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"Let's Roll": The Lessons of United 93

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Message Mickey Z.
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Let's say you're a passenger on a 737. You paid the ever-increasing price to jam your ever-widening butt into an ever-shrinking seat. Yep, you whipped out the plastic to willingly endure zero leg room, artificial air, phony friendliness, something loosely resembling food (sic), edited-for-mass-consumption movies, and it doesn't matter whether you're seated near the left wing or the right wing...the pilot calls the shots. If you choose to speak up, you can guarantee there'll be a uniformed, armed servant of the State waiting for you when the plane lands.


Can anyone say "microcosm"?


However, on the topic of plane rides, there is one type of rebellion that's always welcome in the home of the brave...and the more violent it is, the better. Rise up against official U.S. enemies and they'll make movies about you, build statues, write speeches, and all that good stuff. The powers-that-be in the land of the free may pretend to admire pacifism but never forget: Genuine hero worship is reserved for those ready, willing, and able to shed blood even if it may cost them their our lives.


Case in point: The random group of strangers that boarded United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 were forced to weigh options they likely never previously considered in any serious manner. Sure, at first, most of them probably imagined that going along quietly was the best choice, the safest path to resolution. Don't anger anyone, stay calm, and hope/pray for the best. Eventually, when the situation passed the proverbial point of no return, it became crystal clear that drastic measures were called for. The criminals had to be any means necessary.


Which brings us smoothly back to the concept of microcosm. "Going along" is never the best choice. There is no "safe path to resolution." You can hope and pray all you want but it's action that alters scenarios. We're spoon-fed lines like "Give me liberty or give me death" and "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country," but we've become a passive population of easily duped drones. Still, as the story of United 93 demonstrates, a couch potato can quickly morph into a resourceful fighter...and it all started with two tiny words: "Let's roll."


Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at

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