July 11, 2005
Weve had 9-11, and weve had 3-11. Please dont call last weeks terrorists’ attack on London 7-7.
Why not? Because it means that weve let the bastards who did this provide us with an event that is “branded”, giving them satisfaction and even pride—thats the idea of branding.
While we should never forget the event, elevating it means the terrorists have successfully changed our lives. They may have changed the lives of many of the victims families, but I somehow think those that lost a loved one wont think of the day as “when terrorists hit London”. To them, it is the day that their father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse, partner or friend passed, regardless of the cause. The loss of a civilized, decent, innocent person is far greater than the act or the death of a terrorist.
We remember the innocent lives, but we do not give the terrorists the satisfaction of branding one of their crimes. permalink
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I don't think there is any way to avoid a brand being placed on this event. But I think what you're saying is don't let THEM brand it. My concern with 7/7 is that it becomes a date, a number. It loses some of its humanity. Same with the ribbons. They're generic and formulaic.
Being an American, the numbers 9/11 are safe. They're benign. They do nothing to really remind me of the horror of that day. Remembering watching live footage as each tower fell... that is not safe. Its not easy. Remembering the people jumping to their deaths. That is not benign. Those are the images that galvanized this nation to fight terror. Not the numbers, not the ribbons.
Being an Oklahoman, images from the Oklahoma City Bombing are unsettling. Seeing a huge portion of a building sheered off by a blast is startling. The image that stuck with me the most was the fireman carrying out a baby that died in the building's nursery. My wife's cousin lost her baby girl as well in that blast. 168 people died. They were more than numbers, they were souls.
These victims deserve our honoring them and remembering them with more than numbers and ribbons.
Dustin: thank you for your thoughtful and very valid comments. My original post was to ask that we all refrain from branding the day 7-7, but I often speak of ideals; when we have ideals in mind and strive for them, at least our intention is there and we go some way toward them. Usually, these ideals are not realized, at least not in a way we anticipated.
But yes, in the real world, your second sentence is right: don’t let them brand it. It cannot be something which they can ever be proud of, or hold us hostage to.
I personally would prefer to honour, as you do, the innocent individuals who gave or lost their lives, rather than '7-7' or '9-11', or even '4-19'.
On this Jack, I hold a different view. I have a need to remember days and the places where our human race lost its souls-particularly those like Colin I held in dearest esteem as a man without an unkind thought in his whole system.Post a Comment
This intuition flows with something the Indian philosopher Ashis Nandy in Delhi December at the annual meet of Global Reconciliation Network. If you missed this, the next opportunity is Sarajevo August
I have forgotten the number Nandy quoted, but it may have been 250 million. His most conservative estimate of the number of people killed by their own governments in the 20th C. The question for this century: would our governments grow up (and kill less of their own people)
I see all terrorism as being at least equally at governments doors (caring less about their own people than pretending to control). And the media they have encouraged to cover terrorism in a certain -and most inhuman- way. A way that never learns from one tragic case to another.
Surely we can do better than ruling millions of people by a cabinet's of ten's bossiness. Suerly, London's people need to take back communal responsibility for safety rather than pretend a government alone can plan it, let alone one that had drafted 11000 security experts' attention up to protecting its 8 person G8 cabinet.
The primary numbers question is: will we do better in sustaining human life and love of communities before the annual calendar is filled with more blackspot commemorisation dates than celebrations of diversity. Can "we the peoples" stand up and unite in the human race - and every sub-communal way of connecting diversity - unshackling ourselves from the economics of externalities and other globally poverty mutiplying systems whose door leads out from big powers hierarchically controlling and failing to control every communications and behaviour. Spiralling the badwill way round instead of valuing goodwill and sustainability as paramount for all living systems and networks mappes as systems squared (globally and locally)
Let the people's move over to 100 new atlases before its too late to stop this mad world maddening!
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