Monday, September 11, 2006

The Obligatory September 11th Post

As I'm always the blogger who jumps on the bandwagon the second after a wheel pops off its axel, I think I'll continue the tradition by posting a 9/11 piece three hours before 9/11/2006 ends. Why mess with tradition?

Anyone who doesn't know will probably be very turned off by the lines above. They might even quickly backtrack, vowing never to venture into this den of depravity again. Who writes such a flippant introduction to a September 11th article?

I don't mean to be so callous. I really don't. I remember perfectly where I was when the dreadful event occurred, my confusion, and my suspicion that everyone at school knew more about world events than I did. And I cried for those thousands of people. Then I raged. Finally, I accepted.

Five years later, I look back on the event and cannot seem to summon up the same intensity of feeling. The Towers were once there; now they aren't. The people were once there; now they aren't. I can only think of it in a black and white sense with no emotion to color the picture. I'm not totally sure why this happened to me, but I can venture a few guesses.

Having monitored the news for the last five years, I may have grown a little jaded towards the death of civilians. It's awful, I know. But when people are being blown up, shot, or massacred everyday, you have to build a cocoon around yourself to keep your sanity. If I mourned for everyone, I would be a shivering wreck, unable to go on with daily life. I feel that my cocoon protects me from the tragedies today, but it also prevents me from bring up past hurts, such as 9/11. I guess, deep inside, I don't want to feel anything because I'm afraid that I'll never be able to go on with my own life.

Something else that might make it impossible for me to adequately appreciate the significance of this day is the 2004 presidential election. No, not the outcome-- the fact that both parties bandied 9/11 about for their own political gains. Who are you, you scum-sucking scheming bastards, to exploit the deaths of thousands of people and the virtual paralysis of a nation for your own aims of gaining or keeping power? Who are you to play on the sympathies of your fellow Americans in order to garner votes? It just makes me sick. It also makes me wonder if such insensitivity and callousness made me lose the meaning of September 11th. I can only pray that my ability to feel isn't permanently retarded by politicians.

Finally, I come to probably the most prevalent reason: the simple passage of time. If I look down at my legs right now, I will find a bruise that has taken up residence on my body for a few weeks. When I got it, it must have hurt like a bitch, but now I can barely remember what caused it. It's just a splotch of color now; it no longer hurts. Maybe 9/11 is the same way. Five years has just made the pain fade away.

I know I build up these defenses to make myself a stronger person, but I wonder if losing my ability to empathize is making me weaker in the long run. I have a lot to think about.


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