Like you, I spent some time on Sunday flipping around to some of the various televised 9/11 remembrances. For most of the time, our family was stuck on MSNBC’s rerunning of the actual live NBC broadcast of those horrible events as they unfolded. We were mostly silent as we pondered the tragedy and massive loss of human life. At times someone would make a comment or ask a question. Maybe the best word to describe our mood was solemn.

We also spent some time watching and listening to some of the “ten years after” commentary. Since it was the first full day of the NFL season, we saw flyovers, moments of silence, and patriotic flag-unfurlings at games around the country. Maybe the best word to describe the mood of these events was tasteful.

But at one point later in the day I was flying through the channels when I stopped on a station that usually leaves me scratching my head. On Sunday, the head scratching jumped into high gear as the Home Shopping Network peddled a medallion engraved with the New York skyline pre-9/11. I don’t know her name, but she was one of the many generic sales-models that usually sell fake precious metals and gems to a host of home shoppers. . . many of whom, I’m sure, will buy anything and everything sold in TV. But on a day when we needed to ponder the imperfections and broken condition of humanity, here was HSN seemingly cashing in on tragedy to make a buck. The sales pitch went on and on as the number of items sold rose. To me, it seemed almost like a souvenir stand had been set up next to Ground Zero as the dust was still settling. . . and the proprietor of the stand was barking out her sales pitch loud and clear. Maybe the best word to describe what I was watching was bothersome.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. But aren’t there times and places when we shouldn’t be trying to make a buck. . . especially off of tragedy? Maybe we’re so used to marketing, selling, and spending that stuff like this has just been normalized and accepted.

4 thoughts on “Bothersome. . .

  1. The following is an article written by Paul Krugman, published in the NY Times.

    September 11, 2011, 8:41 am
    The Years of Shame

    Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

    Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

    What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

    A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

    The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”

    My Comment.
    The continuing unpatriotic shameful commemorations of 911 are but the corporate military industrial complex’s way of keeping us living in fear and continuing to financially support their trillion-dollar war machine.

    Walt, may I suggest reading Noam Chomsky’s “Was There An Alternative To Our 911 Response?”.

  2. what next walt, estate sales at funerals and advertising on caskets?

    it’s a sad cometary that as a culture we can’t pause and reflect anymore without something being marketed to us at the same moment.

    thanks for your observations!

  3. Walt, I searched your site for any previous posts having anything to do with 9/11 and was unable to find a single one. Is this your first? Anyway, the selling of a commemorative medallion of 9/11 inspires your post, the guts and ungodly ramifications of 9/11, inspire mine.

    The grief and shock I had over the events of 9/11 were quickly accompanied by the reaction of my country and the complacency of the citizenry to them… an unabashed cheer for war with countries who did not attack us or have a single WMD – the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia,(fifteen), United Arab Emirates (two), Lebanon (one), and Egypt (one)… a majority of the country being swept up in demonic blood lust…a blind eye turned towards the hundreds of thousands of innocents killed for “revenge”…and a misplaced rage and lack of introspection.

    Yes 2,9773 were killed, and it was a sad and unbelievable tragedy, but
    that loss could have been dealt with rational and soberly responses. Instead, it opened the door to the loss of my country’s soul, reason, and an imagined better nature. Being less kind, the reaction was the glaring light cast on America’s largely soulless husk, dissolving any slight illusions I might have held that this country was better than it is in reality… that it even remotely resembled the myth it likes to tell others, and believes about itself.

    I have unmitigated disgust for anyone who would attempt to use that day as an excuse for the various responses – the barbaric torture (WWJD), the xenophobia, thousands of physically and mentally crippled soldiers, dead soldiers, countries totally devastated, innocent civilians, including children, slaughtered and maimed, millions left homeless, two unnecessary wars that totally drained and destroyed this country’s economy for it’s people, but enriched the manufacturers of bombs, bullets and guns, and on and on it goes.

    And now, rather than reflect on the unwholesome beast our country became in it’s grief-rage, the moment continues to be exploited for various benefit by the usual parasitic death-exploiting military corporations and politicians. The total lack of condemnation of America’s response by my fellow followers of Christ, is shameful.

    Does anyone really believe that Jesus would have approved of our vengeful, soulless retaliation?

    There is absolutely no way that Jesus would have approved of our heinous and abhorrent response, and thus it should have been zealously condemned by our Christian leaders. Sadly, and pathetically, not a whimper was heard.

  4. After attending a 9/11 panel in northwest D.C. on Monday, Ralph Nader told The Nation‘s George Zornick that Americans had mostly ignored the reasons that the terrorist attacks occurred.

    “All we want to say is that it was a terrorist attack, it was evil, don’t talk about what caused it,” he said. “What really lead to it was, one, we back dictators over there that repress and kill their own people with American arms. Two, we support the Israeli position against the rights of the Palestinian people to have their own state. And three, we have repeatedly failed — no matter how much money we spend — to defend our own country.”

    “The folly of the military-industrial complex is that it not only erodes our economy and destroys a quality standard of living, but it also insures an empire which is insatiable in terms of the contracts that Lockheed Martin and others want to dominate the world,” Nader added. “It’s just the opposite of defense, an empire eventually devours its own people.”

    Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) was booed at the CNN/Tea Party Republican debate on Monday night for trying to explain why al Qaeda had attacked the U.S.

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