No time at all.
Lost in the blur and the bustle of the day-to-day, eclipsed by the Meantimes --marvelous and morbid-- overwritten by the business of existing, and --every now and then-- Living......It waits.
The defining Moment of our times.
As with all things of comparably enormous import, the interval seems murky, phenomenologically muddled as to perceived duration, because, although it slips farther and farther away in 'objective time' (whateverthefrak that is), it remains present, because it underlies --at varying depths-- everything else.
"Why should it loom so large, when suffering at least as horrid befalls vastly more people on a daily basis, elsewhere in the world?"
Fair question. And one which is typically answered with far too little depth, such that it appears --alas, all-too-often correctly-- to connote an ugly over-undertone of chauvinism ("Because they were MERRRRcuns!").
But obviously that's not it, or I would hardly have brought it up.
That was the day that asymmetric warfare joined --and soundly upstaged-- Great Powers War (hot and Cold) in the annals of geopolitical mayhem. It was the day that a band of highly disciplined, guilefully canny, chillingly Certain individuals successfully exploited the very best aspects of an advanced, evolving civilization, in order to deliver a withering blow upon it --and, in so doing, force a spasmodic realignment of the vectors of power across the whole skin of this Marble-- for the sake of one that's among the least advanced, and pointedly retrograde in its evolution.
It was the day that decisively cemented into the zeitgeist that which had already been true for some time.
Wars no longer had "fronts."
And they never would again.
Warriors could, once upon a time, come "Stateside," and reflect --in safety-- on the horrors of battle, while "civilians" would seek to comfort them, secretly thanking their deity of choice for the fact that they wouldn't have to face such nightmares, themselves.
And now they would. Now they would have to bare their muffin-tops at the airport if they should be foolhardy enough to wear metallic belt buckles, expose to public scrutiny their threadbare, swampy socks. All because a caustic ideology had sufficient emulsifying force to yoke the divergent hatreds of myriad factions into a perfect storm of deadly intercontinental venom.
On that day.
Yes, a great many people in this world just might be sufficiently aware of those events to look up briefly and say "Yeah? And?" But everyone that any readers of these words would be likely to encounter did experience a Sea Change on that day.
It's the kind of thing that always lives/lurks, to varying degrees in the background.
How far into the background has a distinct bearing on how we approach these Anniversaries. Many say that we ascribe an outsized value to That Day's events, and in so doing we create the conditions under which the hatreds that burst like a long-neglected pustule are simply allowed to re-fester. They add that we must strive to live in the kind of world in which such things are not allowed the space to happen ("Be the change you want to see in the world").
A laudable sentiment. However, it is one which perilously papers over the fact that, in the absence of evidence that it is broadly shared, serves essentially the same purpose as a "Gun-Free Zone" sign does to an armed psychotic (Target-Rich Environment [without the irony]).
Which brings us to those for whom it is seldom/never very far into the background (like Yours Truly). For people toward that end of the spectrum, the alarm clock didn't come with a snooze button. The vigilance which was triggered by an understanding of the full scope of those events' antecedents continues to resonate to the frequencies that reveal their continued presence in the world.
And they grow worse.
Thus, the task incumbent on this magnificent, vulnerable Civilization is to harry and scatter the agents of chaos that struck with such malevolently spiteful brilliance on That Day. We must discredit and Shame those raging revenants' ideology without respite, without recourse to the precious platitudes with which the typically --though not exclusively-- well-meaning apologists for negotiated, multicultural coexistence seek to minimize the existential threat that it still represents.
As is sometimes said, "We may not be at war with them...but They still are with us."
That bears reflecting on.
And for those who are gearing up to deliver some retort which suggests (or asserts) that the USGOV was responsible for 9/11 (either via missiles/planted explosives, or via deliberate withholding of actionable threats [e.g., for the sake of ginning up a war, on behalf of Big Oil/the Military-Industrial-Complex/whateverthefrak])....I reckon you might as well Unfriend me instead. Right now.
I'm not having it.
You see, I have no respect for Troofers. That would seem an uncharacteristically un-nuanced position for me to take. I am pleased to report that this would be an accurate statement. I fully acknowledge that it is not altogether immune to exception (what is?)...but it has sufficiently robust heuristic value that I choose to treat it as a functional Fact.
I do not consider 9/11 conspiracists to be serious people.
The willful dereliction of intellectual rigor which is required in order to partake in an Alex Jones version of that reality is of sufficient magnitude as to disqualify an individual's opinion from my consideration. I don't listen to Scientologists, either. I'd not presume to infringe on their right to express their opinions, obviously. But life is short.
"Theories" like these are the very definition of such Mission Creep.
Hint: The unfolding of any sufficiently complex occurrence, in nature and/or in human affairs will invariably be riddled with anomalies.
And so will our descriptions of them....even when they are accurate.
A scattered smattering of "hmmm"-worthy, apparently paradoxical factoids do not invalidate the central thrust of events, any more than line noise nullifies the music.
There are no altogether Noise-free Signals in any 'verse that we're ever gonna live in.
But "Paranoid is just Reality...on a finer scale." (/"Strange Days")
Seriously. Just keep it to yourselves.
Regardless, it's been 14 years. Or 25 seconds. I go back and forth.