Creative Commons License
Licensed Under
Creative Commons
Are we better for our learning
July 7, 2006 - Rocky Mount, North Carolina

The evil of the 9-11 events is surpassed easily by that of many others in the history of our nation. However, they now represent part of the zeitgeist of this generation, part of what has shaped the way our people view the world. These events have both unified and divided, depending on how far out one takes one's objectivity. And, blinded as I am by the tinted lenses of my culture, my upbringing, my beliefs, I am not fit to say whether or not these events were a true evil.

I believe them to be one, of course, but I cannot render judgment on them, blinded as I am by who I am. And where I come from.

On 9-11, I was not particularly aware of what had happened until several hours afterward. Even then, they were unreal, distant, removed from me, and only recently have they registered as a distinct, concrete, immovable, unchangeable part of my experience.

And now that I can finally look back and say, Yes, this happened, Yes, this is where and when and what and.... Why.

One can easily glance at atrocities and label them atrocities, and one can easily leave it at that. But also one can step back a little further, or a little closer, and realize that there might be more.

Faith is such an enigma now, with science explaining the old tenets of spirituality. Belief isn't exactly the best substitute for hard evidence. I assume that religion had more meaning when there was nothing to refute it. There was a perfectly logical backing behind it. Religion provided meaning, provided truth, provided all the things men live for.

And still does. Maybe religion means more today than ever. Maybe it's not quite as inherent a part of life, maybe there are no more crusades, or maybe we pretend there aren't. Maybe dogma means more when there is something to fight, someone that doesn't agree with you. I hate to quote, and I hate it even more when I can't recall who said it, but I must, for there are no better words than those which I have read.

"One man's terrorism is another man's heroism."

We cannot label any acts such as these, at all.

For "Al Qaeda offers everything an ambitious, passionate young man in the 21st century could want. A higher moral purpose; a reason for living, a reason for dying, fame, love and lasting memory. And if I was a young Westerner living in an alternate reality where Islamic fundamentalism has the same grip on the world that Western capitalism does here, and I had to fight for my right to get off my head, see girls in short skirts, and prance around to electronic music, then whoever took Al Qaedaís place in that dimension would certainly be able to sign me up straight away. ëDeus magnificatí (Latin for ëGod is greatí, like the fundamentalists say ëAllah Akbarí) we'd proudly declare as we blew ourselves up in flip-flop stores."

A bit off yes, a bit confused, contradictory, a bit extreme.
A bit true.

But then, if we can look at it this way, so can they.
They being anyone outside of our circle.

The all inherent "They," with capital letters, which either denotes those who tell us what has happened, or those who committed the act we are just being told about.

"I always thought it was those that didnít care - the corporate sharks or corrupt politicians who fucked it up for everyone else. But Iím starting to think itís those of us who care a little bit too much who really do the damage."

But who am I talking about, I have forgotten. Us or Them.
They cared to much, more than we did.
But maybe that's just me, born and raised caring more than They do.

I can't answer any queries, just present the fallacies.
And leave the rest of these old questions up to you-

We can't start from a beginning that was lost so far before,
Nor end without repenting for our sins,
But let there be a broken standard, let there be a quest to seek,
Will the lightness be but brighter for the dark?
For the lives of countless millions,
few would trade the blood of God,
And discover where our steps have carried us.
Do we blindly follow through with,
What we scorn and show detest for?
We shall fall, we've lost our way, we'll never know.

Through the endless ending aeons there has been an untold story,
Repeated by the tongue of every man.
Shouted from the heavens and resounding from the darkness,
The abyss can tell a story if a person's there to hear.
So we listen without action and we practice, I mean preach,
The proverbs and the fables and the ancient monomyth.
Are we better for our learning?
Can you see a different man?
Is the tempting all the same for all our strife?
There is still a tree to take from and there's still a life eternal,
Or so we tell ourselves so we can eat.

