Monday, September 11, 2006


I knew it would happen.

I came to work and noticed that the flag was at half-mast. "Oh, yeah, the 9/11 thing."

A bit later, there was an announcement over the loudspeaker: "...remembrance...brave...dead...moment of silence..." or something like that.

OK. Fine. Let's just get this maudlin crap over with. Silence is not too bad. At least we didn't have to stand and bow our heads. Quasi-religious doings make me very uncomfortable. As if I should be doing something.
Then it happened: they played "Taps." Somehow they managed to get a CD player spliced into the system or something. Maybe it was the secretary playing it on her horn. I don't know. I don't care.

Public expressions of mourning are part of the national religion. I hate it. It's so selective. What about all the people who died in traffic accidents during the past year? Or in Darfur? Or on the toilet? Are their lives not mourn-worthy?

I didn't know anyone killed on 9/11. I wasn't in New York or DC. I'm sorry they died, but I'm not gonna cry about it or look solemn. The death of John Lennon a quarter-century ago affected me more, and still does, from time to time. (Sorry, Kurt, you were never in the same league. Plus you did it yourself, dumbass.)

Don't rebuild the towers. Don't put up some sky-scraping monu-strosity. Make it a damn park, a greenspace. Not a giant headstone.

Ask Maya Lin about the eloquence of quiet simplicity.

* * *

Shooter: "If I'd have killed you, would it have mattered?"
House: "Not to me."
Shooter: "You don't care whether you live or die?"
House: "I care because I live. I can't care if I'm dead."

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