Random notes jotted down during the week following The Attack.
The leaders of Afghanistan have said they will hand over bin Laden if we provide them with evidence, which they will then study. We should comply with their wishes. Weíll print up a nice, neat report, carefully translated, and duct tape it to the nose cone of the first missile we send at them. The first sentence will be "Read Fast!"
Sports Night was a great show that only lasted for two seasons, and is now shown in the odd morning hours on cable. I record it and watch it the next day. They always do a location shot early in the program, showing the NYC skyline. The first time I watched it after the attack, when I saw the WTC, I lost it again. The show, which always seemed fresh and up to date, is now dated. Those bastards have infected everything.
Does anyone still wish Al Gore was president? He wouldn't be able to take any action without first conducting a three year environmental survey to determine if bombing might damage the habitat of some rare species of slug infesting bin Laden's camp.
Anyone involved with smokers' rights is usually prepared for the hate mongering, but Thomas Freedman took us by surprise. While the dust was still in the air, he echoed Shimon Peres' comparison of the terrorists to tobacco companies, then expounded on it. The clear implication was that smokers = terrorists. His article was printed in the once reputable New York Times.
About a quarter of the population smokes. Smoking is a bit more prevalent in high stress jobs, so itís likely that even more than a quarter of those who are involved in the Herculean rescue effort are smokers. They are no better than the terrorists, according to Mr. Freedman. A quarter of the people who are donating their time and their money and their blood are, as far as Mr. Freedman is concerned, no different than those who attacked America. As for the thousands of smokers killed in the attack, evidently Mr. Freedman sees no difference between them, and the terrorists who killed them.
His hateful diatribe has been reprinted in at least three other newspapers. Mr. Freedman does not deserve reprint royalties. He deserves a pink slip and a face full of saliva.
Alex Wolff, a friend from England, came up with a great idea:
"Here's a thought. Imagine a two-pronged attack on the Taliban: on one side you have massive missile attacks and air bombardment of training camps and other targets, and simultaneously you send out transport planes which drop food, goats, toilet paper, aspirin and the like on civilian targets. Would this not be a good way of pointing out the position of the West to the average Afghan who right now probably hasn't even heard of the WTC yet because he's got no TV or radio, in fact no sources of information?"
A few days ago, in the craft and fabric store where my wife works, a dark skinned woman was making a purchase. She had a bit of an accent, and the woman who was waiting on her asked where she was from. "Italy!" replied the customer. The clerk said "Really? I just visited there recently, what part of Italy are you from?" The customer held back a moment, than leaned forward and whispered softy "Iím really from Lebanon, but Iíve been telling people Iím Italian."
Most of us are US citizens because we happened to be born here. It took no effort on our part. Most Arab Americans are citizens because they, or their parents, made the difficult decision to tear up their roots and transplant them here, halfway around the world. At a time like this, we should not put up with anyone attacking Americans, and that includes other Americans. We need to remember that the Taliban is to Muslim what abortion clinic bombers are to Christianity.
USA Network airs "La Femme Nikita," a series about a shady anti-terrorist organization called Section One. They've pulled it from their schedule for the rest of September. Itís a very trivial thing, but one measure of the attack's impact is how many trivial things have been affected. I miss seeing fresh reruns five times a week. I miss the struggle between good and evil, where the good guys are only marginally less evil than the bad buys. I miss the ever-present question of the ends justifying the means, and the genuine creepiness of the show. I miss lusting after Pita Wilson.
Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson wasted no time making fools of themselves. They claimed that gays, feminists, atheists, and everyone else God wants them to hate are at least partly to blame for the attack. The only appropriate response is ridicule, and theyíve received plenty. Unfortunately, none came, from other religious leaders.
Imagine hearing Billy Graham's unmistakable voice publicly addressing these two. "Jerry and Pat, you are my brothers in Christ. We serve the same Lord, and we share the same goal of bringing people into His light. Therefore, I am compelled to ask, for the love of God, please stop being such goobers."
A quote from the movie "They Live:"
"I have come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of bubble gum"
Other reactions to Freedman's hateful column
A good article discussing six different approaches to the problem
© 2001 Dave Hitt