Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's no 9-11...

disclaimer and warning: I'm not a heartless bitch. The views expressed in this post are my personal response to the less than sympathetic words I've heard foreigners speak about America's responses to and American's feelings about the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

I met a Brit who said that he thought Americans over-reacted to the 9-11 attacks. He went on to say that we should get used to it and that it was about time it happened because the rest of the world has lived with terrorism for a very long time, some of it done by America itself (implied at that time, but much later said outright). He was a socialist. He was an artist which was how we ended up meeting (group art show). We tried to overlook and bypass each other's political views, but I pushed the topic as our election neared. His deep hatred of America and Americans emerged loud and clear enough that I realized he must also hate me. He also used that horrible sentence, "You're an intelligent woman, how can you support the Republicans?" As if no other view than his own is valid or intelligent. That's when I realized that even the most prejudiced Americans are more tolerant of differing opinions and ideas than this bloke. That's when I saw that I was tons more open-minded than this leftist snob. And then I realized that was the reason why so many foreigners hate the U.S. They hate us because we are so open-minded and tolerant of religious, political, ethnic, etc. differences. (Yes, I concede that not every single American is like that, but I'm speaking collectively and not individually. The fact that the KKK is still legal is evidence of America's tolerance.) We threaten their need to think that they are the One Right People. It takes their power away when their people see that in America there is no One Right Way to think or believe. (Aside from the religious fanatics, of course, but they aren't the majority.) When they lose their power they are filled with anger, fear, and hatred toward what took that power away, America.

I think all of that backgound needed to be explained for my next comments to really be understood.

When I got up this morning I felt like shit, my head hurt, my neck was stiff, and I was dizzy and tired. (No, not a hangover. I think I forgot to take my Effexor yesterday and that always makes me sick the next day.) And I had bad, stressful dreams all night. I turned on the tv and saw that London had been attacked. My first thought was (and this is evil, just-got-up-feeling-lousy thinking), 'Well, I wonder if Shithead got dead.' And then I felt strangely vindicated that he might be experiencing a little bit of the terror that we Americans felt on 9-11, especially New Yorkers. And I think I even said out loud, "But it's no 9-11. Big deal." Again, I remind you that I'm not really a heartless bitch, but I found it hard to feel bad or guilty for my unsympathetic musing about someone's possible suffering. I wondered if his potential hardship might help him to see how narrow-minded he was in his attitudes toward Americans. I struggled with my feelings and thoughts about all of it. And then I decided I didn't really care. It didn't really matter, and the likelihood of anything changing him was too little for me to hang onto.

Yes, I feel sad for the people who lost loved ones today. It's always sad when people are killed. As a whole today's attack wasn't that much more than a few carbombs in Baghdad. But just because it was in London supposedly makes it remarkable. Oh, 'that can't happen to us', right? Just like we Americans thought? Sorry, but my sympathy is all run out right about now. Try me again next week.

Maybe I am a heartless American bitch after all.

24 comments:

Nick Danger said...

We need to turn you lose against Al Quieda when you're in a bad mood!!

BipolarPrincess said...

I dated a Canadian who sounded exactly like that English asshole. At first he acted like he was just kidding, but little by little his anti-America hate came out. He could still live here though, because it's too expensive in Canada! We need to block that border.

madman said...

DAMN--you are one tough cookie--I agree with what you said--but I was going to give it a day or ywo.

mr_g said...

Wow...heavy stuff!

A unified Europe scares the shit out of me! And unfortunately, it's getting more and more unified each day. I agree that Europeans can often be intolerant, racist assholes...at least from our perceptions. There are many reasons we are hated...some very valid some bullshit. Most bullshit, I'd say, but world perception is what it is.

Like I've said before, my family left Europe almost 100 years ago for a reason!

Rae Ann said...

mr g, my thoughts and feelings are more formed by my personal experiences than from cultural influences, at least I like to think that. I never realized how hated we were until it got personal.

madman, do you think this will help in my Supreme Court campaign? lol

princess, that sucks! Wow.

mr danger, this is why I've been called 'vicious'. But I'm really sweet most of the time. I swear!

BipolarPrincess said...

