Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember-Forget 9/11

Five years after that surreal day, I'm surprised at the upwelling of feeling. If you turn on the TV at all today, all you see are tributes and remembrances. We are flying our American flag, which only seems appropriate. And yet I'm curious at my own annoyance at being reminded of that whole day. I do remember thinking that I would never forget, and that it was horrifying and could only bring about a new era for Americans, I mean, look at how we pulled together after that day.

So why, a mere five years later am I scoffing at movies designed just to make sure we don't forget? I haven't seen United 93, have you? And it's not just that things don't look like I wanted them to look 5 years later, because I have the same feelings about the Columbine massacre. I don't want to hear about it.

Freud - no matter what you may think of him - did suggest that we humans have a unique ability to suppress memories that are unpleasant or highly stressful. That theory had been controversial until 2004 when we (not like I had anything to do with it, scientists just like to speak in the third person) found through neuro-imaging that we can suppress remembering the same way we suppress a voluntary muscle movement. So remembering the events of that day five years ago is going to take actively generating remembering.

And I did say I wouldn't forget... I guess I will be seeing United 93 after all.

Editor's note: Slate has an interesting take on a picture from 9/11 that hasn't been shown until now because of it's "disturbing" nature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The thing that upsets me is that no one seems to notice that something a hundred times worse just happened in Lebanon, sanctioned by the U.S., nor is anyone outraged by what's going on in the Sudan, which is shaping up to be a repeat of Rwanda, which also appears to have the gold stamp approval of the grand U S of A regardless of our failures in the nineties.

Who the fuck cares what happened five years ago, if it's not serving as a reminder of anything more than sentimentality???