'Where Was God?'
Hang in there, we all are horrified beyond understanding. Be glad you don't have a TV. Watching replay after replay of this shit will either scar us for life, force us to examine our inherent worth as human beings, or both.
More than one person has said "where is God when things like this happen?". And for once it isn't rhetorical. I cannot imagine any minister, pastor, deacon, or madman concocting a viable answer. Maybe, just maybe, some good will come of this.
From: "Positive Atheism" <email@example.com>
To: "Gregory Tinkler"
Subject: Re: Thanks To Everyone
Date: September 13, 2001 3:41 AM
There might be something to say for the notion that watching violence on TV numbs people to the violence in real life. I eventually found some therapeutic value in replaying the films of the second crash and studying them for their physics value as well as from a special-effects angle.
I realize that this sounds sick and heartless, but the pain from this was putting me into a dangerous situation by the time I went to bed last night. At some point it comes time to do what you must just to function. I'm sure rescue workers and the like have tricks up their sleeves that would sound just as hearless, otherwise how could they function?
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TV violence may numb one to real violence, but it only goes so far.
For a long time, I thought there was nothing wrong as long as it was fake. Thus, I've partaken of all the evils of rock and rap music, repeatedly watched people get blown away on the big screen, and pulled the trigger more times than can be counted on video games like DOOM and Quake. If ever there was a child growing up who fit the "profile" of the Columbine kids (right down to the trench coat), it was me. Except I wasn't marginalized, and hence never developed that disregard for life and hatred of others.
Now I've come to agree with Arthur C. Clarke's opinion about how 'interest in the pathological is itself pathological', and I moderate my input from the corporate media whores. Nevertheless, I have run the gamut of exposure to this crap, been through my mandatory desensitization training. Let me tell you Cliff, that none of it -- and I mean none -- can compare to the horror of what happened yesterday. No TV show, Hollywood Blockbuster, or CD can ever adequately desensitize anyone with a conscience to the point where it doesn't hurt to watch that footage.
And don't you dare be ashamed of how you coped with watching it. Other people use the same methods. Some day engineers and architects will watch that footage and study how to construct their buildings to withstand impacts of that magnitude, and they will have to divorce themselves from their emotions to do so. It is, in fact, a testimony to the ability of the architects of the WTC that the damned towers stayed up for as long as they did. Thousands were able to escape because of their skills in design and construction.
I heard a radio show say that 6,000 body bags were ordered from the county coroner (or whoever). That number could easily have been 60,000 if the buildings would have buckled on impact, had they broken in half and fallen on other buildings or on people in the streets. Think about it. Can faith move mountains? I've never seen it. But what we all have seen is the power of reason. The power to keep -- not just one -- but two enormous, wrecked, twisted, burning structures suspended hundreds of feet from the ground, long enough for thousands of people to make it to safety. That is the power of the mind in action, the human will given life.
A degree of desensitization is necessary. Otherwise, could we help the fallen? Or would we just go fetal and wail while the world falls apart? The people of NY are on their feet and working nonstop to put things right. They took it on the chin and are still going. They find their therapeutic value wherever they can, simply because they have to. We must do the same. This affects everyone.
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