Now, I know this is gonna be a tricky subject...Allah forbid we O-ffend anybody...but sombody's got to say something about this deal. Well, I'm willin' to walk the plank and see what comes up.
New York City has never been my favorite place. I have not-so-fond memories of a brief trip there sponsored by my highly regarded prep school for students wishing to study Theater. Bein' from Texas and all, it was an extremely uncomfortable experience. The skyscrapers blocked the sky and created intense claustrophobia in me, bein' used to wide, open spaces; I was nearly run down by a yella cab, a near miss on the street by a Frito-Lay truck, and if that weren't enough, my fellow classmates and I were informed most shockingly by a group of pill-hat wearin' ladies at the matinee that us girls were lodged at a house of ill-repute...The Taft. I kinda figured something was weird about that Hotel. Our group was to gather in the lobby each evening and wait for our faculty chaparones to embark on our evening at the theater. We streamed into the lobby waiting area and waited. I noticed there were several men of Syrian descent pacing nervously and jingling the change in their pockets. Back and forth, back and forth and finally I commented to one of my friends, "Man, these guys up here in New York sure are kinda jumpy". I learned later that that whole change jingling thing was a pick-up signal for workin' gals.
I feel no special need to return to NYC...Home on the Range works fine for me...but that's just me.
I remember being awakened by a colleague on 9-11 at seven or so in the morning. My frantic friend screamed "Turn on the TV!!!, the Twin Towers !!! Planes!!! Oh my God!!!". Sure-'nuff, a tragedy of untold magnitude unfolded before my bloodshot eyes as I was gripped by what I was seeing. People diving out of skyscraper windows. Shocked, stunned masses covered in ash trying to walk home. Body count rising. Firefighters lost and dead. And in the devasting aftermath, family members posting pictures and descriptions of missing loved ones on a wall. My perspective on life in general changed and I felt as if I had to grow up all over again and fast; try to take away a deeper appreciation of what really matters and really, what doesn't. I remember one of my sisters calling me that same morning wanting to revisit some sarcastic remark I had made to her that still had her irked. I interrupted her rant and quietly said I would get back to her on that, just as soon as they recovered the 2,000 plus dead from the rubble. Her reply? "Oh, yeah, right, you're right".
Now, I really don't care what you pray to or for; I've made my individual choice on that matter and, frankly, its my business. But, I gotta say, the whole Mosque endeavor in the BIg Apple bothers me on several levels. First off, its too close to Ground Zero and while I understand the proposed site is private property and the whole freedom of religion thing, it just still doesn't sit right.
A TV commentator said something that I think I kinda agree with. If Muslims are all about peace and gentleness and all that soft, passive Kleenex stuff, why are they belying that faith by infuriating other people? Should we consider parachuting the Pope off a plane into the wilds of Afghanistan? This is such a hot potatoe, frought with deep-felt controversy, not to mention the down-right resentment of the family members still mourning their lost ones. It smacks! It stinks! There's something wrong here.
Some radical voices are going so far as to say under their breath Yeah! go ahead, build that thing, pack it full and once you're all in there, we'll blow it up!! A Holo-Mosque. Now that's just not right by any standard. The last thing Ground Zero needs is more bloodshed, more activism, more hate, more tears.
We need some cooler heads to prevail here because so far it would appear that we, and I mean humanity, are sliding down a razor blade into a pool of rubbin' alcohol. Simple self-destruction. Collective, mass self-destruction. Who have we become, or rather, what have we become???
Is this country going to practce religious tolerance? Are the Muslims going to practice peace and passivity? I don't know. What I do know, is last time I checked, ya cut anyone of us open and we all bleed red, the same. I just can't find a comfortable, acceptable position on this. What do you think?
Where's John Wayne when we need him most.
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I'll be around.