ENOUGH!By Christopher J. Berry
E-mail: mutineer@surfside.net
WARNING: This article contains harsh criticism about stupid people and the WTC bombing. If you are looking for warm fuzzies, patriotism, red white and blueism, or jingoism of any type, check out CNN.
First things first, let me clarify that what happened to the people of Manhattan and those unfortunate enough to be on those planes is nothing short of tragedy. So put away your poison pens for another day.
The day after the event, I began to wonder what was more tragic, the destruction or the politician's speeches. Clearly, every Senator and Congressperson had to get his or her mugs up on the screen and yap away. Like we all know how bad it is, and we need to be reminded of this? No, we forgot about the whole thing in the past half-day and now need to be reminded. It must be the cynic in me, but somehow I think it is something to do with re-election. Like they care about the loss of life, but instead must be thinking, "Hey, I got to get on TV and give a spiel so everyone will think I'm a great guy." Did we really need thirty people to tell us the same thing over and over?
Now I get email on a daily basis from every company telling me how tragic it was, and always having their name at the bottom. Do we need every company to remind us of how bad it was? Or how about the email telling us to go stand outside with a candle and pose for a satellite photo. Sorry, I'm not a sucker to do this for the first or the fifth time. I also find knick-knacks like bracelets and medallions popping up. Funny, you don't find any commemorating the burning of millions of Jews in German ovens. Or how about those oh so cute Wanted Dead or Alive Bin Laden t-shirts and bumper stickers. Funny, I never saw those with Charles Manson's name of them. Well beyond taste, E-bay features Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 for those who will pay a premium to fly their computer-generated plane into the towers. I even hear that one can buy vials of debris from the wreckage. Hey, how about vials of ashes from the camps in Germany...
Now I am seeing American flags hanging from every house on the block. I?m seeing children on street corners holding signs saying "Honk for USA". At the store parking lot was a truck with the word "FREEDOM" spray-painted on the rear window. Get bent, all of you. You dumb fuckers don't know what freedom is. There certainly is not much left in America, and count on there being less in the near future. Then there was the asshole who blew past a group of us waiting our turn at a stop sign, rolled through the intersection without bothering to slow down, and what was hanging off the back of his truck? An American flag. Yes, any asshole can fly a flag, but why not show you are a red-white-tried-and-true asshole. Now those with a flag or a fish sticker have complete leave to drive like idiots.
Excuse me if I have not forgotten the high taxes we pay, that I was a wage slave until I got laid off. No severance, no nothing. Just a swift kick in the rear and shown the door. When did we get all stupid warm and fuzzy to forget the ill begotten "drug war" and how it saps our freedom? When did we become ignorant of the pork barrel spending like half a million dollars for a statue of the late Dr. Seuss?
Did we forget to ask these beloved politicians how this occurred in the first place? I would like some serious answers to the questions no one will ask. About twelve years ago, I worked at Long Beach airport in California. This is a satellite to LAX, but is still plenty busy. Around this time, terrorism was still alive and well. I can remember all the times I forgot my ID badge and could walk in through the back. Oh hell, I could drive in sometimes. I liked to go over with my old T-bird and fill up on the high-octane gas. I had full access to the planes with the mechanics, often times sitting in the cockpits of DC-9 and DC-10 aircraft. I remember there was a door with a five-button lock on it, and at first I would just wait for someone who knew the combo to come along and let us in. After a while, I picked up on the numbers and could let myself in. I could walk up the control tower and in the year I worked there, I never saw any security. Granted, there was a bomb scare on a plane due in from Chicago, but that meant we got to go home early because there weren't any planes to work on.
Our crew's job was to clean the inside on the planes. I used to find cash, cigarettes, lighters galore, and one of the guys found a huge bag of weed. Sometimes, our plane was forced to land at LAX so we'd pile in the van, Cheech, Chong, and me. Pulling up to the gate, the vehicle reeking of smoke (not cigarette), we'd be waved through. Pretty much had full run of the place there too.
This week alone at LAX, security guards have confiscated over 10,000 knives, scissors, and toy guns. I would guess it is safe to say that 10,000 or more items like this passed through there at any given time before. Why such a lack of security before now? We went to close the barn door, but the cow has left, gone over the hill, past the pasture, down the road, hopped a bus and is now sitting in a Chicago bar drinking a beer.
[This article appeared in the November/December 2001 issue of THE THOUGHT.]