Sunday, September 10, 2006


I've tried to keep this blog apolitical (especially due to my lapse in staying informed on various issues), but certain events permeate society and humanity so deeply that their political ramifications are an inextricable part of current environmental fabric. Of course, September 11th, 2001, was the date of one such event.

As I check my TV listings and flip through newscasts for the days preceding and following this "milestone" anniversary, there are countless memorials, more than one can possibly watch, even with the aid of TiVo. I'm sure they'll run the gamut from heartfelt and sincere to jingoistic chest-thumping (ABC's controversial mini-movie aside), but I honestly don't much care to find out. The cynical side of me wonders how much of this remembrance is really just a ploy of manipulation - not just to manoeuver the ratings, but the public's views itself: staying the course, and all that. Unlike the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the media bravado surrounding 9/11 is not just limited to its commemoration; it is uttered and debated, directly or indirectly, every day.

Five years later, the question every news anchor has asked is are we any safer, and the obvious answer is a categorical no. 9/11 manifests itself in every war-mongering diatribe, every speculation about the upcoming elections, every meandering yet flawed security check, every confiscated toiletry. And what's to show for it? Ravaged nations, more fledgling cells than before, an Al-Qaeda and Taliban renaissance, deeply rooted Western partisan divides -- oh yeah, and everything in Iraq. As Jon Stewart noted, Thomas Ricks' book Fiasco might well be an understatement.

Nearly everyone remembers where they were that day -- I was in high school, with the most brilliant professor I've ever had sitting at his desk dumbfounded, listening to CBC. But I'd rather that we be able to pursue our remembrances in peace, than be bludgeoned with the gawdy replays of the harrowing images that I'm sure will ensue.

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