We had to re-read the State Journal editorial this morning. Surely they knew the anniversary of 9-11 was coming. Surely they realized in advance that they would need to say something, and that it would be on a Sunday, their big day of the week for selling papers. Surely they would put their best foot forward.
After re-reading the editorial, “Shock, pride, then vigilance,” we went out to the expansive lawns surrounding The Daily Tissue Building, where we perform landscaping and other small maintenance chores. Even the Senior Editors need to pitch in during these hard economic times.
At one point we found ourselves in the garage watching a housefly trying to get outside. The little guy was banging his head into the garage door windows. Repeatedly and Hard! Apparently flies have a lot of padding in their heads, because he just bounced off and tried it again and again and again. The odd thing was, there was another garage door, right next to the closed one, and it was open. Yes, there was a big open door, with sunlight and fresh air just streaming through it. If only the little guy would notice….
We were interrupted at that moment by an alarming thought. What if today’s editorial was really the best they could do? Maybe they really had worked on it, despite the poor results. This seems improbable, because it begins like this…
America learned some hard lessons in the days following Sept. 11, 2001:
• Not everyone likes us.
Well, golly. Interesting insight.
And it ends with this:
Honor, remember and hold your head high, America.
We have so much to be proud of. We still have so much to do.
Don’t we deserve better opinionizing than this?
September 11 can be remembered in many ways. At The Daily Tissue we remember it as an opportunity to become a better country and a better people. We recollect that many people sensed that same opportunity, that we could set an example of how to take a blow and respond with honor and effectiveness… with intelligence, in all its meanings, and allies around the world; we knew in our hearts that it could be done. But we had nearly the worst possible leadership in the White House, and instead of pursuing surgically and with character, we blundered into whole regions, resulting in at least one hundred thousand innocent deaths in just Iraq, we refused to tax ourselves to pay for the wars, we instituted a secret regime of torture for prisoners, and we opened a worldwide network of secret prisons hidden from inspectors, hidden from the the American people. Back in America, suddenly now “the Homeland,” we lurched fearfully toward an Orwellian national security state where all are watched, on the phony supposition that we’re all potential terrorists. It was a very, very poor decade for [what used to be] American ideals.
Of course, many other things could and would be said on this anniversary.
“Let’s be firm and focused,” writes the Journal today. “Let’s be smart and nimble in an ever-changing world.”
In fairmess, they did not say, “Let’s leave it all out there on the field,” or “We need to get on the same page, and knock one outta here; the ball’s in their court! Let’s Answer the Bell, and not Pull any Punches as we Step Up to the Plate and Deliver a Slam Dunk! ‘Cuz it’s Gut-Check Time!” They didn’t say any of that, exactly, in their editorial.
Of course, space was limited.