Musings on 9/11
reflections on the twenty second year
It’s hard not to absorb a day like 9/11.
Every year, for the last Twenty-Two years, the date has marked something tectonic. A modern moment where the world changed forever; the true new millennium.
Those of us who were conscious enough to process that day understand how globally we’ve been forced to carry the weight of this singular event, suddenly united against one common enemy.
I used to think it was just Muslims who suffered from the backlash, but in recent years I’ve come to realize it was many others, too. Brown non-Muslim immigrants (Sikh men, especially) became targets of anti-Muslim vigilante hate, and undocumented folks really took the brunt of this as well. Soon after the Patriot Act was formed, so was Homeland Security, and thus new American militancy was born. The aggressive war machine and “Mission Accomplished” antics of the Bush-Rumsfield-Cheney era of America spawned a particular brand of bat shit fucking crazy, and the escalation of this facade, of the U!S!A! democracy became that much more apparent, but now with modern media at its side, documenting everything like it was an Armando Iannucci mockumentary.
The 24-hour news cycle was also envisioned in a post-9/11 world, demonstrating the toxicity of our times, keeping us on edge, constantly fearful. Reality TV became more popular, forcing us to prefer disconnection and be voyeurs to other people’s demise. The 2000s onwards was a decade of mass reinvention of global popular (American) culture, but it was also a time of war mongering; we got Obama, the first Black president, but we also got more drones.
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