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September 11, 2015

happy 9/11 day

Well it's 9/11 all over again, and if you're like me (and I hope you're not), it is possibly the best time ever to avoid all social media, which means that I'm sitting here like a jerk soaking myself in social media. For some reason the whole of humanity feels even more desperate about sharing their thoughts on this day, and oh! the inanity.

Fourteen years is a long time. For example, my friend's child, born a week before 9/11, is now fourteen years old! Freaky! And we've had thirteen of these awful anniversaries, which presumably should be enough practice to get it right? But of course we don't. We're Americans, and 9/11 Day is the day we get to play victim and never forget and all that.

No doubt there is a certain amount of misanthropy at play (in the same vein as Balk's), but I still insist that the source of my misanthropy is not a gloomy disposition or an innate pessimism but rather that people are terrible. Yes there is all sorts of cruelty and unfairness inherent in nation, but no species has ever worked harder to find exciting new ways to be cruel and unfair (not to mention stupid). So much of the sentiment of the day, and each day like this for the past thirteen years, is genuine, or coming from an honest place. (And yes I know many of us experienced actual loss that day and that's a whole 'nuther.) Some of these honest-place thoughts are moving and beautiful and some of them are cringe-worthy, but it's an honest place so it's a good time to err on the side of forbearance. But much of it comes from not so much a nice, honest place. Some of it comes from really bad places, like the thoughts that want to beat up people wearing turbans, or thoughts that confuse belicosity with patriotism, or thoughts that remind you that jet fuel can't melt steel. Those thoughts are all just baseline stupid, and of course if one of these thoughts leave your mouth or keyboard then you might be stupid too!

So somewhere in between loathing the loathesomeness and trying to tolerate the well-meaning insipidness I just generally feel like someone in a dark room with a bunch of ninjas that are trying to karate chop me in the nose, and I just lash out at anything that moves.

Also: celebrating the anniversaries of tragedies? Isn't that sort of ghoulish? Could we not let that be the province of people that actually had to go to funerals fourteen years ago and not turn it into a national day of Can't You See Me Suffer? And there are of course the geopolitical aspects of this whole kettle of bees, which you can boil down into Monstrously Bad People Trick Dumb Superpower Into Doing Exactly What Bad People Want Them To Do. And all these thoughts and meanwhile every asshole in America is sharing some dumb Kill All The Muslims! Facebook post and really, fuck all that.

You know what? 9/11 used to make me sad. Now it just makes me cranky.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:05 AM