Sunday, September 11, 2011

Luco 9/11

Oh, pardon me. I know you are probably busy watching the 9/11 circus of despair, but some of us have work to do. Papers to grade. Stories to read. Information to gather and process.

You have caught me in what the other animals in this house might term a mood. As in "try to keep away from Luco, he's in a mood," (whispered by Mingus to the dog as I passed them in the hall).

A mood? Do these animals never suffer a weak moment? Have they never read 8,000 short essays and wanted to throw themselves from a bell tower?

Probably not,  I suppose, otherwise they might be more forgiving.

This is not to imply that I do not enjoy my work. Verily I do, but sometimes one's eyes blur and burn. Sometimes one is overtaken with an exhaustion born of detail and attention.

Are you reading this with the television on in the background? I imagine (the prison guard is a snob who lives sans television) a series of people presenting stories of where they were that day. I imagine tears. Hand wringing. A collective murmur of discontent.

And then the patriotism. Jingoism.  A belligerency culled from grief. They chant we are the greatest nation. We are god's chosen nation.

I cannot believe that.

Have these weeping crowds never read a historical work? Have they forgotten any pertinent dates or names they might have learned so many years ago?

Grading these quizzes, reading these stories, I am reminded of all who are similar to me. I am reminded of the student I was and continue to be. Of the flaring love embedded in my bones - I ache with it, osteoporosic, if you will allow me.

Claiming to be the greatest nation, claiming to be the shining and chosen does not better us. I also believe it cheapens tragedy. We weep because we watch ourselves weeping on the television in an endless loop of that belligerency.

I feel I should not need to say this, but I want to, as the dog says "cover my bases." Of course 9/11 is horrific. Of course it is painful and difficult and important. And the people who died were innocent, participants of legend. I do grieve for those we lost. 

But my hands shake with fury as I write this. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of memorialization?

Insipid writing commemorating the dead.