Monday, September 11, 2006

'The new normal'

I switched on Fox News last night, and the anchor referred to life in the post 9/11 world as the 'new normal'. I thought it was, rather, insensitive on their part to use such a phrase because it implied that one has to accept the current climate of war hysteria and collective madness as something that borders on the 'normal'. In a sense, I felt, use of such a phrase was an insult to the memory of all those people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack.

However, in the five years since those traumatic events quite a lot has changed, and I suppose, what we've always thought as the idealistic 'normal' may, in fact, be out of touch with current reality. Of course, I like to question this idea because, for some reason, I don't like to assume that this is how my world is going to be, and that this would be the legacy my generation will be leaving behind.

Obviously, this is an idealistic ranting because a good hard look at reality will reveal that things are going progressively worse, and assuming that things would and should get better is like living in a fool's paradise.

But why shouldn't we dream for things to get better? Why do we have to succumb to the cynicism fed into our minds by ruthless politicians and even more ruthless terrorists? Why do we have to accept their paradigm as our reality? Why do we have to even call it 'normal'?

The trouble with 9/11 is that it's going to end up as another anniversary - a day for war mongers to justify their battle cry, a day for pacifists to prove how right they are, a day for fundamentalists of every hue to talk about divine retribution, a day for historians to use it as a benchmark for future events, a day for the media to milk every ounce of human emotion into high TRP ratings, a day for the families and friends of the victims to weep alone, a day for silence to take a backseat.

In another twenty-thirty years time, those of us who are still able to answer 'what we were doing on 9/11' will grow old, and perhaps, be already dead. By then, the date will have lost its emotional urgency, and would be just another historic date like Pearl Harbour, the sinking of the Titanic and the atomic explosion over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe by then, some of the conspiracy theories would have been proved wrong, or you never know, future historians would have uncovered some uncomfortable truths our present generation wouldn't have been able to digest.

All these are mere speculations, but one thing is certain... the more we accept the 'reality' forced upon us by politicians and terrorists that much more closer we are to our own spiritual, emotional and physical destruction.

We need to say that we are not going to allow ourselves to be pawns in some gigantic political game of one upmanship. We need to declare our autonomy from this vicious cycle of attacks and revenge. We need to separate ourselves from this madness.

We need to just say, enough of this bloody nonsense.

For heavens sake, enough!

Enough!

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