Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Wasn't Going To Go There But Then I Did

It's 9/11, everyone is paying tribute, everyone is remembering that most beautiful of all beautiful fall days when suddenly everything changed and it's still changing and there will never be such a beautiful day again in all of the days left to this blue-marble planet- who knows? There has to be one day which was the most beautiful. Maybe it was that one before the planes hit the towers, the Pentagon, a field.

I don't know.

Look. I'm not a patriotic person. We all know that. The sight of an American flag doesn't stir my blood in the least. When I see a flag my association is back to the TV show I used to watch when I was a child called Romper Room and Miss Nancy, the host of the show, the nursery school teacher as it were, explained that our flag was getting two more stars for the new states of Alaska and Hawaii.
Yes. That is my association when I see an American flag.
Romper Bomper Stomper Boo.
That's what Miss Nancy always said when she held up the magic mirror so that she could see all of her friends at home.

And so when I think about 9/11, I think yes, of that beautiful fall day and what I was doing and I think of the way the news began to trickle out and the reality, the enormity of it didn't hit, couldn't hit, for quite some time and it was unbelievable, it was quite simply and literally UNBELIEVABLE and I knew, as soon as it happened, that somehow we were going to use this horrible tragedy to focus our hate and fear on someone and that flags were going to fly and that things were going to be very, very fucked up for a long time and that none of that was going to help the people who died, the people who were left behind and I was right and it was worse than I thought it would be.

Bush, of course, used the unbelievable horror to advise us first to go back to the mall and spend our good old American cash and then he used it to get us into a war where the death toll rose to the tens of thousands and death can never atone for death, I don't care what you say and I don't care how many fucking flags you fly and the dregs of that whole thing are still going on and people are still dying and the world isn't any better off and the dead are still dead and those who mourn are still mourning and will be until the day they themselves die.

And I just get so angry that instead of doing something positive for humankind after such a tragedy we just turned around and declared war on terror, meanwhile, terror exists in the corner of every human heart at one point or another, you can't eliminate it. No, we couldn't try to make some sense of such a horrible thing, we just compounded it with a senseless war and jingoistic words and slogans and flags flying and more blood spilled- much of it from the veins and broken bodies of innocents, as innocent as anyone killed that day eleven years ago and the waste! The waste of life, of money- oh god. We could probably all have health care now or at least better schools and roads but no, no, no, the answer is always war and more death.

I'm sorry. That's what I'm thinking about today. And I'm thinking how that war was (is) waged with my name on it too because I'm an American citizen and with my money too and I'm so sick of people saying that they're sick of having to pay for the health care of the needy and for food stamps and for welfare and birth control for women who just want to go out and have sex and how it's not right for the government to take their money to do those things and here I am, paying for death with my taxes and so are you. So very, very much money for death that we can't even imagine it.

So no. I'm not flying a flag today. I didn't do one damn thing to be born on the soil of this country. Sometimes, yes, I am proud of what our country has accomplished but mostly, I am appalled at what we think we can get away with.
And do get away with.

God, it was a beautiful day that day. Until the planes hit, until the smoke rose, until the vapor of dust and bone and blood and stone and wood and steel exploded into fire and ash. It'll probably never be that beautiful again. Never again on this holy planet where all life as we know it is cradled.

Romper Bomper Stomper Boo.

The innocent still pay and so do you. Pay for hatred and fear and religious insanity and patriotic blood and oil lust and I don't even know. I don't even pretend to understand. But I'm not going to start gushing bullshit slogans to try and pretend I do, to try and pretend that will explain or rationalize one damn thing.

I'm not going to pretend that a piece of cloth with stars and stripes on it can cover up the blood or make it disappear or give death one bit of dignity that it doesn't deserve. The flag isn't sacred. Life is.

That's all I have to say about that today.

Yours in sorrow...Ms. Moon


  1. I could have never said it as perfectly, but I agree completely. I'm just avoiding facebook today because if I get started, I won't have any friends tomorrow, I fear.

  2. and I think the site is sacred..... as are countless places around the world that mark death and unspeakable and injustice and and and...

    It is okay to pay tribute to lives lost however and whenever and sometimes that means to remember how very fleeting it can be. It was traumatizing for many for various reasons, and from a human perspective and not a religious or political one it remains a larger than life example of how we very much do live in a political and religious world and probably always will.

