I hate to be an asshole about this, but while that’s all very nice, and I’m sure I wish it were all true, it’s not.
I’m sure New Yorkers were not assholes for roughly a week, and then I imagine they went back to being assholes. Certainly no-one is suggesting they aren’t now. And that’s fine! It doesn’t matter! New Yorkers being assholes didn’t bring the towers down any more than gay marriage did.
But what’s more important is that New Yorkers being assholes had exactly nothing to do with what happened next, which did matter. In response to the attack, the United States (largely in places where people have a reputation for being oh so “nice” and “hospitable”) went completely fucking nuts, and we then used a large part of the wealth and abundance accumulated over many generations to visit truly unimaginable horror and insanity upon a country which had as little to do with the September 11th attack as New York assholery or gay marriage…they just happened to sort of live in the general vicinity. Not a couple of wounded kids, not even 2,977 dead. Hundreds of thousands dead, and more every day, many times more crippled and mutilated, millions made homeless refugees, without counting, as no-one ever does, everyone who ever loved and cared about them.
And don’t even begin to tell me that Columbine or New Haven have made America a stronger or better place.
“A single man killed is a misfortune, a million is a statistic.”
So long as we continue to think this way, we will never really change.
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