Eight years ago, I was married to someone else. I worked in a different building. I had two day jobs. Eight years ago, my parents were alive, and I not only did not know my wife and stepson, but someone else was in their family then. Eight years ago, writing was a pipe dream, though I’d just published “A Walk in the Rain.”
I’d obviously never want to relive that terrible day in New York and Washington and Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I sure as hell could do without the rest of the ensuing eight years – the hysteria, the natural disasters, oil prices, and the threat of a new great depression. If I could have the 90’s all over again while still ending up where I am now, I’d be happy.
One thing I did not do this entire disaster of a decade was give into the fear. I had enough of that as a kid wondering when Brezhnev or Andropov or Chernenko (For you youngins, Google “Old dead Russian strongmen”) would get into a pissing contest with America or Britain or France. all of whom seemed content with the idea of turning Moscow into a sheet of glass. Thanks, but no thanks. I like an open Eastern Europe, a reunified Germany, and not having to worry so much about dying under a mushroom cloud. So, sorry, but I really don’t want make every Muslim in the world the Commie Under My Bed (TM). McCarthy is dead. Let him stay dead, and let us install a portajohn over his grave.
Nor did I cave into the temptation to hide under the skirts of our leaders because freedom is so damn scary. Jesus, if you think freedom’s not supposed to be scary, you might want to look into learning Chinese. They have an Orwellian government all while running a modern, clean country with a high standard of living. Knock yourself out and have fun. Me? I plan on continuing to question authority. It’s a democracy. Questioning authority and speaking up are not only my right, they’re my duty. It also means I get to ridicule and call out the absurd among us. Presently, those would be the birthers, the truthers, and the screamers. You know. All the morons Bill Buckley tried to take conservatism from so we could have a two-sided conversation. (Bill seems to be spinning in his grave a lot these days these days.)
Basically, I reject fear. Sure, the world’s a dangerous place. So what? Always was. Always will be. Nothing will change that.
And because I get that and refuse to let it control me, the terrorists lose.