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Notes From The Flip Side: 09.30.2001

I've been pondering what to write. I've been wondering what I would do for this update since September 11. And I still don't have an answer.

You see, there are times when words cannot convey meanings wide enough to encompass the whole of a sentiment. And my words - the tools I have used for years - all look broken and rusted now that I need them.

I don't have much patience with the Web these days. Everyone has a statement to make. Everyone has an opinion. And it seems like some sort of competition to see who can be the most repulsed; who can use the most hateful, vitriolic language to condemn what happened. In the meantime, I worry.

I worry because we still haven't learned not to interfere. I worry because we seem incapable of showing other nations the same courtesy that they have shown us in the past few weeks. As a perfect example, why weren't people flying Swiss flags when a gunman opened fire on the Swiss parliament? Where were the gestures of solidarity for the Swiss?

And now the drum of war is beating again because we didn't learn from Vietnam. We didn't learn from the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. And we didn't learn from funding the rebels who opposed the Soviets ... and now turn their rifles and missiles on us.

I worry because I went to have dinner in an Indian restaurant with a co-worker that Friday. I had eaten there several times before, but the staff still looked at us cautiously, as if they weren't sure what was going to happen.

I'm tired right now. I had been sad for a while, but lately, things have seemed more normal. Punk shows happen. Bands play. I see my friends and we laugh and talk. And we've been hugging a lot more lately.

I realize that no community will protect anyone from violence. However, the punk rock community that I find myself in these days is kind and gentle enough that it's possible for me to believe that caring might. And if it doesn't, these days are still glorious, filled with smiles and laughter. It's as though we all celebrate life harder than we ever did before. We sing louder. We talk longer. And we laugh until tears run down our faces.

After all, if we sacrifice joy on the altar of fear, then there's really nothing left to live for anyway. Stay safe and be well.

Now Playing:

Dragons "Rock 'N' Roll Kamikaze," Thursday "Full Collapse," American Nightmare "Background Music," the Selby Tigers interview

Now Reading:

Italo Calvino, "t zero" and "if on a winter's night a traveler"; Jerzy Kosinski, "Cockpit"; Wallace Stegner, "Joe Hill"; Jeroen de Valk, "Chet Baker: His Life And Music"

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008