753 September Eleventh
Years ago, it could be said with authority that the farther from ground zero or the pentagon or Shanksville PA you were the less the attacks of 9/11/01 affected you. This no longer is quite as true as it was. Even to many of us who were there, 9/11 has been reduced to a cliche, a bunch of stupid slogans and platitudes. The forces of entropy have engulfed the events and their implications and have squeezed the life out of them, turned them into mindless fodder for talk shows and parasite politicians and parasite publicists for this cause and that.
Meantime, cops and firefighters and EMS workers who were at Ground Zero or the other points of attack are dying before their time. So, with people fighting about the so-called war on terror and its meaning and fighting about building or not building mosques nearby and about what the replacement structures should look like and who should own them and who should pay for them and how much. But there isn't enough said about why, cops and firefighters and EMS workers are adding to the statistical death toll of that Tuesday. We do this. And we do it with many a major event and many a catastrophe, plasticize it. The judge looking at the city's paltry settlement with the living victims found it wanting and added to it. But this is not about some judge's view of who should be paid what. This is about lives. Men and women and children and their dogs and cats and goldfish, and who did right by all of us, only to be told "your lung disease is worth "x dollars," and we'll be happy to let you have it or give it to your spouse or kids or dogs or cats or goldfish some year when we get around to it and you're dead.
We will build that mosque -- somewhere, and we will build that replacement building. And the residents and the tourists will pass by it or through it and feel sad. But what about NYFD fire captain Ed Placencio or police academy recruit Jerry O'Rourke, who are roommates at Mt. Sinai's lung ward, now, nine years after the fact? Anyone going to drop by like tourists at that ugly hole in the ground? Not likely.
--Someone has scotch taped a picture of Homer Simpson to the telephone on this desk. It's a comment about the increasing size of my forehead and midsection. There are no suspects, but we are looking at a "person of interest."
--Facebook is using its ad space on your home page to sell social networking ads. Is this the new Craig's List, which has just "self censored" its "adult" content? Or is it just a pitch for money?
--Since last may, we've been using electronic bill paying for most of our accounts. Some web systems work smoothly, others not so much and some don't work at all. First on the "not at all" list is the electric company, which suddenly doesn't know who we are, but will remember us quickly if the money doesn't appear.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®