11 years later, I have no interest in watching replay after replay after replay of fireballs and collapsing buildings and running people, whether set to dramatic string music or Yakety Sax. I'm so grateful today that I don't own a television and am thus insulated from the primary means of mass emotional manipulation. Thanks to the awfulness of 9/11, we built ourselves a massive police state, killed hundreds of thousands of people overseas, and got ourselves embroiled in a 1000-years war. Those images, played over and over and over, have been used to jerk us into justifying every manner of subsequent atrocity.
9/11 was awful. I hope nothing that awful ever comes along again. But I'm tired of people yanking my chain and convincing me that some nebulous other needs to be destroyed in order for me to feel safe. I'm tired of being complicit in war, hatred, and nation-destruction. I'm tired of numbing myself to the reality of what we do overseas, swathed in the comforting illusion of "it's for my safety". There are better things helping me sleep at night than the knowledge that it's open season in the Middle East.
For this world to be truly safe, it will need a lot more love in it. Today I'm going to look out the window and acknowledge that the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it's another lovely day in my adopted city of San Francisco and I'm sober. My goal today, like it should be every day, is to inject some more love and service into the stream of life. My advice to anyone else stuck in the miasma of endless remembrance is to turn off your television, go outside, and let someone know you care about them. It will do a whole lot more than shaking your fist at the heavens.