But if we have tasted knowledge and if we have known the darkness,
Then where can we go now aside from here?
Continue down a pathway made of stone and rent of meaning,
While we search and strive for all the things we've lost?
If there is or was an after, if there was something before,
Then why do we live only here and now?
And if there isn't, if we're all, if life's only what we're living,
We can make from all the ether of the world,
Some strange purpose, men to serve us, gods to give us depth and power,
We can shape the answer as to what we choose.
Or so we think until the end comes,
So believe the son's of Adam,
So we think and so we act so far we live.

And do we live as so we think, or are others living for us,
But then again, what is a man without his men?
What is this world around us but what we see and long and hope for,
And fail to see and fail to ever know?
I suppose that something else lies sleeping dormant 'neath the surface,
But I doubt that it will ever see the light,
If things continue as they are, and if mankind continues living,
And if it wakes, and if it lives, we'll never see.

But then again, who understands?
Who can lead us from our prison?
And who can find a piper who will play a lilting tune?
Now the island's full of rats that only look to one another,
And the mirror's cracked and broken, who will lead us to the truth?

You're a liar and you know it, but do those around you see?
Or, are they enchanted by the spell?
You speak in rhymes and riddles, and they love you all the more,
For understanding leads to choices, leads to strife.
We are trapped inside our minds and we refuse to use the keys,
Or should I say that we're fearful of the light,
Of the fire we could use so far to forge away our bondage,
But we're locked inside these chains until we burn ourselves of flesh.
These imperfect realms of matter in which all is but the same,
Just in a different place, a different form,
But as long as we can find forms that are pleasing to the eye,
We're content to spend our time in slight denial.

But since we all are guilty, there are none to render judgment,
There are no perfect men to cast the stones.
Wallow in the subtle hints and clues that somehow reach us,
And smile and nod and move along your way.
Content with incontentment, pleased with your displeasure,
You measure life by pain and suffering.
So you assume that there is meaning, and the meaning must be grand,
It is pleasure, It's the moment, It is boundless happiness.
And that is what you hope to find and work for in your lifetime,
A utopia of soma and manufactured happiness.
Such a Brave New World is out there,
Full of all the things desired,
Well, actually, we'll desire what they give,
But what would be the difference!
We'll still be happy (won't we?)
I can't see why we shouldn't just continue on our way!
And if you can't see the subtle irony, the sarcasm and the point,
Or if that really isn't much of a dilemma or a choice,
Well, I can't answer any queries, just present the fallacies,
And leave the rest of these old questions up to you.

And in case my midnight ramblings missed it, and I'm fairly sure that they did, my desire for this piece of art stems from the fact that it concisely, distinctly, and in carry-it-in-your-pocket-style ease, captures an event that means so many things to so many people, an event that one might be able to say changed the course of history forever because of the reactions of its victims, and the nation of its victims. An event that was glorious to some and atrocious to some, and invisble to others. Any moment that has the effect that these events have had, any event that can pack such potent and powerful acts and emotions into a time frame small enough that you can play it back in the palm of your hand... Any event such as that deserves to be captured in such a way, and people deserve to see it in such a way. In this piece of art.

