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You can't be arrogant about what you let teach you.

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13 years later

2014-09-11 18:22:57 by stafffighter

   Today is going to be overloaded with politicking and philosophizing in attempts to capture some form of inherent depth. I did so myself years ago for a college compendium and, while it was generally well received, I won’t be posting it here. This is not because I don’t stand by the positions taken, largely I do, but because it’s been long enough that I can recognize my own words for the “seen it all” 21 year old who wrote them. 
   Still, it’s been over a year since I made a news post, so why not? Fortunately one recent night my mind wouldn’t let my body go to sleep until I’d written down everything in it. What sparked this, I don’t remember. It was probably one of a hundred easy political arguments on the boards. This is going to be more a loose collection than any grand attempt because frankly I don’t feel in a place to say anything grand about this.
   I think it’s the length of time since that prompted me to write this. It’s been 13 years, the age you’re supposed to be to get a Newgrounds account. More so, it’s been long enough for a generation of youth to come and pass. There are people up and running and sometimes coherent who were little. I compare this to people my age and the Challenger explosion. You’re aware this happened in your lifetime. You may have some vague memory of seeing it on tv, or of seeing Punky Brewster see it on tv but there’s not a visceral connection to it. It’s a thing that happened in the world. Not to brag, but I was disconnected before it was cool.
   The following recollection is going to be purposefully terse. I was sitting in the school cafeteria watching a dvd of Friends on my laptop. Yes, laptops could run dvds that far back and I liked the show so shut up. I was tucked in a corner near the power outlet and when I peaked out of my cave the room was full of people watching the tv. That was three sentences. I claim no experience.
   What happened after is a matter of record. Everything from questionable choices by leaders, wars we’re still in and those “What if America wasn’t America?” ads that stopped running around the time the Patriot Act passed. I used to have a conspiracy theory that in some 1984 turn of events this very mention of sedition was removed. Later I calmed down and thought that the run time for the campaign had passed. The real answer I realize now is horrible and mundane enough for both. They lost.
   That’s the part where I get angry. It all comes down to anger. We’ll get to that. I’ll remember that because we remember anger. Memory and anger are why I get angry now. I get angry because in today’s world with demands on government transparency, foreign intervention and the rights to privacy, people are only angry now. Yes, times change and yes, hindsight is 20/20. What that doesn’t change is that for what happened then people are angry now.
   Changing times are why I was so hopeful when 24 came back. Jack Bauer was a hero of the shock and awe era who would extract answers any way he had to because ultimately he was on the right side. Throwing him into an anti-drone story with the supporting cast of wikileaks could have been really clever. They could have showed how his ways were past or how little the difference the new coat of paint made. It would have helped if they didn’t go completely Chloe with the dragon tattoo. Ultimately I didn’t watch it through, but I can’t be mad at anything with Stephen Fry in it. Was it good?
   So we’ve covered anger. That was easy because, like I said, we remember anger. Even in moments where we aren’t proud of what we did we remember being angry and learning from it. Something we forget is the path to anger. Not to give the prequels too much credit but there’s one thing Yoda got right. Anger embeds itself and evolves into hate and from there, suffering. But what is it that leads to anger? It’s fear.
   Fear isn’t a reaction. Fear is vulnerability. So it’s easy for us to gloss over in ourselves and as a collected mass. Something that happens to the countries on the news happened to us and could happen again. We were afraid. We were so afraid of the world and ourselves that we couldn’t stomach reminders of things like airplanes, New York, or the day after Monday. The music stands out to me because I was 20 at the time and music meant a lot to me. This was years before Katy Perry shocked the world by showing us we were still shocked by experimental lesbianism and cured me of ever needing to hear a new song again. 
   There was a block of music videos MTV kept looping for a few days after. I’m not going to make the easy joke, but you go ahead. It was an understandable thing to do. They were a New York based network after all. Among the songs were The Clash with “Rock the Casbah” (not a literal call to rock Casbahs) and Bob Marley’s “One Love.” Did you even know there was a music video of One Love? I didn’t until hearing it about 30 times over the course of a week. You learn something every day, even from oversimplified  pleas to feel alright. There’s also the part about giving praise to the Lord that people don’t seem to remember. Keep it in church, you long dead counter culture icon.
   Before closing this overall I want to say something personal. I don’t pretend to be in the heart and mind of anyone but myself but there’s one thing I have to say before this calling out of rage and entropy ends. What I have to say is, I get it. I got it a year ago when Boston was hit. The attack on Boston wasn’t as orchestrated and didn’t cost a fraction of the innocent lives lost in New York, but I get it. I live in Massachusetts. I’ve been to Boston more times than I can count. I have childhood memories in Boston. I’ve made mistakes I’ll question for the rest of my life in Boston. I’ve fallen in and made love in Boston. So when those bombs went off, when someone hurt MY city, I got it. Any animal I’ve called people I’m just as capable of being. 
   Is there a point to all this? Is there more truth in the meditations of David Letterman after the attacks or the call to recovery from the Onion?,216/  I don’t know. There’s a lot out there but don’t let yourself be fooled. When you’re presented with a well spoken, panoramic surface view it’s easy to mistake the overload for meaning. Here’s a picture of my dog in her Halloween costume.

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