Remember The Tourist Guy? Remember? Yeah. Well. He’s like…sorry.
I was, perhaps, too harsh on our local fire squad recently. While I still am leery of that sentiment, it occurs to me that this house may have actually sent some people down there for rescue and cleanup. Might have lost a few as well. I am still leery of the sentiment. But they are by no means “assholes.”
September Eleventh pisses me off, though. Impeachment hearings should have followed these attacks immediately; it is clear that the then- president failed to do his job. It was, in fact, the most spectacular failure of any president in history, but it was manipulated so adroitly as to avoid exacting any political price for that failure. He in fact would fail just as spectacularly several times in his presidency, causing that presidency to be the overseer of at least THREE apocalyptic events in the United States. All that and yet Bush defenders went down to the end claiming that their Preznit had “kept us safe,” even in some instances denying that he’d been in the office on this day. That is how insane you have to be as a Republigoat these days. You have to defend the guy who was on watch on 9/11 and you have to deplore the guy who ended up being on watch when we shot bin Laden in the eye.
And where by the way are the similarly genuflecting pronouncements regarding this Democratic administration? Obama has “kept us safe”; in fact, he has proven a much more serious, muscular leader toward that end than the Smirking Chimp could ever have dreamt of being. So, where are these pronouncements? They’re not necessary. We don’t feel the need to jump to a hyper-defense of this president. He has not allowed aeroplanes to fly into buildings on his watch. He has not allowed Americans to drown in their own attics. He has not allowed the economy to leap off a cliff. We often lament here that Obama could do more, but by gods, he hasn’t been the hideous incompetent that the last guy was. I think that contrast is never more clear than on a day like today, on a day of remembrance.
But Bush isn’t the only one who has so many people working to lie on his behalf to make him look awesome despite his boobish incompetence. Behold Rudolph Giuliani’s jackass grin in this week’s Newsweek, heralded in those pages still as “America’s mayor,” even though his foolish planning, his insistence on placing his bunker AT the World Trade Center and his failure to fix NYC emergency communications even after the 1993 attack, likely cost lives. Rumsfeld, Cheney, even Rice (who was due on 9/11 to speak on the subject of missile defense)0 I’m sure, all will get another shot at the media, to obsfucate, to excuse, to gloss over.
I am this morning watching the MSNBC re-run of it’s coverage from that day. Morbid, yeah, maybe. I dunno. I find something comforting in it. And I can’t help wonder if George W. Bush on a day like today reviews coverage like this and looks himself in the mirror and is like, “heck of a job, George.”
What do ya think?
A little FU to the local firehouse for this phrase on their little message board of late:
We remember 9/11. Do you?
No, you assholes. I totally forget. Um, let’s see. What was that thing that happened again? Some Irishmen drove a train into the St. Louis arch and gave birth to 3,000 lemurs?
I can tell you what. I’m really going to despise the upcoming commemoration. There are T-shirts on sale at our local grocery. T-shirts. I’m sure if you buy one you get a funny beanie that makes sparks and a fireball scream when you run the propeller. And when do the 9/11 action figures show up in our toy stores? Made in China, all of it, I’m sure.
There is a weird sense of righteousness, a perverted sense of ownership and call to arms, that have always clouded 9/11 if you ask me, a sense conjured up and promoted by George W. Bush like Billy Mays hawking Oxy-Clean. This was a completely disingenuous stance taken by our former executive incidentally, because he’s the asshole who got caught with his pants around his ankles on that horrific day.
Do I remember? Sure. I was at 13th and G, downtown Washington D.C., on an absolutely beautiful morning, with autumn just starting to be felt in the air. I was at the office for like 20 minutes, and then I walked home, and I saw the smoke of the Pentagon on my left, and the white pickup drove up and the people in the pickup actually didn’t know what was happening and why there were thousands of people fleeing the city. And it was scary, and then me and PB went to the local and had a beer, and that was one crowded bar. I remember it like it was yesterday.
And nobody owns it, and it should not have been a call to launch a crusade as we did, and it sure as hell looks stupid on a T-shirt.
In light of a survey showing that the American public isn’t generally aware of the casualty count in Iraq, we here at Crack Whores for Good Government have decided that the most important link that can be placed is the new button at the upper right-hand of this fine Weblog, the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. The “liberal media” may forget, and the general public may forget, but we’ve got to remember, got to remember that, as of today, 3,987 American deaths have been confirmed or await confirmation by the Department of Defense. This is an especially important number to keep track of in light of the new Pentagon report showing that there was never any connection, none whatsoever, between Saddam and those a-holes who turned said Pentagon into a square several years ago.. Time and time again, confirmation leaks out: The Untied States of America invaded and occupied a foreign land for no good god-damned reason and continues to squander lives and treasure beyond comprehension on it. It is unfathomable.