  3. You're brave for writing it all out and hitting publish. I'll be silent because I'm tired. What always strikes me as weird is how FEW people die in the United States and get so much "response" when hideous things happen on the planet all the time and don't warrant the same amount of pageantry and outrage and horror and everything else. I guess that's the way of the world. The day is seared into my mind as well -- mainly through image, I think, the images that we all saw. That might be the difference, no?

  4. as someone much better than I said, what might have happened if we'd dropped food parcels in Afghanistan and not bombs? What happened is as you say unbelievable as is what's still happening because of it.....x

  5. Thanks for going there.
    I feel the same way and didn't even want to acknowledge the day. But I think you put it in the perspective that it needs.

    I'm sad those people died, of course. But what about Rowanda, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Serbia, Albania, Syria ? So many dead and nothing, really. It's like we have to be the celebrities of the planet, even in death. As if ours is more important. It's not.

  6. yes, no, maybe. We're broken now. Not because of 9/11 but because of how we handled it.
    What is for sure is that a lot of fat white old men got rich while young soldiers and 100's of thousands of brown people died.

    It can't be right.

  7. It was beautiful here that day as well, blue and hot. Same as it was today, weirdly. Today is Danielle's birthday, which puts me off mourning, somehow, not to devalue the huge loss and horror everyone suffered.

  8. Here's one for you - 18 year old soldiers fighting in Afghanistan today were 7 when it happened.

  9. Dayna- It's awash in flags.

    Deb- I refuse to accept that we have to live in that sort of world forever.

    Elizabeth- It's so true. I think about that all the time. How if some die here, it's like magnified a billion times. I'm not brave. Who the hell cares what I write?

    Young at heart- Yes! Food instead of bombs. Is that so hard to imagine?

    SJ- Thanks for thanking me.

    Liv- Yeah. We think it's more important. And I have no idea why.

    Magnum- You nailed it.

    Jo- How is that boy? I miss him.

    DTG- Again- unbelievable.

  10. I think if we didn't have flags the world would be a much nicer place.

  11. Powerful. I'm in love with your heart.

    Don't even get me started on how our good for nothing primeminister used the whole thing to his advantage, becoming busom buddies with Bush and then jumping ship.

    Seriously, the world is a screwed up place and I don't even have a large enough vocabulary to vent it appropriately.

  12. We wring ourselves out over our tragedies on our soil yet move an entire war onto theirs and kill the same number of innocent people 37 times over. If that doesn't describe a terrifying, terrible act of terror I don't know what does.

  13. We are of the same mind in so many ways. I am not a flag waver and often feel ashamed of all the flag waving when we have done so much to create terror and death in the world. I am not proud to be an American but sometimes apologetic. I would like to be proud but pride goes before a fall. And maybe we have been falling for a while. I like humility better.

  14. You spoke my thoughts on this (some I didn't know I had till I read them).
    I have never understood the event, or the reaction.

  15. Wow. Yes, brave. And true. And WE care about what you write. I would like to clone you and re-populate the world. S Jo

  16. I agree with you all around -- except I'm not sure things will "never be that beautiful again." Everything goes in cycles. The horror of 9/11 and the aftermath will fade, for better or worse. We'll have some beautiful days in the future.

    I've actually been weirdly insulated, here in London, from all the 9/11 ceremonies in the states. I was only dimly aware yesterday that it even WAS 9/11.

    The real outrage, aside from the attack itself, was Bush's response. That's the nightmare I can't get past, and which you wrote about so well.

  17. Birdie- Works for me.

    Wayne- I love that you love my heart. Such sweetness! Yeah, our politicians...what can we say? Can we call them evil? I don't know about that sort of thing. I don't have the words either.

    See Kate run- Exactly and why are we able to see the horrible wrongness there and others aren't? Why? I don't understand.

    Syd- The USA should try a little fucking humility. I agree with you, as you knew I would.

    Brother Wrecking Ball- How can we understand that in which there is no logic at all?

    Kristin- Thanks.

    S. Jo- That would be so fucking boring though. Plus, I'm awful far from perfect in any way whatsoever.

    Steve- Bush's response should have put him and Cheney in prison. That's what I truly believe.

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