jackasses of the world, unite
jackasses of the world, unite
You knew I couldn't stay away from the subject for too long.
Reid has written a thoughtful, poignant post about the people who want us to "get a grip" or get over the events of September 11. I can only reiterate everything both he and I and James Lileks and a host of others have said. How dare people feel they have the right to tell us to stop mourning, to stop feeling, that there are other, more important world tragedies for us to be thinking of.
It's not just because I live in New York that I feel proprietary over September 11. It is because I am human. I have emotions. I feel deeply over everything. Multiply death by 3,000 and that's a lot of emotion and despair. One year does not wipe that out.
I don't even live in New York City. I can't begin to imagine what it was like to be right there, to actually see the towers crumbling, to watch victims fall from windows to their death, to be enveloped by the smoke and dust from the falling buildings.
I watched the smoke rise from my rear view mirror as I fled work that day. I watched fire trucks zoom past me as they made their way into the city. I waited for phone calls from my firemen cousins. I watched my father as he left to go into the city to help his colleagues. I watched as my father lost friend after friend. I attended too many funerals, too many memorial services. Even one was too many. I watched my children become bewildered and frightened.
Reid takes apart this piece in the New L.A. Times by Jill Stewart, an article which takes the opportunity, three days before the anniversary, to rip apart the victims' families, the Americans who are mourning, and the police and fire departments.
"Indeed, I say without shame to America's ever-growing, increasingly troubling and loudly throbbing Cult of Nine Eleven, "For God sakes, get a grip!" "She is just another in a long line of idiots who are spewing nonsense that because Americans are so hung up on the 3,000 victims of September 11, that must mean that we don't care about quake or flood victims in other countries. I have refuted that nonsense before, I won't take the time to do it again.
"So, on September 11, I suggest that you not light a candle for the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Plenty of others will do so for you.
Instead, say a prayer for the 20,000 obliterated in India, or the 1,100 trampled in Nigeria, or the untold dead child soldiers. Do not buy a "Let's Roll!" T-shirt, but do send a dollar to an Afghan group helping illiterate girls and boys learn to read normal childhood books. Play a small part in helping our self-indulgent nation to become a better citizen of the world. You'll feel oh so much better."
To Miss Stewart:
Pardon me, you misguided jackass. The reason we are lighting candles or whatever we are doing to remember the victims on Wednesday is because it is the one year anniversary of the attacks. I am going to be incredibly self-indulgent that day and light one hundred candles just to spite you. You know what would make me feel better? To spit in your face if I ever see you.
How dare you tell anyone to get over it? How dare you take it upon yourself to determine how or when or whom I should mourn for? And how dare you, and all the others, try to make me feel selfish and isolationist when I am grieving?
If you think the politics and views of this country suck so much, and if you think that the starving people in Africa or the victims of national disasters in other countries deserve our help, then why don't you pack your bags and go over there and help them out? Why don't you go over to Afghanistan and teach those little girls how to read? Put your money and your actions where your big fat mouth is.
I am not saying that those people do not deserve our attention, our aid or our sympathy. But this is apples and oranges, dear. September 11 to me will always be a day to recognize the victims at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and of Flight 93. If you don't want to take part in that, then just shut your mouth and be on your way. But don't you dare have the gall to tell me I am not supposed to be feeling grief.