This morning, on my KNON show, I didn't mention 9/11 once. & I guess it was on purpose, I think I was afraid of saying something that might seem disrespectful or insensitive.
Do you know how people talk about hearing about Kennedy's assassination? That's how I feel about 9/11. I have very distinct memories of that day. It was a Tuesday, I dragged my ass out of bed later than usual for some reason (I don't remember what I did the night before) & checked my email like I always did. There was a note that said something like "the University of Texas (where I worked) will remain open despite the attacks in New York." That seemed puzzling to me, but I went & showered anyway.
But something stuck in my head. "Attacks in New York"? That seemed a weird sentence. What could it mean? I found out soon enough what it meant - I turned the television on just in time to see the second tower fall.
In those days, I listened to music on my ride to work on a Walkman which had a radio, & for the very first time I tuned in - to NPR I think - & I listened intently while observing that nothing seemed too out-of-place - the dude driving the UT bus was listening to his top forty radio station, no one was too over-concerned, no one appeared as stricken as I was.
Maybe they didn't know. At work, everyone was glued to the television. It soon became clear no work was going to be done that day. & I kept thinking about everyone who died. Everyone who, like me, got up reluctantly on a Tuesday morning to go to their job & they just died. Some assholes flew planes into their buildings & they died. It was fucked up.
Over time, though, the people who should have been working toward honoring the memory of those people, they abused it. They went to war with people who didn't have anything to do with the attacks. They put these shitty yellow ribbons on their SUVs without any irony & would use the words "9/11" to justify anything. Lower taxes? 9/11! Constant surveillance? 9/11! Less freedom? 9/11!
It quickly became apparent that that tragedy was something to be used to manipulate people, to make a profit from, to use in whatever cynical way possible to do whatever the fuck you want. & there's me, thinking about myself in the late morning of September 11, 2001, at my computer, & all I could see as I wept to myself was the people who died. We didn't know how many. They didn't want to die. They didn't want to be used as excuse to kill people in another country. They didn't want to be used to help anyone's political careers. They just wanted to live.
So yeah, I have mixed emotions about commemorating the date. I thought about perhaps playing a set of songs for New York City or something like that, but decided not to go anywhere near there.
& now - if you cared - you know why.