Hi everybody! This is part of a homework assignment that we had. It was to write about the anniversary of September 11, 2001. I was only six when that happened and I still have trouble understanding it all. I think everybody does.

I wrote a poem about it called “Tell Me”. I hope someday somebody can make sense of that day and all the others since. I hope you like it.

Tell Me

Tell me,
Where you were
when the towers fell
and what did you see
and what will you tell?

Tell me
Because I was only six
when they crashed to the ground.
and I was too little
and not making a sound

Tell me
That when I got older
and watched it again
it seemed nothing had changed
and I think that’s a sin

Tell me
Because I watched it in shock,
and I watched it in awe
and wasn’t that the name,
they gave to the war?

Tell me
Because I still can’t explain
why people should die
and what makes it right
no matter the side

Tell me
The answers to this
and much much more
so I can sleep in my bed
and know what’s in store

Tell me
It won’t happen again
no matter the place
the killing and wounding
it’s just a disgrace.


Note from borgo: I was gonna add some pipelinks and such but at the last minute decided that this was the voice of a twelve year old girl and it should read that way. To me, it speaks loud enough anyway.

Days Four, Five and Six

Strattera, Day Seven:

Yesterday was horrible.

Not the whole day, but after I took the Strattera it sucked. I took it later than I had been taking it, like around six o'clock as opposed to 3-5 o'clock. I took it right before cooking dinner. About 3/4 of the way through the heartburn attacked me bad and I felt nausea for the first time since the first day, so bad that I almost did vomit. I had to say the meal was done and go run off, get away from the smell of the food frying (I was cooking burgers - these premade frozen patties that looked really good on the box but weren't actually so good - and fries).

I felt like crying again, pretty much did, but I can't be sure if it was the pain or another mood swing. All I know is that I had to just run to my bedroom and lay doubled over in my bed in the dark. It felt like my insides were going crazy. The heartburn was so bad it actually felt like there was something wrong with my heart. It was so bad that I am actually not sure if my heart was going wonky or not.

It passed, though. Later I could actually eat. What was odd, though, was that even though I felt like dying I still got yelled at for not cooking all of the mushrooms.

I hadn't been taking anything but some Tums for the heartburn. It's been suggested to me several times "Why am I not taking Prilosec?" or why didn't my doctor suggest or prescribe something for it? Well, each day the heartburn lessened and I figured I could handle it. I just didn't want to take even more pills. But if I have another experience like that I'll probably rethink that.

I did some more reading up on Strattera. Apparently it does cause lots of folks mood swings. Most complained it made him or her more irritable. This one particular Wiki Answers I’d found had mostly parents posting complaining about the effects on their children. Some of them were quite awful. I think that with children doctors should just stick with Ritalin or Adderall.

As far as helping my ADD, I was good at remembering stuff this morning, more than I think I normally would at least. So that's good.

Hey, it was actually a bit chilly this morning when I walked out the door. The air was crisp. Man I love that, that first whisper of Fall. It is truly a beautiful day, just like it was on September 11th six years ago.

OK So it's 9/11. It's the first time it's fell on a Tuesday since the initial attacks. I should say something. But I don't want to say what's been said a million times before. So I'll say something I haven't heard anybody say in exactly these words: to all those people who think we deserved it, or the Falwells or Robertsons who thought it was God punishing us, or to anybody who thought it was a good thing for any reason: there is something very wrong with you and I hope that you come either to realize your error, or that when you die and go to Hell (if it exists) you get to see your 9/11 hijacker friends because I'm pretty sure they're there as well.

I wish I had the answers to your questions, borgette.

Day 8 >>

Remembering 9/10 and 9/11

I had headed off to the gym only to run into an accident that blocked me from going so I gave up, turned around and came home. Logging on to E2 I saw panamaus saying something about Hermetic and a note on his homenode. By the time my browser had hit it, Hermetic had logged out. It had been less than three minutes. I knew he was acting on his thoughts. I thought his friends had it covered. That maybe he would choose not to inflict this pain on them. All of his day logs had led up to this moment. He was trying to prepare them. I cursed myself for not stepping in.

