Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, September 12, 2004


God Bless the U.S.A.

Most of the day had already gone by yesterday before I realized that commemoration was in order. For the first time in three years, September 11th completely slipped my mind. Before, I've taken a moment to reflect, maybe dropped a note to the people I was with when it all happened or reminded myself of how much I love my wife and how frightening it was to be across the continent from her and to not know where or how she was.

That's how I mark the day.

A friend of ours was dancing last night in an outdoor performance in southern Manhattan. Due to a little confusion about exactly where this was, we ended up spending some time at Ground Zero, where we witnessed how others choose to remember.

T-Shirt vendors, apparently, choose to remember the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil by clearing out their warehouses of all the shit that hasn't sold in previous years and slashing prices. They were out in droves, with their "NYC 9/11/01" shirts and their "Never Forget" hats and their clever changey pictures which show the Twin Towers when held one way and an eagle carrying a flag when looked at from a different angle. Tasteful!

There were people who dug their "These Colors Don't Run" signs out of the attic or reassembled their "Send a Bomb to Saddam" missile prop, apparently either forgetting that Saddam is already in jail or just being to lazy to repaint it with the name of whoever Bush wants to attack next.

Bad actors seem to feel that the best way to honor those who were killed is to perform bad readers theater. And they stood by the hallowed ground and emoted their little hearts out, bringing tears to the eyes of people who came from all over the country to memorialize the tragedy and buy Twin Towers snow globes.

People mourned in matching t-shirts with the FDNY logo on the front and "Carson City Nevada Remembers" on the back. They expressed their love for this country while waving huge flags and wearing flag-fabric pants suits that rubbed Old Glory between their fat, sweaty thighs. They comforted those who lost family members by holding up bibles and signs that read "Repent, for only in the embrace of our Lord Jesus can you avoid the pits of Hell!" I'm certain the families of Muslim and Jewish were glad to hear that.

My absolute favorite, though, the best of the best of the best, was this dyed-blonde mullet-head and his dyed blonde galpal who parked their commemorative monster truck in front of Ground Zero--apparently with full cooperation of the authorities, so maybe it was designated "The Official Monster Truck of New York Mourning"--for hours. Allow me to describe the truck. Think big; think jacked up on huge over-size wheels; think police lights on top; think special amplified fog horn to yell our collective rage to the skies; think the most beautifully airbrushed pre-attack skyline of New York, adorned with air-brushed yellow ribbons and air-brushed flags. Truly a heartfelt expression of grief. So this pudgy chowderhead and his rejected-by-Penthouse life-partner are sitting atop this fucking monstrosity for at least a couple hours as morons form an ogling circle and take pictures of the truck, the mullet-head, themselves standing in front of the truck, themselves with the mullet-head, the mullet-head and his girlfriend struggling to remember how to spell "cat." Then, for extra fun, the crowd gets the guy to occasionally flash the lights and set off his big aaooooga horn.

Now, I will stop short of saying that assholes like this help me to understand why people hate America. I will, however, state that seeing how many of these people there were in one hour in one block of one city makes me realize that Bush will have no trouble getting re-elected. Because there are a great many people in this country who's thoughts on September 11th and America's position in the world go no deeper than multiple listenings to Len Doolin's classic anthem of twangy-guitar nationalism, "There Ain't No Yellow in the Red, White and Blue." And they all vote Republican.