Thursday, September 13

Read this. By an editor of the Wall Street Journal, it's heart-stopping.
No sports this weekend. That's a good thing. It's only right to honor the dead this way.
What I'm weary of:

Members of Congress on the television, all mouthing the same script. Of course, there's really nothing else to say except what's in the script, but since we all know what it says, why bother?

Emotions. Every man/woman in the street interview I've seen focuses on emotions. "How do you feel?" Perhaps the reporter doesn't want to be considered rude for not asking about a witness' or family member's feelings, but perhaps they should start considering the reverse: We know, intellectually, how these people feel. We feel some - just the small part that outsiders could feel - of this ourselves. Grief, anger, rage, helplessness, despair. It's all there, and we know it. To ask these people to constantly speak of their feelings seems to me an insult. It's an invasion of privacy, and it's a request for them to do the impossible: to put these profound senses and emotions into words. It can't be done.

The only decent survivor interview I've seen was on C-Span last night on a broadcast of a Canadian news program. The fellow being interviewed worked in the WTC, but his accent was Canadien (I didn't hear the very beginning, so I'm not sure of his identity). Since it wasn't American television, the interviewer wasn't intrusive, and the interview wasn't rushed or condensed into pre-programmed shorthand. The man had been part of a group on the 81st floor of the first building hit. His group, as it evacuated, amazingly enough, wanted to go up. He was arguing against going up, saying that was crazy, but was torn. He was distracted from the group by a banging on the wall on another floor. He went and found a man trapped behind some wreckage. He helped him get out, and by the time they got back to the stairs, the group had gone - up, we can presume. The two men proceeded down the stairs and escaped. The man being interviewed said that "Stan", the man he rescued, thanked him profusely for saving his life, but, as he observed, choking up, Stan saved his life as well, by forcing him to separate from the group that was determined to go upstairs.

While we're talking about feelings, let me say that it's distressing to see how ignorant Americans have become. Too often, when America's response to this attack is being discussed in the popular news media or on radio talk shows, we're warned not to "let our feelings get out of hand" or we're told that Americans are looking for someone to blame for this so they can "vent their anger" and so on. The desire for response is not about feelings or revenge - it shouldn't be at least, and I'm sure that in most people's minds, once anger subsides, they will admit this. No, a response is necessary to prevent this or anything like it from happening again. That seems rather basic, in my mind, and it's nothing to apologize for.

Kathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic posted a link to Catholicity's answer to the question of "Why Do They Hate Us So Much?" in which Bud McFarlane, Jr. said that it's all about our exportation of cultural "filth". Uh - okay. Certainly that cultural question has been a part of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism since the 1970's, but hey, Bud, what about Israel? It's fascinating to me that McFarlane chooses to completely ignore America's support for Israel as a motivation for the hatred some Arabs and Arab groups feel for the US. Why would he omit this?

On my rounds this morning, I listened to Dr. Joy Browne for a bit. A woman called up and said she was very disturbed that US television networks were showing footage of Palestinian celebrations of the attack. Not disturbed by the celebrations, but by the choice to broadcast them. "We are being manipulated into placing blame!" she whined, and Dr. Joy agreed, saying that airing the footage "smacked of jingoism." Say what?

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