I watched as the editors struggled with ophie to help her come up with some vocabulary, help her say what had happened, help her catch her breath. The horror was numbing to know that she and David had taken the brunt of this. “We are writers” I said, "Maybe we can help her with our words," and Lord Brawl stepped forward to give her some of his.

Jet-Poop was in the catbox demanding an address for Hermetic's family so that we could send our sympathies and I am so glad he did that because without his persistence we would not have had the presence of karma debt and her family. They brought us the solace we deeply needed in the following days.


This is the first year that it is not gut wrenching for me to watch the coverage. I was on E2 trying to help others cope with the loss of Adam. With every blow to the buildings it felt as if I was being punched in the stomach, when the plane crashed in PA, I was desperate for this nightmare to come to an end. In my heart I understood it was an act of war and that again soldiers would be sent to fight and die. There was the most irrational thought of being grateful that Adam wasn't here to suffer anymore that flitted through my head.

This morning as I watched the various news channels I was struck by the total absence of 9/11 coverage by CNN. The ladies harped on vacuous subjects like Britney Spears' weight problem. Yesterday on CNN, the congressional hearings were only mentioned to refer people to watch it live on their web site.

Dear CNN,
Moving on does not justify trying to forget.

Six years ago I was in a bar in Brussels when a young man came in and announced to the world in general that some idiots had flown hijacked planes into the World Trade Center in New York. He said "Bush is going to go fucking crazy, it's going to be World War fucking Three." I knew Bush was an idiot, but also knew he was remote-controlled by others, and therefore assumed this prediction was wrong.

Nonetheless, I wanted to know what he was talking about, so I rang up my wife, who had a television in her workplace permanently tuned to a news channel, and asked her what was going on. She told me that the World Trade Center was on fire, that 50,000 people worked there, and that she was feeling sick.

So I went into the European Parliament building next door and asked where there was a television I could watch. This wasn't as simple a question as I thought, but I ended up in the press centre watching CNN pictures of burning skyscrapers on a Spanish news channel. They didn't have CNN, which I thought strange. There were some pictures of celebrating Palestinians which later turned out to be archive footage unrelated to the events.

A plane was flown into the Pentagon; another crashed in a field, but there were few pictures of the one and none of the other. Unconfirmed reports of further hijackings arrived at irregular intervals and evaporated. After a while the skyscrapers collapsed. There was nothing more to see, no-one knew anything, so after some hours I went back to my hotel.

Many people made comments and predictions in the next few hours and days. Some said that things could never be the same again. Cynically and arrogantly I thought they were wrong, since nothing had changed: we had already known that there were idiots around who would like to do such things. I was wrong: when enough people think there has been a change, that in itself causes the change.

President Bush read a speech promising to hunt down those responsible. Nobody knew who that was. No-one claimed responsibility. Some said that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were behind the attacks. Osama Bin Laden said he was not. Since he is a murderous idiot of a particular kind of honour, I presumed this was the truth. And why should he lie about what in his eyes would be such a glorious achievement?

Articles in the press in the next few days and weeks addressed the new kind of terrorism we were faced with. 'Today's terrorists' were held to be different from those of the past. To address the new terror some very old means were used. As a result it is now no longer possible in much of the world to speak of 'freedom' because it has become a synonym for wars of aggression, the bombing of civilians, chaos, kidnapping, and torture.

Over the past six years it has become clear that the world was damaged that day when so many said how everything had changed. But what caused the damage was not the destruction nor the too many deaths. It was that belief that the world had changed, and the belief that we must change to match it.

I say something like this every year; I think I've got it down to a science.

Something awful happened here six years ago, but awful things happen everywhere, all the time. We as a species are relentlessly cruel to each other, usually in little ways; sometimes in more dramatic ones. We are emphatically NOT special, and the more attention we pay to this, the more it won't have the chance to die. It's self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling, feeding off of the real grief of some (some of us included), the identification issues of others and channeled through the stylized, flashy, eyeball sucking power that is corporatized American media.

