Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

Ten years ago today I was on a sofa in North Carolina staring into the beautiful eyes of my granddaughter who had just passed her first month on earth. My daughter had handed her into my care so she could get a bit more sleep and I was about as content as I’ve ever been with perfect, tiny fingers grasping one of mine as the baby girl dozed in my arms.

I lunged for the phone when it rang, hoping my daughter wouldn’t be disturbed, and was surprised, yet happy, to hear my son’s voice on the other end. It was very early in California, an unexpected time for him to be calling the East Coast.

“Mom,” he said, interrupting my queries as to what the heck had him up at the crack of dawn. “Turn on the TV.”

Tucking the phone under my chin and the baby against my chest, I fumbled for the remote to the huge set and clicked.

Of course everyone saw what I saw.

“What the fuck is happening?” I asked Jaren.

“We’re under attack, Mom.”

The second plane came in before I’d managed to absorb anything but terror, and like the rest of America the only words that came to mind were: Oh my god!

The juxtaposition of realities … the new life in my arms, the new horror in New York … could only compound the distress.

“What sort of world do you have now, Baby?” I asked.

Part of the answer I knew then: her world was one in which people drove planes into buildings full of other people.

In efforts to try to gain perspective, I conjured an image of another woman at another time holding another newborn as a radio announced the attack on Pearl Harbor, that woman asking the same question I just had just posed to the cosmos.

The specter rising from that was World War III.

Over the 10 years between then and now that has not happened. We have not experienced mass conscription or concentrated conflict inflicting colossal damage across great swathes of the developed world or food rationing or bombs dropping on our beds or that-country-against-this-country, but rather sporadic terrorist attacks and religious fanaticism and fear.

Civil wars and oppression and human rights abuses continue as they always have, people starve and fight and kill and rape and poverty breeds the hungry, the uneducated and the dangerous while wealth motivates those hungry for power and equally dangerous. While many strive to survive, others do what they can to protect, to inspire, to effect change for the positive to varying degrees of success and failure.

The world of my granddaughter turns out to be not much different, in human terms, than the one my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother … and so on … and I were born into — a world where people perform deeds of great kindness and acts of almost unimaginable horror.

No, my granddaughter will not be able to sling on a backpack equipped with a Swiss army knife and a couple of pints of contact lens solution then board a plane like I did. She’ll learn to travel without belts in slip-on shoes and allow 3 hours for check-in. She’ll probably never sip a cocktail in a rooftop bar overlooking a major city without at least some trepidation. She may look askance at those who dress and worship differently and choose to surround herself with the familiar for illusions of safety.

History will show her that paradigms shift, that deadly enemies, the evils incarnate, eventually become familiar trading partners no matter how dissimilar they may be in look and faith and culture and background as it absorbs the dead and those imprinted with images of fire and smoke and collapsing monoliths full of humanity pass along.

We no longer tremble at the thought of Japanese or Germans, no matter the price they exacted from the world only a bit more than half a century ago in their bids to accomplish their goals, but have contextualized the horrors and moved beyond as we comprehend new evil, new enemies,

This is how we humans do things. This is how we have always done things, and it’s history that dictates wrong from right as it divides winners from losers.

What will be far different for the children born with the rubble and toxic dust of the Twin Towers in their path are the impacts of events less dramatic in the making but much more in outcome and harder to live with — the results of the relentless attack of man on the planet.

There is no template for putting the climate back together after an onslaught, for negotiating a truce between rising seas and inundated land. No reconciliation can be won once patterns of weather are so drastically changed that the seas no longer function as Earth’s lungs.

Reparations will be futile and even discussion of them will set human against human, as will attempts to share out slices of the ever-diminishing pie. Once again, wars will be waged and many will die, a circumstance that will relieve a bit of Earth’s burden, but when she’s too wounded to carry on we’re done and all fights are over.

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Path Cra toy?>The Internet was out all day today, so I’m far behind on way too much work and playing catch-up (ketchup?) tonight.

Had a meeting in town today … so at least had something constructive to do with the time I would have been working … and also needed to do some shopping, as a friend’s little boy is turning three this weekend and we have a birthday party to attend.

Shopping for gifts here is always an adventure, as options are always both limited and a bit on the wacky side. Plus, you never can tell which shop might have what, as a place with motor oil in the window might also sell dolls where somewhere that displays faded boxes of toys may have nothing but plumbing supplies.

The first place I stopped had nothing appropriate, but while on my way to another place that has proven fruitful in the past, I needed to pop into what we’d call a grocery store to pick up some diapers for Cj. Lo and behold, toys were presented near the entrance, so I did some perusal of offerings.

And just LOOK at what I found!

No, this is not what the soon-to-be-three-year-old is getting, but could I pass this up? As blog fodder alone it’s worth the SR 71/- (Seventy-one Seychelles Rupees) it cost me.

Made in China … where else? … I’m thinking the box is actually suppose to read “car” not “cra”, but the spelling error is nothing compared to the ultimate wrongness of the product itself.

Of course, I’m coming to this from an American prospective, and I’m sure people from other cultures are certain to have a far different reaction, but how this made it to Seychelles can only be chalked up to the likelihood that it was cheap and easy to ship.

There were a couple of more on the shelves, so if anyone is interested in the gifts that hit the height of tacky covered in sprinkles of bad taste, perhaps I could do some shopping for you … ?

Man! The world is a crazy place.

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I like the Huff Post and go there a lot to check out the latest, almost never failing to find something that educates or amuses.

Because of where I live, however, I don’t get to take full advantage of the cool features today’s news providers offer like on-demand video. No, I just get the ‘quick read’ version and the headline.

On this occasion, that’s enough. Well, enough for blog fodder. I mean, really!, who can pass up as tempting a news canapé as Iran’s beady-eyed slip of a President announcing “We Don’t Have Homosexuals Like In Your Country”?

Okay, maybe one or three bloggers out of a zillion wouldn’t be tempted, but that wouldn’t be me on a Tuesday in paradise, especially when this pops up right after a read about the little git going on about the Holocaust being iffy and 9/11 deserved.

I will not, however, take issue with his pronouncement. Heck! I’ve never set foot in a Tehran Boy Bootie Bar, so what do I know for Persian Poofs?

He does invite speculation, though, doesn’t he? So, feel free to chime in any time with your own answers to the question Ahmadinejad begs: “What sort of homosexuals DO you have in Iran, then, Mr. President?”

I’m starting off with a guess that theirs are more likely to have facial hair, much like ours did in, say, the ’70’s when everyone wanted Freddy Mercury’s top lip hair. The style’s gone stale here, but they’re big on bristles in the Middle East.

Cross-dressing is probably not as big a turn-on for Iranian gay men, perhaps except for the chubby guys. After all, black IS more slimming than white.

I doubt that ‘outing’ is a big deal, either, since I understand that bum bumping with boys isn’t considered ‘homosexual activity’ — more a right of passage … so to speak. It’s not like repeated dips in the jeans pool is going to have anyone thinking you’re hiding something.

Could be that more Farsi Fags are married, and to more than one woman at a time even, and unlike American wives the gals aren’t likely to be tracking their hubbies down at dinner time and dragging their sorry asses home for their meat and two veg and quality family time with the kids. Hanging out with the boys day and night, night and day, is de rigueur, and what goes on between the buddies is no business of the biddies, so riding both the horse and the cow gets brownie points without the farm making the front page.

And that’s just a bit of speculation from me on the differences between American homosexuals and their counterparts in Iran. As I said, all additions are welcome, and anyone with first-hand information is encouraged to spill.

Hey! The president started this train wreck of thought, so we might as well go along with him.

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