Good morning, sunshine. How does it feel to wake up and realize (finally) that your entire world has changed and will never be the same? It’s taken almost a month, but it’s finally sunk in. The stock options I had such faith in 18 months ago are worth about a third what they were then, and there’s very little light at the end of the rainbow. Still, I’m better off than the folks who bet the farm on a startup that’s now just a memory.\
The old reliable stuff like TV, football, movies and entertainment in general doesn’t have the draw it once did. CNN’s the order of the day, and the news isn’t good.\
They say that we’re in a national state of shock/mourning. They’re right. I’m shocked. I’m mourning our national lost innocence. We’re so short-sighted, and have even shorter memories. I think I now know what the country felt like on in December of 1963, a month after President Kennedy was assassinated. Lost, wandering, watching the news and not believing it.\
I can’t believe that anthrax is a real threat, and that the Postal Service won’t spend the money to test its employees. That just doesn’t seem right. I can’t believe that we can bomb a country with almost pinpoint accuracy, yet we can’t get airport security right.\
Maybe I’m on the road to recovery, and I’m grappling with denial. I hope things turn out. I hope “they” figure out everything, and get it under control. But mostly, I look at my little boy and pray that he’ll be ok, and that that blue envelope with the powder in it wasn’t what it could be. I pray that those two sheriff’s deputies who came and got it really tested it instead of just throwing it away, and that the test comes back saying it was just correcting fluid, or sand, or something other than what it could be.
Oh, and I forgot one for Dave’s list: When Good Muslims Go Bad – still on the “Bad Fox Special” theme.\
And here’s the worst one I can think of, to the tune of that old camp song: “Hello Mullah. Hello Osama. You ‘ttacked us, so we bombed ya! Hope we catch ya. Hope we kill ya. That’s what you get for bein’ evil.” It works with the rhythm… got some rhyming problems. But, that’s ok. I’m still proud of it.
Yes, I’m still waiting on people to give me data that I can then manipulate and build things with. I’m waiting on things to be installed so I can use them. I’m waiting on people to figure out that they have a job to do and then do it. In the meantime, I’m using my mad webSkills © to build fabulous philanthropic things that will benefit mankind. Can I tell you what they are? Well, I’d rather not because I’m trying to be humble about the whole thing. But, it’s SO hard when it’s this cool. You know? I want to show everyone what I did (am doing – it’s not QUITE finished yet) and say, “See, ain’t this neat?” But, I’ll be good and save it.\
On a completely different note, I hate the networks. Their handling of their “entertainment” has been pretty sad so far. Case in point: NBC’s Third Watch ran a two hour docu-weepy about firefighters. Now, if it was called “Dateline” or “an NBC News Special”, that would be fine. But, they’re using the country’s pain, and these firefighters experiences as an advertisement for their crappy show. To make matters worse, the shows premeire next week actually has the balls to cover the days of 9/10 and 9/11 from their fictional characters points of view. I can’t believe it. I’m in shock that NBC could think that this is a good idea. West Wing’s tolerance info-mercial was bad enough. Now, they have to go and do this? I may never watch NBC again.\
Which bring up another TV point: Why don’t I care about the new season? There are three shows I watch with any enthusiasm now: The West Wing, Once and Again and That 70’s Show. Everything else could get cancelled and I wouldn’t care. I couldn’t sit through last week’s Survivor. I hate ER now. Maybe it’s because I crave news. Maybe I just don’t feel the need to be “entertained” by fiction as much now. I’d much rather watch a concert or a sporting event. I think it’s that nothing the networks could come up with could be as moving or traumatic as what’s been happening. In their attempts to recover they’re only making it worse.
I find myself shaking my head a lot these days. I shake it when I hear of more anthrax cases popping up, when some idiot on the local news talks about things he knows nothing about, when people think that when the war in Afghanistan ends that the terrorism will stop. I’m just here shaking my head wondering how it came to this and not finding any answers.
Osama is Evil – if you need any more proof, just look who he’s hanging out with (look at poster, over his right shoulder).\
Other Links (via caterina)
“Is al Qaeda sending coded messages to followers via video statements?”\
That’s the question of the day at CNN.com. You’d have to be an idiot to think the messages are in code. They’re right out there in the open. They’re asking anyone who believes in their cause to go out and find a Yankee to kill. I don’t see “code” in there anywhere.