This isn't healing. This isn't even close. This is torture for profit and usury for political gain.

It's a circus out there and I want no part of it. Wake me up when we've learned how to be kind to one another.

Having a crush is aggravating.

Imagine an emotional state (and this won't be hard), a way that you feel about someone you are attracted to, in which you are continually tormented with indecision (since to make a rash decision is to break a very delicate balance), weighing up pros and cons, suddenly aware of everything they say or do, inferring a universe from a glance. You are constantly on edge, thinking about the object of your desire, standing on the wrong side of a yawning chasm of denial, misunderstanding and rejection

Now tell me why crushes ("love from afar") are considered cute, desirable. True, you can stay back and think about how great they are, how brilliant you would be together, but if you're anything like me these thoughts will quickly be blotted out by all the niggling little worries - what if she's taken? What if she just laughs me off? What if she turns out to be a bitch?

It's so much better to avoid all that, to leap in and talk to them. Find out whether they're as mindblowingly awesome as you thought from across the room. And if they say no, they say no, and you can walk away, those black clouds dissipating into thin air.  

But if they say yes...well, what're you complaining about?

I have nothing to say about terrorism, apart from the fact that I was fencing when it happened. I'd never even heard of the Twin Towers before then. I saw Ground Zero pretty much a year to that day, and I flew back from NYC on the aniversary. The plane was empty.

It has been six years since a group of fanatics chose to sacrifice themselves and a few thousand other people in order to make a statement about their opposition to modernity, and their discomfort with societies where the rules are flexible and women retain their clitoris. My country was driven to great rage, and as we have in the past, rallied around a President who seemed to know the right words for that moment. We drove these backward savages out of Afghanistan, but from there things went awry.

Today we are fighting a war where even its proponents admit there is no end in sight. There is some evidence that the 'surge' (or more correctly the change in tactics that accompanied it) have produced some real benefits in certain regions of Iraq. There is some of that 'military momentum' General Petraeus was talking about. But even Bush appointee Ambassador Ryan Crocker has admitted that the political side of the equation, the very thing the surge was intended to buy time for, is an utter mess with no reason for optimism in the foreseable future. He also said today that nothing that resembled victory would come, though he insists avoiding defeat is still possible. The British, our most stalwart allies, are withdrawing under leadership that never liked the war in the first place.

Worse, company grade officers and middle ranking NCOs, the backbone of any Western Army, are leaving the service in droves. For many, interminable deployments with no end in sight, the choice is one between the military and their marriage. On August 10, (not coincidentally a Friday) War Czar General Douglas Lute suggested that bringing back the draft would be considered as a way of reducing the load on our overworked soldiers and Marines. His trial balloon was met with a deafening silence. None of the war's stalwart supporters would consider doing that, as a draft is too politically dangerous and after all, our soldiers are all 'volunteers'.

The simple thing is this: opinions on the surge tend to depend on your ideological position. Ideological conservatives fervently insist it is a success, and the war can be won. After all, none of their predictions have come true, and utter defeat will leave a lot of egg on faces of people who have never stopped calling their critics fools. Almost everybody else has another opinion, including the moderate Republicans who more and more want to distance themselves from their failed President.

I think our soldiers have done very well. And I don't think MoveOn.org was right to call General Petraeus "General Betray-us" in an ad. But this was no calumny. The lies around this war began before the war, and the Bush Administration is quick to punish dissidents and bearers of bad news. Many men, including men wearing stars, have spread over-optimistic half or untruths about the progress of this war. Given the multitude of lies that have come from the Administration and Defense, skepticism of what might come from its representatives is simple common sense. And if the President wanted to present a rosy picture, the General did not let him down. He said the surge was doing well enough that units might be withdrawn soon, never mentioning that the surge must come to an end on its own, or the President must extend already extended combat tours even longer. The military simply doesn't have the manpower to keep up the surge. General Petraeus merely acknowledged what was, and tried to make it sound like a breakthrough.

