Sunday, September 11, 2011


The constant refrains of "Never forget!" and "Remember 9/11" get more inexplicable the more you think about it. It's not really the kind of thing you forget. They don't really encourage lobotomies that extensive anymore.

So while you're remembering, what should you do? Learn? Empathize? That would be a healthy response. Then there's the path of stewing and resenting. I don't want to dwell too much, but there are certainly people out there making that choice.

Excerpted from a thoughtful and probing response:
Then that goddamn Saving Private Ryan movie and Tom Brokaw's book about "the greatest generation" came out, and every Baby Boomer in the country, especially the millions with access to a microphone or an op-ed page, were begging the fates to send them their very own Hitler to sock on the jaw like Captain America. I'm pretty much convinced that the response to 9/11, or rather the response to Bush and Cheney's response to 9/11, would have been very different if it hadn't been timed to coincide with so many Boomers' midlife crises.

But this is the baffling part. I can understand envying the soldiers of World War 2. If you weren't there and your only source is the movies, it's easy enough to believe it was all the adrenaline rush of battle, alternating with being serenaded by the Andrews sisters.

But envying the homefront? Being nostalgic for a time when everyone had to agree on the war or be exiled from polite society? The idea of wanting to go back to this is hard to fathom.


susan said...

I've been completely disgusted with the knee-jerk reactions to those phrases myself for a long time now so you know I agree with you about this subject. I enjoyed reading Nugent's take on Dick Cheney (as the Onion described him - the only man known to have had five heart attacks who felt no pain) but I continue to have a problem with the fact that the investigation was incomplete, underfunded, and biased in its results. The logical reaction to 9/11 should have been a criminal investigation; instead, we got the total illogic of two major invasions - well, three if you count the Patriot Act.

It seems to me jingoism has been an American fall-back position for much longer than boomers have been around but I admit they/we haven't matured as much as I'd have hoped.

This was well done.

Ben said...

Maybe once it happened an illogical, even criminal response was all but guaranteed. It was the perfect time to get away with such.