Thinking About 9/11 and the Post Post Modern World

I’m sitting on a plastic chair in the shell of our new home sipping a quickly cooling cup of coffee, “my” new NPR station rumbling in the background, waiting on the Sears delivery truck carrying our new refrigerator and stove, contemplating, because it’s my nature, my and our communal sins…

As soon as I can focus I’ll be turning my attention to Sunday’s sermon, my first as the newly called minister at the First Church.

Now I tend to be an optimist. I’m a Universalist, I have a deep gut feeling in the long haul things will turn out okay. And I admit I’m not so sure how things will turn out okay. So, I also have my darker moments. And, it seems today is one…

It is 9/11, after all…

At the moment a number of things, partially thanks to the radio, rise and pass through my mind. The Red Sox were defeated by Tampa in fourteen innings yesterday. Governor Palin appears to have discovered she need only continually repeat her story she opposed Alaska’s notorious “bridge to nowhere” – despite constant news coverage and fact check dot org’s revelations she vigorously endorsed it before it became a political loser, and in any case kept all the cash at the end – and people, read voters, will believe she opposed the bridge.

(Also seems to work for the web-based whisper campaign claiming Senator Obama is a Muslim and is trying to hide it…)

And, today is the anniversary of the event now known as 9/11.

In many ways, for the citizens of the United States, at least, this event was the actual turning of the new century. Welcome to the post 9/11 world.

There’s a litany of our new age. Our executive is continually reaching for, grabbing, and then consolidating power. Leading with fear and the promise of a strong arm appears to guarantee just about any national election. Our military is being projected with varying degrees of success into various parts of the world. And no end in sight. Our leaders have discovered you can torture your enemies, real and imagined, just so long as you don’t call it torture. And occasionally, even if you do. Our domestic American civil liberties are being eroded, and no end in sight. Our American supreme court is being packed with far right wing ideologues. And we seem to be reliably seducible by those who would blame our domestic problems on illegal immigrants, teacher’s unions, and homosexual persons.

From where I sit it appears our nation is lurching toward empire.

We’ve always been an oligarchic mercantilist republic.

But, at least we tended to feel bad about it. And I believe some good has come out of that sense we should be better, a little less grasping, a bit more generous.

But not now.

The people who should be calling us to account, our spiritual leaders and intellectuals, have for the larger part been marginalized by a relentless anti-elitist campaign that has disempowered all criticism from the pointy-headed crowd. Who themselves, at least the intellectuals, have largely retreated into irony, which I know feels good, but ultimately takes no one anywhere…

The Chinese curse goes, may you live in interesting times.

Welcome to interesting times.

Welcome to the Post Post Modern World.

Welcome to the post 9/11 world…

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