On this date in 2001 in America, our greed caught up with us.
The first time this decade, that is.
I don’t think I need to tell you about the second time. Unless of course you’re one of these people who’s driving a Lexus down Honolulu’s Kal Highway, instead of pushing a bicycle and collecting unemployment while the collecting’s good, lest the
Governor People decide that unemployment benefits are putting too much of a burden on Lexus drivers and cancel the program.
Once upon a time, I’d go out with a bugle and play “Taps” in remembrance of when the first World Trade Center tower was struck. I won’t be doing that here. That would be 02:46 Hawaii time. The wee small hours of the morning. The neighbors would beat me up, smear me with pork blood, strap me to a leaky wa‘a, and consign me to the sharks.
I vividly remember sitting in a church on the evening following the 9/11 attacks, and asking that we examine ourselves, to remove the logs from our own eyes before we talked about the specks in anyone else’s. And I was shouted down. By everyone. Including the liberal pastor.
I vividly remember the rally in the local YMCA the following weekend. When I saw Konrad Lorenz’s militant enthusiasm up close and personal, and felt, with profound fear, as if I were witnessing Hitler returning to life.
We the People of the Untied States of Amerika chose not to pay attention to how our avaricious sucking up of the world’s resources had made us a target. We embraced, instead, the concept of revenge. Of racking up massive deficits to fund that revenge. Of inventing massive schemes to rack up profits and pay off the deficits.
Derivatives, for instance.
We permitted the transformation of our airports into cattle drives and recycling centers. We allowed ourselves to be distracted by prancing idols and dancing stars from the deterioration of our infrastructure, the politicization of what used to be minimally-partial sources of information (e.g. the sciences), and the dissolution of our politics into armed camps, Rush …
I have squandered my resistance on a pocketful of mumbles such are promises. – Paul Simon, “The Boxer”
On this 11th of September, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3000 points from its low point in March 2009. Sighs of relief from the Lexus drivers.
Meanwhile, the Internet is flooded with calls for donations from someone, anyone, to save local and university libraries.
One American in ten, near enough, is out of a job. Only massive mortgaging of the futures of our grandchildren – on top of the massive mortgaging already incurred in the name of vendetta – has prevented that from becoming one American in five. So far.
Debate over ways to fix the national disgrace that is our current health care “system” focuses, not on facts and figures, but on soundbites and video clips from demagogues on all sides, screaming at each other. Because the demagogues know that real facts and figures will drive Us to prancing idols and dancing stars, while screaming will rally the troops (see “militant enthusiasm”, supra).
At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. – Abraham Lincoln, 1838
So – how long before we take the gun from our own heads?
– O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.