Disastrous Atrocity

Filed under:9/11,Need a Good Editor?,Sad — posted by Anwyn on May 31, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

September 11 is listed in the “Major Disasters” section, subheading “Aircraft Disasters,” of son’s new almanac. It is the only hijacking in the list–the rest are accidents–and the phrasing is poor: “Two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, one went down in a PA field.” No, Almanac editors, the planes didn’t crash; they were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The one in the PA field did crash, and it’s due only to the heroism of the doomed passengers who did not allow it deliberately to be flown into yet another important American building full of people. I do not understand people who still insist on avoiding calling 9/11 what it was: an atrocity. It was not a tragedy, as many news outlets and politicians have called it. It was a disaster, as the Almanac calls it, but that does not give its true character: It was a cold-bloodedly planned, cold-determinedly executed mass murder-suicide.

I hadn’t before said anything to my son about 9/11. He’s only seven and it happened before he was born. But he likes to read to us the lists of events and cool facts in his almanac. It really gave me a jar to hear it in a list of accidents consigned to history. Unprepared, I ended up giving him the nutshell on what happened, including the heroism of the Flight 93 passengers, but I couldn’t do it without tearing up. He listened intently, but next time he wanted to read the list to us, sternly warned me not to repeat the story of 9/11 and not to cry. He then omitted it from the list, because the fun, for him, was quizzing us on “What happened?” in each particular disaster, and he didn’t want to hear the painful story of 9/11 again. At least he grasped that there was something different about that one.

Comair Crash Case Ruling

Filed under:People in Court,Sad — posted by Anwyn on February 11, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

Apparently this lawsuit against Comair for the 2006 crash was the only one not already settled. The judge ruled out punitive damages but called the pilots’ conduct “reprehensible,” which is actually a factor the U.S. Supreme Court has directed be taken into account when calculating punitive damages in cases that allow them.

Do careless mistakes, though bearing horrible results, qualify as “reprehensible conduct?”

The court awarded just over $7 million to the killed passenger’s family–his wife and two daughters.

Every Night in My Dreams

Filed under:History,Movies,Sad — posted by Anwyn on January 6, 2010 @ 10:51 am

James Cameron reportedly considering making a movie about the WW2 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Titanic was a good movie, let me stipulate up front, but these days I never watch it because it’s too sad. At the same time, it’s at least a little bit Disney-fying, for lack of a better term, of the wreck. I fear for the same treatment being applied to the WW2 bombings.

The double-bombing survivor Cameron spoke to passed away this week at the age of 93. RIP.

H/t: Lileks.

Cultural Sentimentality

Filed under:Cool,Sad — posted by Anwyn on September 9, 2009 @ 10:27 am

Cutting to the chase: Nine hundred-plus Dragon*Con participants doing the “Thriller” dance in hopes of breaking the Guinness record. They start out well, some sputter a little in the middle, but they don’t seem to run out of gas.

It surprises me occasionally what sinks deep into the cultural part of my brain and psyche without me being totally aware of it. I’ve never been a Michael Jackson fan; I acknowledged his talent but disliked watching him grab his crotch and for the most part despised his vocal style. When he died, I thought Sippican had summed it up best, well before his death: Did you know Michael Jackson could sing?

But Quincy’s magnum opus was fixing it so you didn’t notice that the greatest child soul singer, ever, couldn’t sing a lick anymore. Every bit of Quincy’s talents were needed to foist this future circus freak on the public, when the freak had nothing left in the tank but a visually disorienting dance step. And Quincy kept moving the musical cups around so you couldn’t find the little ball under the one marked “He can’t sing.” Because poor old Michael couldn’t sing a lick after his Adams Apple showed up.

… it was over for Michael when his voice changed, and he knew it. And it’s probably what drove him crazy. And if Michael Jackson is anything, it’s crazy.

Perhaps you’d go crazy too, if you were given that gift, and then it was taken away from you like that. And it is a gift. Michael’s father Joe couldn’t beat that sound out of Tito or Jermaine, after all, no matter how hard he tried. Michael had it, and out it came.

