Monday, September 11, 2006

Five and counting

I wanted to write something today to commemorate September 11th. Something profound. Something reflective and thoughtful. Something appropriate. I'm not sure I have it in me at the moment, but here are my thoughts this evening nonetheless.

I watched a lot of documentaries about 9/11 this weekend. Not the overhyped docudramas on ABC and CBS, but the raw Discovery Channel footage interviewing the survivors. The stories of those trapped on the upper floors and how they called their loved ones to say goodbye. The stories of those lucky enough to step onto the right elevators and survive the collapse. The stories of the police officers' handcuffs returned to their spouses and infant children. These documentaries didn't really dwell in the horror of the day but rather the humanity of it all...and I found it impossible to turn them off.

In many ways, I think September 11th caused me to appreciate life a bit more, to take a few chances. We decided to get married, for my husband to go back to grad school. We took a few chances, because don't know what could happen tomorrow. But the bigger chances, like packing it all up and moving to DC to work on intelligence issues and help in this battle, we never took for a variety of reasons. Our families, friends, church, and lives here.

Some days though, I feel we are a little too comfortable. Like we haven't done enough to help and we haven't done enough to protect ourselves as a nation...even though I'm not quite sure what enough is. I don't believe WWIII is right around the corner, but some days I question that assertion. Jihad is jihad. These people who corrupt Islam in this way -- they don't believe in living peacefully with one another. They believe in dividing and conquering, massacring people until everyone submits to their barbaric way of thinking. How do you convert people who believe in that sort of insanity?

Five years later and we still do not really know. 9/11 changed everything, and it changed nothing at the same time. For a short time we really came together as people and thought about what was in important -- in our lives and how we wanted to live as a society. Most of that has faded away now. Our government has foiled plots and managed to keep us safe, even as Britain, India, Russia, Spain, Thailand and other countries have been subjected to terrorist slaughters. This week though, the nation has relived the memories and some of the questions from that day have been dragged back into our collective consciousness. Politicians nitpick and use the war to attack one another, but significant thoughtful discourse on what needs to be done is nowhere to be seen.

What will it take for this sort of discourse to return? I really do wonder, and I hope when it does that it will not be too late.

Friday, September 08, 2006

On Twenty-something Disaffection

I'm one of the biggest Scrubs fans you will find anywhere. I liked Garden State, and I'm sort of looking forward to seeing The Last Kiss. But I still find this rundown of Zach Braff’s 10 Easy Tips for Writing Films About Twenty-Somethings® spot-on and amusing to boot.