I am not a patriot. At least, that is how I feel anymore. When The Twin Towers went down on September 11, 2001, I felt a little piece of me slip away also. I also felt a great hate bubble up inside me. However, it is not really for the terrorists that planned and executed the destruction of a symbol of our nation, it is for the press.

I hear the world talking about the planes crashing and how we need to hunt down out enemy and murder them. I hear talk of how we need to Nuke countries to get our enemies. It does not matter if we lose more lives in the process, and it sure as hell does not matter if WE happen to murder some of THEIR innocents while fulfilling our mission of retribution.

A month ago, US citizens were slamming the United States at every opportunity. We bitch about politicians, the president, police, laws, blacks, whites, gays, heterosexuals, cost of living, our jobs, unemployment, employment, sex, the press, and damn near everything else. And I am fairly sure that a month after this is all taken care of, the only ones who will carry the torch are the ones who have lost loved ones.

...not the press.
...not the millions of people who started flying the flag after the crash.
I am not a patriot.

I dislike flag-waving. I dislike patriotic music, aside from Sousa marches. I dislike nationalists and nationalism. I dislike reading essays about how America (or Britain or Russia or Belgium or Bangladesh or even Texas) is the greatest nation ever and can do no wrong and will horribly punish its enemies. I have no patience with old fat congressmen, generals, and pundits who demand nuclear retaliation like testosterone-pumped junior high boys at a pep rally. Listening to patriotic speeches and prayers make me want to go away and watch something more uplifting, like "Faces of Death" videos.

I am not a patriot.

But my utter lack of patriotism is tempered by at least a little common sense. America isn't the greatest nation, but we're pretty good. No, I wouldn't say we're neccesarily better than Britain or France or Russia. We might be better than Bangladesh, but I'd need to do some more research first. And I also know that people bitch about their country all the time. They do it in France and Germany and Japan and even Afghanistan. People also bitch about their sex life, but it doesn't mean they quit liking sex.

Ya ramble much, Jet-Poop?

Awright, let's put it this way. Talam: What you see as disloyalty and opportunism, from the press and other unspecified persons, is just people doing what people do. People bitch because life is hard, things are fucked up, and ya gotta complain or ya go nuts. And the press reports about people complaining because they have to; if you never saw a news report about people being unhappy about unemployment, race relations, crime, the cops, and the president, you'd assume, quite correctly, that there was a coverup going on. People complain, the press reports on it, and life goes on.

This was different.

When over 3,000 lives get snuffed out before our eyes on live TV, it's not something anyone forgets. Over five years have gone by since the Oklahoma City Bombing, and everyone still remembers that. Over 50 years have passed since World War II, and everyone still remembers that. If you think people forget national and international tragedies that easily, you need to study some more history. Check your school library. They've got tons of books.

I'm not a patriot, and I never will be. But I'll remember this, because I have no choice.

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