OK...enough of my goddaughter's balloon magnet. The next set is small, but it belongs to son Tom and his girlfriend, Laurel.
* Discussion *
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
Looking for a new book
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
Samples of two of the
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
That's it for today!
YOUR TRAGEDY vs. MY TRAGEDY
28 September 2001
Today was our first full day in a country where it's war on all the stations, all the time. Commentators, talking heads, bureaucrats, heroes, men on the street, newscasters, evening shows. Other than "Whose Line is it Anyway," it seemed everybody was discussing "it." Even Hollywood Squares ended with the audience singing "God Bless America." I know everybody in this country is used to it; for me it was an adjustment back to the world we didn't leave, the world which changed while we were gone.
I saw Bush talk about getting people traveling again. (Nova Notes has a wonderful reaction to that.) The way our president was talking, it sounded like transportation in this country had been shut down for months. Maybe it only seemed that way for those who have been here for the past two weeks.
I admit he sounded more "presidential" than when I left. Maybe he's having to grow into the job at last.
A group stood behind him waving flags.
Someone whose opinion I value highly said tonight, "They take their American flags, made in Hong Kong, and they put them on their Toyotas and they call it patriotism." She then added, "Don't they get it? Don't they understand that this is part of what it's all about: exploiting workers in third world countries so that we can have a display of materialism in this country." Wave the flag mass-produced in some other country; put it on the car mass produced in some other country, and tell us how proud you are to be an American.
It's easy to wave a flag; it's hard to do what's required to combat terrorism.
Steve says that cynicism is dead in this country. I'm finding cynicism alive and well around me.
Another friend told me she's amazed at herself, a flaming liberal who is a passivist at heart. She's amazed to find that she wants someone to pay for what happened at the World Trade Center. Someone should suffer, dammit.
I understood. I even found myself becoming more inflamed as I watched TV all day today.
But when Bush said so eloquently (that's sarcasm, folks) "We're gonna get these fellas" I thought-- who? What fellas? The fellas that did this are dead. Who are we going to punish? Seems all countries have denied involvement. The identification of the terrorists indicates they came from more than one country. Who is there to pay for what happened?
That's the frustrating thing. We want justice, dammit--but there is no bullseye toward which to aim our massive forces. Warships gather, troops mass, young men enlist, and so far we have only one target: Osama bin Laden. And history would inicate that all the kings horses and all the kings men can't bring this terrorist to justice again.
I went out to the post office, finding the town awash in flags fluttering in the breeze. I thought about the contrast between how I felt in Orkney--upset, sad, frightened--and how I was beginning to feel after only a few hours of media onslaught--angry and wanting someone to pay.
It made me think of all the tragedies in other countries which we have clucked and tsk-tsk'd over, but which didn't really affect us and which allow us to go on with our lives without too much thought. Much as the British were getting back to life while we were there.
Would we have, for example, done more than tsk tsk when Mbutu was slaughtering people in Zaire if we had 24 hour a day stories of personal tragedy to turn us from flaming liberals against violence and retribution into hawks wanting someone to pay for the pain and suffering caused to thousands of innocent victims?
I don't even know what point I'm making. All this patriotism still feels unreal and--I have to say it--artificial to me. I'm sure it's because I have come two weeks late into the emotions, because I was able to put the initial shock and anger aside from time to time and continue visiting tourist sights. I feel like a tourist in my own country looking at familiar sights with different twists...all those flags. Listening to people speaking the foreign language of war. Wanting to go home again and realizing that home no longer exists.
And yeah, I want somebody to pay for changing my world too.
One Year Ago:
Some pictures from this journal
Created 9/28/01 by Bev Sykes