|Tuesday, September 11th, 2001|
I wonder why it is that I'm looking at this in a completely different way from everyone else.
I'll explain later - at the moment, I'd probably run the risk of being lynched :/
(oh, I suppose I should mention that I have a father, uncle, two cousins, and possibly grandmother in NY, and I don't know if they're okay - and even with that, I'm still looking at this oddly.)
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As much as I hate to point this out because it's totally unrelated to everything that's going on, I just *have* to direct people towards this.
It's an interview with Alex Chiu!
current mood: amused
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From: "Bill Hangley, Jr."
Subject: His Gift To Us
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 19:05:38 -0400
So when the President was here on July 4, I had the opportunity to shake his hand. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not but I did it anyway, and said to him, "Mr President, I hope you only serve four years. I'm very disappointed in your work so far."
He kept smiling and shaking my hand but answered, "who cares what you think?" His face stayed photo-op perfect but his eyes gave me a look that said, if we'd been drinking in some frathouse in Texas, he'd've happily answered, "let's take it outside." A nasty little gleam. But he was (fortunately) constrained by Presidential propriety.
But that was the end of it, until I turned away and started scribbling the quote down in my notepad, so as to remember The Gift forever. When he saw me do that he got excited and craned his neck over the rubberneckers to shout at me, "who are you with? Who are you with?" People started looking so he made a joke: "make sure you get it right." But he kept at it: "Who do you write for?" I told him I wasn't "with" anybody and pointed to one of his staff people, who knows me a little, and said, "ask him, he'll tell you." Then I split.
Half an hour later, my boss (who had helped organize the event we were at) came up to me and said, "did you really tell the President that he was doing a 'lousy fucking job'?" No way, I said, I was very polite, I just told him what I thought. Fortunately, he believed me. He wasn't happy with me, but he believed me.
But anyway, if you ever wondered if the Prez really was kind of a jerk, I'm here to tell you, he is, and I got The Gift to prove it. I'm thinking of making up t-shirts so we can share The Gift with everyone:
"Who cares what you think?"
- President George W. Bush, July 4, 2001
- - - - - - bh
(And by the way, if you think that the Prez needn't give the time of day to long-hairs, tree huggers, Democrats or anybody else, then The Gift works for you too. Hell, so would the t-shirt)
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9:18p - It's the End of the World AS WE KNOW IT
Hold on. Look at the subject again.
See the emphasis?
AS WE KNOW IT.
How do we know it?
There's a stagnant United States. There are millions of people whose sole ambition in life is to die rich. There are millions who consider themselves immortal, immune, untouchable.
At least, there were, a little over twelve hours ago.
Opinions are currently very very vague on the number of deaths - I've heard numbers from 5,000 to 50,000. The saner people are saying 50,000 injuries, at most 10,000 deaths, so those are the numbers I'll go with.
Okay. A little digging on Google yields the figure of a little under 42,000 deaths due to car crashes last year, and over 3.2 MILLION injuries.
I hate to say this, but 10,000 deaths really isn't all that much. We're not even talking one percent of the US. I don't even think we're talking one percent of one percent of the US.
Now, before I get people flaming me saying "I knew someone who died in that" - I don't know where my father is. He's in New York somewhere. I'm almost certain he's alright, because I don't know *what* he'd be doing in the World Trade Towers. So's my uncle and two cousins, although I don't know what they'd be doing there either. But I don't actually *know* that they're all right.
Now - take a look at what this incident has done to the US culture. Everywhere I look there are people discussing this - there are people sad at this, or angry at this, and basically saying "hey, hold on, what are we doing that caused this to happen? Why didn't we stop it? Who did it in the first place?"
Yeah, that's right, we've united.
Okay. So there's a social benefit. What else? I'm sure everyone has noticed we're in a recession. Well, want to know a surefire solution for getting *out* of a recession? Start a war. Wars cause economic booms. Fact of life. How about research? Just how fast will research go with modern computers *and* war-level funding? Research is a *good* thing. Even if it's war-related.
Yes, this is terrible, and I wish it hadn't happened. But. The US certainly wasn't doing anything noteworthy before this. Is there anyone out there who could honestly say "I bet everything's going to be wonderful in ten years"? Corporations were basically taking over, human rights were vanishing . . . that stops in war. If it's us vs. them, nobody's going to start trying to break "us" up for their own power.
In some ways, a war is probably the best thing that could happen to us right now. Especially if you consider how little damage this attack did. It knocked down two big buildings and did a little damage to two more. And killed a few thousand people.
Ever thought what it would take to get a nuke into NY or DC? Not a whole lot. I've thought of three ways to get a nuke from a DIFFERENT CONTINENT into NY or DC, pretty flawlessly. All you'd need is a leak-proof organization. Which it seems we've proved pretty conclusively is possible.
Think about this a second. A NUKE. In a major city. Ten thousand people is *nothing* compared to that.
I suppose this seems really cold . . . saying "it's all right that those ten thousand people died, plus however many will die in the future, because it'll make life better for the rest of us." But . . . *shrug* what else can you say? Some people look at an equation like that and refuse to calculate it. They say you can't make the comparison because you can't count human lives like that. Well, guess what - sometimes you have to. If a general had a chance to win a war and save a country by sacrificing a dozen troops, and he didn't take it, *that* would be a mistake. Because by refusing to make the choice, you're letting the choice be made for you.
We've lost ten thousand people. Ten thousand people with hopes and dreams and lives of their own. And there are probably millions upon millions who are hurt, emotionally if not physically. But we have something to *do* now. We're not just sitting back anymore. We've got a cause and a goal.
We've got a future.
It's the end of the world, and I'm looking forward to the new one.
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this . . . while I might not have written it this way, IMHO it's pretty accurate :/
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