A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || September 10, 2003 || 9:09 pm

There is something that I don’t think that many people outside of the U.S. really, truly ponder. When we (Americans) recall the events of September the eleventh, two-thousand-one, when we see things like this, when we read the accounts (and how could we not do so?) it hurts. There is a tightening of gut, an immediate surge of horror and grief to throat, tears magically and unexpectedly well up, threatening to spill over. It is the kind of grief that steals breath and buckles knees. It is the kind of mourning that years will not soften or salve….at least, not until those of us who experienced it, wide-eyed and wrecked, are buried in the same ground that houses the immediate victims of that attack.

Our innocent sense of collective peace was stolen that day. To say that we are self-absorbed because we reeled so greatly from this blow when more monstrous atrocities happen worldwide everydamnday and we still go to the gym or the mall or the local burgertopia unencumbered despite our knowledge….well, to say that would be an idiotic statement.

We are a young nation, and some would say foolish. We are proud and boastful.

But we shine, we absolutely shine so very much. If someone hurts your momma with evil intent, we will stretch out our hand in assistance or retribution. If your crops fail, we will feed you. We nurse the sick. We clothe the naked. We do the best we can with what we’ve got, and like any giver, we can’t be everywhere all the time despite constant requests. Despite definite needs in clearly-defined areas here on our own shores, we make room at the table. We are rowdy and ill-behaved at times, but we have manners and we know right from wrong and we make an effort. Sometimes we fuck up in the effort (This Grand Place is populated with humans, after all) but damnit, we make that effort. We do try and learn from our mistakes, to hold our breath in order to overcome the historical hiccups that have plagued us in the past.

I remember seeing photos two years ago of people in Ireland (how I wish I could locate them now) standing, hats in hand, crying with us. Crying with us from a place that has known war and poverty for time out of mind. They did not begrudge us our lack of past troubles. Instead, they mourned our introduction to a new state: One of fear and hurt and the knowledge that we had crossed a threshold whose door closes behind you. They did not begrudge us our foolishness, our pride, our boastful tendencies. They held hands, this land who has known civil unrest for years upon years, and mourned with us and for us. They got it.

Like last year’s over-the-top dog-and-pony hooha was grotesque to me, so is this year’s utter silence. Why do things happen this way: This all-or-nothing depravity? I know it’s not that we don’t care….but what is it??

Tomorrow I will light the two candles that I purchased some time ago in anticipation of this day. I’ve heard some people say that it seems so far-removed from them now, a short two years later. It will never, ever be far-removed from me. It will always make me sick with the choke of it, will always make me want to lie face-down, clutching earth and crying with the vastness of it.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

when we joined up you could see the northern lights / dancing our future in the sky / whoa…green, tangerine and colors no one’s ever seen / well I thought it would never die / someone once said every child begins the world / stumbles toward their crown / some will rise to the call / some will end up with it all / but the river it pulls them down / and we will not bow to a crowded generation / that we followed too long thinking we were so wrong

and i won’t be sleeping till the morning comes / kiss me and i’ll be safe / and they say we’ve made it to a golden place / but i think that we’ve lost our way

but i think that we’ve lost our way

so i took a photograph of my hometown / buried it with my name / oh, swore to the road a sort of beat redemption code / and stepped out the way i came / and we will not bow to a violent generation / that we followed too long thinking we were so wrong

and i won’t be sleeping till the morning comes / kiss me and i’ll be safe / and they say we’ve made it to a golden place / but i think that we’ve lost our way

but i think that we’ve lost our way

i will follow the water line / till i reach higher ground / i will swallow the crowd / of a million voices holding me down

and the water will follow the blood of Cain / we’ll claw our way through the driving rain / and i won’t look back on that mile of pain / we’ll carry the stone through the driving rain

and i won’t be sleeping till the morning comes / kiss me and i’ll be safe / and they say we’ve made it to a golden place / but i think that we’ve lost our way

and i won’t be sleeping till the morning comes / kiss me and i’ll be safe / and they say we’ve made it to a golden place / but i think that we’ve lost our way
but i think that we’ve lost our way
but i think that we’ve lost our way

but i think that we’ve lost our way

// Fighting Gravity, ‘Lost Our Way

21 worked it out »

  1. Kingolf 9.11.2003

    Each day, 15000 children die from malnutriation.

