September 13th, 2001


see this lion? watch me stick my head in its mouth

I have things to say.

If you don't want to hear them, skip this entry. I can't change your mind and I'm not going to, I'm writing this journal for me and it's my thoughts.

With all that out of the way . . .

Why does everyone insist that people can't be counted?

Because they can. Sometimes they have to be. Especially in a situation like this.

You could look at this and say it's too many people to count, it's too many people to look past it and see what has to happen next. But all you're going to succeed at when you do that is not looking past and seeing what has to happen next. *something* has to happen. We can't just stop here and do nothing, because then they've won. That's what they were trying to do.

You can't stop and mourn each person individually. We don't have time. And we can't say "this is an unmeasurable quantity", because it isn't. It's quite measurable. We might not know the numbers yet, but there are numbers for exactly how many people were killed in this. And like it or not, we've got to take those numbers into account when we do whatever it is we're going to do next. It's all well and nice to say "the number of people don't matter", but then you're deluding yourselves, because they do. Ten thousand is more than ten. It always will be, it always has been.

And we can't sit here and talk about how terrible it is either. Because it's over. All we can do is clean up and move on. I don't expect this to happen immediately, of course. Especially for those who've lost loved ones. But it has to happen. And it will happen.

And until then, we have to deal with it logically, because we can't trust emotions. I've mentioned this in a reply - but a poll on some TV station (I wasn't paying attention to the letters) found that 20% of their random sample wanted to retaliate. Now. Even before we know who did it.

That's what emotion does. And no, I'm not saying we should suppress all emotion, because that would be plain stupid. But in a situation like this, you can't let emotion rule. And you have to look forward and see what good we can pull out of this . . . because if we don't, we won't get anything at all.

About fifteen minutes ago - after the first paragraph or so of this entry - I learned that I've lost a friend. I knew her for about half a year. She was a great person, and I'll miss her for a very long time. She far means more to me than the large number of other people who died, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.

Does it change anything I wrote here?

Not a thing.

And no, it doesn't change that good might come out of this either.