television moratorium

This is what I’m doing on the fifth anniversary of the attacks: I’m refusing to watch anything on television that touches on the subject at all. No news, no talk shows, and absolutely no specials or so-called documentaries.

There are many things I admire about Quakers, but the one I’m borrowing just now has to do with silence and reflection. I prefer to spend some time today considering the families of the victims, how they’ve survived in spite of merciless media scrutiny and the contempt of people like Anne Coulter.

Here’s my question: do we really need to keep revisiting those images? My sense is that none of us who turned on the television that morning and watched things as they happened will ever forget what we saw. Going back to those pictures again and again strikes me as morbid. The worst kind of voyeurism.

Far more important, to me at least:

The way our government is busy overseas creating more generations of desperately poor and angry people. The kind who, driven to the wall we helped build, embrace extremism and violence.

The thousands and thousands of civilians who have died and will continue to die while we are busy imposing democracy on them. In order to save the village, we had to destroy it.

The thousands of young people we have sent to fight; the ones who come back in body bags and coffins. Those are images you don’t see, because the government doesn’t want you to.

The way this administration has dedicated itself to the steady chipping away of civil liberties.

These things that are happening. Right here. Right now.