File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 41

Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:56:33 -0500
Subject: Re: 9/11/01


Thanks for you kind words.

Lyotard speaks of the need to write without knowing who one's audience
will be.  It is good to know there are others in the dark who listen.

I would like to invite you, now that you have broken the ice, so to
speak, to join us directly in the discussions, if you want, but thanks
for listening anyway.

I mourn the loss of human life, but I certainly don't mourn the loss of
innocence in America either.  If anything, I see this innocence as
willful, misconstrued, and socially constructed.  In short, not so

Americans have this myth about youth culture that leads them to identify
with youth and innocence in a narcissistic fashion.  This myth was able
to perpetuate itself, in part, because of American's own imagined
isolation from the world community.  They feeling was and is: 

"God bless America.  

The rest of the planet can go to hell."

My hope was that in the face of this tragedy, Americans would sober up
to the new realities of globalism and leave these fantasies behind.  In
short, I wanted Americans to grow up!

The past few days, however, have undermined this hope.  Now there are
America flags everywhere; laser flags, crayon flags, photcopied flags,
houses painted as flags, flag tattoos, flag lapel pins, flag scarves,
flags on cars, flags on hats, flags, flags, everywhere a flag.

It is as if the secret desire of Americans was to live inside a Fellini

On a darker note, a crowd of racist white youths gathered around an
American-Arab community the other day taunting them as towel heads and
telling them all to go home.  It is incidents such as this to make me
ashamed to be an American today at the same time I mourn the dead.  

I live in the belly of the beast and the beast lives in me.  For the
paradox remains that I am an American - native born, white, male - I fit
the profile of the oppressor.  I daily live with the conflict of how to
be American and still remain at peace with myself, how to overcome my
own silent complicity with the horror of what our country has done and
may soon do again as it's response to this tragedy.  These christians
want to nuke the world. They do not want to turn the cheek.

As an atheist I feel compelled to quote the good(sic) book: 

"You reap what you sow."  
"He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword."


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