Thursday, September 13, 2001

Reflections on a moment: Listening to "Violence" by Pet Shop Boys has almost driven me to tears. Is it possible for us to work through this without demonizing and persecuting hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab-American citizens who are just as shocked and disgusted as we are? Are we doomed to a self-fulfilling prohpecy of America stepping into the role of "The Great Satan" and lobbing missiles at incorrect targets? I've heard people talking about using nuclear weaponry against the perpetrators; in what parallel universe would that make things better?

How do I reconcile these fears and misgivings with my own desire to see the heads of the people responsible roll?

The pessimist in me feels that it is inescapable; we've started down the path towards World War III. The optimist in me is sobbing his eyes out. I don't know what to do; I'm somewhat paralyzed at work and when I get home I can't escape the coverage; my wife is glued to the television, desperate for scraps of information so that she can piece the puzzle together. (Her secret fantasy of being an FBI investigator isn't so secret anymore, ho-ho.) The thoughts that have taken up my mind revolve around figuring out the most peaceful solution to this mess. I'm glad that NATO has gotten involved, as I don't trust the American government to make rational decisions at this point in time. Perhaps three weeks from now I will, but right now the united Congress and President strike me as deeply frightened people looking for something to strike that will banish the darkness. I hope and pray that they wait for things to calm down before evaluating how drastic their response should be.

I had a point I was going to make about that Pet Shop Boys song, but it seems inappropriate to talk about how the cyclical musical structure supports the lyrics talking about violence breeding violence in the face of so much tragedy. It's too soon for all of that.