Today I was going to write what everyone’s thinking: eight years ago this morning, 19 Saudi Arabians, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden hi-jacked four planes and managed to take three of them to their intended targets: the World Trade Center’s North and South towers and the Pentagon. The fourth plane was taken down in Pennsylvania when a few brave people onboard fought back against the terrorists. Over the years, the events of that day, in my opinion, have slipped away in memory until now we recognize the day, lower the flag and take a moment of silence and that’s about it. I was going to ask questions: why did the Bush administration abandon the campaign in Afghanistan (the only justifiable military excursion of their entire 8 years, not to mention the only legal one) for the Haliburton-Blackwater disaster in Iraq? Why don’t we talk about Osama Bin Laden? Why don’t we care to see justice for that crime against this country and the 143 other countries that the World Trade Center casualties represent ? Where are the Inglourious Basterds when we need them, scalping and beating Arabs to death on a mission to kill the perpetrator behind this crime. Why are we flacid in the face of Saudi Arabia, a nation we cuddle with and which has a human rights record that makes Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib look like an afternoon at the Four Season in Palm Springs? Why? Why? Why?

Where is the Man? You know the song “The Man Comes Around?”, yeah? where is he? I’ll offer these borrowed lines of dialogue from “Pulp Fiction” and hope you all join me in never forgetting that as of September 11, 2009, eight years after the fact, justice has yet to be served. So where is the Man who will command the following: “I’m prepared to scour the earth for this motherfucker, if (he) goes to Indo China, I want a nigger hidin’ in a bowl of rice ready to pop a cap in his ass. I’m gonna call a coupla pipe-hittin’ niggers, who’ll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. Hear me talkin’ hillbilly boy?! I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’m gonna git Medieval on your ass. This shit’s between me and soon-to-be-livin’-the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-agonizing-pain, Mr. Terrorist here.” Bush had one job after 9/11 and he failed. Obama has been left to pick up the pieces and start again. But somewhere, I hope there’s a Bear Jew with a Louisville Slugger just about to get some hummus-licking-camel-riding-dirtbag to put his finger on a map or else learn quickly what it feels like to be a fastball heading for the center field fence.

Now, I could have written about all that, today. Instead I want to wish someone a Happy Birthday. This man inspired me to pick up the guitar and write my first songs. He played in the band I went to see at my first concert. Thomas Roland Shaw was born September 11, 1953. He became a member of Styx in 1976, helped lead them to their four consecutive platinum record run in the late 70’s-early 80’s, formed Damn Yankees with Jack Blades and Ted Nugent, released four solo albums and later re-organized Styx in 1999 with James ‘JY’ Young. They continue to play 100+ shows a year. I don’t go to all of them, but I’ve been to quite a few. I met Tommy once at the Paris Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas when my girlfriend and I passed him and his wife on the way out. He shook my hand and thanked us for coming up to see them.

So, while we’re doing our best to memorialize, commemorate, forget… whatever we’re doing, raise a toast to Tommy Shaw at some point, too!



One Response to “9/11”

  1. Hello from the Hi Desert:
    I suspect that the answer to your question Why? Why? etc., is wrapped up in one word – OIL’
    Certainly a well written piece. And lets not fprget (humble as I am) who put the first guitar in your talented little hands, much to your dislike at the time. But then it isn’t JUne 29th, so “Happy Birthday Tommy Shaw!!”

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