i'm in a really strange mood today. i read an article this morning about these 9/11 widows/children who were paid these multi-million dollar settlements and who have since essentially spent nearly all of the money. it got me thinking about 9/11 in general. nothing specific, but even though i wasn't personally affected, nor were many millions of americans, i still feel as if there's been a palpable sorrow hanging over our country since that happened. there's an edginess, or a desire to unplug and not pay attention to anything but the superficial. this isn't something that's universal, there are plenty of people out there like me, who continue to poke and prod and follow what's going on in the world and here at home. but on a higher level, there's all of this unsettled sorrow/anger.
right after 9/11, we were all sort of surrounded by this magnetic patriotism/togetherness. we had been attacked, and we rallied together around our leadership and our country to fight back. but we still haven't had the satisfaction of closure. that closeness has sort of disintegrated into sniping and backbiting and even greater internal division here at home.
instead of hunting osama, we've been distracted by iraq. there's been no resolution whatsoever for all the pain and shock that we experienced as a nation on that day in 2001. we're still burying/cremating little body parts that have been identified with dna. and i feel like that pain/shock has kind of evolved itself into a general numbness/glassy eyed feel in this country. people still seem to be emotionally exhausted on a very core level. we are still all silently searching for that resolution that will at least bring some closure, but nothing that we're doing as a nation is bringing us closer to that. instead, our fear and sadness has been exploited, and our numbness has been taken advantage of by some avaricious people who have used all of this to their own personal advantage.
but even while many millions of people know this, we aren't able to shake ourselves out of the stupor that we've sunk into. our schools are getting worse, our health care is getting worse and much more expensive, our financial situations are more perilous than they've been in decades, our personal debt levels are increasing, our salaries aren't keeping up with inflation, the real value of our income is dropping, and our strength as a nation is being sapped. but we, as americans, continue to be distracted by the likes of young white women gone missing, runaway brides, and the inane insanity of the jacko trial and tom cruise's warped scientological worldview.
i'm not blaming anyone here. i'm just worried that we're losing our direction, our positive idealism, and our moral strength as we slip into the morasse of our small, guilty, personal pleasures. our country lost a lot on 9/11, and what i'm worried most about is that our compass has been dislodged and we have become a nation of depressed, prozac be-smiled, willfully distracted individuals. i don't know what will get us out of it. but i hope we shake it off before we lose our way completely.