Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Sept. 11

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sept. 11

I don't know how to feel this year. Obviously three years ago people in America pretty much all felt the same. Two years ago I remember being really upset, especially after watching all the memorials on television and remembrances by the families of those that died. Last year was similar to that, but with about half the potency. This year I don't feel much.

I turned on the TV this morning to--it sounds crude and tasteless, but it's the best way I could find to describe it--get in the mood of the day. I found myself, however, more annoyed than anything at the coverage. Obviously there were memorials in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania, but the cable news channels didn't really show them. At most they had images from the three sites with their normal talking heads making noise about this and that. The whole thing felt very trite. The anchors and their correspondents were talking about superficial things and the entire broadcast lacked any kind of gut feeling to it.

I went to Fenway Park today for their 9/11 blood drive. I hadn't given blood in two years, and since I have liquid gold running through my veins (O-, baby) I decided it would be good to go. The atmosphere there was about as jovial as it could be, what with the hot Sox closely chasing the Yankees for the division title and the playoffs looming ahead. People were happy, they were eating free food and enjoying entertainment while they waited. Every hour or so, though, the MC felt it necessary to bring up in the briefest of talking points today's date and its significance. I had no problem with him killing the mood for thirty seconds while he talked about it, but then afterwards he would turn around and say, "...and it was indeed a tragic day. Up next, Larry Lucchino will come and talk with us about the owners' plans for the ballpark!" Again, trite.

Giving blood was good, though strange. It was in the luxury section of the park (the .406 club) and the rooms were covered in flat screen tvs. What do you think they would be showing? News? Tributes to...something? Classic Sox games? No, for some reason every television was showing a Ronco infomercial about an electric rotisserie oven. Strange.

On the flip side I did get to walk all throughout the park in places normal people like me don't get to go. The Monster seats, a luxury box, the right field café section, etc. And did I mention the free food? I love how after you give blood they give you an escort to walk you to your seat in case you're dizzy or whatever. I just wanted to look at this waif of a 12 year old girl and say, "look sweetie, I weigh 265 pounds, I don't need you to walk me anywhere. And where are the hot dogs?"

It was a good thing, today. It felt right, today's historical significance, though not as somber as in years past, was definitely on my mind at the blood drive. What better way to commemorate a tragedy than by doing a very small thing to help people suffering from tragedies now and to come. With all the blood being shipped down to Florida to help hurricane victims, the bank is especially low and they needed me. And did I mention the free hot dogs?