Every about what they call Labor Day, but which is really the end of Summer and the beginning
of another mindless school year with too many idiotic tests and not enough teachers allowed
to do their jobs I get depressed as another 9/11 anniversary impends upon all of us. Actually,
first I get mad and then as the main stream media exploit the occasion to continue and indeed
enlarge the ongoing catastrophe of the “global war on terror”(GWOT) and celebrate the debacle
of human rights war crimes then I get more and more depressed until I can hardly move.

When the towers collapsed my immediate thought was no one would use such a national tragedy
to take away our human rights and start an endless global war while imposing a financial system
that regular blows up a succession of bubbles that then blow up in all our faces time after time in
economic great recessions that invariably make the many poor and the rich few ever richer and rich.
Huge towers of debt regularly collapse on us. Mortgage debt. Student loan debt. Car loan debt.
                           Credit card debt. Pay day loan debt most usurious of all.

Everything changed on 9/11. Things will never be the same after 9/11. They said. But then if you
listen to them closely oh, “we’d been working on the Patriot Act since Reagan” and what a wish list
for prosecutors and Federalist Society defenders of their version of the constitution as it turned out.
And the military industrial scale congressional complex, well they haven’t done so badly either. Right.
All the rest of us are in the new normal as Harding put it after WW I and the new normal is where
anything can happen to all of us but nothing will ever be done about them no matter what they do.

Everything changed with 9/11. Nothing is the same since 9/11. But I keep thinking about Condolezza
Rice in front of a congressional hearing saying no one could imagine “people would use airplanes to fly
into buildings”. No wonder people thought it was an inside job when they discovered the government
had been running civil defense drills on exactly that thesis for at least thirty years. But Condolezza Rice
was allowed to get away with saying that. She was the National Security Advisor to the president and if
she had issued a memo to all the security chiefs of buildings in New York City maybe warning that planes
might be used in terrorist attacks maybe workers in the second tower might have immediately evacuated
rather than be directed back up into the building about to be hit as they actually were. But Condoleeza Rice
can’t imagine “people would use airplanes to fly into buildings”. I have nothing against Condolezza Rice who
reminds me of farm kids I worked with in the fields, but she should have been so gone. No one could imagine.
Everything changed on 9/11. Nothing is the same after 9/11. Yes, nothing is the same since 9/11. WE CAN’T


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.