I'm glad things are going better in Iraq, though 'better' does not mean 'good'. Good is no longer possible. I'm glad there has not been another attack on American soil, but al-Quaeda never really was more than a group of vicious cranks with limited capabilities at best. I'm glad some Sunnis have decided they're better off without these fanatics, but they're really thinking of the endgame when America is gone. They don't like these people, and what better way to arm themselves for the coming civil war than to get their guns from the Americans. If they do get rid of al-Quaeda in Iraq, we're next.

And I'm glad that America seems to have learned what it should have learned in Vietnam, even mighty nations have limits. More importantly, we need to learn that the only people who can bring democracy are the natives. But what's that I hear in the distance? Could they be war clouds gathering over Iran?

It seems that some people never learn.

Went to visit my rock today. They keep it pretty far away, and it's been 7 years. I worry it might have gotten lonely in all that time, but I guess it's not really my rock. There's just a piece of me in it.

I should back up a little. There's a movie called Everything is Illuminated. Like a lot of movies, I probably think it's better than it is because I saw it with someone I loved, and I'm more reminded of how I felt about life at the time than how the movie went. So it goes. Everything is Illuminated is not a happy movie, so it is odd to have happy memories of it. Oh, it has a ha-ha, "I feel like going to kill myself" sort of funny everywhere you look. But when you get to the end, if you're still happy, someone may well have broken your soul.

The lead character, Jonathan, collects bits of things in Ziploc baggies. He carries empty baggies with him for when they are needed, and when he comes home, he pins them with photos, labels, and all the other baggies. With these fragments, he recollects the history of his family.

A bit of sand in a bag doesn't mean anything. In a baggy, on a pin, attached to a corkboard filled with unfamiliar faces, it's just another tiny collection of trash, among many other similar items. What made these items have meaning was Jonathan and the little pieces of himself he put into them. Remnants of his memories would come back when he looked on these things later on, connecting the disparate thoughts, and providing a glimpse into how he thought in times long past. A sacrifice of his time and effort, dear things (for they never come back), so he can know his past. In the end, he comes upon another collector of these things. A terrible thing, to know what others tried so hard not to see anymore.

When I don't feel right, I go tire myself out. I got in a good habit for two months there, exhausting myself for about an hour a day. It was enough not to think at a time I was in a good position not to want to be thinking.

So tonight, I found my way up Mt. Zion. It took a lot of effort to get that rock up there the first time. Seemed a far faster climb done alone. No rock to carry. Though, this time, the gate was locked. Apparently, they know what people put into those rocks. I left with it things I didn't want to remember, tiny bits of torn khakis, and the exhaustion of not having run for a month followed by a late night uphill climb. From it, I took away a thought.

-baggie #1

Six years ago yesterday (or 6 years ago and 2 days before, dependent on your time zone) we were sitting pretty in our merchant bank. I still enjoyed flying. It was a lovely red-brick building, a converted factory, one my father used to work in 20 years prior to me. He worked on the shop floor before he blagged his way into management.

The first reports came out and someone ran yelling into the room; our manager let us out to go down the road and buy a radio. I still remember bickering in the shop over the model, batteries, etc. New York had seemed impenetrable until that moment; I had known that we build fragile worlds around us to protect what faced our ancestors on a daily basis, and Herodotus writes regarding the ebbs and flows of time and good fortune, but it seemed so remote. Man-made suffering attacking the 'safe' western world hadn't happened on such a scale in these times, in my world.

At the time we didn't know what would happen next - some reports said there were still planes in the air, destination unknown. It was fraught and we listened out for the radio. My last flight before 911 was to the Caribbean; afterwards, I didn't fly again until 4 years later, to Asia. I still hate flying.

Now, September the 11th is a good friend of mine's birthday. She curses the day, though

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