There is good news, though. Even Gen. Petraeus, patron saint of the surge, admits that political progress in occupied Iraq is sluggish.
Six years ago today, I woke up and performed my ablutions. I got dressed as usual and then commuted to my glamourous job in downtown Washington, D.C. I do not recall if I was riding the bus then or if I had my garage space. Either way, I boarded the Metro train as usual and rode it to Metro Center to go to my office. I walked to the Au Bon Pan as usual and bought my muffin and to the little deli restaurant below my office (which is today a pitz-areea) and was waiting in line, probably impatiently, to purchase an orange juice. Sometimes, I would buy a banana. I do not remember if I bought a banana that day. I do remember the man who first broke the news to me was a construction worker picking up his lunch. Hey, man, he said to the proprietor, did you hear about what happened? An airplane has just crashed into the World Trade Center.
Like many Americans, including apparently the current president of the United States of America, there was a margin of time between the time I initially received the news to the time I fully realized its import. In the deli, I still assumed my day was going to be normal. I paid for my juice and went nextdoor to hit the elevator to floor 13. I went into my office, which at the time was a nice window office location, and started reviewing my e-mail. I probably dove into some project or another for the newsletter I was editing at the time, and I probably also started my instant messaging program.
I don’t remember if I first got the news direct from the Internet, from somebody in my IM window, or from hearing a din down the hall. I ran to the office next-door tho, where they had the CNN on and where a number of my colleagues were gathered. By that time, an airplane had turned the Pentagon into a square, and there were all sorts of other horrifying reports. The National Mall was on fire. There were explosions everywhere. We’d been invaded. It felt like the world’s end had actually arrived. And yet, there was actually some question about whether or not we needed to leave the office.
A colleague and I walked home together. The subways were for some reason still an option but an option neither of us trusted. We hoofed it home with thousands of others. We were halfway across the bridge when a white pickup truck drove up next to us and asked us why everyone was leaving the city. Seriously. All we had to do was point leftward and indicate that the Pentagon was on fire. Her place was closer, so she let me come in for a bit. I was able to reach my Grandma on the phone. I must have beat the rush because for a few days after, no matter what service provider you had, you couldn’t reach anyone on any phone. Shortly, my colleage braved the roads to give me a lift home, two Metro stops up.
My Dad was in town and was attending a meeting at Crystal City. He said he felt the wall shake. All air traffic was grounded that day unless you were a bin Laden, and forget about rental cars, so Dad was in town for a few extra days. We walked up to the Cowboy Cafe and had a beer. It was very crowded.
That’s my 9/11 story. Everybody has one. Some are as relatively mundane as is mine. Others are mortifying. Someday, a second or third generation will be rolling its eyes at Grandpa and his story about where he was when the second plane hit the tower, much as I rolled my eyes at tales of the Great Depression. I’ve witnessed many dramatic events in my life. The attempt on Raygun’s life. The in-flight explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Britney Spears’ comeback attempt. Through each of these ordeals, I thought, that’s it. That’s my Great Depression. That’s the event that changed me, the one I’ll rant about to my grandkids, the one that changed everything. But clearly, they weren’t. Those events were far eclipsed by a mountain of dust hurtling down.
Sadly, this 9/11 generation’s Roosevelt has yet to step up. Herbert Hoover is still in office. I think the most sad part about the whole 9/11 saga on the macro level is the pathetic squandering of the good will that poured out of the world for our loss. I often say that if Bill Clinton had been President when this had happened, the world would be at peace today, and there would be no famine and no disease, and we’d have colonies on the moon and a chicken in every pot. It is only half facetious. Mr. Clinton would have known what to do with our Empathy Dividend. He certainly would not have wasted it trying to build a rabid free-market utopia in the Middle East.
It is, certainly, a day to reflect. Unfortunately, part of what there’s to reflect on involves how and why my country, which from fist turkey drawrings in first grade to term papers toward my political science minor I grew up learning to believe in, as a place, as an idea, as a lovely country that always wanted to do better, has so thoroughly slipped off the treadmill. As we observe, there is a Howdy Doody faced man arguing in front of the national legislature that this country must continue doing the wrong thing, must continue a frivolous, useless military exercise that does not actually contribute to this country’s national security, that provides this country with neither of the two qualities that should have always been our primary concerns following this horrible attack: Justice and Peace. Six years since, and we are nowhere near to getting either.
Rudy says: “For me every day is an anniversary of Sept. 11. If we don’t talk about Sept. 11, you can’t prepare to try to avoid another Sept. 11.”
Okay then. Let’s talk about the radios and the location of your bunker and rescue workers suffering from lung disease because of a rush to get the markets running and such. Shall we?
I’m sure we shall. Fucker.