(Recovered from the old Zero journal, original post date 26 August 2001)

America has broken out in a severe rash of flag-waving, and her media outlets have begun shovelling rhetoric upon a situation that’s already tense and ugly. A terrible, tragic event occurred. It’s completely natural that all of America would rise up with one voice and scream for revenge against those who would do such a thing… and in such a horrible way.

So why am I left cold and uncomfortable with the sight of stars and stripes on every available surface? Maybe it’s my belief in the idea that we are all humans and should treat each other with dignity and respect, ignoring petty issues of location and costume and coloration. Maybe it’s my basic distrust of my government, especially in light of what this situation represents in terms of opportunities for those in power to grasp and wield even more power.

But that can’t really be it either. The people engaged in patriotic fervor aren’t the evil tycoons and power-players. They’re regular folks who are rightfully enraged. It could be that what really bothers me is what the flag-waving represents for the near future, the probability of armed conflict. Once we strike back, the whole country becomes a target for every nutcase on the planet with a grudge against the U.S.

We can’t sit idle and let this atrocity pass, so more pain is inevitable. I just don’t see how it’s going to get any better any time soon.