A Blank Page

I start each day with a blank white page on a wooden clipboard. On it, I write my to do list, crossing out assignments as I accomplish them. I always write the date in the upper right corner, underlined twice. (I know, it’s all very Virgo of me.) This morning I wrote 9.11.03 and thought for just one second (before my frontal lobe caught up), ‘Boy, that looks fishy.’

And so it was, in it’s way.

I started the day at the DMV Express on 34th Street, which was miraculously pleasant and efficient. The woman behind the counter was playing a sort of raggae-ish gospel tune pretty loudly. ‘Thank the Lord,’ the chorus repeated ‘You’re alive today.’

Walking Uptown through Times’ Square, everyone was staring up at the JumboTron like lemmings. ‘What’s going on?’ I wondered. ‘Did something else terrible happen?’ It was about 8:50 — Mayor Bloomberg had just commenced the moment of silence. I hurried on towards work.

Inside 1515, I endeavored towards a normal day. And it was (save the 2700+ names read by kids on CNN, and the parental ‘Thinking of you’ call I got from Ireland). But there is a creeping sense of unease with myself (see below) and my co-workers, not just with the whole sky-is-falling/terrorist threat stuff, but with the state-of-the-world.

I finally saw ‘Bowling For Columbine’ last night, and taken with the continued malaise in Iraq, raised terror threat, etc etc, it was well timed. In fact, in the middle of the film I was drawn to my window by the sound of two men fighting in the middle of 56th Street. Michael Moore asked some interesting questions, raked some interesting muck. He talks about the media’s role in our culture of fear and celebrity. We stay inside and consume. Some 10,000+ Americans were murdered last year, but just across the Great Lakes, less than 150 Canadians died by handgun violence. What gives? And what does it have to do with September 11th? Afghanistan? Iraq?

I’m not so sure what it all adds up to. I’m not sure just what I can do to contribute to the betterment of These Days. Is being kind to strangers enough? Is my music enough? Or do I have to protest, and actively reverse these troubling trends?

I don’t know… Again. Still.

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