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9/12 (and not a minute too soon)

By Owen Paine on Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:19 PM

No one's asking this, but I'll answer it anyway: Why didn't you, J.S. Paine, post any personal "reflections" on the 5th anniversaay of 9/11? Lord knows, everybody else did.

The answer: for the same reason I don't on the anniversary of the Deerfield massacre. The slaughter of the innocent, whether settlers' kids or cube farm functionaries, is a working hazard for those fortunate or unfortunate enough to be the empire's children. Yes they were innocent, but only of the knowlege of their own culpability. No, I won't celebrate -- and that's what this is: a maudlin serenade to the hardships of empire.

Father Smiff notices flags -- indeed, what mawkish poison. Even at its most sublime, the firefighters charging up those stairs, headed toward the top of a building about to come down to meet them, is not tragedy. Wrong genre. It's melodrama, and melodrama is best served house by house over the dinner table of a family, not on TV, like a tearful version of rockin' New Years Eve.

Tragedy is the unavoidable collision of two rights, not the horror of blowback for a series of chronic unending wrongs. But wasn't the slaughter indiscriminate? Well, not altogether -- no more so than the slaughter of Dresden, or Hiroshima. These were real people working in ignorance inside evil symbols -- like symbiotes in Moby Dick's belly.

Trouble is, we're in there somewhere too.

Comments (1)


The main issue of 9-11, for me, has always been the way the administration hi-jacked it to launch their imperial wars. And hi-jacked doesnt do justice to the ongoing Orwellian use of "terror" as a means of stifling thought.

The dems have been craven collaborators in this project, and I'm sure they were part of the chorus yesterday.

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