Thursday, September 11, 2008


After 9/11, I dropped off the 'net for several weeks. This is pretty rare for me. I started pretty early (ca. 1991), and the Internet has been an integral part of my life for quite some time.

But I know my propensity for getting into stupid arguments, and that's what I saw of participating in online dialogues about what had happened. In some ways, my reaction was the opposite to Ace's. Not the unreality part: I certainly experienced the sense that what I was watching wasn't real. But the wanting to share banalities with other people. I wanted to be alone.

I've been told I'm a pretty smart guy, and not always sarcastically. To the extent that that's true, I think it comes into play, primarily, by knowing where the limitations of that intelligence are. And there's nothing like a demonstration of pure evil to highlight those limitations.

One of the big talking heads sort of laid it out for me. I think it was Dan Rather, but it might've been Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings. Whoever it was was talking. He wasn't saying anything meaningful. He was just talking.

I'm not criticizing this. He was doing what Ace was talking about: sharing banalities. But for me to contribute to that just struck me as adding to the noise. Worse, I could have tried to be clever, or insightful, or profound. At the bottom of the possible experiences, and perhaps the most likely for me, would be an argument that at some level would trivialize what had happened.

It was a time for action, but action was just not possible for most of us. Most of us just had words.

And words were inadequate.

1 comment:

  1. It's a tough day. Plus the weather is kind of dreary and it's a downer in general.

    You hate to do politics as usual on 911 but so many people do.


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.