07 September 2002

Rush Limbaugh, Don't Read This

This piece by The Onion (rapidly gaining on Tom Tomorrow as one of this country's last few bastions of sanity) sums up my feelings about the rapidly-becoming-intolderable Sept. 11th wallow-fest.

You know what I'm going to be doing that day? I'll tell you. Living my life in my usual optimistic, hopeful and loving fashion, that's what. I refuse to be any part of some manufactured exercise in "healing," "remembrance" or "closure."

Anniversaries like these are one of the reasons I hate the far-right media so much. No, that's not a typo: the mainstream media is not now nor ever was "liberal." There might be certain exceptions out there (some say the New York Times is demonstratably left-of-center, but I don't read it so I can't say for sure), but by and large all of the television and cable-news networks (and of course our embarrassingly pro-right local paper are so unbelievably conservative that I've completely given up on getting any real news out of them, and now get my news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

One's relationship with tragedy is, to me, like one's relationship with God/religion: an intensely private affair. That's not to say that there can't be public outpourings of emotion or grief, but too often these displays get manipulated and played on by those with a completely different agenda.

You want to commemorate those who died in the tragedy of Sept. 11? Here's an idea for you: turn OFF the TV, go down to the Red Cross office and give some blood. You haven't done it since this time last year, have you? Thought not. So go. If you can't go or can't donate blood, pick a charity (any charity at all) and donate some time or money. Do it in the name of those who died.

You want to pray? Fine. Pray that we as a nation soon turn our back on the weird parody of Nazi Germany this country is rapidly turning into. Pray that we learn to understand our enemies before we fight them, lest we be defeated. Pray that we as Americans as well as those in other lands learn more about tolerance, compassion and forgiveness so that we can move past these ridiculous vendettas and petty squabbles that have ruined a promising start to a new century.

The people who died in the attacks -- regardless of whether they died as cowards or heroes -- are dead, and there's nothing we can do for them. The best revenge against those who attacked us is to live more freely, to reflect on what makes America and her people truly great and to work harder towards those lofty ideals, to relish our liberty and spread the blessings of our enormous wealth even more than we did before.

Now will somebody please explain to the Bush administration that the right reaction to attacks on freedom is to be more free, not less free?

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