Craig Park

Previous Essay Main Page Next Essay
Name Date Location Title
0. Scott Blake September 17, 2008 Omaha, Nebraska Introduction
1. Sarah Baker March 12, 2006 Omaha, Nebraska The very first essay
2. Sean Smith May 10, 2006 Toronto, Canada Tactical application of slowness
3. Mike Fischer May 17, 2006 Racine, Wisconsin My birthday is September 11
4. Pat Riot May 23, 2006 Los Angeles, California 9-11 FLIP OUT
5. Julian Miller May 31, 2006 New York, New York Desperate grab for attention
6. Scott Grant June 5, 2006 Bristol, United Kingdom I wished I didn't own a television
7. Daniel Clark June 6, 2006 Henderson, Nevada Media Monotony
8. Damon Lawner June 10, 2006 Los Angeles, California Concise yet massive story
9. Natalie Conforti June 12, 2006 San Francisco, California American student in Italy
10. K Torpy June 13, 2006 Omaha, Nebraska Incomprehensible accessible
11. Pierre Ernest June 18, 2006 Borsbeek, Belgium I also was born on Sept. 11th
12. Timothy Schaffert June 18, 2006 Omaha, Nebraska Lesson in commerce and tragedy
13. Chris Fischer June 18, 2006 Landisville, Pennsylvania i could give a fuck less
14. Aaron Norhanian June 19, 2006 Brooklyn, New York Hold the moment in my hand
15. Anonymous June 19, 2006 Anonymous. i think that Bush planned it
16. Steve Chudomelka June 19, 2006 Omaha, Nebraska Caught in the moment again
17. Adam Arsenault June 19, 2006 Prince Edward Island, Canada Respecting each other's visions
18. Pierre-François Maquaire June 19, 2006 Paris, France I collect folioscopes
19. Kim Lyvang June 20, 2006 Ontario, Canada My life is now richer
20. Alexis Turner June 20, 2006 Portland, Oregon Listen to *me*
21. Patrick Hughes June 21, 2006 Gainesville, Florida I would not like a 9-11 flipbook
22. Philippe Dubost June 26, 2006 Chamalières, France Sensational effects of this game
23. Jean-Pierre Becker June 27, 2006 Paris, France I could smile about your question
24. Jayne Sonshine June 28, 2006 Twp. of Washington, New Jersey Hold a piece of history
25. Tabitha Straws June 28, 2006 Seattle, Washington Selfish American
26. K. Verbonus June 28, 2006 Steilacoom, Washington Everyone wants to be right
27. Jo Bryan June 28, 2006 Cambs, United Kingdom Another frantic day
28. Hayley Gardiner June 28, 2006 Northampton, United Kingdom Not just about the victims
29. David Vogt June 28, 2006 Rockford, Illinois Feelings and emotions of others
30. Nick Jugovics June 28, 2006 Paxton, Illinois Made from suffering
31. Lennaert Bosch June 28, 2006 Cuijk, The Netherlands Ten and a half year old
32. Anonymous June 29, 2006 Anonymous Trivializing those events
33. David Pitman July 1, 2006 South Wales, United Kingdom Slap in the face
34. Tracy Cowell July 1, 2006 Somerset, United Kingdom Agree with it or not
35. Candy VanOcker July 1, 2006 Springville, New York This happened to everyone
36. Fadel Haowat July 1, 2006 Chicago, Illinois What the news can do
37. Daniel Sahagian July 1, 2006 North Arlington, New Jersey Light against Hate and Ignorance
38. Sam Brobvision July 1, 2006 Nottingham, United Kingdom Little effect on my life
39. Cain Radford July 1, 2006 Broken Hill, Australia Through tragedy life goes on
40. Susan Rabka July 1, 2006 Johannesburg, South Africa I might as well have been there
41. Nicole Brodsky July 1, 2006 San Francisco, California Arbiter of the act
42. Julie Gormly July 2, 2006 Brisbane, Australia Uncomfortable sharing
43. Nicola Dingle July 2, 2006 Somerset, United Kingdom Seize the day
44. Tarryn Bow July 3, 2006 Broken Hill, Australia Far more shocking
45. Ricardo dC Russo July 3, 2006 Manaus, Brazil World is full of lost words
46. Pascal Fouché July 4, 2006 Paris, France How people can see it
47. Anthony Mack July 4, 2006 Lacey, Washington ALL humans strive for freedom
48. Teri Jenkins July 6, 2006 Ontario, Canada Deepest sympathies
49. Alexandre Noyer July 6, 2006 Annecy, France Internationnal langage
