By Philip Kraske
We are mid-way through the 9-11 tenth anniversary week of syrupy, pornographic, pseudo-religious breast-beating in America -- one of those weeks, as with the O.J. verdict and Michael Jackson's death, when I'm particularly glad to live in Spain.
I need all those words to describe the thoroughness of the campaign, of which I've had several tastes on CNN and mainstream news websites. "Syrupy" refers to the stories of the victims' loved ones, "pornographic" to the footage of the planes hitting the towers, shown again and again, for that thrill is never gone; "pseudo-religious" for the closed eyes and determined expressions as dignitaries lead the masses in communing with their Maker. "Breast-beating" connotes that slithering undercurrent of self-pity: why oh why do they hate us so much?
It would be a pleasure to write "introspective" to describe the commemoration of 9-11. And if the major media had done their job and investigated the not-all-that-abstruse loose ends and oddities of the event -- if, for example, they had looked into the serious allegations by serious people that Al Qaeda's plot was widely known in American intelligence circles -- they might have exposed the cruel ambition of our leaders; whose names and party affiliations have by now changed, of course, even if the change is only -- no racism intended -- skin-deep. If the media had done their job, America might have thrown off the yoke of plutocracy, jailed the many who deserved it, and gone a long way to renewing itself as a republic.
But the media took its cue from government and told the tale it was supposed to, and today we have what we have: syrup, porn, pseudo-religion, and breast-beating.