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04/08/2003 Archived Entry: "Forever '80s"
Posted by CKL @ 02:11 PM PST

I'm listening to a compilation CD right now, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I got it through one of those late-night TV commercials. It's called "Forever '80s," and it's a two-disc set of love songs of varying cheesiness. But what I didn't notice, when I dropped it into my bag to take to work a few weeks ago, was the cover image: New York's World Trade Center, in a photo taken in 1994.

It doesn't physically hurt me any more to see pictures of the World Trade Center. It did, for a while. I still feel emotional, but I guess the old saying is true: time heals all wounds. Now, I'm only sad, unless I take a few minutes to think about September 11th. Then I get angry, and I have to stop and do something else.

A lot of people die because of natural disasters: earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes. It's tragic, but it's beyond our control. When people die because of willful human actions, that's a crime.

I can understand, if not condone, the reasons behind our current war with Iraq. I feel like the entire country is still working through the five stages of grief. We've gotten over denial (except for the conspiracy nuts), and we're now at the tail end of angry and moving into bargaining. Personally, I've already graduated to depression, and I don't know when acceptance will come.

The World Trade Center towers stood for thirty years. They stood for New York, America, and the capitalist values which, to some people, are inherently evil. But when they fell, we didn't just lose the fifth and sixth tallest buildings in the world. We lost thousands of innocent lives. You can burn as many flags or effigies or other symbols of America as you want, but you don't get to commit murder as an act of political protest. A human life is worth more than that.

Right now, I'm listening to track 7 on disc 2: Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning." Isn't amazing, when you're feeling really sad or happy, how any words can seem significant to the moment?

Just call me angel of the morning, angel
Then slowly turn away
I won't beg you to stay with me
Through the tears of the day,
Of the years, baby baby baby
Just call me angel of the morning, angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby...

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