    Each day, 30000 children dies from diseases.

    Nobody (except their mothers) cry for them.

    People die you say?

    Newsflash: People have been dying for a very, very long time.

    Oh sorry! You were talking about Americans (TM)?

    Silly me.

  2. timato 9.11.2003

    I would have to say that a separation is required between loss by starvation or disease and loss by terrorism act.

    I’ve read Kalle Lasn. I hear your disdain against patriotism in the face of world hunger and the violation of human rights everywhere, including America(TM).

    So, two things:

    1. Everything in its place. We can mourn for everybody, in our own time.

    2. Never was an argument won with deprecating sarcasm. If you cannot voice your criticism in a rational and respectful manner, then your presence is neither constructive nor appreciated. And much less eloquently: if you can’t play nice, fuck off.

  3. Dean 9.11.2003

    Amen Jett.

    Kingolf = asshat

    Responding to asshats is breath wasted.

    I feel pity for anyone who has to go through life with that much self-hatred.

  4. stopping in 9.11.2003

    Hi I ran into your site from Blogger. And I have something to note…

    It is true that ppl outside America do not ponder about the horror of september 11. But at the same time, does American public feel the pain of the many other countries that go through similar pain as that of Sept 11 on daily basis? I truly think we can’t even begin to imagine that sort of pain.

    I do not say that horrors in other parts of the world make Sept 11 any less painful or horrendous. But at the same time I think we shouldn’t feel that we are the only ones who have gone through the pain of losing innocent lives in midts of political crossfires.

  5. Kingolf 9.11.2003

    “I would have to say that a separation is required between loss by starvation or disease and loss by terrorism act. ”

    Um… why?

    Why do I even bother asking? I know you’re not going to answer this, patriots never argue.

    “If you cannot voice your criticism in a rational…”

    How was my post not rational?

    “…and respectful manner…”

    Oh, so sorry that I offended you. God bless USA and the Godfearing white people living there!

    “…then your presence is neither constructive…”

    My post had a point, IE 3000 dead is nothing against the millions that die each year.

    “…nor appreciated.”

    I couldn’t care less for being appreciated.

    “if you can’t play nice, fuck off.”

    How are you going to fuck me off?

    If you can somehow use 1337 h4ck3r skillz to ban me from this site, be my guest. I know Jett would never ban anyone.

    I wasn’t answered (To be fair, Timato implied that it’s much worse to die from terrorism than it is to die from hunger/disease, but not even a Patriot (TM) would call that an argument).

    I don’t expect to be. Even Ghedd, whom I respect a lot won’t (can’t) answer me.

  6. Gary 9.11.2003

    The fact is that there is very little difference between those starving and those who died in 9/11 attacks. Most of the world’s starving are doing so because they have despotic leaders who cause it to happen. Billions of dollars in food went to Ethiopia but the people were denied the food based on polictical considerations. The same with other dictator countries around the world. Cultivatable land is seized by the dictators. Cattle, sheep or other livestock is seized. The people starve because that dictator wants them to. That is not and has never been the international policy of the US.

    9/11 was murder directed by people of wealth but they still did it out of hatred. There is little love in the world. If we did not have a sttrong constitution it could happen here. There is not one good thing that can be said for the murderers of 9/11 except:


  7. odd bod 9.11.2003

    I’m not an American. In fact I have a number of issues with America and it’s culture/behaviour. But (and like mine – it’s a big but!) I cried when I watched the towers fall. It didn’t matter that it was a country where a minority of people had been active or complicit in the funding of terrorism in mine. It didn’t matter that it was members of the worst polluters club. It didn’t even matter that I get annoyed with the American tourists who clog up London every summer.

