Sep. 11th, 2011

Today is September the 11th. It is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks upon New York City, the Pentagon, and the loss of flight 93. You would have to have been living under a rock not to know this. The media is full of reports of it. There is a very strong chance that you are thoroughly sick of hearing about September the 11th, especially if you are a New Yorker, or if you are from another country and are tired of hearing Americans whine about this.

The events of September the 11th affected me very strongly. I am happy to report that they did not turn me into a raving bigot, as they appear to have done to some, or into a lunatic who supports crackpot conspiracy theories, as they appear to have done to others. But 9/11 changed my professional life and my personal life in gross and small-scale ways, and I think about it often.

I'm tired of thinking about it often. There's no reason I should be so affected by these events. What happened was terrible, yes, but terrible things happen all the time. The Fukushima reactor meltdowns and the tsunami that caused it were, by any reasonable measure, more terrible. The massive earthquake in Haiti, that effectively leveled an entire country, was more destructive. Where's our perspective? Are we so weak that we become collectively mentally scarred by an event that we find overwhelmingly traumatic because we've been lucky enough not to suffer routine attacks on our native soil over our nation's recent history? Or are we so feeble as to be thrown for a loop by the sudden, dramatic proof that the rest of the world doesn't love us as much as we love ourselves?

I'm not going to tell other people to suck it up. I wasn't in New York City or Washington, I didn't directly experience the attacks, and I didn't have to live with the fear. Some people, I am convinced, deserve to feel traumatized, and may very well have a hard time dealing with this for the rest of their lives. Good on you. Me, I'm going to suck it up. There is no rational reason for me having such strong feeings about 9/11. I've got to do something to exorcise this.

I'm going to write a week of 9/11 stories. I'm sorry if this annoys you. I'm sorry if you're overexposed to 9/11 and would like to not deal with it any more. I'm also sorry if you have feelings about the sanctity of this date, and don't believe it's appropriate for somebody to write fiction about things we should be reverent about. I'm sorry, but this isn't about you. This is about me being tired of 9/11 lurking in my brain, and wanting to get it out.

I'm going to write a week of 9/11 stories and then I'm going to be done with it. That's how I'm observing 9/11. I hope you all observe it in your own way, as you deem appropriate, and will be at peace.

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