So I had a lot of sympathy for Michael Jackson (notably after his death, however), and a certain amount of grief and disgust over an American talent and celebrity descending into a not-quite-psychotic mental twlight, but wasn’t what I would call a fan. So I can’t really explain why I actually got tears in my eyes over this: Nine hundred-plus Dragon*Con participants doing the “Thriller” dance in hopes of breaking the Guinness record. They start out well, some sputter a little in the middle, but they don’t seem to run out of gas.

Is it worth what he went through and what he became to have such a deep and lasting impact on people? I don’t know. What does that impact consist of? Individual resonance, certainly, but also shared cultural watermarks and experience. Sharing that experience over millions of people is no small feat, notwithstanding the fact that of course he never did it alone. How frustrating that the bigger the celebrity, the bigger potential for a harder fall into a nastier trough–harder because even if he/she gets away with whatever he/she pulls, the public knows and never forgets, and nastier because for whatever they do to whomever, it’s played out on national television. RIP, Michael Jackson.

I wondered, as I watched the video, how they taught all those people all those moves in the proper order; it’s not a short song, after all. Check it out:

H/t: Calisuri.

One Wonders How He Really Feels about the Revolutionary War

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,History,Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on June 23, 2009 @ 8:47 am

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs spouts what keeps recurring as an especially jarring note in Obama’s mealy-mouthed nothings over the fraud and violence in Iran:

“He’ll continue to speak out in support of those that are seeking to demonstrate and do so in a way peacefully,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told FOX News.

Obama said this himself a few days ago:

What you’re seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and – and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way.

We “stand behind” and “speak out” only for those seeking to topple their violent, repressive, tyrannical government in a “peaceful” way. Because that’ll probably work, no?

Only two explanations occur to me for this particular idiocy. Either Obama really is of the no-exceptions “peace at any price” camp, an enemy of the freedom we enjoy in this country, which was bought with blood, or else he simply is too dim to understand that in Iran and places like it, fradulent elections don’t simply mean that one party yelps about it for a while and then it’s back to business as usual, complete with a peaceful transition. They mean that a party that has no qualms about ordering its thugs to kill its own people will stay in power with their thumbs, bootheels, and various other metaphorical appendages planted squarely on the metaphorical throats of the very real people. And while I think he’s dim, I don’t think he’s quite that dim. Which just makes him, potentially, very wicked. There’s nothing like protesting protests in the name of “peace” to confuse well-intentioned people into believing that what they want isn’t important enough to break the peace. And then, to quote one of C.S. Lewis’s less savory characters, one would have carte blanche.

Via Xrlq.

For Smart People, You’re Awfully Damn Dumb

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on March 31, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

Auto execs who flew their corporate jets to DC to shill for taxpayer money for stockholder corporations? Dumb. Bankers and financial gurus who insisted certain businesses were too big to be allowed to fail? Dumb.

You shilled for all that taxpayer money and honestly didn’t believe it would have government filaments unbreakably attached to every single dollar? Really? You didn’t consider the possibility of Obama handing you your marching orders every day from now on? Really?

God, are you dumb.

I’d rather be the one to be telling you what to do, since it’s my money, but hey, it’s some untraceably small percentage, so my elected representatives whom I didn’t vote for get to tell you what to do instead. Isn’t it fun to get barrels of money from an apparently limitless well?

God, are you dumb. Our country’s economy may die, and if it does, your hands were on the stake through its heart.

Buy Honda. And Toyota and Nissan. And Hyundai. And Mercedes and BMW and Volvo and Volkswagen. Drive the government out of the car business. And hoard your cash and drive them out of the banking and financial services business, too. Out.

Obama Spending Your Money on Global Abortions

Filed under:Abortion,Church of Liberalism,Politics,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on January 26, 2009 @ 8:23 am

Killing our own babies isn’t enough. We have to make sure that everybody else in the world has access to dead babies as well. Because that’s what it’s about: global fairness and domestic unity. I certainly feel less divided now, don’t you?

I guess now that he’s got the president’s salary and perks, this issue isn’t above his pay grade any more. Whew. Somebody tell Scarecrow the real way to get a brain.

