We’re Happy, Free, Confused, and Lonely at the Same Time


I really was going to skip today, even as–indeed, because–it is the 50th anniversary of 11 September. The original 11 de Septiembre, that is.

Once is history, twice is parody. Feuerbach, as with Marx, was an optimist.

Chile took only 17 years to get rid of Pinochet, and they did it at the ballot box. Twenty-two years later, the U.S. is still recovering something, though I’m no longer certain what.

Are we trying to avoid torture? No, Ron DeSantis is treated as a Governor. And a Serious Candidate for President.

Indeed, have we made any progress from the observations of Siva Vaidhyanathan to the late, very lamented Scott Eric Kaufman eight years ago? If anything, I suspect point 4 (“Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks but more than 10 years later more than half of Republicans still believed it did“) is optimistic. And point 8 has been memory-holed, except possibly by Dr. Black.

And Now

While 11 Sep 2001 is far in the rear-view mirror, the waves from it persist. Several people I knew who were at or near the towers (or 7 WTC, or the Pentagon) on that day have died, most earlier than expected.

Others persist, even as their daughters have to manage risks to their health against their choice of higher education. Even millennials born in the months before 11 Sep 2001 did not have to make that choice. Freedom is just another word.

It has been a long time since my neighbor, having gone through his fourth bombing, came home covered in Towers dust. It has been a long time since the Bush Administration made certain House of Saud members flew home the day before U.S. commercial flights resumed. It has been a long time since Abu Ghraib. It has been long enough that you can now spend $78 or $85 to leave your shoes on at the airport.

It has been long enough. With no sign it will ever end.

Feeling 22