I take it back. The world’s not large enough for this. Go get ’em. America has a lot of things it could have done better over the years, and things it should atone for. Support for Israel and the embargo on Iraq aren’t two of them. Interning Japanese Americans during WW2, getting into the war too late to stop the slaughter of millions of Jews, some of our choices in Presidents have been less than stellar, and that’s just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. All in all, though, we’ve done pretty damn good. We’ve led the way in civil rights, medical, scientific and technological development, political theory and government. We help other countries by giving them “loans” we know they’ll never pay back. Now, a bunch of uneducated, insane, deluded madmen think they’re going to bring us down? Oh yeah, that’ll happen. The British Empire couldn’t do it back when we were a bunch of nobodies. Hitler and Japan couldn’t do it. If you think a bunch of zealots who can’t afford their own weapons and resort to stealing our infrastructure to kill people is going to keep us from wiping you off the face of the earth, you have another thing coming.\
I keep thinking of the images of outraged Arabs throwing stones at American Embassies. Just a thought, but you can’t throw rocks that high. We’ve got planes with bombs, lots of planes, and lots of bombs. We made them a long time ago for an enemy that doesn’t exist anymore. Now, we have a reason to use them. So, let’s dust off those giant 500 pound gravity bombs and go to work.\
I’m not advocating killing innocent people. I dig Islam, always have. I’ve had lots of Muslim friends through the years. But, I feel about Muslim extremists, the way I feel about the Christian loonies who kill abortion doctors. They should be put down. Plain and simple. Don’t use God as your excuse for murder and genocide.\
I don’t know why this makes me so angry. I’ve been thoughtful and tried to stay temperate through this whole thing. But, every day, I hear some other crazy quote from Taliban/al Queda and it just pisses me off. My grandfather used to say, “Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.” That’s what this feels like. Who’s dumb enough to be convinced by the drivel and insanity they’re spewing? Apparently, lots of people….
So, we’re bombing Afgahnistan. They say this will last for the foreseeable future. You know, on the 11th, I realized that my world had changed. I’m still not ready for my world to turn around. It’s selfish, but that’s the truth.
I love Jon Stewart. The Daily Show was back on Thursday, and Jon gave the best explanation of what he was feeling, and encapsulation of what this all means that I’ve heard yet. It was the first time I’ve cried about the whole thing. You should read it, or better yet, catch it on a replay somewhere.
During the past couple weeks, during the pain, grief, hope and heroism, I’ve been recalling something that happened to me during high school.\
Desert Storm started when I was a Sophomore. I remember sitting in Madame Nelson’s French class discussing how cool it was going to be. We were going to bomb the living hell out of them. It was a movie, and we were going to watch it all on CNN. I remember bringing up statistics and cool military terms I’d heard my dad use. I felt really smart since my dad helped draw up a lot of the plans for fighting in the Middle East and was in the Pentagon’s Command Center for much of the war. He wasn’t going over there. For me, Desert Storm was very much a remote-control war. I watched it all on TV, heard about it from my dad, and never saw the death and destruction. It was all very antiseptic/Saturday afternoon TV for me.\
Back to French Class. While my friend and I were discussing bombs, fighter planes and the advantages of the Abrams M1-A1 tank, there was a girl sitting next to me with a black armband on her right arm. I noticed it and asked her about it. She said she was wearing it because she didn’t like the war. She didn’t like that people were fighting over there and that we were there over oil and killing so we didn’t have to pay more for gas. That set my friend and I off. We spent the rest of class making fun of her for thinking something other than what ‘we’ thought.\
I feel bad about that now. I don’t even remember her name, but I remember the look on her face. I remember feeling superior because I was onboard. I was ‘we’. I wish I could find her and apologize.\
Don’t let the people who attacked us make us start taking away our freedoms. Free speech is paramount in the list. If we start quieting those who disagree with us, we’re no better than the people who did this. Especially now, in the wake of tragedy, we need to be mindful that we still have the right to free speech. I feel the anger well up when I read or hear something that doesn’t fall into the “patriotic American, nuke the bastards” world we live in and have been watching for the past week. I stop myself every time I feel that anger and remember the girl in French class who I made cry.