I am still surprised by my own reaction to footage of the WTC being hit by the planes. Of course I can remember where I was when it happened and how surreal it was watching the towers, pouring smoke and flame, collapse one, then the other. The images are still brutal to my psyche. I can barely stand to watch them, and I usually avoid it.
This past Saturday, I made myself watch the replay of actual footage that day. I don't know why. Something else went off and the "tribute" came on, and it seemed ... disrespectful ... to turn it off. So I literally forced myself to watch. Maybe it's that feeling of powerlessness that I find so overwhelming. I don't do powerlessness well, though I acknowledge I am not all powerful - just for the record. But now, every time I see footage of the events leading up to the plane crashes, or the towers crumbling, it's that sense of powerlessness that squeezes my chest. I know what's coming and I can't stop it. Can't save anyone. The towers are already down, the people are already dead; the second Gulf War is already underway. It's done. Why relive it?
Really, why? What constructive comes out of watching those planes disappear into those buildings, or the smoke billowing out of the Pentagon? They are just more examples of just how completely, and utterly destructive human hatred can be. And they're not the only ones - we've got thousands and thousands of examples caught on tape before and since 9/11. They don't seem to be helping us get the message.
Ironically, the message seems to constantly lead to more examples. We love the idea of peace; of love conquering all - isn't that the fundamental premise of Christianity and just about every other religion ever conceived? But in actuality, it's apparently much easier to just kill each other. Thousands die in the name of Allah on September 11, 2001, and our response is to kill even more. Apparently, in the name of God.
Really, do any of these decisions get made out of love? So how is it that so many decisions that have to do with hatred get laid at the feet of "our" god, and we buy it? I mean, I can see the logic of the spindoctors in saying that GOD is on "our" side and wants us to KILL (and DIE) in HIS NAME, but why do so many people accept it as plausible?
Well, that probably leads to a whole other discussion that Bill Maher would jump all over.