There’s No Excuse for Limiting 9/11 to Hero Worship

Are 9-11 Remembrance Festivals really latent Islamophobia picnics?

Those that serve only to indoctrinate – yes.

NintendoYou’ve got your 9-11 ceremonies and your 9-11 family fun runs, silent auctions, parades, Karaoke, walkathons, crafts for the kids, food, refreshments, and for some groups, even mock CSI investigations with clues, evidence, and presumably “perps.” (I wonder what they look like at a 9-11 festival.)

You can be outraged at my questioning this stuff, but you can’t be offended by my asking why these events rarely include educational opportunities to broaden our understanding of cultures other than our own. Yes-yes, I understand it was Western culture that took a hit that morning, but number one, ours wasn’t the only culture to be irreversibly affected, and number two, not every follower of Islam is hiding Boeing 747 wiring diagrams. So what’s the excuse? Where’s the booth that explains to young people what the Koran is, and who reads it?

Of Connecticut’s Wethersfield 9-11 memorial picnic, a Richard M. Keane Foundation spokesperson told a local paper, “It’s a nice family evening, and a time to remember in a positive way. It’s a looking-for-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of theme. I think it’s a great way for people to share the day and remember, but also enjoy their families.”

Absolutely. And familiar sentiments all –– the physical and emotional scars of 9-11 are indeed part of America’s social fabric. I’m just asking why it has to be limited to only those. Why can’t it also be used as a teaching tool (and an ounce of prevention)? Limiting these festivals to only “our side” and our understanding is dangerously restrictive in terms of dealing with those suspicious or distrustful of our way of life. Even from a tactical military standpoint, a soldier would question why we’re dismissing “the other guy.” Must hearts and minds always be won after America has put itself above those with whom it seeks to gain favor? Read more

Shouldn’t Undercooked Homeless Man Cash In Too?

Nicholas Carlesi captured what is thought to be the last last photo of Ronald Poppo before 75% of his face was chewed off.

Last week, nearly all the major media outlets and countless web destinations profited from leaked photos of Ronald Poppo’s eaten up face and the 9-1-1 calls reporting his attack. It’s bad enough that the rest of his miserable life is gonna be spent in pain and beef jerky jokes, there’s no excuse for Ronnie not gettin’ a slice…uh, a cut, a chunk – some money!

I mean, we don’t look homeless people in the eye or give ’em the time of day. We can’t stop to unfold a buck or two and we’ll cross the street if it means avoiding one. But let a bum get his face chewed off and we become wide-eyed pigeons, pecking at the ground — or in this case clicking though channels and websites — for salacious crumbs.

As quickly as the photos were leaked, only to go viral, is as quickly as I decided against lookin’ at ’em. I assure you it isn’t because I’m “mature” ‘n what not, and practically nothing grosses me out. What bothers me is the idea of celebrating sensationalism. Number one, I already knew the gruesome images would resemble a plate of chicken mole enchiladas, and number two, what’s the message? It sure as hell isn’t “homeless people deserve respect.” Read more