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Mr. Wrong

Two-Minute Warning, Two Minutes Hate

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 9/26/2001

This may not seem possible to many of you, but my column will make less sense than usual this week. I am primarily unaffected by the recent atrocity. That means I didn't get killed or maimed or lose a loved one. (And please stop boring me with your "My friend almost went to New York" or "I was in Manhattan and would have been at the World Trade Center except I forgot my wallet and had to go back" stories. Thank you.) But I can tell you this: Whatever we do, it can't be what they want us to do.

The whole reason they did this was to get us to do something, and the first thing, the A-No.-1 thing we need to make sure we do, is to absolutely not do what they think we are going to do. And don't tell me that doesn't make sense; it makes perfect sense. They want us to do something, right? They want us to do something more than we want to do anything--otherwise this wouldn't have happened.

So last Thursday Our President gave a speech, and he got 82.1 million viewers on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Headline News, and CNBC. I listened on the radio, because I find Our President to be annoying, with that little smirk on his face. So I figured this time I'd do the "Nixon-won-the-debate-against-Kennedy-on-the-radio-but-lost-on-teevee-because-JFK-was-handsome-and-Nixon-was-creepy" trick and simply listen to the voice, to avoid any unjust discrimination, and if I got irritated I'd just put in my Public Enemy tape. It only has one song on it: "Give it Up," from Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age, which for some reason is my favorite Public Enemy song. So favorite that I put it on a tape over and over and over again. Nothing on the tape except that one song. The only other song I ever did that with was "Peaches" by the Presidents of the United States of America. Over and over and over again.

It's my right as an American to do stuff like that. And I realize our country sucks for a lot of reasons, and that we have done Bad Things all over the world, but this crashing planes into the World Trade Center is beyond belief. I still don't believe it, and I've watched all those goddamn replays, the ones that are getting criticized because they are sensationalistic and desensitizing. They are not sensationalistic. Viewing those videos of that death and destruction is not desensitizing to anyone with a brain. OK, maybe there are a lot of dolts without brains in this country, but they didn't get that way because of anything that happened on Sept. 11, 2001. They should put fucking big-screen televisions up on billboards and play those tapes 24/7, or at least once every day, like the "two minutes hate" in 1984. How can I not hate whoever did this? Kindly explain how I can avoid feeling good about seeing that bin Laden guy vaporized. Kindly explain how having this guy alive helps anything.

So Bush, in my opinion, looks like a monkey, but he did OK, except for that remark about fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism being in "history's unmarked grave of discarded lies." I mean, if it's history, it's not exactly an unmarked grave, right? And don't we kinda feel that way about Marxism too? Are we holding back on saying bad things about Marxism because the Red Chinese are gonna keep their traps shut when we blow up stuff near them? We remember fascism because it didn't work. It's in schoolbooks even. Bush's speechwriters need to think things through a little more when they're going for that historic sound bite. But on the whole: Good speech.

Then on Friday there was this telethon to raise cash for victims of the atrocity, the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon. They got 59.3 million viewers on 30 networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN, the WB, Pax, PBS, BET, Comedy Central, Court TV, Discovery, E! Entertainment, F/X, Family Channel, Hallmark, HBO, Lifetime, MTV, Sci-Fi, Showtime, the Learning Channel, TNN, TNT, TVLand, USA Network, VH1, Telemundo, Univision, and Galavision. It is a sign of the Greatness of Our Country that there is a network called Galavision that I had never heard of. I hope it's not a porno channel. Fifty-nine-point-three million viewers on more than 30 networks. In January, Super Bowl got 84.3 million viewers, and it was aired on exactly one network, baby. Now they're talking about moving Super Bowl, that's how deep this is.

I'm not saying this is important because it affects Super Bowl. It's important because upward of 6,000 people are dead from this, and we need to go somewhere and kill people and confiscate wealth and blow stuff up (and not the way the malefactors would like us to). But now that we had a telethon and a speech and the president told us to get back to work, and car companies are hinting that it might be Good for America if you took advantage of special no-interest financing and bought a Chevy this week, it's possible many of us will forget how bad this attack really is. Moving Super Bowl is a perfect reminder. And if you buy a Chevy this week and save a bundle, you better donate some money someplace good. I'm donating the cash I get from writing this column.

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