50. Yolanda Yuyu July 6, 2006 Chengdu, China It tell us to remember something
51. Craig Park July 7, 2006 Rocky Mount, North Carolina Are we better for our learning
52. Kell Black July 11, 2006 Clarksville, Tennessee Small matchbox diorama
53. Anonymous July 12, 2006 United States Sophisticated visual humor
54. Lauren De Luca July 12, 2006 New York, New York Less than a mile from the Towers
55. Nanette Allen July 12, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada Intimate translations
56. Manfred Reichert July 21, 2006 Visselhoevede, Germany Flash animation
57. B Rousse July 22, 2006 Paris, France It deserves our irreverence
58. Charlotta Bjorkskog July 22, 2006 Kokkola, Finland Of course you gain on it
59. Stuart and Tara July 24, 2006 Brooklyn, New York Better view on the TV
60. Dave Schneider January 29, 2007 Chicago, Illinois Remind me of "real" pain
61. Dan Keane January 30, 2007 Bloomfield, New Jersey what the fuck was the 'message'?
62. Thomas Hill February 6, 2007 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma perception is reality
63. Robert Fischer March 29, 2007 Houma, Louisiana the defining moment
64. Frank J Perrotta December 5, 2007 Sharon, Pennsylvania 9-11 Flip Book Manipulations
65. Matthew Lahey January 7, 2008 Los Angeles, Califronia On A Flipbook
66. Kristin Heikel March 16, 2008 Omaha, Nebraska Reporting and Voyeurism
67. Aibyouka Kun September 29, 2008 Westmont, New Jersey The First IM Chat
68. Bobby Ryan November 4, 2008 North Cape May, New Jersey Patriotic Work of Art
69. Trevon Watson February 3, 2009 Guyton, Georgia War On Terror is Fading Away
70. Adrian Davis February 17, 2009 Fort Bragg, North Carolina Something you care about
71. Dear December 26, 2008 Portland, Oregon Second IM Chat
72. James King May 4, 2009 Glasgow, Scotland The world will never be the same
73. Beáta Istvánko October 27, 2009 Budakalász, Hungary Opinion of the audience
74. Alex Klehfoth June 1, 2009 Lexington, Kentucky Twin Tower Pinata
75. Wolfgang Skodd May 5, 2010 Dortmund, Germany Agents & Provocateurs
76. Michiko Tanaka August 2, 2010 Seattle, Washington Over and over
77. DJ Tilley January 7, 2011 Reno, Nevada Wandering around the playground
78. Benjamin Goggin January 8, 2011 Portland, Oregon Tornadoes to terrorism
79. Tom Eubank January 8, 2011 New York City, New York Top floor of 95 Christopher Street
80. Ian January 8, 2011 Oakland, California Stir things up
81. Anonymous February 24, 2011 Anonymous Inconsiderate and offensive
82. Amanda Marsico March 3, 2011 District of Columbia, USA Thank you for making me think
83. Anonymous April 18, 2011 Anchorage, Alaska This isint a joke
84. Jessica Schwartz April 27, 2011 USA Who is the work for?
85. Dr. Kevin Dann May 19, 2011 Brooklyn, New York Thanks Art Spiegelmann
86. TheBigBoss May 26, 2011 Nairobi, Kenya Le Chêne et le Roseau
87. Stephania June 27, 2011 USA More Real Than Reality
88. Anonymous July 11, 2011 Brooklyn, New York Weak and Irresponsible
89. Renee Nied August 4, 2011 Cobleskill, New York Pick Up Tomorrow
90. Elliott Burris September 2, 2011 Saint Joseph, Missouri I was only 3
91. Sheila Zachariae September 9, 2011 Omaha, Nebraska Protecting the people from themselves
92. Wendy Parker November 6, 2011 Leicester, United Kingdom Interesting Yet Horrifying
93. Aidan Hicks March 12, 2012 Aurora, Colorado Quite Young on September 11
94. Patrick McCarthy April 17, 2012 Chicago, Illinois Propaganda Attack
95. Billy October 12, 2012 Sandia Park, New Mexico Bling Review 41
96. Gabriella Cutrone June 25, 2013 Brooklyn, New York Inspired and Upset
97. BSG October 31, 2013 Portland, Oregon Images Detach From Emotions
98. Wilfredo Raguro July 28, 2016 Irving, Texas Looking Back Now
All orders are sent with the United States Postal Service.

Tracking number will be emailed to you from
100% Positive
Feedback on Etsy
Verified Since
April 2002
100% Positive
Feedback on eBay
Return to Flipbooks