terror & warThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that people will remember 9/11, but not as if it’s a football game that we lost

No Gravatar

I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 911: We should always remember 9/11, but not with patriotic pep rallies and not with fist-pumping; for, on this day, the extremist obsessions and narrow-minded religious views of a few arrogant, evil bastards resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people at the Word Trade Center in New York City, in a horrific crash in Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, in Washington, DC. On this day, trembling fathers wept into phones, saying goodbye to their children and wives, having given up, knowing that there was no way down or out, fighting not to sound terrified through the line — knowing that this final goodbye was worth trading away a last, useless burst of hope. On this day, wives did the same, fighting preservation instincts for a few seconds’ contact with their husbands and babies. And on this day, horrible circumstances made men and women who were just doing their duty into legends of self-sacrifice. This is the day when a thousand stories of strength and courage were passionately written, only to be sucked down in a cascade of molten metal and poison dust, never to be read by anyone. This was the day on which a new generation of children learned that grown-ups could actually take civilian life and expect sainthood in return.

This was the day of Allah’s misery. This was the day that, if God can cry, there must have been a hurricane in heaven — his tears like bullets in raging winds; angels covering their heads with trembling wings —  for a humankind that had turned him into a goal line to be crossed; a prize to be quibbled over; a concept for which to slaughter; a cause for torture and alienation. 

So, let’s not remember that day with airbrushed paintings of American Eagles crushing symbolic enemies. Let’s not remember it with chants of “don’t fuck with the US of A” or with moronic songs about beer, barbecues and ass-whoopings for anyone in an ethnic outfit.

Let’s remember it by thinking things over — by figuring out how we’re going to stop people from turning scrolls and scriptures and borders into excuses for human butchery — but not by blowing them to bits.

Let’s not scream for violence meeting violence; let’s ponder babies who have grown up without moms and dads, all over the world and across time, because someone thought he was more right than someone else who more or less believed the same thing.

Let’s remember it by hoping — maybe even praying — that things will change. We can go back to blowing each other up tomorrow. Today, let’s just quietly weep for all the violence we have done to each other and for those we lost that day.

The Punishment: Violators (and, the Emperor admits, only a small number of Americans are fist-pumping pep-ralliers) will be forced to look into a magic mirror that turns their reflections into the faces of their enemies. (In some cases, a heavy-handed metaphor is necessary.)

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
Print This Post Print This Post

2 Responses to “The Emperor decrees that people will remember 9/11, but not as if it’s a football game that we lost”

  1. Turning the murder of thousands into patriotic fervor by hijacking the emotional momentum of a nation nurtures a mentality similar to that which caused the murders in the first place. The hijackers thought nationality was more important than humanity. Using a day in which thousands were murdered to cause patriotism for our glory and repetitive slogans is using the trade center victims for the value of their death, just as the perpetrators did.

    As your post says better than I am here, it’s about people, not politics. The horror of that day reminded many of us of that.

  2. So well-said, Tyler. “Turning the murder of thousands into patriotic fervor by hijacking the emotional momentum of a nation nurtures a mentality similar to that which caused the murders in the first place.” Brilliant.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment