September 11th, 2005


It's Nine-Eleven Again

Our schizophrenic nation is again... "commemorating" I think is the word I think I want between "celebrating" and "memorializing"... commemorating the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001. There'd been a clear build-up this year, what with probably progress towards building some sort of Freedom Tower at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, a design for a bell tower at the Pennsylvania site and The Discovery Channel's airing of the docudrama The Flight That Fought Back.

I Have Mixed Feelings...

... about TDC's show. I don't know if it is too soon to talk about this. Whether it will spawn trashier made-for-TV versions, etc. Still, it is, I have read, a powerful telling of one of the powerful stories of 9-11, and the advertising on air and in print (see today's Parade magazine supplement in many American Sunday newspapers) has a relentless inevitability which clearly points to the tipping point which those on that flight experienced.

A New Shock To The System

After NY, DC and PA, the scene soon shifted to Afghanistan. The Iraq. And Iraq. And Iraq. And Madrid. And London. Our attention keeps getting divided, we don't always remember to pay attention to everyone all over the world who deserves our thoughts and prayers.

Then Hurricane Katrina came to the front.

Today's Grand Rapids Press' had a wire services story about NYC fire fighters and policemen serving in New Orleans right now, and how despite living and working through 9-11, they are surprised by the extent of the devastation over something like 90,000 square miles.

It's not that we can't feel for all these people and all these incidents, but we do better dealing with stories one at a time. Serial, not multiplexed. It's human nature and human capacity.

So I don't know if the media and politicians were gearing up to hype the fourth anniversary of September the 11th more than was necessary or appropriate, or whether those efforts will be blown by the wayside with our also necessary concerns for the present and those who still need the help now.

Maybe it's not important that we rank our care -- only that we still do.

Dr. Phil