Monday, September 12, 2005

Katie's truck fetish . . .

Somebody needs to talk to Katie about worshipping graven images. Given a rare Sunday slot to celebrate observe the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Katie reintroduces us to the Memorial Truck. Katie likes the Memorial Truck. For those of you too lazy to look at the link, the Memorial Truck is a semi-trailer truck with a paint job that includes the names of all of the people killed on 9/11, except the terrorists, of course.

The truck makes personal appearances (which is a pretty good trick for a truck, you must admit) in various places, and people come up and touch the names of people they don't know, and cry. Think of it as sort of a diesel-powered Wailing Wall.

The Memorial Truck made an appearance in Kellogg, Minnesota on 9/11, as part of that town's solemn observance of Watermelon Days. Katie's Sunday column was about all the mourners in sack cloth and ashes - and with watermelon-stained faces - gazing up in anguish at the Memorial Truck. Spotty wonders if the Memorial Truck brought the watermelon!

If it is up to wingers like Katie, the national self-pity party will never end. It is a useful mood for them to have the country in, because it makes us all so blessedly uncritical of whatever hogwash the Bush administration is currently serving up. Support the troops! Remember the Alamo! Remember the Maine! Gott mitt uns!

Here's what we have become:
Patriotism has become a hollow, partisan notion in our country. It's been in the name of patriotism that we've turned our young soldiers into scapegoats and fodder. The betrayal of the young in the name of patriotism is a staggering fact of our post-9/11 response. The old men have carried the young men up the mountain and put them on the altar. It's Abraham and Isaac all over again. It's the oldest story, a kind of human sacrifice, and that's what's made those cries of parents so poignant this August. But those cries also have to include an element of self-accusation, because parents have done it to their children. We've done it to our children. That's what it means to destroy the United States Army. Night after night, we see that the actual casualties of that destruction are young men, and occasionally women, between the ages of 18 and 30. And this in the name of patriotism.
This is a quotation from an interview with James Carroll, a former Catholic priest and an anti-war activist. You can read the whole TomDispatch interview here.

Tags: (Just kidding on the last one.)

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