Duck! and Gather

9/11 Wrapup: Universal Interest

Posted on: September 25, 2006

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Whatever the case with 9/11, that event seems to be of near universal, deep interest. I suspect the reason for that is that the event reminded almost all of us of our fragile mortality.

  • First, the 3000 victims could not be defined or limited by nationality, ethnicity, political ideology, gender, age, religion, sexual preference, or pretty much any other imaginary line that divides us humans. 9/11 left no safe harbor for anyone.
  • Second, for any of us who have flown as a commercial airline passenger (is there anyone reading this blog who hasn’t?), the event reminded us that every time we fly, we put our lives in the hands of strangers the motivations and skill of whom we have no choice but to trust.
  • Third, for any of us who have been in a skyscraper (is there anyone reading this blog who hasn’t?), the event reminded us that while up there looking out at the spectacular views, we are trapped sitting ducks, with fickle fate deciding whether we come back down via the stairs, or out the window head-first in a free fall.
  • Fourth, 9/11 scarred America the beautiful, the virginal, the all-powerful. As such, the event reminded everyone that there is no safe place on Earth.

I could go on. But the point here is that 9/11 was the universal horror movie. As such, it drew the rapt attention of all of us.

As humans, I’ve read that we naturally resolve phenoma rationally in our heads. No matter how ambiguous the event, if scary enough, our brains will settle on an explanation that seems rational to us — even if that explanation is false. I’ve read that we humans are confortable with false explanations that we believe, but not comfortable with no explanation at all. If that is true, in the year following 9/11, most of us settled on some version of a working rational explanation. And most of us stayed quiet.

But in the last year or so, the voices of those of us harboring a “Conspiracy” explanation have gotten louder and louder. So today, there is a lively, even caustic, debate going on between the advocates of opposing explanations. One thing common among all the conflicting shouting is that 9/11 was really interesting to just about everyone.

On this site, my interest in the 9/11 Conspiracy stories was piqued by commenter AndI. A little over a month ago, I wrote about how AndI had brought to my attention an unconventional therapy (colloidal silver) for treating viral and bacterial infection. Having researched the question, I concluded that AndI was on to something. Naturally, I figured if AndI seemed correct on that unconventional topic, then AndI’s continued insistence about the “fishiness” of 9/11 seemed worth looking into as well. So I did look into it.

Prior to doing so, it’s fair to say that my own 9/11 explanation rested firmly in the “Conventional” camp. But the closer I looked at 9/11, the more the “Conspiracy” stories seemed to hold water. So I thanked AndI for his insistence and started blogging and podcasting about 9/11 in earnest.

Unlike all else about which I’ve blogged and podcasted on this site, my discussions of 9/11 seemed to draw the most emotionally laden responses. Beyond the comments on this site, a good friend of mine with whom I had attended graduate school 15 years ago called me at home. He called me mostly to reconnect and catch up. But in addition, he felt compelled as a friend to warn me that my countenancing of 9/11 Conspiracy theories — of any flavor — might be evidence of early-onset senility. He said this with humor and good-will, but the point was made. Over a couple of days, the two of us had a wonderrful series of phone calls about truth and our own processes for trying to get there.

In addition, as I mentioned in another posting, my 9/11 commentary attracted the very first “flame” comment this site has received. I take this as further evidence that 9/11 was rather important to us.

So that’s the simple point of this entry. 9/11 — whatever you or I anyone else thinks it was about — was and remains really quite interesting to all of us.

for the money has gone too far

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