On December 16th, the Daily Show devoted almost the entire episode to the travesty that is the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass the healthcare bill for 9/11 1st Responders.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

You can read the full text of the House Bill that passed – H.R.847 – James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 on the Library of Congress site, at
Open Congress or GovTrack.

(revised to add a link)

Are you hear to find out the truth about 9/11?

Here’s the truth: it happened.

You want validation to the contrary, you’re in the wrong place.

Once upon a time, a bunch of fuck-wits (fuck-wits on both the Left and Right; this is equal opportunity fuck-wittery) decided that I was the definitive witness who proved that 9/11, or least the part wherein a plane crashed into the Pentagon, was a sham (conspiracy by the Jews; conspiracy by the U.S. Government; conspiracy by the Clinton administration to punish W, etc).

How? By taking something I said out of context. By plastering all over the Internet that I said that a plane never hit the Pentagon. It’s offensive, annoying, vile, slanderous, vicious, and, oh yeah, evil. Fortunately, threats of legal action have led to the removal of my legal name, but I am still identified as Skarlet in these statements and they still point to this site.

I ignore the idiotic websites, pamphlets, books, pseudo-documentaries and the like that repeat my alleged statement. I don’t link to them; I don’t engage them. It only brings a barrage of accusations that I’ve been bribed or brainwashed. Then I just end up pissed off and there’s a lot of swearing followed by a phonecall to Faith and a tranquilizer. Not always in that order.

There are people working to debunk the debunkers and I’m sad to admit I haven’t been able to give them the attention I should. Here’s an example of one such site. My statement is at the end.

I know I should have a statement I can permanently link to the front page of my site explaining this and including links to these types of sites. This is in fact a draft of that statement. As you can see, it’s not going so well.

I post in now in it’s incoherent glory because I’m being walloped by wacky-mail again lately and it’s grotesque and I haven’t the time or the energy to deal with it.

So again I say: There was a plane. It hit the Pentagon. It went boom. Lots of people died. I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton, the Jews, Dick Cheney, the Masons, the French or anyone else had anything to do with it.

Go bother someone else.

I’m not allowed to watch CNN for a while. Last night, I was sort of dozing through the Eagles/Giants game. A player got hurt and it apparently looked serious.

Husband said, “It’s a deadly sport.”

I snapped out of my haze and shouted, “Deadly spores!” I felt like Grandpa from the Simpsons.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this article,
Cipromania: Selfish and Dangerous
, and print it out for everyone you know who’s hording antibiotics. It’s from the Washington Post Health section.

The media told us that America lost it’s innocence on September 11th. We’ve been told this roughly ten zillion times.

This got me to thinking. You know that isn’t good.

I fired up Lexis/Nexis and discovered, whatta ya know, this isn’t the first time we’ve done gone and lost our innocence.

A few examples….

Pearl Harbor (the movie). Every review seemed to use some variation on the phrase. An example….

May 25, 2001, LA Times, Kevin Thomas, Movie Review

The film is sustained by a grand theme: innocence lost. It suggests that the innocence that fired the unhesitating bravery and self-sacrifice of the American people, in battle as well as the home front, carried with it an ignorance that allowed the U.S. to underestimate Japan’s military power and determination.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a long time ago, and we seem to have gained and lost our innocence many times since then.

June 11, 2001, Newsday, Richard Serrano, What
Created Timothy McVeigh?

“America’s innocence was shattered.” (by Timothy McVeigh’s actions in Oklahoma City)

Same author, the previous day, LA Times. McVeigh: The Indelible Legacy of a Mass Killer Contained the sentence (fragment, I might add): “A Shattering of Innocence.”

See also: lots of articles in lots of different publications; from the day of the Oklahoma City bombing, when we lost our innocence, to the day the judge refused to halt McVeigh’s execution, when we again lost our innocence, to the day of McVeigh’s scheduled execution, when we all opened our papers to discover we were about to lose our innocence.

August 17, 2001. Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik. Review:

Barbara Kopple’s “My Generation.” Last sentence: “This is the stuff of poetry, and My Generation is an elegy for an American innocence and optimism lost.”

July 23, 1999. Dick Feagler, Plain Dealer, The Last of our Innocence, Scattered on the Waves.

“Our totem of innocence, preserved from the day that the rest of innocence died. Call me maudlin if you want to. But, as far as I’m concerned there’s been a death in the family.”

