Wednesday, September 07, 2011

10 is just a number like 9

With the impending 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, everyone (specifically the media) is in a frenzy about it. It seems to be a bigger deal than any of the years prior and I'm not sure that I understand why. It's just a number. Why is 10 more important than 9 or 8 or 3, for examples. Every year is hard for many people. You would think that with each year it gets easier and less important. By the way, by less important I don't mean to diminish anything associated with that date. You know that I, of all people, do not water down the meaning. I just mean more tolerable. Less intrusive on life. So why, when the 10 hits, do we amp it all up again?

Is it because we use a base 10 numbering system and we are conditioned to think in units of 10? Is it the same reason why our birthdays are a bigger deal when we hit 10, 20, 30, 40, etc? Those are even sillier because people say you're starting a new decade. Meanwhile, you don't start it until after your birthday passes. Your birthday is completion of a decade, not the start of another. I suppose the entire event is not past or future as much as it is just transitional commencement.

But as for 9/11, I fear it's almost becoming celebratory in some ways. Yay! We made it 10 years. We don't act and live it every day like we used to. We have gone back to our day to day lives. We cut people off again. We tell people to go fuck themselves. We took down the flags from our cars. We are angry, entitled Americans over and over. The "never forget" bumper stickers are so faded that we've even forgotten what they once said.

So why 10? It's just another year that I won't sleep well for the next two weeks. Tears are shed in the most impromptu of situations and often at inappropriate times and circumstances. I've been doing this every year since 2001. Frankly, I can't handle all the hoopla. Each year I try to minimize the impact to my life and, subsequently, the collateral damage that are the people around me who endure me around now.

Then it all picks up steam because an arbitrary number we focus on for no real reason has arrived. Not helpful. You want to affect change? Live your life like a hero who sacrificed life for strangers and do it every day. Don't do a dog and pony show because it's 10 years and turn my shit upside down.

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