Eighteen Years On

It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, and we’ve been through a lot. We’ve created new ineffective and unaccountable bureaucracy, instituted ever-more intrusive government spying on citizens, subjected ourselves to humiliating security theater in order to get onto an aircraft (and into a museum, or government building). We have discovered or re-affirmed the arrogant, incompetent fecklessness of those who falsely consider themselves our moral and intellectual betters, on both sides of the aisle, to the degree that we now understand that there was really only one side of the aisle, a discovery that has given us in the White House a boorish, exaggerating, constitutionally and economically ignorant impulsive lout, indifferent to the truth who, yet, is still vastly preferable to anything else realistically on offer. The decline of our educational system, from kindergarten through grad school, continues apace, with a majority of young people, innocent of or being mistaught history, under the burden of a disastrous and cruel college loan program, now ignorantly desirous of the ideology that murdered tens of millions of people in the last century, and believing that the world will come to an end of we don’t ban the energy sources that have brought so many billions out of poverty over the past two centuries, and will continue to do so unless they get their wish.

I’ll probably update this post throughout the day with further thoughts and links, but to start, here’s something from a Millennial (who understandably hates the term): The side takers:

…if you want a pithy term for us, something that quickly defines us, the thing that our lives bent on, don’t call us Millennials. The turning of the millennium only mattered from the cozy confines of the 1990s, looking forward unaware of what was coming. Nobody who actually lived through that time can still honestly believe that’s the most important thing that occurred. But don’t call us 9/11ers either, obviously, or nobody in our generation will ever get to fly on a plane again.

No, call us the Side-Takers. We’re Generation Faction, Gen Polar, the Pick-A-Team Kids. We showed up to a cold civil war that far predated us just in time to pick our friends. 9/11 separated the future Tea Partier and MAGAmerican from future Anti-fa terrorists, because it was the moment we truly became aware that there were two very distinct kinds of Americans and the two did not reconcile easily. It shaped our whole lives, and I suspect that long after we’re all dead, we’ll be remembered— not for organic gluten-free soy infused everything, stupid haircuts, excessive beards, phone addiction or the social media epidemic—but for that.

[Via Sarah Hoyt]

[Update a few minutes later]

A Twitter thread from Joan of Aargghh:

[Update a few more minutes later]

Thoughts on Flight 93, and the failure of the political establishment to make us afraid.


[Thursday-morning update]

More thoughts on the perfidy of the NYT from Jim Treacher, and Stephen Kruiser.

Plus, Mark Steyn on the language of losing.

14 thoughts on “Eighteen Years On”

  1. I wasted almost as much time trying to explain the meaning of Dar al-Harb to people as I did the coming Grand Minimum. it took me a long time to accept that most of my friends held unshakably nonsensical beliefs.

    1. The New York Times tweeted “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.”

      So it sounds like any link to Islam must be completely bogus since some kind of control malware must have turned those Boeings into evil missiles. The NYT’s is surely pissing off Al Qaeda for not at least giving them partial credit for what happened.

      1. Taking the NYTs at their word, it seems 4 Boeing airlines became sentient 18 years ago today. They then became depressed and threw themselves at the WTC and Pentagon. On Flight 93, the passengers rebelled against their airplane overlord and forced it to crash short of it’s suicidal destinatioin

    2. Oikophobia…
      I was told that “But, Jerry Fallwell said the US should be destroyed.”
      Jerry Fallwell had been dead and buried for over three years when I was told this non sequitur rejoinder. Why worry about Islamic terrorists when you can obsess about “Right-Wing Theocons”.

      1. Oh, come on. Look at the lighter side of things. For example, there’s the hilarious Muslim comedy program It’s Always Sunni in Al Anbar. Tonight’s episode was a real crackup. It was titled The Gang Goes to the Allah Fallujah.

  2. I just don’t find much effort or even creative ideas for what could be done to heal the political divide. Like the old adage says, “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it”. Is the polarization fundamentally unaddressable? We know who the leading polarizers are. But who’s known for leading the way to reach across the aisle. Is there really no demand for leaders who would do that?

    1. I suspect most people subscribe to one or another of the following:

      1. It’s a phase, and Western Civilization will grow out of it (if it gets the chance).

      2. The Underpants Gnome strategy: Reclaim the institutions; ????; PROFIT!!!

      3. Meet holy war with holy war and let Armageddon sort it out.

      None of them sound particularly confidence-inspiring.

    2. I think this is largely myth. Americans have always been a contentious bunch. Why is there this push to get everyone to think the same way? Does it have something to do with the ascendancy of Marxism?

      The difference between the present and the past, communication is easier, near instantaneous, and reaches more people.

      The political divide will never be healed for one simple reason, people always have different opinions. How we express those differences could change but go back into the mythical past where things were better and look at the campaign where Democrats got their mascot, and no, it isn’t a donkey.

      Also, compromise for the sake of compromise isn’t a virtue. It depends entirely on specific context. It is something that usually goes one way, with our friends to the left suckering well meaning, but naive, opponents. I think people pusing this compromise fad have the same agenda as those pushing the we must all think alike fad and some well meaning people get caught up in it without realizing the intentions behind it all.

  3. So, eighteen years of The Screen Crawl. Huh.

    You know, that little ribbon at the bottom of the TV screen on the all-news channels and the network news broadcasts. Even cablevision’s little local news channel has one, repeating the same truncated and misleading headlines every few minutes. They probably think of it as advertising of a sort, keeping your eyes glued to their screen.

    There had been screen crawlers before 9/11, of course, but they only came out in the case of major stories, like the Gulf War or TWA 800. After 9/11, they just kept it running.

    They really liked that they could put the country’s threat level on the crawl, again and again and again. We were perpetually at Level 3 or 4, because what politician was ever going to allow Level 5 on his watch, just in case something happened. Nor did anyone ever tell us what we should do with that Threat Level information, what we should do differently in our daily lives. They couldn’t: just security theater. Somehow, the Threat Level managed to evaporate when nobody was looking, thank goodness for small favors.

    Now, of course, few of us watch The Crawl anymore. We tend to get our news from other sources, those that we agree with or at least have some affinity for (which probably causes other problems, like agreeing on what The Truth even means anymore). But The Crawl did its job well for at least a decade, keeping people in a perpetual panic and distrustful of everybody (“and thus clamoring to be led to safety”).

    1. Occasionally when watching a channel that has a crawl, Mrs. McG will remark on something that just scrolled by, and I’ll have no clue what she’s talking about until it goes by again.

  4. Ok, here is why September 11 happened. Before Sept. 11, every terrorism expert said, if you are on a plane, and the plane was hijacked, don’t do anything. Just sit in your seat, and don’t attack the hijackers. And on Sept. the 11, that is what everybody did. They stayed in their seats, and didn’t attack any of the hijackers.

    Now, what if starting in 1998, every terrorism said, if you are on a plane, and the plane is hijacked, that everybody should jump up out of their seats, and attack the hijackers?
    If that had happened on Sept. 11, I don’t think a single plane would have crashed into any buildings. You would see a few dead hijackers, and some of the passengers, and crew would be hurt. A couple might be dead.
    You see the same about people that work in stores. If a store is robbed, the employee should do nothing, but hand over the money. But some store employees get raped, or killed anyway.
    Now if the store employee has a gun, and were to shoot the robber, then that’s one less robber.
    But leftist hate that. They don’t like stand your ground, or the castle doctrine.

    1. Almost well stated, but Flight 93 were quick learners. Sadly, today institutions are teaching people to be submissive and hide during active shooter situations, with the very last thing to attack the attacker with any and everything available. Why wait?

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