For those of you playing along at home, the day we lost our innocence was the day JFK, Sr was shot, the day that the rest of innocence died was the day JFK, Jr died in a plane crash.

Gaaaaah.

This from a modern dance review in The New York Times from June 2, 1985

“Each age begets its own creative spirit and obviously an America that has lost its innocence cannot be the same as it was in the first half of the century.”

There are lots of other incidents where we’ve lost our innocence, according to the Media:

Vietnam, repeatedly
JFK’s Assassination
MLK’s Assassination
RFK’s Assassination
The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan
The explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
Every school shooting (involving white suburbanites)
The shark attacks off the NJ coast in 1916
WW I
WW II
Korea
Sputnik
The 2000 Presidential election
The bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
Watergate
The Clinton Crisis AKA the Monica Lewinsky Scandal
The Titanic (the actual incident, not that damn movie)
The Atlanta child murders
The Gulf War

Okay, I have to stop now. There are lots, lots more, but I’ll leave you with this one.

The Washington Post reported, on July 19, 1981, that “For better or worse, Oldtown [Maryland] has lost its innocence.”

What caused this shocking loss of innocence, you ask?

Brace yourself: Oldtown, Maryland got cable TV.

How in the hell do you provide closure to someone’s digital life? Do you answer their email? Post to their message boards? Who do you inform? How? Jupiter’s sister asked me these question, since I seem to give the impression that I have some idea what I’m talking about.

The truth is, I don’t know.

We’re all just winging it. What if the person didn’t write down their passwords and neatly bookmark everything? How would you even know where to go or who to tell? And even if you have this info, should you go through their email? I’ve left that to her family, but I agreed reluctantly to help with the few message boards she seemed to post at.

What a strange thing to help someone do. It’s hard to figure out the customs and unwritten rules of an online community. It’s hard to figure out a person’s relationship to the other community members. Do you post under the deceased’s username (creepy) or create a new one and hope no one thinks you’re a troll? I don’t feel like it’s right to reveal details of someone’s life that they didn’t choose to share in life. Strange issues I’d never given thought to.

We actually watched something besides cartoons last night. I was curious about the much-balyhoo-ed return of late night programming, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started slow and worked our way up to the major networks.

First up, The Daily Show. It was enjoyable. It was a rerun, of course, but an enjoyable rerun. If you squinted so that you couldn’t see the crawl at the bottom of the screen about disaster relief, you could pretend things were a-okay.

Now, I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I’m not saying “forget it and move on.” I am saying that we all need to be able to take a little breather. We need to start gaining some perspective. This is why I was particularly interested in seeing Letterman. Just the fact that he was back in production Monday was huge, but I was particularly interested in how the 2nd show would go.

11:35. Here comes Dave. The structure of the show is, in general, back. But it’s an empty shell being filled with shock and grief about the tragedy. It’s not “normal.” To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be.

The Top Ten List was back, and perhaps perfect. Humorous but amorphous. Gentle and harmless. (Top 10 Things that almost rhyme with hat; i.e. ass, Matt Lauer).

Biff Henderson’s America made a re-appearance. We saw a segment from 1999 featuring the tiny town of Baker, Nevada.

In retrospect, I wished that the second guest, Denis Leary, had been the featured guest. Bryant Gumbel seemed to be a man who needed to go home and go to bed for a long while. After a while he started to freak me out.

Denis Leary is (in addition to being a very funny and articulate person) the founder of the Leary Firefighters Foundation. I really wished that he could have talked more.

Gumbel took us back to Tuesday, back into what happened. Leary was looking both at the present and also looking ahead. His concern for the futures of the families of the police officers and firefighters injured or killed has not really been mentioned much at all so far.

Then in the last 3 minutes of the show, Tori Amos performed a cover of Tom Waits “Time.” Let me back up for a moment, because I can describe this part of the show best by describing something entirely different. Just stick with me.

Think back to High School. There was always at least one girl who was obsessed with theater. She was famine-victim thin, wore so much mascara her eyes were reduced to little slits, and every blessed time she got near a piano she would treat anyone in earshot to a show-tuney rendition of some rock song or another. This phenomenon may have reached it’s apex during the ascendency of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” but I have been assured that it still occurs with frightening regularity. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this. They’re an important source of cruise-ship piano bar talent, a precious commodity in the travel and leisure industry, one assumes.

Okay, so you remember that girl? Picture her doing “Time” by Tom Waits. There you have it.