A reaction to the events of 9/11/2001
Why? Because I feel the need to speak my mind.
Last Tuesday, I shut down my website because I felt that a site making fun of what is going on in the news was not the face I wanted to show the world. I received a few letters from people thanking me for what I wrote on what became the front page of the site, and I think I should thank them for turning to my silly little site during a time of confusion and sorrow. Now that I am going to follow the lead of the stock market and re-open, I want to send out a version of what I wrote. I have changed it, updated it and allowed myself a bit of anger now because that IS one of the stages we'll all go through.
Everything's different now.
Today, there is a very simple message I want to give.
I live in Minneapolis, where there was some concern since author Salman Rushdie is here to promote his new book on a major scale. They shut down the Mall of America, the big financial buildings and government centers. Stores that were open in the morning were closed by late afternoon. People all over the city are in shock, and everyone has some sort of connection to what happened in one way or another.
While it didn't "affect" us here, it did affect us, and if anyone knows someone who was involved in it, you have my thoughts, prayers and concerns. The place I used to work at had an office in the towers, so while I wasn't friends with anyone who worked there, I had talked to them on the phone...and at my new job, the wife of our medical advisor was lost. So, in effect, we're all connected to this.
It was just surreal to watch it all, and it still doesn't quite register as real even as my special issue of Time Magazine showed up in the mailbox.
When I got home that night, I sat down with my 13-year-old son and told him something that I feel is important. I then called the people who mean the most to me in the world and told them the same thing. Sometimes I couldn't get through it without breaking down.
Sometimes I just felt that everything is different now.
Watching this all reminded me how fragile existence really is. While there may be times I get irritated with people, or we exchange harsh words, that's just a passing thing. What is important is that we care about each other. Terrorists want to scare us. To make us fear and drive us apart. They fill the world with hate, and the only way to combat that is to make connections and care about each other. In the midst of the horror today, there WAS that caring. Strangers helped each other. People opened their homes to the injured and confused. All over America and the world all that you really hear is "How can we help?"
In the face of evil, there is good. So tell the people you love that you care about them and they matter to you. People you have lost touch with or ended friendships over those minor harsh words, call them and tell them you are sorry.
They may not be there when you finally get over your petty anger.
Do what you can to help. Give blood. Give time. Give donations. Give caring.
But I think that if we get caught up in vengeance, we'll be letting those who did this win.
They want the fear, they want the anger and they don't care if they die, as it will bring them greater glory in their heaven. Let's use this to come together and show them that we AREN'T the Great Satan, but that we will use the legal international means and other countries to help us stop them by Any Means Necessary.
I have already heard reports of people calling Middle Eastern people who live here peacefully. I have heard that these people are saying cruel and hateful things in order to vent their anger. The first time someone did that, those who planned this won. So stop it. Be better people.
Because in their eyes, it is their civilization against ours, and we're the bad guys. I heard a historian say that this is the last act of the Middle Ages against a modern world, and it makes sense to me.
Let them be the barbarians, and we be the ones who protect our own, and deal with them by force of law and what is right, not random acts of hatred and anger. That's their weapon, and you never beat an enemy with their own weapon. So...don't let hate and fear win. And as we march headlong into war, let us also remember that we should not use our bombs and guided missiles the way they used our plane, for killing innocent civilians, or as we called it in Iraq (which started all of this, by the way) "collateral damage." The people of Afghanistan or Iraq or where ever this was masterminded from know about us much about who did it as we know about the money we gave the Taliban even though we have them listed as a terrorist state.
As I flipped channels I saw on the Family Channel Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell saying that this attack was God's Vengeance for how we have tolerated Gays and Pagans in the US. That was when the anger really hit me.
First, the people who did this believe the same way these two cranial-anus impacted Yabos feel, that Their God tells them it's OK to hate and wish people dead. So, if you believe the same way, know this: I don't hate people, but I really want to beat you with a tire iron. If your God demands a blood sacrifice of thousands of innocent people because they have found that they don't fit into your belief system, then I pray that your God is about as real as Zeus, Ra and Thor. If that is how your God works, then damn him to his own hell. But if the one I read about in that big book you later were selling your version of at $29.95 plus shipping happens to be the one in charge, I think you should put in your will that you want to be buried with a pair of Speedos, because it's going to be hot where you're heading. Because he said that vengeance was supposed to be his, and he kind of gave a damn about all of us.
Then, my anger grew as I saw some blow dried jag-off say that the best way to fight these terrorists was to enact a capital gains tax cut. How dare you use this tragedy to push your sad, meaningless personal agenda. I only hope that the people in the district you serve saw that and vote you out with the biggest landslide in history for a monkey that tosses feces at voters.
So what can WE do. I hear a lot of people saying WE need to blow up such and such country and WE need to exact vengeance and WE...
We? Maybe our government should do those things. And our military should do those things. And the international community should do those things.
But We? Sitting here in front of our computer screens, working our meaningless little jobs where we trade the hours of our lives for TV dinners and DVDs and magazines about supermodels dating rock stars? What about us?
We can fight all this hatred simply and easily.
Tell people you love them, and never stop. Don't let your fear run your life. And don't allow the horrors of World War II to happen again, quit thinking of people of Middle Eastern decent as The Bad Guy without any sort of proof.
There is evil in the world. And it all comes from thinking of other people as not having lives equal to your own. If you forget that, you ARE a terrorist.
Thank you for your time.