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| One Year Later Minus a Month
Get ready for all the memorials and assessments. They will be non stop in a month. The airwaves, cable and print will go on a marathon that will saturate your consciousness and will leave you numb. I will be one of the fortunate ones - and will be in the UK for the anniversary remembrance of 911. The view from overseas, indubitably will be slanted from a different perspective. So before your tune all this out, maybe you should reflect upon what has happened and how our country has changed.
How many times do we need to hear that America has rediscovered their long lost spirit of outrage? No matter were you fall on the political spectrum, we can all agree our sincere sorrow for the loss of innocent life. Too bad that this rightful empathy does not extend to a concern over the daily death of the unborn. Each day more life is extinguished than on 911. But that does not move the newly found flag waver. Their indignity is saved and directed towards that evil Al Qaeda. Who reminisces over Ben Laden when you have Saddam Hussein in the cross hairs?
They have found a newly discovered affection for their country. Or have they? Most confuse justifiable deference for their nation as a blind defense of their government. Critical analysis or investigative scrutiny are put aside as the public rushes towards a hysteria of jingoism. An insult to the manhood of the "Established System" has now been internalized into the personal identity of the average subject of the State. The call to pay any price, to endure any burden, is all too loud - even if its ultimate purpose is clouded in shadows of a creeping fog.
No don't ask or pose fair questions, we know all we need to know. That's the consensus of a national psyche gone awry. Consider what we have learned since 911. Read this list for yourselves and ask why if not you, your neighbors are so unwilling to address the coordination's behind the screens. Being enthralled with the visual images and dialogue of the actors on stage, seldom provides insights on the techniques of the set designers that create the wizardry, which the audience accepts as reality.
But you should already know the pattern of deception and appreciate the context upon which it is played out. For the others, facts are dismissed if they cast doubt on the approved version of the script. Only recognized and trusted actors are given the roles, while certified dialogue is checked for blunders that may reveal the real deal. Yes, what we have learned over the last year minus a month is that the public is even more engrossed in their own self denial than the producers of this dreadful tragedy.
Is this the kind of America that we as loyal citizens - pledge our sacred honor? Or is this disastrous melodrama just in summer stock, waiting to open for another season on the 'great white way' - the political theater that Broadway could never outdo.
The nightmare that we are living through has the final act well defined. The loss of our Liberty and last vestiges of constitutional restraints is the vision of the director in this farce, called the "War on Terrorism". And while this play unfolds, the audience enthusiastically applauds after each act and eagerly anticipates a standing ovation. The State will prevail! Hail to the chief . . . God bless our Government!
Enter the limelight, a true American hero. A man who has the moral fiber and unwavering courage to set a standard for the rest of us to admire and exemplify. Charlton Heston embodies the America that every authentic Patriot would laud and revere. Contrast the dignity and stature of a great man with the deceit and treachery of all the 'pol' midgets that hack their way to advance our enslavement. The text of the Heston announcement headlines was written with elegance and spoken with grace and nobility. Who among us could deny that we have witnessed not a performance but an authentic act of self realization. Mr Heston has proven his worth and right to carry the legacy of the Moses. The characters he played stand second to the man who played them.
While ending his remarks with a passage by Prospero, we are blessed with our own example of what it means to be an American, a privilege to grasp the meaning: "We are such stuff As dreams are made on," . . .
The hero in Shakespeare's Tempest continues where Heston ended: Sir, I am vex'd: Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled. Be not disturb'd with my infirmity. If you be pleas'd, retire into my cell And there repose: a turn or two I'll walk, To still my beating mind. While the American nation is certainly troubled and infirmed, its spirit remains resolute and inspiring. Our heritage is the remembrance of our collective wisdom as a culture and as a people.
In Ben-Hur, Heston's character is met with kindness when he thirsted. As a prisoner on the way to the galleys, Christ offers him much needed water. The intuition that Ben-Hur is in the presence of a great man is revealed. How great that simple carpenter is, only became evident later in the film. What we have is a man following the path of the Master. Now we have the same inspiration in real life.
Isn't this the Real America? The Patriotic Act is the work of Caesar. Charlton Heston's life is the living example in following the way of Christian teachings. Might this not be the true lesson of the last year? We all grieve the loss and sacrifices from 911, but how many lament the destruction to America that has come from the conscious efforts to ruin our nation, by our own government? We should be able to make the distinction between foreign enemies from those domestically, that create illusory foes to further their own tyranny. When Heston uttered his famous words to Al Gore ". . . from these cold, dead hands!!", his message was more than the right to bear arms. It extends to the duty to know and resist the real enemies of America. There within, lies the significance of the last year!
When Mr Heston leaves this world, his hand will need not be pried open from around his rifle. For it will already be touching the hand that he, in another role, painted. Can the rest of us say the same and hope the like for our country?
SARTRE - August 11, 2002