Thursday, September 9, 2010

American Idiot

Yesterday afternoon - at the conclusion of another interminably long and only marginally successful day in court in Bergen County - I was walking towards my car when my attention was captured by the sound of an airplane flying overhead. I thought immediately of the morning of September 11, 2001 and the fact that on that morning - as was the case yesterday morning and will be the case this morning - I was at the courthouse in Hackensack.

It seems almost incredible to me that it has been nine years since that terrible Tuesday. A day that has served since as a line of demarcation for the world at large. A day on which everything changed. It is an oddity of my personality I suppose that nine years later I find myself looking up to the sky every time I hear a jet engine overhead since at the time nine years ago that the terrorists flew those two jets into the Twin Towers I was inside. I neither saw nor heard what had occurred in spite of the fact that from the Bergen County Justice Center in Hackensack one has a fairly clear view of the skyline of Lower Manhattan.

How long it takes the wound created by a loved one's death to heal is a question better posed to someone significantly smarter than am I. How long it takes the wound created by the murder of a loved one is also something to which I would not pretend to know the answer. I either listen to or watch at least a portion of the memorial ceremony held annually at Ground Zero - as if one more set of ears or eyes of a stranger does anything to assuage the grief of those who lost one or more loved ones that morning. I am almost embarrassed to admit that while it likely does nothing for them, it somehow makes me feel a bit better. Honor through audience participation I suppose.

I have been a bit pre-occupied this week so I must confess that I paid no attention at all to the story emanating out of Florida about the "'minister" (giving that word its widest possible definitional interpretation) who announced that he shall burn a copy of the Quran on Saturday. The idiot in question has a name, which shall not be published here, since a significant component of this crusade appears to be an effort on his part to start the clock on his 15 minutes of fame. After all, how many other ways are there for a Pentecostal minister who tends to a flock (50 or so) that is smaller than that which vaulted Mary (she of "Mary had a little lamb") to fame to get his name above the tree line? Yet another a**hole attempting to hijack an event of profound significance to those directly affected by it for what have become this nation's favorite dual purposes: political and religious reasons.

While it is not an absolute truth, it is nevertheless a good barometer to measure the scope of one's stupidity when wrapping oneself in the flag of jingoism to assess the reaction of the intellectual tag team of Palin and Beck to your proposed action. Neither of them has ever passed up an opportunity to remind the rest of us just how "patriotic" each is. Yet even these two knuckleheads recognize the impropriety of this proposed act. If you take a position and Palin takes an opposing view and your position is such that hers actually seems reasonable and well-conceived, then you need to seriously reexamine what the hell it is you are doing.

Perhaps Reverend you should go pray on it a while. Quietly.


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