NYC 9/11 Tapes and Dreams

So at long last, New York City has released tapes and transcripts from September 11th, and once again, I feel we scramble to idolize people as heroes while simuiltaneously doing them and us a disservice.

Not that I don’t think they’re heroes or we should minimize what they did. If not for the heroic actions of many in New York and Virginia on September 11, many more people would have died than did.

That said, in our rush to brand them heroes and set them on a pedestal, we set them apart from ordinary people, which, I think, cheats both us and them. Rather than seeing them as extraordinary examples, set apart from the common person, why can’t we see these peoples as tokens of the great good humanity is capable of? In other words, rather than see what they did as actions of people set apart, we should see what they did as the extraordinary actions of ordinary people. Reading some of the transcripts, we see the fear and confusion and chaos that exemplified that day. These were not fearless, invincible Knights in shining armor, these were ordinary people responding to an extraordinary situation in extraordinary ways that, I’d like to think, all people are capable of.

But maybe I’m just off the deep end.

In other news, I’ve been having rather violent dreams lately. I’m not quite sure why. I’m never the perpetrator of the violence, nor really the recipient of it in the dreams; more of a spectator. Perhaps it’s all related to my inability to sleep at night. I toss and turn from the time I go to bed (midnight-2AM) until sunrise, then I sleep like a log until I’m forced out of bed. Odd.

Two nights ago the violence involved the Knights of Pythias. The KoP are a fraternal order, chartered by Congress and devoted to benevolence, for which I’ve been elected to receive the degrees/orders/call them what you will. In my dream,we were having a Pythian communication in DC when all of a sudden a great grand brawl broke out in the Friendship Hall lodge room (Friendship Hall is an Odd Fellows Lodge on 24th Street in Foggy Bottom that is often used for Masonic and Pythian meetings). As with most dreams, details are foggy with distance, but I remember the Vice Chancellor strangling another member with his bow tie (the Knights have distinctive bow ties). This is after Jordan and I talked about the Knights and several members thereof the previous evening.

Last night I was somehow caught up in a violent rebellion of those who were picked on in elementary/junior high/high school. Why I was a target of the rebellion when I was one of those picked on is beyond me, but they had us all rounded up in a big abandoned house in Inglewood (why Inglewood? Fucked if I know!) and were berating us and telling us about the evil things they were going to do to us. Somehow some of us got loose and ran around screaming and trying to attract attention, when I happened upon a policeman’s ball, where apparently they were all waiting out the Watts Riots (see, I incorporate many historial events into my dreams, Thursday being the 40th anniversary of the Watts Riots).

Any ideas as to what’s going on in my head?


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