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Wednesday, June 05, 2002


The kudos keep rollin' in. Now La Blogatrice is mad at me for some of my comments at this venue:

Roy, being concerned about terrorism DOES NOT equal being cowed. It is common sense. When a bunch of vicious America-hating killers say that there might be an attack on something, WE PAY ATTENTION, for the very simple reason that we have already been attacked. Does that mean we are giving in? No! We just don't particularly care to die that day. Ellis Island can wait until the threat is reduced. And the more Al-Qaeda we capture, the more information we will get and the safer we can all be.

You go ahead, Roy. Be macho and "refuse to be cowed." Then take a walk to the giant pit at the corner of Cortlandt and Church streets. Take a good long look.

THAT is why we are more careful now.

Some observations: first, Mademoiselle Blogatrice, there's no telling where or when or if terrorists will strike. Planning one's daily itinerary around possible terror attacks seems like a short route to madness. I mean, we keep begging tourists to come to New York and sample attractions like Ellis Island, even though they'd be much safer (by your logic) staying away. Is that "macho"? Should we instead tell them, "Don't come here -- you might get blown up. Stay in Topeka"?

Recall the London Blitz. Those folks were being shelled constantly. Yet heed this first-person account:

But I found that people that were attending dance halls and theatres did not become as scared during the air raids as those individual families sheltering in their back gardens. Even if they were ushered into the theatre's basement shelter they remained happy and entertained themselves and often joked about any 'close hit,' and the same was to apply to shoppers that were suddenly moved down to the basement until the air raid had passed.

Given their valor in the face of daily attacks, I grow weary at being lectured sententiously on "the giant pit at the corner of Cortlandt and Church streets." Citing the World Trade Center does not give instant moral authority to your message, especially when it boils down to "stay scared."

It's irritating enough to hear this kind of thing from rubes, but to get it from a fellow citizen is just depressing.

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