Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11, A Not Made For TV Rant

Now I run the risk of offending some, which is not my intent, but only am stating my feelings. I have had it with the constant refrain from media mouths that "our lives have changed forever" or "9-11 was the day the world changed". No it did not! Disasters both man made and natural have happened throughout history. If we have been living in a bubble thinking somehow we were immune from the bad things that happen in this world, then that is no one's fault but our own.

About 3 weeks ago, CNN became "The Terror Network" it seems. Non-stop it could happen, it will happen, where will it happen, discussion of the "war on terror." I for one have had it.

First, there is no such thing as "a war on terror" and I wish the myth would end now. One can declare war on a band of terrorists such as Al Queda, or on a nation, or on a group of nations, but not on terror, for terror is a part of the human condition. Do I not feel terror when walking down a back alleyway in a high crime area? Are the people who would do me harm enemy combatants, or just plain on hoodlums? Once I was surrounded by would be gay bashers, and only my wits preserved me to tell the story. I felt such a violation in my heart, but still, they were not terrorists, only idiots and criminals. Rather a war on terror is nothing more than an excuse to use wartime powers to strip personal liberties in true 1984 fashion and I am fed up with that crap.

9-11 was a horrible occurrence and there must be a special ring in hell for the folks who committed this act. But I wonder to myself, would I not feel the same way if I were an ordinary citizen in Afghanistan or Iraq when bombers I could not even see dropped cluster bombs and killed countless thousands of people who were not military, just ordinary folks? Were we the terrorists when we created the firestorms in Dresden, or brought mass destruction to Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Does the term "collateral damage" really apply in such instances?

I am reminded of a saying from the Viet Nam days. "Fighting for peace is like f**king for chastity." I have made some decisions for myself. Of course everyone who knows me knows I am a pacifist and will use any forum to encourage a day when peace rather than war will be the priority. But beyond that there is more. I must state my opinion that the so-called war on terrorism is but a sham to consolidate power. I can grieve the loss of innocents at 9-11 or the failure to act resulting in senseless deaths in New Orleans without reaching out to conquer the world or steal resources to do so. I can demand and indeed DEFY every effort to curb personal liberties so important to our fore fathers and fore mothers who founded this nation on the principles of freedom and liberty.

And I can refuse to provide advertisers with one more viewer of their crap that is thinly veiled propaganda rather than historical or honest in any sense. Question: How many knew that when you TIVO something, the cable company sends that information to the various networks so they can make programming decisions? So everyone who tivo'd (is that a verb yet?) the 9-11 show so filled with distortions, told Disney and ABC that they were going to watch that film, and any increase in numbers due to the controversy only encourages them. My tv will mostly be off today, because there is enough out there to fear without the countless talking heads telling me I must be afraid.

And I write to the networks and inform them of my programming decisions. And I talk about it to my friends and people I come in contact with. I am tired of the networks using the airways that belong to all of us as a base for blatant political propagandizing. Shame on them, and in the face of the criticism and proof that they had misrepresented the facts, ABC went ahead and broadcast anyway. My vote is simple. ABC is now being boycotted by this one viewer.

And ultimately it comes to a question that has worried me more than a little. Why must I go to Comedy Central to get tv news worth listening too? Something really is terribly wrong in this picture.


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