The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After

     There is a travelling exhibit that is touring the country. It consists of a fire truck from the N.Y.F.D and 20 tons of mangled steel from the remains of the Twin Towers. This Monday last it arrived at the Richard Nixon Memorial Library where it figured in a solemn religious service.

     The shade of Hunter S. Thompson cries out somewhere in outrage.

    " On the first day of every month, at the Tepito metro stop in downtown Mexico City, a new breed of pilgrim can be observed inching his way on his knees out of the stop and down a filthy market street, and cradling in his arms, babylike, a plastic figure of Death—or Holy Death, La Santa Muerte.

The shrine of the Holy Death is just blocks away from a compound of low-income housing where, in 2007, Mexico City police conducted a full-scale assault in search of drugs, weapons, 

and other illegal goods"

     The House of Representatives passed a resolution this Thursday to "never forget" the events of September 11, 2001. 

      At the Republican Presidential debate the gallery erupted in cheers when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas was asked about the over 200 prisoners executed on his watch.

    The cult of Death has become the state religion in America. If you think objectively about the travelling reliquary from the ruins of the WTC it is no different than a shrine to La Santa Muerte at the site of a drug raid where innocents were killed by the police. Both practices are grounded in the presumption that the shedding of innocent blood somehow makes a place or a thing sacred. 

     By that logic I ought to undertake a pilgrimage to Jonestown, Guyana...or the bombed out ruins of MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia. 


     We are told with every war that we must ensure the fallen soldier did not die in vain. We are told to do this we must send more young men, and now women, to their death and to deal death. 

     Meanwhile the same people who tell us these things cut funding for benefits for living veterans and close VA hospitals in the name of austerity.

     The slaughter of innocents does not render a thing or a place sacred, just very, very sad. The sacred is found in things like love and hope and compassion. It is found in the joyous celebration of life, not the morbid fixation on death and loss that is like the tongue returning over and over to the empty socket where the tooth used to be.

   Bin Laden is dead. Still the wars go on. 

    If we truly wish to honor the legions of the dead on this anniversary, learn from the mistakes that have been made these ten long and bitter years. 

    Don't rush to war just because an old rich man waves a bloody shirt. Think. War and death will always have their pimps but their wares seldom really satisfy.

    Don't give up freedom for the illusion of security.

    Fear is the mind killer.

    Laughter and loving is the cure.

     Be seeing you.

     Section in quotes from The New Yorker

1 comment:

  1. I really like this.

    I hate how the media has capitalized off of 9/11 to make it an "event", but I also believe that communities should honor the anniversary, and that it should not be forgotten. It's what you do with the memory, however, that counts, and that is where your op-ed hits it on the nail.

    My mother was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. It stayed with her and her generation her entire life. December 7th was always a dicey week in our house, growing up, because all the pain, suffering and horror would resurface. 9/11 is, in my mind, our generation's Pearl Harbor. Thousands died, institutions were rattled, symbols of our country mocked or targeted.

    It's what happened after Pearl Harbor that then defined a generation. Yes, we went to war - World War - and it knocked us from our isolationist pedestal. We grew, as a country, to realize both our virtures and spirit, as well as our demons and prejudices (interning the American Japanese anyone?).

    And after 9/11, we went to war. But... we're still at war. 10 years later. We also went to war w/Iraq. The disaster was hijacked as an excuse to invade another sovreign nation, to divert and prolong anything that needed to be done in Afghanistan, to sacrifice more American lives for ... what? And what came of our spirit, our resolve, the best among us?

    It's divided us.

    I believe, more than ever before, we need to honor 9/11 every year, but for a very different purpose: To look within our hearts and minds and ask ourselves, what can we do to improve our country, our relationships, our vision of the world? Do not let these people die in vain. Pay it forward to honor them and the chance to do the same that they no longer have. There is no honor in death; but there is honor in legacy.