September 11th, 2002


(no subject)

So it's been a year since 9/11. Once again the enormity of the event hits me hard. When it happened, I was working at CADSI. I missed most of the big events live, since I felt like I had to get some work accomplished. I had been going through a personal crisis at my job -- what was once easy to do, to concentrate on solving problems in our application -- had become a grinding effort to be productive in work that no longer did much for me. Several people at CADSI spent most of the day in front of the television, but I dipped in and out. My primary concern was the safety of my family who I couldn't reach by phone.

Still each new horrible thing -- the second plane striking, the people jumping from the towers, the towers collapsing was brought to me nearly in real time in a chat window. Several people from New York -- some working only blocks from the WTC, were on line on the chat, along with others from all over the country and the world, virtually huddled together in fear and horror. I wish I'd thought to save a transcript of that morning's chat, as it was a raw and immediate a connection to the event.

So a year later I guess I have not much more to say than this: If humanity is to continue existing on this planet, we need to resist nihilism. One face of that nihilism is all of the people who care so little for themselves and others that they're willing to die as they kill. There are claims that religious faith fuels those people, but I don't believe it -- if one believed in a loving God, one wouldn't see human life as being optional and expendable.

But the other face of nihilism which I find more terrifying is that shown in the response to 9/11: the nihiism of war. The best reaction the President and his minions could muster for the terrorist acts was to bomb the crap out of one of the poorest nations on earth. If revenge was what we were after we got it, boy howdy. We killed more innocent people there than we lost here on 9/11, and it's almost worse that we did most of it by accident. It's just as horrible, how callously people like Donald Rumsfeld treat those deaths. Mr. Rumsfeld 'regrets' those deaths. I regret not calling my dad on his birthday. How can one simply 'regret' blowing up someone's wedding, and then move on to talk of catching evil doers.

That nihilism is endemic in the current US Government. Only nihilism can explain the president's unwillingness to do anything about global warming, to do anything to preserve the dwindling natural areas of the world. Well greed can explain that, but it's monstrous to do things out of greed knowing full well they fuck over generations to come.

And the idea of invading Iraq because they MIGHT have bad weapons is retarded. I'm sorry, but putting our soldiers in harm's way, and undoubtably killing hundreds of innocents is nothing if not nihilistic. And it's so completely unnecessary. It's as though George W. Bush, who is completely ignorant of global politics by all reports, sees blowing people up and killing as his only effective tool on the world stage.

I'm surprised that my reaction to the prospect of this unending war against -- sickness, revulsion, anger, despair -- isn't felt by more people. Do Americans have so little compassion that they're willing to spend oceans of their hard earned cash on bombing the hell out of people who live off a tiny food allotment from their government? I guess not -- they haven't shown much compassion for the death of thousands of children in Iraq due to malnutrition cause in large part by the UN sanctions. They just want to drive their SUV's forever on cheap gasoline and fuck everybody else, apparently. Either that or they're completely blind to the consequences of their actions.

Anyway, I think that it's incumbent on us to try and resist. Be kind to each other, And try and witness to others the incredible yawning error of our ways. If the United States and our proxies around the world go on as though there's no consequences for the manifest evil that we cheerfully inflict on the planet and all the people in it, there won't be anyone around for the 100th anniversary of 9/11.