The Day After

It’s 5:00 on the day after and for what seems like the very first time since yesterday morning, the local TV stations have paused long enough to offer a weather report. I’d usually criticize such non-stop attention to one topic (like during the presidential “election” last fall), but I can’t this time…

Now it’s 10:00 and I still don’t know how exactly to react to all this. I don’t think I’m in the minority. I’m having a hard time summoning all the anger that so many other people have demonstrated, although it appears briefly here and there. I’m still more trapped in fear and anxiety about what happens next. And I think I’m still focusing on the horrendous physical tragedy rather than the frightening and even more serious political implications…

And I’m wondering just what makes people so self-righteous and arrogant and callous as to think that their opinion of a country’s policies justifies the brutal murder of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of random innocent people. And being relieved that most people in the world are not psychotic and therefore don’t have such strong “faith”…

I’m worried about bigots (here and abroad), and about terrorists (the kind who hijack planes and kill people, and the kind who cause panics at gas stations in Oklahoma City), and about the next group which thinks ramming a plane into a building is just a spiffy way to make a point now that you mention it…

Words fail me. Maybe some random thoughts while I continue trying to figure out how I’m reacting to the past two days:

  • I still can’t call New York City, although I have received one call FROM there.
  • San Francisco buses and the stores are eerily quiet. If you’ve ever ridden a 14-Mission bus, you’ll know that it’s usually not a particularly peaceful experience, but it was last night.
  • By lunchtime, it was almost impossible to buy a newspaper here.

And on TV coverage, while I’m at it:

  • ABC is far and away doing the best live coverage of the broadcast networks, while CBS seems to have the best taped reports. CNN seems to have the edge over MSNBC on cable.
  • You knew this was something big when MTV and VH-1 replaced their programming yesterday with a feed from New York City’s CBS station (but not from the network itself, oddly enough).
  • Where did Fox dig up their news crew? Could they possibly send them back to whichever small town talk radio station they came from in exchange for some real journalists?
  • At what point did Dan Rather surrender all his dignity and credibility to Peter Jennings and become so jarringly painful to watch?