No, the title doesn’t mean I’m writing about the Republicans right now. No, it’s (brace yourselves) about history. If you can wade through the BuggyQ verbosity, there’s a question I need your input on.
So I’m preparing for my favorite lecture, on World War II. I love the stories of the Blitz. Yes, I know–people going through hell shouldn’t be something you love, but I’m a disaster buff. I idealize human behavior in disasters. And yes, I know, sometimes they bring out the worst in people. But they also bring out the best. (And sometimes both at the same time…)
I remember on September 12, 2001 thinking that this was our chance to rise to the occasion. I really hoped that this was going to be my generation’s Blitz, and that people decades from now would look back on us with admiration.
Obviously, what really happened kinda sucked. Which is why I’m still angry at Bush. (Okay, okay, I’d be pissed at him for a lot of things. I hold grudges really well. I am, after all, still pissed at Yoko.) But the prime reason I’m still angry at him is for that missed opportunity. Because if he had really risen to the occasion like I’d hoped, maybe all that other shit wouldn’t have happened.
But I can’t just blame Bush. As much as I idealize the great figures of history, they were only able to be “great” because there were millions of not-so-greats enabling them. I do an assignment about guilt for the Holocaust, in part to remind my students that these things don’t happen in a vacuum. And as much as I want to tell myself, hey, you did try, you voted for the other guy–twice–and you knocked on doors and wrote letters and sent faxes and e-mails and, and, fookin’ and…
It just doesn’t feel like enough. And I worry that decades down the line, people are going to look back at me and say, “Jeez, why didn’t you just stop him?” On days like today, when I’m feeling gloomy, I think anything I say would just seem lame.
Then I pick myself up, dust myself off, and say, alrighty then. I may not be able to fix the last ten years, but by god, I’ll do what I can to remind people what September 12 really ought to be about. One of my friends went to a 9-12 Project meeting, and they were talking about the Constitution. As only loony Glenn Beck types can. (Did you know the Articles of Confederation have a clause that outlaws public education? My response? a) No, b) fuck no, and c) even if they did, you do realize the Constitution…oh fuck me, I’m arguing virtually with a freeper.) My friend suggested that the local Democratic Party office host a series of discussions about the founding of America and the Constitution. So that’s what I’m preparing for over the next few weeks. It may just end up being preaching to the choir, but at least the choir will be a counterweight to the 9-12 loonies.
All that is a long introduction to a question: What do you all think we should talk about?