A Place for Cafe Refugees and Others Like Them

I stayed away from the 9/11 coverage today, well, now yesterday. The mosque controversy has left me feeling disgusted, and I just didn’t want any part of it. But I did see a few pictures on the front page at TPM a few minutes ago. The hateful people at the rally…the ignorant signs…I just don’t feel connected to this America.

I mean it wasn’t supposed to be a celebration, so it’s not like they spoiled the fun or anything like that. But they spoiled something.

I wanted to remember the day with some sort of sense that we had been viciously attacked that day for no reason. I wanted to feel like an innocent victim. Like my country had been attacked without provocation.

But somehow in the nine years since the attack, our behavior as a country, has diminished my ability to feel like we are on the moral high ground here. Somehow, instead of feeling innocent, I just feel dirty…and I can’t really explain why.

Does anyone understand what I’m trying (extremely ineptly) to say? Can someone help me put words to these things I’m feeling?

*cross posted at TPM and dagblog


Comments on: "I Don’t Feel Connected To This America" (12)

  1. another trope said:

    You were no way inept. I think you expressed perfectly how, at the very least, a part of each of feel.

    The most poignant line: I mean it wasn’t supposed to be a celebration, so it’s not like they spoiled the fun or anything like that. But they spoiled ,i>something.

    I think we’re all at loss for words at some level.

    How does one assimilate this into one’s understanding of who this country is, who we are as Americans. We want it to be a Pearl Harbor, but there seems to some signs we were poking the hornets nest. Which doesn’t mean those who died and suffered deserved it. But it not a perfect case of victim and victimizer. The ugly rage exhibited recently only reinforces this notion.

    If only we could come love the beauty of gray.

  2. We have taken a wrong turn somewhere, Stilli, but it’s not too late for us to band together and make a U-turn. I truly believe that it’s not too late for that.

    It will take a lot of educating….talking to those with incorrect viewpoints. Those who have readily accepted the media’s opinions as their own. One on one, when you reason with them, they start to understand that perhaps they haven’t given their stances a lot of thought, but embraced them too quickly simply because they were convenient at the time, and/or seemed popular at the time.

    That is the key we must keep turning, before November. Talk to those you think can’t be reasoned with, and reason with them anyway. It might just change a mind.

  3. Stilli, I understand perfectly what you’re getting at. Indeed, I haven’t felt connected to “this America” for far longer. I feel more and more alienated from ways of thinking and behaving that I simply can neither condone or understand – from which I am “disconnected”. I feel a stranger, in some ways, in a strange land. I feel an alien. Yes, of course there are many I can connect with, but so often I cannot connect with how this nation projects itself, what it appears to stand for – in stark contrast to what it “says” it stands for. Oh, yes, I well understand….

  4. I know exactly what you mean Stilli. The America I knew and grew up in left some time ago. The America I remember was fair and just and had some self respect. It was not selfish, self centered, arrogant, mean, greedy and spoiled rotten. It did not hold ignorance and stupidity up as something to be proud of.

    It is difficult to feel connected to people who still believe in a myth that I have not believed in for years and years.

  5. […] yes, stilli… I know your sense of […]

  6. Marinus van der Lubbe said:

    I know what youre feeling and I had to keep my own counsel in how to deal with my feelings of ‘how did this happen? What happened to the place I grew up in…’ sort of malaise. Myself and some peers, all in our mid to late 50’s were drinking and bullshitting about the 60’s. We were laughing at how “busy” we were as a country. We had civil rights riots, we were shooting people into space annually, we were fighting a huge land war in Asia, leaders were being bumped off, Koufax fanned 15 in a World Series game…and today, the people in this country get upset because a President can multi-task. They want him to slow down. They keep screaming that the country is moving too fast. They didnt seem to care how fast we sank into debt and the estimation of other countries, but damn, we cant even build a respectable monument at Shanksville, PA. and there’s a huge hole in Manhattan. What happened to that busy country that DID things? Yes, it was gallows humor ala Mencken as we laughed at how feverishly we conquered everything we set out to do. Now we just sit and watch as people like Brad Pitt, pilloried by the media as a feckless actor, has done more for the 9th Ward than George Bush did in 3 years, after promising to rebuild NOLA in 2005. yes, truly a WTF moment. To rediscover that part of me that craved this country I missed I moved to NOLA. There’s American work being done here, and its bringing Americans together. My 2 cents….

    • Great to see you here, Marinus, and may I offer my thanks to you and everyone else down in NOLA, doing all the clean up and researching, etc.

      I was a child in the 60’s but appreciate your statement about how we did so much back then, as compared to today. I never looked at it from that angle before, but you make a great point. When I look at that list of all of Obama’s accomplishments so far, I feel very proud and I feel that he’s done a damned decent job so far. But the right-wingers feel he’s done TOO much and is harming our country, while the far left feel he hasn’t done enough.

      Crazy, isn’t it.

  7. Since 9/11/2001 this country has tried to show respect for those whose lives were lost in a great ball of fire and smoke so suddenly. Many a nation grieved & mourned with us and prayed for us. In Europe where they’ve had to fight wars on an enormous scale at their doorstep repeatedly for hundreds of years, they related to this attack. There was an immediate call to hunt those down who were believed to be the culprits of this evil deed. Some in the intelligence community knew right away who they were. They knew where the hornet’s nest was located. Yet somehow they got away and we are still at war against them to this day.

    It’s a week past 9/11/2010. This year was very different. I get the sense that this great wound will never heal until we heal as a nation of people choosing peace and seeking it above all else. I don’t get the sense that some desire healing or peace, but love to open up the wounds and make them bigger by spreading fear and hopelessness and to dwell in its despair.

    The forces behind politicians will use this event for their own agendas. They create puppets for their cause and they dance around near the wound with piercing words written on their signs, in clear sight for all to see around the world and it tends to insight the very peace out of some and to give excuse to war even more.

    Freedom of religion and thought have been the pillars of this nation in its founding, in its Constitution, its philosophy, its words, its core of being and the battle continues in our age to embrace it or disclaim it in our time. Yet that very breath of life we call our freedom that formed this very nation is assaulted persistently by the poisonous stings of extremist against the rights and freedom of others. It seems such a treacherous game to play and a trip to a dead end street.

  8. […] yes, stilli… I know your sense of […]

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