Letters to Holly

Friday, September 18

Me Make With Blah-Blah

I've screwed up my back again, and I again blame the office desk. It was installed for a small person, a dainty person. I am neither, and now I am in pain. I've switched chairs again from ergonomic to traditional. I know this routine: The pain will linger for a week or so, and I'll grit through it and avoid pain pills. It's almost a fall tradition. Maybe it's temperature related.

Someone at Your Sister's school thought it would be a great idea to have the drama kids act out a play in the library. I couldn't even talk in a normal voice in my school libraries. Civilization is crumbling. Obama is to blame. I bet he whammied my back too.

Your Sister's classroom bookshelves are stocked to provide a variety of literature for the kids. One book is Enemy at Home, an infamous screed against the "cultural left" by a Westerner raised in a Muslim family. The author's claim is that the West exports secular liberalism to an Eastern culture that can't abide it. This is why we were attacked on 9/11:Al Qaeda was defending the Muslim culture. I knew of this book. It's one of a hundred of rants blaming someone else for 9/11.

This one lumps all the alleged bad guys together. He says the left is working to the same ends as Al Qaeda and cites such inflammatory practices as homosexuality, abortion, and feminism. Then he starts to lump in "working women," and one realizes he's not protecting the sanctity of Muslim dogma, he wants to rewind the hourglass back to global patriarchies. 9/11, he's saying, is a high-tide buoy signaling the world has gone too far afield.

Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said the same thing when we were attacked. It was the feminists and secularists and abortionists that brought this upon us. I tend to blame the people who actually planned and attacked us, but then I'm not using end-times rhetoric to make a buck. The same babble comes from those claiming 9/11 was an inside job. The allure of imagined conspiracy blunts the horror of a real-life conspiracy. It's pathetic.

Your Sister defends the book's presence in her classroom. The kids need a spectrum of perspectives. They need to build critical muscles to agree or denounce such material. I agree. And I agree, of course, that he has the right to peddle his wares, hokey as they may be. But a muckraking huckster is still a muckraking huckster. The book ends with an Enemies List of the people he claims made 9/11 happen with their comments and actions. If you're pinning the deaths of 3,000 people on Rosie O'Donnell and rationalizing the schemes of Bin Laden, you are wearing crackpot undies. You've lost your way.

I'll read the book, as I promised Your Sister I would. She thought my initial comments were unwarranted. I say no salient examination of moderate Muslim indignation can rationalize 9/11. So far, I'm not reading anything to change my mind.

Moving Picture of the Day
Here's the Wednesday concert's best moment.

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