Do we really need all these retrospectives and memorials and tributes to 9/11?
9/11 is perhaps the most pivotal moment of our time. More than perhaps any other event of my lifetime (with the possible exception of the fall of Communism in Europe), it has changed the course of history. Because of 9/11—or, more pointed, because of the reaction (overreaction?) by our government to 9/11—we are engaged in two international wars under the umbrella of one overarching phantom war; there is an ongoing reevaluation of civil liberties and of the balance of powers in our federal government; the issue of illegal immigration is coming to a head; and the federal debt is ballooning due to the response to 9/11 in ways which may lead to grave consequences in the years to come. I hear discussions of many of these consequences from many different media sources (NPR, conservative talk radio, Air America Radio, PBS’s various newsshows and punditry, the BBC.com and other news websites, the blogosphere) multiple times every single day. Rarely does a day pass without some legitimate news item which can be linked (either directly or via this administration’s response) to 9/11.
What point, then, is there to turning every single radio show, tv report, news article, or blog today—and over the past week, for that matter—into a memorial, retrospective, or tribute? Don’t we hear enough already? Is there really anything to explore about 9/11 itself which we haven’t already see or considered?
I suppose it is inevitable to look back on an anniversary like this. But I wish there was some way to stem the media and political deluge. Particularly when most of it seems so meaningless. It would be one thing if it involved a real dialogue and a search for some new perspective or answer. But the vast majority of it is just cloyingly saccharine tearjerking, or pseudo-patriotic warmongering. Those I can do just fine without, thank-you.