So, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the Columbia. I don’t realkly feel any need to link to news stories because there are literally many hundreds of them on Google News now, and any one that I link to will likely be old news by the time you read this.

I found out an hour ago, and now, looking back through the lens of 60 minutes worth of hindsight, I’m struck not by what I thought at the time, but what I didn’t think. I didn’t think, “Oh my God, the terrorist bastards brought down a shuttle.” I didn’t think, “We’ve been hit again.” I didn’t even think of a terrorism as a possibility until I read the ABC headline telling me that there was no apparent evidence of terrorism.

“Oh right. Terrorism.”

And not only because such an act would be absurdly beyond the capabilities of the medieval stripe of thugs that would want to do such a thing . Even though it’s almost laughable to suggest that the backward, personified anachronisms of the Islamist movement could have the ability to bring down a landing shuttle, still it would be understandable for one, in that first moment of such a high-profile national disaster, to think, “My God, they did it again.” And only then, in the few seconds afterward to sit down and think, “OK, get a hold of yourself. That was a shuttle at 203,000 feet and they’re ignorant pigs who think oxygen and hydrogen come together to form water because ‘Allah wills it so.’ They couldn’t have done this.”

But my mind didn’t even get that far. The fanatical hordes who will no doubt cheer at this accident never entered the picture, because despite their best concentrated efforts, the specter of their presence has been pushed to the collective backburner of the American psyche. We’re not jumping at their shadows. We’re not looking behind our shoulder thinking that every public disaster is the work of the malevolent revenging hand of Allah.

Terrorism is supposed to cause terror . It’s supposed to strike fear and uncertainty and jumpy paranoia in the minds of its victims. It’s supposed to make its targets think that they could die a quick painful death at any moment, to remove the blanket of security that allows a person to go through their day and not chew their fingertips raw in the process over the thought of all the ugly possible fates that could befall them in the meanwhile.

If we were terrorized, I would wake up thinking that somehow Al Qeada had destroyed a United States space shuttle. I would thinking that Allah’s fearsome agents on earth had managed to precipitate a national disaster. Perhaps not one where hundreds or thousands were killed, but one that would have been a heavy symbolic blow to the seat of our national character. “Jesus Chrst, man, they got the space shuttle. The shuttle.”

But it didn’t happen.

Yeah, that’s right you fuckers . You barely register anymore.

Now go and play out your suicide fantasies somehwere else for a second. Don’t worry, we’re still coming for you. But right now, we’ve got to figure out why one of our shuttles exploded over Texas, and the answer is likely a lot more complicated than “Allah willed it.”

last update : 23-5-2018

Comments are closed.