Monday, September 10, 2012

Never forgetting

Eleven years on, it takes me a few seconds to remember, when scheduling things for September 11th, exactly why that date registers so strongly in some emotional quadrant of my brain.

And you know, to hell with "never forget." I wrote last year about exasperation as an appropriate response to terrorism, but this year I'd go further: forgetting is also an appropriate response, if by that we mean not holding the day (and ourselves) hostage forever to pious sentimentality.

Because there's forgetting and then there's forgetting. It's not "forgetting" what happened to let the actual date pass unremarked; in fact, that should be our goal. Regular life--holding normal classes and going to bullshit meetings and getting irritated by traffic jams and broken photocopiers--is actually the profoundest kind of victory over terrorism.

Regular, boring, ordinary life. We're lucky to have it. And it's the luxury of the quotidian that I'll be celebrating this September 11th--and hopefully for many more.


Comrade Physioprof said...

In addition to the issues with "never forget" you point out, it is also grossly and crassly self-absorbed and megalomaniacal: as if we Americans of the beginning of the third millenium are at the spatial and temporal center of the entire universe and will remain so for all eternity.

DDB said...

This is actually the first year that I've felt it was generally not the maudlin, self-indulgent media-fest that it has been. Whether that is because I was more tuned out, or because we've crossed some imaginary boundary (i.e. 10 years out), I don't know. But I do have the reflexive "I shouldn't be scheduling anything on 9/11" impulse that hasn't fully faded...