    People were being killed. Innocent people were dieing because some hate-filled bigot wanted to prove a point, wanted to reach out and touch the untouchable…

    For all my dislike of aspects of American culture I was reminded of the similarities and shared hardship. When we were facing oblivion during WW2 it was the Americans who helped us. When Europe was staring down the barrel of a Soviet tank the US was right up there with us.

    A lot of bullshit gets talked about the ’special relationship’ between the US and the UK. September 11 showed that for all our differences we were alike. Cousins if you will. And no matter how pissed off you get at a cousin you still stick up for him in a fight.

    I still find elements of US culture incomprehensible (Lack of welfare state, rampant gun use, almost total parochial press and viewpoint) but no doubt you find the same with mine (Lack of gun ownership, class system, unwritten constitution). That is all immaterial. What matters is the Americans who died could have been my friends, could have been me even (Canary Wharf was only spared becasue it was a smaller target). The attacks on New York and the Pentagon were attrocities which were designed to cause terror in the masses. They were meant to send a message out that ‘You are not safe’. In the same way PIRA tried to create terror in London with it’s bombs, Hamas with it’s (or even Israel with it’s helecopter gunships and laser guided bombs) it was wrong. It was not soldiers being killed but clerks and accountants, civilians like you and me. It was done to create terror and that is evil, plain and simple.

    Does this make the deaths matter more than however many will have died of hunger and disease whilst I wrote this? No. But e dead of the 11th of September resonated with me, and others, because of the evil behind them. I still give my money to Oxfam and the Children Society but on that day, and today I hurt for the families of those murdered.

    Take care,


  8. iii dunno

    lots of people died, you would think there would be a uniform outpouring of grief. That there are so many people out there with less than pure sympathy, would cause me to do some hard thinking, if i were American.

    Where I come from, it is redundant to say Americans are ignorant and self-absorbed. I’m beginning to be convinced that there is an element of truth in this. However, I’m not going to achieve anything by telling my American friend ‘you are ignorant and self-absorbed’. Ok, I’ve called her a name, but I’ve not been of any help. In fact, it is probably precisely people saying “Americans are ignorant and self-absorbed” all the time that leads to Americans giving the big fuck off to everyone else.

    However! What you think of the average American has nothing to do with 9.11, to deny a country their grief, because you don’t like the stereotype of them (that you have constructed yourself) is moronic on about 17 levels.

    Peace and love,

    Richard D. Bartlett

    ps. individual Americans are rad, don’t get me wrong

    pps. oh and Kingolf, your rhetoric is obviously more suited to wanking jokes, but I can’t wait to see what you have to say for yourself. The entire Internet thinks you’re a cock!

  9. Sean 9.11.2003

    Thank you, from my little corner of the air force down here in S.Korea, Thank you… I don’t know if you intended to, but you reminded me why I’m here. I was getting a bit jaded and homesick.

  10. Kingolf 9.11.2003

    “But e dead of the 11th of September resonated with me, and others, because of the evil behind them”

    So a child (or anyone) dying of hunger isn’t evil as an American(TM) dying of terrorism? Why?

    “That is not and has never been the international policy of the US”

    East Timor, Panama, Cuba, Russia, South Vietnam… I could go on.

    Dictators = stability which is good for business. Unless the dictators want independence, in which case the good o’le USA will “free” the country and put a business-friendlier ad hoc government in charge.

  11. Sean McEntee 9.12.2003

    I’m sorry … I really am, I apologize Jett. But I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one, and Lord forgive me for this, but…

    Duuude, get a god damn hobby.

  12. Kingolf 9.12.2003

    So far the best argument for nationalism has been “Duuude, get a god damn hobby.”

    And that’s even fucking misspelled.

    We’ll just call of the “argument” and pretend it never happened, right?

