9/11. Who were the heroes? To whom were they heroes? The people who died? It’s a lot easier to canonize people when they’re mere abstract ideas. Chits on a grim scoreboard. Over and over we as a people show our apathy…our disdain, really, for the ones that went in and shoveled the shit, who sorted out the charred limbs, the ones who sucked in those toxic fumes for days at a time. The ones we saluted with glitzy TV specials, on SNL (with “America’s Mayor”, natch) and in the media. The mere whiff of cynicism would be greeted with a cascading of huffing and blustering. The Patriot Act. The lack of solid support and unquestioned health care that those people sifting through the heads and legs, the paper and mercury, the concrete and the blood deserved. Like war veterans, in commercials we mime awe and rapturous genuflection, but in reality, like war veterans, we treat them like an annoying afterthought once their job is done and we’re left to ponder, “What now?”
Small humilations. Pick the devil you know. It’s ok to take a side. But god forbid we understand how and why this happened. I’m fucking tired of it. If people just read their history, they’d know. You might not agree with the why, but you aren’t under America’s imperialist boot-heel. Or maybe you are. TRY to understand.
Like veterans of Viet Nam and Iraq and soon Afghanistan, we make shiny commercials in honor of their patriotism and service, and then discard them once they’re of no more practical use. What to do with them? What to do? I am not saying that veterans have higher or lower rates of poverty than the gen pop. I’m saying that after putting your ass on the line so nobly or even ignobly, there should never be a QUESTION of poverty. They should be rewarded for the rest of their lives if they see combat. We can absolutely afford it. If we can afford a War on Drugs, we can afford this.
I have friends who think this has all been a plan of the US to increase and maintain our subservience to the ol’ MIC. It’s hard to believe that, but it’s harder still to think that year after year, shock after shock, we keep falling for the same bullshit. Or rather, it’s harder to ACCEPT. Buy gold!