Other bits and pieces

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Apathy of Memory

After Sept 11, America experienced a surge of patriotism. Flags were everywhere, French Fries were being called 'Freedom Fries', people on the street desperately tried to remember the words to the Star Spangled Banner. People really came together with a common pain and a common drive to make a stand as Americans. The tempo of that fervor was naturally temporary in nature. That's to be expected, but I didn't expect people to purge the whole thing from their minds so quickly and completely. It's like a double amputee who gets kicked in the nuts by a mugger who steals one of his wooden legs, and then a couple of weeks later, sees him at his AA meeting and is like, "Hey man, yeah, no, no, don't worry about it. It's my fault. I shouldn't have been there. Can I give you a foot massage, or something?"

The WTC movie has been made, screened, hailed, panned, not seen by me, and forgotten. The Phrase 'Let's Roll!', while corny from the beginning, is a forgotten punch line. President Obama is going to stop referring to the 'War on Terror'. (I can't remember what he decided to call it, maybe the 'Friendly American Peace Intervention) Toby Keith is back to making music about, well, whatever it was he used to sing about before 9/11 (I'm guessing macro-economics). Oh yeah, and check this out, the company that owns the WTC site has decided to drop the name 'Freedom Tower', from the new building at the 1, World Trade Center address--and the first office space to be leased will be to a Chinese company.

A news report last week said that most Americans are 'fatigued' over reporting of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are no longer interested in reading news stories about them. There are so many other things on Americana's minds. There's the economy, our sexy new president with a unicorn in his pocket for every man woman and child on Earth, Lindsey Lohan, Global Warming (or, are we calling it 'Climate Change now?), the poor illegal aliens that aren't getting enough of our money, and last, but not least: Octomom.

That's right. The people in this country would rather hear about a bat-shit crazy woman who has mistaken her uterus for a party favor than the war to defeat this nation's enemies who want to kill all us. In December, while our mother's sons were engaging in battle, every single media outlet was watching with bated breath to see if O.J. was going to jail.

To a certain extent, I get it. Here's sort of linear look at media reporting since 9/11: war, war, war, war, war, SPACE SHUTTLE GO BOOM, war, war, war, war, war, BIGGER WAR, war, war, war, war, MARTHA STEWART JAIL, war, war, war, war, war, BIG TSUNAMI EVERYBODY DIE, war, war, war, war, war, EVERYONE'S BUYING HOUSES, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, YOUR HOUSE WON'T SELL, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, GAS PRICES, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, ANNA NICOLE SMITH, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, SOME MISSING WHITE GIRL, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, ANOTHER MISSING WHITE GIRL, war, war, war, war, GREAT DEPRESSION II, THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL war, war, war, war, war, BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, OCTOMOOM

Just because we're sick of hearing about the war doesn't mean it's not there. People are so easily distracted by the bright, shinny penny. "I would like to talk to you today about something near and dear to my....OH LOOK, A MIDGET RACING A CAMEL!" The Jihadi's know perfectly well how do defeat the Great Satan (that's us); they know we are an ADD collective and that all they have to do is wait us out until we get bored and go do something else. Do you think that shit would have worked against the Romans? "Hey, Hadrian, this wall is only like a foot and a half tall, you think we should make it a little taller?" "Nah, the Romans will see it and be all like, "ahhh, I don't want to step over that, let's just go back.""

We need to get our heads back in the game. (so to speak)

"He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."
-Sun Tzu, the "Art of War" 400-320bc

Text ©Raymond Smith- 2009

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