    Business as usual.

  13. Nyx 9.13.2003

    Kingolf, aside from the other issues here — and God knows there are many — could you not have expressed a more rational argumentative piece of backlash than “people die— get over it?” I find it personally offensive that you demand someone else’s mourning end because it’s _annoying_ you. Know what? Were you to say this to someone who was mourning an individual, they would almost certainly tell you to fuck off and die – and need no greater argument than that. Just so, no one here needs to use a more compelling argument than yours, though most have already, in cogent detail, done so.

    Incidentally, the phrase is “Talking To Americans” ™.

  14. Kingolf 9.13.2003

    What I’m protesting against is the selective mourning.

    You don’t give a crap if 50000 dies in an earthquake in India, that’s just news. But if 3000 Americans die, oh nooo! The pain! The suffering! Let’s attack the middle-east! Oh those wretched europeans, not even CARING!

    I’m not saying that I’d give a crap if 50000 Indians died, ’cause I probably wouldn’t hear about it. If I did, I’d say it was horrible and so on, but I wouldn’t send any money. I wouldn’t volunteer to do anything.

    Neither would you.

  15. good call, using the sarcasm again there Kingolf. You have a really good debating manner about you.

  16. MaC 9.14.2003

    Who said I was arguing for natiolism? I wasn’t even arguing. I just suggested you find something else to do with your free time.

  17. Kingolf 9.14.2003

    “good call, using the sarcasm again there Kingolf. You have a really good debating manner about you.”

    Okay, here’s a translation for those (that’s you guys) who doesn’t like sublety:

    You cry because 3000 Americans die, but you (well, we) don’t give a damn about other people.

    That’s fucking sick.

    The terror attack on the world trade center on the ninth of september ‘01 has it’s own fucking ACRONYM while the earthquake in Istanbul on the 17th of august ‘99 is forgotten.

    The earthquake killed 33 times as many as the terror attack, but it’s the terror attack you want me to remember.

  18. imbicile

    we understand your point.

    it’s your use of sarcasm, ad hominem, bad language, depreciating so-called wit, poor grammar, offensive tone, childish reaction, generalisation, derision, disrespect, misinformation, finger-pointing and ignorance that has people telling you what for.

  19. cal 9.14.2003

    Can I just say….a situation whereby thousands were killed *at the hands of others* is different from a natural disaster. The loss of lives due to *any* natural disaster is tremendously awful. I doubt anyone reading here would argue with me there. However, when people come to kill those in the name of hate, it is outrageous and appalling. To attach that to the idea that it’s only *ever* about America is ludicrous. *But*, when it is in one’s own backyard, it is always more painful. That’s just human nature.

  20. Anonymous 9.15.2003

    “it’s your use of sarcasm”

    Oh yeah, sarcasm sucks because you say so.

    “ad hominem”

    I’m only attacking modern society because I don’t like modern society? Well… yes.

    “bad language”

    Yeah, you and only you can define bad langauge. Don’t get me started on the whole “bad langauge” concept.

    “depreciating(,) so-called wit”

    Wit has never had anything to do with taste, no siree. Not that I was ever trying to be witty. You read what you wanna read, I guess.

    “poor grammar”

    You got me there. My only excuse is that English is my second langauge. I still spell better than you, though: You can’t seem to find shift half of the time and

    “that has people telling you what for” doesn’t even make sense.

    “offensive tone”

    I aim to displease.

    “childish reaction”

    When? Not that I don’t believe you. I fucking hate being 15.


    I wrote most of this to Jett. It’s not my fault that the crazy Englishers doesn’t differ between singular and plural.


    Of the hysteria surrounding 9/11? In that case I’m guilty.


    See above.




    Much unlike what you do, Pot.

    “and ignorance”

    Of what now? My Duties as a European? Of the Holy Sorrow?

  21. April Love 9.17.2003

    It’s never far away from my heart…ever.


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