Sunday, September 11, 2011

My son didn't think I was very funny while we were running errands today. I kept wishing the cashiers "Have a happy 9/11!"

(OK, he laughed the first time, too.)

You know, it's funny. People say "Well, you'll always remember where you were on 9/11. Yeah, not really. I was still in the Air Force at that point, working missile field security.

F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming has about 200 missile sites attached to it, and I was stationed there.

I came in from the missile field that morning, having spend the previous 12 hours guarding our nuclear weapons from terrorists. So, when my wife woke me up to show me what was going on in New York with horror on her face, my response was "Oh, crap. Well, I'd better get some more sleep, because this is about all I'm going to get."

And it was true. A few hours after that, I was woken up again, to come get my gun and hang out until the guys at the top figured out where everybody needed to be. So, in uniform and unshaven, I sat against a wall and napped until they came and got me again, and I was stationed upstairs in the squadron building, manning phones in an office where the phones never rang, mostly falling asleep until the door opened and the books (which I'd cunningly placed to get knocked off if the door opened) hit the floor.

So, really, I can tell you where I was on 9/11, but I don't have a lot of clear memories on the subject.

Personally, I have to agree with the Buzzflash editor, who points out that "It's Long Past Time to Get Over 9-11." Because I'm well past it.

I ended up in Iraq because of that whole thing - maybe I have the wrong attitude.

(And yes, I know that none of the people involved in 9/11 had anything to do with Iraq. But that was how Bush sold it, so that is, in essence, why I was there. Over at Consortium News, one writer asked where we might be if there had been a reasonable reaction to 9/11. But that's "what if," not "what was.")

Paul Krugman made an important point on the subject:
What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. (The) atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
But in the end, how do we react to the events of 9/11?

Well, some people try to make a buck off of it.

A year after the fact, examined how people were selling out to the 9/11 demon. But it's gotten so much worse. The Village Voice recently looked at some people who've been able to cash in on the tragedy.

Most news media seem dedicated to crappy memorials to their own picture library. Some work better than others., which spends it's time making fun of people pretending that they have artistic talent through arts and crafts, examines some of the worst attempts to cash in on 9/11. Often in handmade form.

Herman "Hey, I'm a Black Republican" Cain felt he needed to pander a lot, and committed one of the worst examples of mindless meme-stroking ever put into digital form.

(And, you know, since I'm reposting his video, apparently it's effective. I'm told that most progressives can't make it past the 30-second mark. I made it almost a minute. So you know.)

But, then, what's the worst, most cold-bloodedest (yes, it's a word) piece of 9/11 merchandising? Well, my vote would be on this.

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