It's been a good day for apoplexy. Stopping for coffee this morning revealed the headlines where I learned that "unreasonable obstacles" currently exist to the investigation and prosecution of terrorism here at home. You know, pesky things like the burden of proof, people being presumed innocent until proven guilty, privacy and protection from unreasonable and unwarranted searches of ones person and property...
Then a voice comes on the loudspeaker at work, asking us to observe a moment of silence to commemorate Patriot Day, when "our country and the world changed forever." Who writes this stuff?!? They must have slept through the last several hundred years of world history - or are they really so arrogant as to believe that terrorism is only a Big Deal in the last two years? Just to tie some personal threads together, I'll quote from Dead Air:
There was one [rant] shaping up about context, about blindness, about selectivity, about racism and our intense suckerhood when it came to reacting to images and symbols, and our blank, glazed inability to accept and comprehend reality in the form of statistics.
It's because there was a reliable-source statistic Phil discovered the other day; that every twenty-four hours about thirty-four thousand children die in the world from the effects of poverty; from malnutrition and disease, basically. Thirty-four thousand, from a world, a world-society, that could feed and clothe and treat them all, with a workably different allocation of resources. Meanwhile, the latest estimate is that two thousand eight hundred people died in the Twin Towers, so it's like that image, that ghastly, grey-billowing, double-barrelled fall, repeated twelve times every single fucking day; twenty-four towers, one per hour, throughout each day and night. Full of children.
We feel for the people in the towers, we agree with almost any measure to stop it ever happening again, and so we should. But for the thirty-four thousand, each day? Given our behaviour, and despite the idea we're supposed to love our children, you could be forgiven for thinking that most of us just don't give a damn.
Even if the numbers are off, it's still something to think about. Not to mention that I'd like to think that there was a little more to patriotism than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. My condolences to those who weren't quite patriotic enough and survived.