Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Rage

It's still here in all its original power. Alas, it won't go away. A therapist would probably instruct me "exercise" it by writing a letter and burying it or some bullshit. Instead, I harbor it and keep it in a safe place. On purpose.

We constantly say things like "Never Forget", but we always do to some degree. We can't help it. The human mind is hard-wired to drop significant potions of difficult memories. This is how we deal with trauma, by personalizing it. This is why we constantly recall where we where at the time, much like the generation before us remembers with vivid detail, where they where when JFK was assassinated by a Communist extremist.

For some, the only objective is to "get beyond" events like these. I have a friend who, upon my inquiry of his thoughts bout 9/11 six years removed, explained to me "No, I don't think about it. Why would I dwell upon something that happened six years ago? I've got enough shit to worry about in my own life." For a few minutes, I strongly considered smacking him across the face, but I refrained. But maybe I should have. He had just unconsciously repeated what is surely the rallying cry of my generation: It doesn't matter. I'm not dead and neither is my family so it just doesn't matter. This is a sickness. Not only does it show an inability to see past ones ten foot person visual sphere, it illustrates an ignorance of the historically unprecedented, absolutely charmed existence that we live in the modern day. It illustrates how the vast majority of the current generation believes that this charmed existence is a natural birthright, handed down to them from the universe because they simply deserve it. To them, it wasn't born of fire and blood and treasure. It exists in spite of those things. It goes beyond Nihilism, or Narcissism to belie a truth about this generation that is as scary as 9/11 itself: it's suicidal.

So here we are, six years later on and no more cohesive as a nation than Belgium. Some believe that what we need is another 9/11 to really pull us together. What a crock of shit. People have made their decision. All another 9/11 would do is create a more deluded batch of conspiracy theorists and table-side psychologists and we don't need any more of either. A good start would be a discontinuation of our nations more macabre suicidal tendencies. How do we do that? Teach them history. Of all of the failures of our education system, there is not one that comes close to the failure to teach history and the critical thinking skills to interpret history in context. After all, what is a conspiracy theorist (which is the majority of our generation, believe me on this) but someone who can't seem to separate reality from fantasy? They simply can't process that things like 9/11 can really happen without a cheesy political thriller story line being present. It is a direct failure of historical knowledge and contextual thinking skills.

This week, I can guarantee that you will be outraged by the sight of some clown on TV declaring this or that about 9/11 and our nation and those who defend it. I would recommend we resist the urge to punch them in the face and take that rage and put it in the same spot that you reserve for the remembrance of this day. Six years later, it still resonates an internal dissonance as beautiful, complex and powerful as Ligeti's Second Quartet (songs 10-13 on the Amazon sampler), which is my choice for the day. Admittedly, it can be a little hard to swallow at first but it might be the perfect allegory for our confused brothers and sisters inability to swallow reality when it resembles a video game.

TommAy adds:
Pure excellanz, Nature Boy. The way that many have acclimatized themselves to the most insane thing to ever happen on American streets, normalizing it such that they don’t have to carry the burden of knowing that easy American living is now extremely fragile, has led me to believe that if one of our cities, say Minneapolis or St. Louis or any other city not immediately on everybody’s minds, was suddenly vaporized by 60 year old technology, that that new reality too would be mostly purged from their consciousness within about a year’s time, so as to continue the delusion that nothing in their state-of-being has to change and that all things shall remain convenient. Pure and simple, it’s laziness with some retardation involved. I think one of the definite factors that Pearl Harbor unconditionally united the country back then was that that generation had just come through the great depression, and were anything but lazy, taking for granted nothing, even their food to eat. There is something to be said for working for everything you’ve got. The spoiled generation started with the Boomers, and sadly continues. Much of the anti-war movement, in my personal opinion, can be explained by this.
Siegfried’s Funeral March from Wagner is a fitting one as well.

2 comments:

Anne-Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne-Marie said...

Sean,
Your extreme social consciousness and passion has always been what fuels you and is what contributes to your being such a caring, empathetic human being. (sorry for the sappiness boys) I whole heartedly agree with you and also want to punch people in the face with the conspiracy theories & the general complacency about the grave circumstances we are in.

It is always a sad day when Britney Spears tragic VMA performance permeates the headlines by a staggering ratio to the memorial of September 11th.
Life does go on and it must. As i am in the midst of raising my very young boys, my thoughts yesterday were overrun with the faces of their children. Those who live with those scars forever. And as i tucked my little men in the making last night, i said a little prayer of gratitude and that they too can embrace true compassion just as their Uncle Seannie does.
I too will never forget.