Monday, September 10, 2007

Fear and trembling

by Capt Fogg

I'm not old enough to remember Pearl Harbor or D-Day and I was just a baby when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, so I might, if asked, mention the Conquest of China by Communism in 1949 or the establishment of Israel in 1948 or the Cuban missile crisis or the assassination of John Kennedy or the desperate retreat from Vietnam or the end of the Berlin wall or the end of the Soviet Union or the death of Mao Zedong. Even so, I think it's far too early to see which will have the most importance to the world of 2107. Yet when Zogby polled nearly a thousand people over the weekend, 81 percent cited the Destruction of the World Trade Center as the most important historical event of their lives.

I know someone who was killed in the attack and my son was all too close to the buildings when they came down, but still I have to think of the perceived importance of that incident as just as indicative of the brevity of life and the evanescence of memory as it is of long term historical importance when compared to the San Francisco earthquake or the Chicago fire or the stock market crash of 1929 or the sinking of the bulk of our Pacific fleet in 1941 or the damocletian nuclear sword that hung briefly over our heads in 1962. Of course there is no billion dollar industry promoting the sobbing, mourning and closure seeking over the loss of the Battleship Maine; no political party trying to justify the conquest of uninvolved but oil producing countries, no e-mail spammers sending me endless pictures of burning buildings and advocating one atrocity or treasonous act after another based on those historical events.

61 percent said they thought of it at least once a week and 16 percent every day. Perhaps much of that obsession is unavoidable with the constant use of the event as a justification for the totalitarian cancer our country is infected with and perhaps some is the result of the pervasive timidity if not outright cowardice of our modern age. It's an age when headlines asking if anyone will ever be safe any more can result from scares about over the limit lead levels in toys and not cause millions of us to wet our pants with laughter.

If we had had a man in the office of president, or a woman, instead of the sneaky little carpetbagger, shady deal maker, oil whore and cut-rate Napoleon, there would be a peaceful Afghanistan, a dead Osama bin Laden, some Islamic countries who respected us and at least 500,000 people who would not be as they are now -- dead.

But instead we have millions of irrational people who think Iraq was responsible for the big hole in Manhattan, into which 16 percent of us have gone to stare into the abyss and seek closure.

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Blogger nolocontendere said...

Choosing Black Tuesday and all it's wizz bang hoopla probably stems from a truly dumbed down younger crowd who are now a few years older and who have no historical frame of reference, and the empire's success in drilling it into the populace as the primary reason for all it's fascist excess.
However I'd choose it too, actually, knowing it was the day our overlords announced to the world that they were going to put pedal to the metal and bet everything they had that their final push for worldwide domination was going to succeed.

10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Looking at it that way, I think you may be right, but I hope we will one day be able to get past it

8:41:00 AM  
Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

I totally agree with you, but at least people chose 9/11 and not the death of Princess Diana.

I remember listening to NPR when John Jr died and some woman about my age (I was born in 67) was crying and going on about WHY she had brought her daughter to leave flowers. I will never forget when she said, "This is the first real tragedy of my life and I wanted my daughter and I to be a part of it". This is the dramatic BS of this country.

I think about 9/11 maybe once a month, except in September. We need to get bin laden, but we are going about in the wrong way (or are we even still trying?).

9/11 was a tragedy in more ways than one, but focusing on it and not healing is a bigger tragedy still. Good post.

9:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my stepmom was in tower 2 and was in the stairway when the second plane hit! My dad was one of those people in the dust. They are like in their 60's and we thought they were dead. the phones were out all day if you'll recall.

fuck 9/11. can't wait till it's over. humiliaiting. day a bunch of barely organized morons broke through billions of dollars of security to make us look stupid.

10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh God, Diana - I was in Paris a couple of days later and you'd think they'd just crucified Jesus a second time.

But yep they did make us look stupid and we were. These guys were known to authorities who did nothing and the airlines didn't want to put in reinforced cockpit doors 'cause it cost too much.

And of course we bungled Tora Bora by thinking we could do it all with air strikes and not get our boots muddy and we haven't done a damn thing about finding him and Afghanistan is run by warlords and drug lords and is in ruins because we don't have the troops to do anything or the will. Bush doesn't want Osama because without the eternal enemy, he can't go on calling every Iraqi who despises us for killing his family and blowing up his house al Qaeda.

Hell yes we look stupid! Think all those millions who have lost everything from home to family to limbs give a flying damn about our two office buildings?

10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

What is even more bizarre is what NYC is replacing the WTC with - Freedom Tower; all 1776 feet of it.

For the historical record, 1776 was not an auspicious year for NYC. The British invaded it in Sept of that year and it remained a haven for fleeing Tories of the rebel American Colonies until 1783 when the British, and the Tories, withdrew altogether. It was never again a factor in the fight for freedom during any of the length of that occupation.
Amazing the way real history is contorted and distorted to accommodate political - or in this case - purely economic agendas.
Don't forget to visit the Betsy Ross Restaurant when she opens.

1:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the retreat of the ant5iwar democrats. reid, schumer, moveon flumuxed, visionless

2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

There's far too much confusion between the words freedom and independence. They hardly mean the same thing and we're hardly fond enough of real freedom to avoid the comfort of tyranny and paternalistic authoritarianism - just like those Tories.

Yes, I'm disappointed in the Democrats in congress, but my focus is on the crooks in the Administration.

4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Great post Fogg and great comments. I'm sorry I'm going through a little family crisis so I can't participate more in this thread. I have some additional thoughts but Fogg pretty well nailed my mood, as always.

7:32:00 PM  

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