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Bleak reflections on 9-11 and after

The anniversary of the 9-11 attacks always gives me the creeps.

I feel like the whole thing is such a “cased closed” scenario, where it is no longer really acceptable for people to express concern about the official story of what happened that day. Which is a problem for me because I have many issues with the story but feel very reluctant to discuss them, since the chorus of ridicule that results can be overwhelming.

So I’m not even going any further with that line today. Other than to share my favourite 9-11 conspiracy theory video of all. (Don’t be afraid, it only runs about five minutes.)

And I’m not suggesting I know some special truth about the monstrous event and all the tremendous cascade of terrible subsequent events that flowed from it. I just think aspects of the official account of 9-11 are silly and I can’t buy it. Nevertheless we all live with its consequences every day. The endless wars that obviously aren’t meant to end. The incredible drone assassinations that are now a big yawn in the minds of people who once would have been astounded at the idea. The all-pervasive state surveillance mechanisms now in place, and the secretive far-reaching legislation that enables them, while simultaneously undermining and sidelining many safeguards we used to take for granted.

A massive milestone

In my mind, 9-11 looms as a massive milestone on the way to where we are now: anxiously wondering what new horror lies around the corner. Anxiety is tangible in wider society, and manifests in many ways. People retreat to extremes in search of comfort or explanation. Anger boils over, often irrationally. We sense we are being used and taken advantage of. We fear we are pawns being buffeted by bigger agendas we aren’t being permitted to see. People push back when they feel like that, looking for answers and finding false ones in strange places. Somebody, somewhere wants to take our freedom. It might be Satan, the illuminati, the United Nations, Bill Gates or China. It might be the Deep State, the military industrial complex, the global banking cartel – who knows? I get it. I feel anxious too.

I never had a huge amount of faith in the ability of our news media to tell us the truth, even in cases where truth was possible to discover. I have much less now, however, than I ever had before. The daily diet of propaganda, distortion and lies that is fed to news consumers is so nonsensical I can scarcely credit how the producers of this humbug get away with it. Nor do I feel I have safe resort to any predictably reliable alternatives on the lunatic-infested internet (though I know many good people are trying their best to sort fact from fiction in a dense soup of propaganda, distraction and falsity). News appears and when explanations of events and circumstances are offered I listen, but rarely accept without reservation. Everything is suspect, and judgement must be suspended pending more and better data.

It doesn’t help that our political parties and social institutions seem to be rotting before our eyes. Political corruption seems so endemic and in-your-face now it’s almost surprising when some government policy is announced that isn’t obviously tainted. We expect our leaders to lie and they oblige, with ever-greater boldness. We expect the corporations that seem to run things to lie and cheat, and they do so on an ever-increasing scale, with seldom any apparent repercussions. Leadership has gone missing. Morality has turned vindictive. Little of the structure we depend upon seems trustworthy. It’s an anxiety feedback loop.

Pining for predictability

And the background to it all is bleaker again. It wasn’t long ago we in Australia were facing a monumental drought. Then catastrophic bushfires. Then horrendous floods. Then a mouse plague. Oh, and the ongoing global pandemic. And don’t forget the new Cold War. And the constant fear that the crazy edifice of our absurd global economy might crack and collapse any day – again – without the prospect of government bail-outs because the coffers were drained last time it happened.

So a lot of people are anxious and frightened and pining for predictability. Some are dreaming of the end of days. Some are buying guns. Others are demanding an end to abortions, hating on queer people, fuming about refugees, indigenous people, outsiders – anybody who can be marginalised and who will probably not fight back. Some people are fretting about masks, vaccines and 5G phone towers. Other people are getting frightened of their frightened neighbours and wondering what they will do if they get frightened enough.

And meanwhile, behind the headlines what’s happening here? Little people all over the world being played off a break by the rich and powerful, just like always. Squabbling and finger-pointing among themselves while the bigshots who make the rules, start the wars, set the agendas and write the news are laughing up their sleeves with absolutely every single advantage completely on their side. Who, anywhere, is standing in their way?

On my bad days I look around me and I think the human race is over. And I think we lost.

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