Unified Europe is in Revelations!!! Stop the Euro!

mr_g said...

Being Jewish the Revelations thing doesn't mean a lot to me. However, when the idiots over there get together, it's damn dangerous!!!It's the invisible wall of intolerance cloaked in academic freedom...a topic for another post.

SierraBella said...

Good for you for speaking your mind!
I've traveled so little that I haven't come across this anti-Americanism, but of course I've heard about it.
What goes around, comes around...

Nick Danger said...

I think Europe is becomming finically unified and politically poloarzed. I think both are in the intrests of America.

Nick Danger said...

Allow me to elaborate. The EU constitution seems to become less realistic every time it is voted down. I think we may have seen the last proposal. However all of Europe operates on an unemployment rate more than twice ours. They have weaker and more socialized economies. Their economic growth rates are dwarfed by those of Asia and the Americas. They will unify economically to overcome such obstacles.

Rae Ann said...

princess, sometimes I wonder if I'm the AntiChrist, but maybe that's mr danger (jk).

sierrabella, I tend to be a Pollyanna type until someone mistreats me. Then I get mean.

mr danger, your breadth of knowledge is impressive.

Jim said...

What you miss is that, unlike you Americans, this bombing won't affect us, unlike your 9/11 which you people og on about ad nauseum.

Rae Ann said...

Well, Jim, what you forget is that on 9-11 THOUSANDS of people died, not just Americans, and the scale of the attack was far greater than a few 10 lb bombs. Huge buildings were destroyed and lives were disrupted because of that. If that had happened in London you all would be whining and crying even more than you are now. It's a matter of scale and perspective and my being as worn out with you as you are with me.

But thanks for stopping by! You're welcome any time.

BipolarPrincess said...

F-that! Break out the Whup Ass!!! My father, only making $16 an hour after 25 years, had to take a 15% pay cut because of 9/11. A couple pipe bombs in Europe IS NO 9/11.

BipolarPrincess said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BipolarPrincess said...

PS:

Jim,

If you happen to live in the US, GO HOME. If not, STAY HOME.

Princess

Rae Ann said...

princess, you go girl!!

Jim said...

Londoners are not whining, they are just getting on with their lives, not wallowing in self pity like you yanks did.

No offence intended, but the trouble with americans are that you are drama queens and panic merchants.

BipolarPrincess said...

It takes a little longer to get over 5,000 people than, what was it, 7? Working across the street from one of the busiest airports in America kind of makes you feel like you're wearinga target on your back. Like I said, STAY HOME.

Rae Ann said...

What I see happening in London is basically the same thing that I saw happening in New York. I don't know where you get your impressions, Jim, but from MY perspective all of you Brits, Canadians, and Aussies are pretty much the same in that you have a real fucked up perception of Americans. YOUR news media are just as biased as anyone's and don't think it isn't. You're believing what you're fed by them instead of getting a true picture of Americans and America. The way you all act makes you look and sound very jealous of Americans.

You know it's much harder to get over a leg getting blown off than it is to get over getting a finger nail pulled out.

Jim said...

As I said, drama queens, final toll of 9/11: 2,752.

Rae Ann said...

btw, two girls from my city were injured in the blasts in London. How's that for drama?

blah, blah, blah

Nobby said...

With reference to the bombings here in London last week, I really don't think that the majority of Londoners are whining and crying in self pity. We have been under the threat and the actions of terrorists for over 30 years, by and large we have just got on with life. When your country had the wake up call with the twin towers, I seem to recall that there was a great deal of outrage from the American public, how could this happen to us, was the cry. Well welcome to the real world now, because this is as good as it gets. So please, just get on with your life.

Rae Ann said...

Well, 'nobby' I s'pose that's short for 'snobby' and that's okay because this is just a wee little blog in the huge blogosphere and my ever so humble, tiny opinion means diddly squat even to me. I live a cozy, protected life in the foothills of ancient mountains (that we stole from the Natives), and I can spout off as much satirical bullshit as I want because I have a 12 guage shotgun and I'm well able to use it to blow the guts out of anyone who tries to invade my territory. How's that for American? I can't take you seriously anymore because nothing really matters, any way the wind blows...