Archive for September, 2011

9/10/01: A Remembrance

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2011 by tom

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September 10, 2001 was a sweet day. We were at peace. The economy was in reasonably good shape, and New York City had a spectacular skyline, dominated by the twin World Trade Center towers.

A bunch of murderous bastards had big plans for the next day.

Stacey was 18, and Shortstop and Princess wouldn’t answer “Present” in earth’s roll-call for another three years.

I was the night jock at a jazz station. My life was chaotic, and I was trying to keep it together with twin plates of alcohol and depression spinning on sticks.

The Tenth, I bought a half-gallon of Evan Williams, a lovely and smooth Bourbon. After my show that night, I came home, fired up my computer, filled my special Bourbon-drinking glass (a Jack Daniel’s mason jar with a handle), and I wandered the Interwebs.

I wasn’t especially happy, but I was content. I had enough money to pay my bills and get drunk every night.

The world changed not twelve hours after I poured that first drink.

The next morning’s concurrent hijackings and attacks…shit, they were just masterful, brilliant, horrible.

There were certainly deaths. The passengers and crews on those airliners must have been terrified. The death toll at the World Trade Center could have been so much higher, and I shudder to think what damage Flight 93 might have wrought had it reached its target.

The deaths were tragic, and I mourned the victims of the attack, as well as New York’s Finest who responded.

What was more insidious, though, was the coverage. Millions and millions of Americans watched the second plane hit its Tower. We sat, transfixed, and we watched those two mighty buildings burn. We covered our mouths in shock as people jumped hundreds of feet to their deaths, rather than burn. Then the Towers fell.

Ho. Ly. Crap.

Not once live, but over and over and over, the networks played the video. The images were burned into our retinas as if we’d looked at the sun too long.

December 7, 1941, 2400 Americans were killed at Pearl Harbor. It was different: it wasn’t live and in color, in our classrooms and bars and livingrooms.

The reason I choose to mark 9/10/11 is because of what changed. Ten years ago today, you could pack as much damn shampoo as you wanted. You didn’t have to remove your shoes or have your privacy violated with scanners, gropes, x-rays, speculums, and whatnot.

We launched a war on a concept, and it crippled our economy. For seven years, our government spent trillions fighting a nebulous enemy–“Terror.” Hundreds of thousands of civilians died as we fought…whom? To me, the War on Terrorâ„¢ should have ended when the number of dead soldiers surpassed the 9/11 death toll.

We gave up rights, and endured new inconveniences without question. Almost a decade later, we finally shot and killed Osama bin Laden. Was it worth it?

I’d have pulled the trigger myself, but I’d know that the bullet in his eye wouldn’t bring back one of the dead.

Many of the 9/11 families are litigating their pain away.

People will talk and remember. We’ll “share,” and the newscasts will show grim craters, as silver-throated announcers mark the occasion with beautiful copy.

I’m done mourning. I’m moving on.

I want 9/11 to be a day my friend Connie can celebrate her birthday. I want my friend S to be able to grieve her mother, who died on 9/11.

I just want to live and move on, just so I know those bastards didn’t win, that they’re not pausing from being cornholed in hell, smiling at all the dreadful pictures and saccharine talking heads, watching a broken country waiting still for that other shoe to drop.

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Four Minutes and Change of Zen and Badass Astronomy Pics

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2011 by tom

(Ray Lynch, “Celestial Soda Pop”)

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