Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Fevered Rant

One of the swankier hotels with whom my new company does business with in NOLA had what I consider to be one of the better reminders to us on this anniversary of the attack (attack, not tragedy or any other mealy mouthed euphemism for what befell our fellow citizens a year ago) of what is important now. They simply ran a loop of the burning and collapsing towers as seen from a rooftop across the river on a flat screen in their lobby. Those who perished in that atrocity are gone and mourned and literally, in many cases, scattered in the winds. God bless them. And I mean that in the truest sense of “in God we trust” or the creator who endowed us with inalienable rights. Not the fire and brimstone god of the pulpit rockers or the perversion of the ideal of some purportedly merciful “Allah” foisted on subjugated populations by the murderous islofascists. I mean it in the sense of the God invoked by the founders, the God that reflected the potential for the apotheosis of mankind that they enabled when they initiated this experiment called the United States of America.
The fallen towers stood for that ideal in a number of ways. Once the tallest inhabited structures built by man, they were a direct result of the promulgation of a radical new meme, set forth a mere two centuries ago by a bunch of tax evaders: That above all, mankind was entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People ought not be bound to an oath of fealty to some divine right king or mandarin but, rather free to make their way the best way they could so long as they did not impose on their fellows' ability to do likewise.
And what has happened since that idea took hold? Self interested people, secure in the knowledge that they could enjoy the fruits of their toils, have and continue to divine secrets once thought strictly the purview of gods. We’ve gone from eking out our livings to wondering how to best use our surpluses. American “peasants” enjoy luxuries not even dreamt of by the royalty of the recent past. Travel across vast distances can be accomplished in a few hours for the cost of tens of hours of work by even the most lowly laborer. We regularly traverse the heavens and exploit our presence there for the good of all. The turds go away when you flush. In the two hundred odd years since the founders dropped their meme bomb on the world all this has happened. Say what you want about causation not equaling correlation, but one has to admit the exponential rise of man’s mastery over the elements corresponds quite nicely with the time of the American experiment. If you think it is just a technological or knowledge thing, just compare North and South Korea, both of which started at the same primitive level only fifty years ago.

Which brings me back to the whole 911 thing. We need to watch those towers collapsing over and over again not to mourn the dead or get in touch with our feelings, but to get pissed off. There is a such thing as righteous indignation and we should be full of it. Those towers were full of people endeavoring to make a better live for themselves, their families, and, consequently, the world. I don’t give a whit about root causes or why they hate us or any other of that self doubting claptrap. In the case of the United States of America, right (and rights) made might and it is long past time that we embraced that fact. We are not an evil people and the weak appeasers of the world will be happy to jump on the bandwagon once we get it rolling. Those who oppose that sentiment should be dispatched with the same prejudice that one feels when swatting a mosquito or killing a rattlesnake