted my 9/11 essay to my blog today. I think tomorrow I may repost my essay on why we shouldn’t invade Iraq… (scroll down to “Saddam”)
The way some people spin it, the victems are martyrs. Who knew.
I think Maddox summed up the 9/11 conspiracy thing best.
I’m just trying to get through this entire 24 hour period without seeing video of the towers coming down. Can’t deal.
But even after five years, THIS skyline just will never look right, ya know?
Interesting that the people who say they’re not watching are the same people that say the event is too political. I watched quite a bit today (live in the city, and then on DVR when I got home). I heard interviews or speeches from George W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, Mike Bloomberg, and Jon Corzine, which were about as apolitical as you can imagine.
(Except at 9pm, when the President did exactly what John predicted he would – pivot from the tragedy to the policies he’s defending ahead of the midterm elections).
As I said above, I completely respect those who don’t want to see it or think about it anymore. I’m not among them, but I respect their views. What I don’t want to hear anymore is how 9/11 wasn’t that big a deal because more people die in traffic accidents, heat waves, or bathtubs. The number of deaths, while tragic, is not the point at all. And very few, if any, are suggesting it is.
A drunk driver is an idiot who senselessly takes innocent life. We abhor the act and punish the perpetrator. Traffic accidents often involve no malice at all.
These 19 guys took 3,000 lives. And they weren’t the random lives that happened to be in front of the plane when they hit something. They knowingly and consciously took aim at innocent people for the purpose of destroying their lives and the lives of their families and neighbors. What they did was worse than drunk driving or skidding on the ice, regardless of what the numbers add to.
I went ahead and followed your link and I am glad I did.
The events of 9/11 affected you personally and I will never be too tired to hear your thoughts about 9/11. You’ve earned your thoughts. You also wrote your feelings very well and I thank you for that.
I don’t want to completely ignore 9/11. It is a matter of degrees. As someone above said, I think the media is obsessing over 9/11.
For crying out loud, I watched my Vikings play the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football and was the halftime show another tribute to those who died on 9/11 (which I would have grudgingly watched)? Nooo. The halftime show was interviews of the players telling how 9/11 affected them!
Yeesh. The players were not personally affected. It was not a personal tragedy for any of them. I couldn’t care less about how an NFL football player feels about 9/11. If he hasn’t been personally affected then he hasn’t earned the right to share his feelings with me.
In my opinion they should have had a regular halftime show and leave it at that.
They are not martyrs. They are, however, the victims of a calculated, purposeful mass murder.
I don’t need TV coverage or speeches to be reminded of that day and I generally avoid it.
I live in Brooklyn near the Manhattan Bridge (about 1.5 miles from WTC as the crow flies). On that morning, if I looked out the front windows of my house…..beautiful day: out the back windows….nothing but smoke drifting across Brooklyn.
By about 9:15 that morning, every off-duty cop and fireman in the city was trying to get into Manhattan in their private cars. For hours, the main sound I could hear in my neighborhood was them pounding on thier horns (no sirens in their own cars), as they tried to get through traffic and red lights.
That was the sound of 9/11 for me. Whenever I hear more than 2 or 3 cars honking at the same time….I’m reminded. I don’t need TV or speeches.