I sat down to write a piece to commemorate 9/11. Well, to be more honest, I tried. I felt the need to put thoughts on (electronic) paper, and this seemed the natural subject to broach.
No dice. I was too young. There’s nothing for me to say. I could write a eulogy of America, which would be fitting, as I truly believe that the United States died on 9/11. Still no juice. I was just too young. How do you eulogize the passing of something that you barely knew? Same with the people I knew who fell with the towers. I knew them only in the vaguest sense of the word. I was just too young.
When was I born? I was born just old enough to remember what it was like before progressivism fully completed its cultural coup d’etat. Just old enough to remember what things were like before America gave up on itself. Just old enough to have the glimmering hint of a time before the grim malaise of the post 9/11-era set in and began suffocating us all.
Perhaps I wasn’t too young after all. Perhaps I was born at just the moment I needed to be.
I suppose I could talk about what it was like to grow up in the shadow of 9/11. I suppose I could discuss what effect it has on a person to grow up knowing nothing but the Patriot Act, NSA spying, and foreign wars, with Pokemon, Facebook, and Netflix for entertainment if I ever started to gaze too deep into the abyss.
The words of Bane from the newest Batman movie come to mind: “I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, and by then it was nothing but blinding.”
Never forget 9/11, they tell us. How are we supposed to forget when the shadow of 9/11 is all we have every truly known? Anthrax scares. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia resurgent. Potential terrorists everywhere. How would you, my elders, have turned out, if you had known all this before you had entered adulthood?
Who the fuck do you think you would be?
I suppose I could discuss my belief that were it not for the swarm of electronic distraction, estrogenic chemicals in everything, and the ability of the media cabal to avoid any substantial dissemination of meaningful information, my generation would already be up in arms and taking action, and they would have been for quite some time now.
Then again, my generation also thought that voting Obama into office was meaningful action, and they’ve been content to sit on their hands since then. I might be wrong on this matter. Maybe even under optimal circumstances my contemporaries would be just as docile. The number of my peers who can actually think for themselves is vanishingly small. That number will grow as more and more of them are shocked into understanding, but will it be enough? Perhaps I’m wrong in assuming that when the call to action sounds, they will answer.
Of course, look at how so many in the vanguard of reaction are under 30. Perhaps we might live up to Strauss-Howe Generational theory and become a generation of heroes after all. I do think that most, if not all, of my contemporaries feel the need to do something. There are just so few of us who have decided what it is that we should do.
If I had to bet on it, I would posit that some of us will become heroes. The number will be few, and even more consequential will be those who become not heroes, but monsters.
My generation is simultaneously the most coddled generation ever and one that has known nothing but a dark, pessimistic world. This song was a number one hit for two weeks in the summer of 1985. Here’s what it sounds like with a slight twist from my generation.
I ask you now, which generation do you think will give rise to more monsters?
“I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, and by then it was nothing but blinding.”
90% of my generation probably won’t amount to anything. That number might even be closer to 95%. That other 5 – 10% though? Well, let’s just say it’s going to be an interesting 10 – 20 years.
“There’s a room where the light won’t find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I’ll be right behind you
So glad we’ve almost made it
So sad we had to fade it“
IN ABSENTIA LUCI, TENEBRAE VINCUNT