Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Time wounds all heals"

So, how long do you think it will be before people start making jokes about 9-11 (or is it 9/11 or just plain 911? I know it isn't 9-1-1; I said that once a long time ago and the reaction wasn't pleasant)? Personally, I think it will be another three years or so. It's going to take at least that long because that tenth anniversary in 2011 is going to be a spectacle of somber reflection on a scale the likes of which we've never seen before. After that, the nation will probably be ready for an anti-solemnity backlash, somebody will crack wise, somebody else will laugh out loud in spite of their better judgment, then pass it along in an email and the lid will be off the jar forever. Don't get me wrong; I'm not calling for it, I don't think it's a good idea and I don't think it'll ever be completely socially acceptable. I'm just wondering when it will happen, because it's gonna happen. History tells us that there is no culturally tragic milestone that can't be mined for laughs...eventually. Consider the examples set previously by:

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln


The Titanic

The Hindenburg

Prisoners of war held in a Nazi concentration camp

The assassination of another president

And the space shuttle Challenger.

Don't even try to tell me that day will never come because this was different and how this affected us all on a different level and never before have we and never again shall we and blah blah blah blah blah blah. I don't buy that for a second. We've already made movies about it. And we're already minimizing the event and some of it's key participants by (allegedly) using their names as insults in altercations with (allegedly) surly cab drivers. It's really only a relative blink of an eye before we're forwarding "oh-these-are-just-awful" jokes to each other. The next thing you know, our adult grandkids will be renting inflatable "Tumbly Towers" for their kids to play on at birthday parties while the grown-ups are inside drinking coffee and commiserating about the tragedy of all the lives lost when the renegade androids blew up the undersea pneumatic passenger tube between Tokyo and San Francisco. Just a matter of time, folks.

1 comment:

citizen jane said...

just the way of the world, my friend. The way of the world.

But I have to wonder if the inevitable jokes, appropriate or not, will mean that healing has begun...