Hey, how about less net spending, Mr. President? Maybe we could stop funding domestic abortions at a slightly higher than 1:1 ratio.

Pendulum

Filed under:History,Not Cool,Politics,Sad — posted by Anwyn on November 10, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

As a kid trying to understand the scale of human civilization, I once observed to my father that our culture seemed to act like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the two ends of the liberal/conservative spectrum. In my limited understanding of zeitgeists some of which were before my time, I cited the supposed characters of the various decades: the fifties, staid and proper; the sixties, loose and vulgar; the seventies, trying to recover from the sixties; the eighties–well, my pattern ended there because I was living in it and I couldn’t see anything so very decadent about jellies and stirrup pants. Dad said no, that isn’t the way it works: The civilization presses towards the loose and irresponsible end of the spectrum until it collapses.

I wasn’t completely wrong, I know, but my image was wrong. Closer to correct is that various people and forces work to hold back the tide flowing to the irresponsible end and sometimes succeed in briefly damming it. Some people seem to believe the dam has now forever burst, or if it hasn’t already, it will as soon as Obama’s economic policies are enacted and turn bigger-than-ever swaths of the electorate into dependents.

As the previous post shows, I’m cautiously pessimistic. But I wonder if, even if our time has not come now, will it, irrefutably, inexorably, and inevitably? Can Western civilizations actually collapse any more? Or do they, as Peter Hitchens says, subside into the Third World?

Dear Mark Steyn

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Sad — posted by Anwyn on November 8, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they’ll be routed in two or four years’ time. The President-elect’s so-called “tax cut” will absolve 48 per cent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state.

I’ve no doubt you’re right, but the more you write about this, the less I want to have any more children who will have to live in this farce, which is of course in direct contrast to your main line of argument in life. What’s a girl to do?

Updat: Xrlq thinks I’m overreacting. If I am, then sure as hell P.J. is too:

The South Side of Chicago is what everyplace in America will be once the Democratic administration and filibuster-resistant Democratic Congress have tackled global warming, sustainability, green alternatives to coal and oil, subprime mortgage foreclosures, consumer protection, business oversight, financial regulation, health care reform, taxes on the “rich,” and urban sprawl.

Which is even scarier than Steyn.

Bereaved Again

Filed under:It's My Life,Sad — posted by Anwyn on September 21, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

The Bean’s paternal grandmother has passed on, following her husband by about five months. I’ll be absent(er).

We Are the Members of / The All-American League…

Filed under:Sad,Sports — posted by Anwyn on August 19, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

We come from cities
Near and far.

We’ve got Canadians,
Irish ones, and Swedes
We’re all for one,
We’re one for all,
We’re All-American.

Dottie Collins, a mainstay pitcher of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, has died of a stroke, at age 84, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Daisies.

How’d you like to play baseball in a miniskirt? R.I.P., Mrs. Collins.

Hat-tip J.

R.I.P. Tony Snow

Filed under:Sad — posted by Anwyn on July 12, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

A sad, gaping loss. I hope his family can find comfort.

Out. Out. Out.

Filed under:Mothering,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on June 19, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

The more I read about public school systems and incidents that occur the more convinced I am that my son will never see the inside of one. Private schools may have as many dopey ideas, but at least if I remove him from one of them they will shrug their shoulders at the lost tuition and not bother me again.

** Out of their minds: Birth control without the consent of parents is wanted … because girls deliberately set out to get pregnant. So obviously, the problem was they couldn’t get birth control because of their parents!

** Out of money, they perpetually complain: Yet offering free meals to anybody under eighteen all summer long, no registration, no proving that your parents don’t feed you enough, no problem.

** Out of accountability and humanity: Parents, who sends their three-year-old child away on a bus? And then is left baffled when the child comes home with marks and bruises? My heart goes out to the child and may they find and punish the culprit, but parents, hello? Three years old! Can’t reliably tell where they’ve been, can’t clearly state who might have abused them, can’t fend for themselves in any way. Keep them out of places where parents don’t have direct supervision or control.

Get out, public schools. Get out of early childhood. Get out of the parenting business. Not needed, not wanted, not welcome.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace