Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jules Crittenden Rings Out the Old...

Jules Crittenden's got an interesting piece on getting fit for the new year, at the Boston Herald, "Resolve this, slugs! Get ‘Fit For Combat’ in 2010!" (via Memeorandum). He discusses J.D. Johannes "Fit for Combat" workout system (which is something I should probably be looking into).

It's good Jules is looking ahead, in any case. A lot of folks have written end-of-the-decade "
aughts" essays. James Joyner even has a post up today, "Aughts Better Than We Thought?" But one of the more wrenching posts I read on 2000 to 2009 was Jules' entry, "God Damn The Naughts." I hope readers will spend a few minutes with the piece. It's quite moving:

The USS Cole bombing in Aden in October of 2000 was trouble pounding at our door. And on Sept. 11, 2001, it burst in, all the trouble that had been raging around us, that most of us had failed to notice. My memory is of the planes emptying out of the sky, one by one, each of them having a menacing quality as they flew through the same airspace over Boston through which two of the hijacked plans had departed a couple of hours earlier that morning. On the TV monitors at work, we watched the Twin Towers fall. A Boston Herald photo editor informed me that a colleague’s father was in there. The 2,973 innocent victims were the first of the many dead we would come to know in this decade.

God damn the Naughts.

For some of us, it would be a lost loved one or neighbor, or someone that someone else knew and loved. For others, it would be the faces of those they had seen killed before their eyes. For a few, it would be the faces of those they had themselves been compelled to kill. I know men intimately who I have never met, because I saw them die. I never expected that.

Some of us would send sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers off to war, and not always get them back. If they did come back, they were not the same people who had left, changed inside if not maimed outside. We would know those people or perhaps even find ourselves one of them, coming back forever changed, innocence and peace of mind taken way, in a world that would be peopled with the dead. We were supposed to have advanced beyond all that by now, to have become superior to misery, but we learned that is an unreasonable expectation in this world. Instead, like others I know, I learned something else unexpected. I was not only capable of remaining calm and functioning in combat, I enjoyed being there. I was capable of ruthlessness.

God damn the Naughts. It was a perverse decade, in which that thing so many responsible people had agreed was the right thing to do, the removal of a dangerous, mass-murdering dictator, was strangely rendered not just unnecessary but an evil act, by an unexpected twist of fate. The accusations of lies were themselves lies, all of it built on a tyrant’s framework of lies, that together became an unquenchable fire that just burned hotter. It was as revolting as the stench of death, the way they tried to make it meaningless and wrong. Except that death is honest.
RTWT at the link.


Tapline said...

dd, Great post....but te noughts are always with us...they haven't changed over the years. We have become spoiled because we did not want to be satisfied with what our parents had and wanted to make life a little more easy for our children. Is this good,,,,I don't know...maybe I missed the meaning of your post, but I felt that it pointe to the naughts and the Have nots.....stay well...

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks for commenting, Tapper!