In this post-September eleventh world. I love that phrase. I really do. It’s hard not to love a phrase you hear at least once a day for a year. I love the prefix “post.” I love how the media was so quick to summarize all the events, all the emotions, all the pain, into a trite catchphrase. I love how it has been used to inspire feelings of guilt and inadequacy, media’s primary tools for promoting materialism, for making people want things they don’t need. The phrase has been used to sell everything from pharmaceuticals to civil rights infringement. I love it most of all because it shows how little we learned from the attack.

America has an amazing ability to stick it’s collective fingers in it’s ears, hum the national anthem, and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s because we only share borders with two nations. Maybe we think that we don’t have to pay attention to anyone else because we’re strong enough to go it alone. Maybe it’s because we’re a nation of media whores, knowing only what we hear on the news and see in commercials. I don’t know why we ignore the world, but it isn’t getting any better. If anything, we’re getting worse in this post-September eleventh world.

Just look at the phrase, in this post-September eleventh world. It implies that the world changed, that the world is so drastically different now that we all have to consume with renewed ignorance, support our country, and give up our rights. Missing from the phrase, though, is any mention of exactly what changed. What did change? Terrorism existed before September eleventh, even if Americans ignored it. We’ve been oppressing sovereign nations, who in turn hate us for it, for much longer than one year. The West has been bullying the Middle East since Europe dragged itself out of the dark ages by stealing Arabic libraries. In short, not one damned thing changed in the world except the New York City skyline. But that is enough for us, because the world doesn’t exist beyond our borders. Even when it jumps up and bites us in the ass we can’t be bothered with turning to look.

Most people still couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map, but they’re glad we levelled it, and they’re looking forward to levelling Iraq. Why? Because in this post-September eleventh world, America has no choice but to look out for itself, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.