Monday, September 12, 2011


It’s over, which is typically where I come in, so, knowing that about me as you do, indulge me, eh wot?

I fundamentally do not get 9/11 anniversary reactions in the “USA! USA! USA!”/PATRIOTISM NOW vein. At all. Yes, in those first few hours and days, we were wounded, we took it personally, as if someone had assaulted our own grandmama, but why should it make anyone – especially this far out -- feel a surge of patriotism? Especially considering what that well-meant but misguided impulse from millions of grieving and outraged hearts was used for, under Bush/Cheney – it was twisted against us, funneled into things so evil and horrific that we couldn’t have imagined them at the time. We’re still neck-deep in that toxic sludge, and I worry sometimes in my three-a.m.-insomniac way that we’ll never get out – we’re going to drown in it – and it didn’t have to be this way, so fuck you and your “USA! USA! USA!” bullshit right in the ear.

I also fundamentally do not get the “God Bless America” reactions – there’s a huge overlap with them and the USA! types, but it’s slightly different. I am, as you know, somewhere between atheist and agnostic, so of course I really wouldn’t take comfort from god-based platitudes, but someone on Facebook wrote that it “helped that I went to church today” and someone else agreed, adding “It also helped to sing ‘God Bless America’ while wearing the red, white and blue scarf I bought at Ground Zero when the buildings were still smoldering...” Because, see, that wouldn’t help me AT ALL. That fucking song drives me batshit anyway, always has (even back when I was a believer, I thought it was a little bit “Fuck y’all, I got mine”) -- come ON. God bless America – damn, I feel like we’ve been pretty well blessed over the years, don’t you? Billions of people on this dying planet know nothing in their entire lives but misery and dirt, and we – born on third base and forever thinking we hit a triple – want the big sky-fairy to give us MORE? Another band-aid for our Big Gigantic Owie? How about we learn some lessons, grow up, join the community of humanity instead, and quit acting like we’re so goddamned Speshul?

And finally, I fundamentally do not get the “NEVER FORGET!” types. Because seriously – who would? Who COULD forget? Ten years go by, it still feels like yesterday to me – there’s no forgetting something like that. The thing is, I never know if these people mean “Never forget the victims, and honor their lives” – which, OK, yes, I get, although it’s a little bit mawkish if you didn’t lose a loved one in the attacks/aftermath, kind of piggybacking on disaster-porn overload in general – or, as is more likely if you’re posting this on Facebook or your blog as comment-bait – “I PERSONALLY have never forgotten this thing that those dirty ragheads did to us and I hope we stay at war with dirty raghead nations until every last one of the dirty ragheads is exterminated and if you don’t agree you are a godless Muslim commie homo socialist fascist who deserves to die along with them so GOD BLESS ‘MURKA.”

It was horrible, it will always be horrible, for the rest of my life the very thought of it will render me breathless with the memory of the fear and grief and astonishment, I will always wonder how things could have turned out differently for America and the world if someone else’s hand had been steering the ship of state when it happened – but we have to stop using it as an excuse to ruin everything in the entire goddamn world because we’re mad and sad.

Sorry to be such a downer … I’ll be more fun later, honest.

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Blogger bonnjill said...

I don't think you're being a downer I think you're making a lot more sense than most people I know! I have several "rah rah - God bless the USA" friends on my end too. I try to ignore them as much as I can and avoid any politics and religion on Facebook.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous kylydia said...

This is so perfect. I want everyone in the entire world to read it.

7:19 AM  
Blogger cygrl73 said...

What kylydia said. Yes. Yes. Yes.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

This is one of the best things I have ever read. Seriously. I adore you and I wish everyone in the world could read this too. I want to give you a hug - you are brilliant and amazing.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Thank you, sincerely -- and right back atcha. ;-)

8:36 AM  

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