Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: living in the moment
Bikes: 2005 Litespeed Teramo, 2000 Marinoni Leggero, 2001 Kona Major Jake (with Campy Centaur), 1997 Specialized S-Works M2, 1992 Specialized Rockhopper
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Okay... I'm going to post something that will probably be misinterpreted, but here goes...
Something terrible happened last week. Thousands of people died. The most powerful country in the world was viciously attacked. I feel nothing but sympathy for the people who lost family and friends and a great deal of trepidation about the future. The world changed in one of those axis moments and it doesn't look like the first years of the 21st century are going to be all that pleasant.
There will be a war. Young men and women, motivated by the highest ideals will die in the service of their countries; more civillians and non-combatants on both sides will die, caught in the cross-fire. Perhaps most chillingly, in order to fight this war, the combatants and -- to some extent -- all of us will have to strip away some of our humanity and decency, and we'll have to do it to "get the job done." Maybe that's necessary and inevitable, but it's also quietly horrifying, because we've seen in the past what good, decent people can do "to get the job done."
So I will not minimize the scale of the tragedy or downplay the fear and horror I feel about the future.
But I had an epiphany watching the telethon last night... No offense to my American friends, but US culture has become quite adept at turning almost any horrible situation into an excuse for maudlin mawkishness. The flag goes up, ribbons go on every tree and generally dull-witted entertainers appear in soft-focus with furrowed brow talking about the depth of their pain and how America is "a beacon of freedom and democracy to the world."
Then, everyone gets together and sings an over-wrought version of god bless america just in time for the American pietistic impulse to kick in, so we can all talk about god.
This, I guess, is how Americans deal with national tragedies in the 21st century. I hope it provides comfort and helps Americans get through this difficult time because it all looks and sounds so uttetly contrived and cynical to me.