Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday, September 11: Thoughts on 9-11

Riding my bike down the bike path on Monday, September 11, 2006., I hear a big ruckus. Dogs barking, barking. When I come up to it, it’s the usual: a dog in a yard having a tantrum about a couple of dogs walking by on the bike path nearby. My territory, bark, bark. No, I’m the boss around here, bark, bark.

That reminded me of what I see as the core of the whole 9-11 mentality: one spoiled brat, made rich by oil, sends planes to knock down the “enemy’s (bark, bark) towers. Another spoiled brat, made rich by oil, bark, bark, is going to show who is boss, so it’s off to war we go, no wait, one war isn’t enough, bark, bark, let’s knock down a dictator, who this country’s secret apparatus set in power way back, who also happens to be rich with oil. Bark, bark, bark. It would be funny, if so many people didn’t have to die while these people have to show who's the big toughest dog on the block.

Then, rounding the bend and coming off the bike path, I spot an encouraging sight, a bus stop with at least eight kids waiting and having a good time talking and joking around together. This is rare in my sightings. Sometimes I see one or two kids at a stop, but rarely a nice little pack having a good time. What I do see, however, often is gobs and gobs of cars of parents who just have to get in their (usually very large) cars and drive the kiddies to school. Thereby depriving the little angels of a chance to either use their feet and walk, or to hang out and have a good time away from parents and with other kids at a bus stop.

And the drive to school: takes gas. Remember all the rich top dogs, bark, bark who got rich with oil?

As an aside: if someone comes to your door running for City Council: ask them if they came on bike or foot, or drove the mile or so to your neighborhood. Ask them how many City Council meetings they attended last year and how many of those meetings they went to on a bike or on foot.

Back to 9-11.

This might seem off the track, but it isn’t: GO SEE LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, quick, before it leaves the local theater and you can’t ride a bike to see it. It’s tremendous. In it a family of neurotic, at best, people, are forced into one VW bus together and endure crisis after crisis. A point G. Gurdjieff, a Russian philosopher and mystic made a long time ago, was that for people to change out of their ruts, they needed certain shocks to their system. The tricky point is these shocks, if handled wrong, could make a person worse. Which is to say: a crisis gives people and communities and countries a chance to either pull their stuff together and rise to a higher level of functioning, or it gives them an excuse to dissolve to a lower level. You’ve all either seen or participated in divorces that go one way or the other.

Anyway, in Little Miss Sunshine ( Thursday night, Sept. 21, might be the last night) , the people rise from the mess and get to be better people. And the movie is fun.

After 9-11, people sunk to the lowest common level: eye for an eye. And as Gandhi said, enough of that and the whole world is blind.


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