Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, September 11, 2008

The New World (and the ones left behind)
Written by: Marsh

The thing I remember most about 9/11 is never being more aware of reality. Shock does that to you. Every single person in America, whether they were a stockbroker in Manhattan or a plumber in Spokane, had to face and admit something they don't ordinarily think of: This is really happening. Reality generally doesn't grab us by the throat like that.

There is little I can add, especially seven years later. I've already emptied my mental thesaurus, and besides words seem so petty and small when compared to such an unbelievable but horrible reality.

Today we mark the time again, as the events of that awful day have creep ever further away from the immediacy of This is really happening — they are now imprinted on our history books and our hearts: This happened. Whatever argument you want to propose on where we go from here, we can at least agree on that.

Well, most of us.

Not long ago I was filling my tank when I saw a bumper sticker affixed to the bottom of the gas pump: 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. And in the days after that I saw the same bumper stickers all over the place in my hometown, plastered on stop signs and lampposts.

I could spend hours, days or weeks painstakingly refuting every plank in the theory that 9/11 was a self-inflicted wound, but to what end? It's been done, over and over again. Stubborn people who think crazy things are seldom swayed by reality. So instead, I'd like to send a message to the person who committed PVC graffiti all over my neighborhood, and everyone else who believes the sentiment expressed upon it:

Fuck you.

You read that right: fuck you so very, very hard.

Fuck you for casually, blithely accusing fellow Americans of the murder of three thousand of their fellow citizens for some vague ambitions of greed or power.

Fuck you for ignoring the thousands upon thousands of pieces of data and evidence that make lies of your theories, only to seize the one that you agree with, then seriously argue that that one speck invalidates everything else.

Fuck you for lying about the attack on the Pentagon so baldly, egregiously, and stupidly that even Snopes busted you on it.

And for attempting to cheat the new American heroes of Flight 93 out of their sacred honor: fuck you with a chainsaw. You dare to suggest that the phone calls they made were faked — insinuating that the recipients of those calls couldn't even tell the difference between their loved ones and impostors? God damn you all.

Fuck you for hiding your true feelings in the guise of skepticism: "We're just asking questions." They've been answered, in many cases by the smartest minds in architecture, aviation, construction, demolition, and mechanical and structural engineering. Fuck you for your arrogance in declaring that you are right and all of the experts are wrong.

And a boldfaced fuck you for co-opting the word "Truth," automatically alleging that everyone who disagrees are liars, either bought and paid-for agents of the conspiracy or ignorant "sheeple" who believe everything they see, hear and read (unless, of course, you wrote or produced it; you want them to believe then). Reality is not an episode of "The X-Files." Fuck you.

(Oh, a preemptive fuck you if you think my issues with the 9/11 conspiracy movement are politically-based because I'm one of those "sheeple" who voted for George W. Bush twice. Not at all: if you believe ex-Naval Secretary Franklin Delano Roosevelt allowed nearly the entire Pacific fleet to be destroyed to backdoor the United States into war with Nazi Germany, fuck you. If you passed out the Clinton Body Count list at work, fuck you. And if you keep sending me bullshit e-mails about Barack Obama, fuck you some more.)

And finally, a statement with a little more meaning:

I have more patience than you have bumper stickers. Also, I'm pretty sure I can outlast you financially, because even though I lost my job recently, I still have a car to put bumper stickers on. (Was that a cheap shot? I don't care. Fuck you.)

And even if not, those were the last two bumper stickers I could find, and I remember seeing at least half a dozen in total. Looks like I'm not the only one in town who says "Fuck you."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is This Thing On?
Written by: Marsh

What you are about to read is absolutely, 100% true.

"Vegas, baby!"

That's what John Beck and I were yelling at the top of our lungs as we cruised down Las Vegas Boulevard in a stretch utility vehicle on a hot July night.

We'd both won several hundred dollars at Mirage's poker room, then dined at Bouchon, the French bistro inside Venetian. We were dressed to the nines, had money to burn, and were in the mood to party like rockstars. The limo dropped us off at one of the hottest nightclubs in town, and we ordered enough drinks to intoxicate the 82nd Airborne. But we were still a little bored. Around the pulsating music and gyrating dancers, I nodded to Beck and said, "Hey, I've got an idea." He perked up.

"I wanna write for INCITE," I said. This blog has a rich tradition, being a Weblog Award Finalist four years ago. Yeah, I know, 2004 might as well be four light-years away in cyberspace for how far back that was, but it really wasn't that long ago. Michael Phelps won six gold medals instead of eight. Big deal; "American Idol" is still the #1 show on TV, and the Cubs still can't win games down the stretch. It wasn't the Pre-Cambrian Era.

Beck was stunned. "You know I've only made about a dozen posts this year." I nodded. What am I going to do, complain? The posting rate on my personal blog could best be described as "glacial." I say that makes us a perfect match.

So with an enthusiastic vote of confidence — "yeah, sure, I guess" — Beck decided to let me guest-post here. And I immediately lived up to INCITE's recent breakneck pace by posting nothing for two months as I lost my job and my computer fried itself. Oh well; not like I missed anything.

But now that I'm here, I intend to drive INCITE's output to the dizzying heights of twenty, perhaps even thirty posts in 2008. It'll be a tough task to accomplish, but I'm confident that nobody really cares.

In the meantime, you can send me an e-mail. I generally reply to correspondence within about six weeks or so. But don't rush me.

Okay, not all of the above is true. I lost $500 playing poker in Las Vegas.

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