It has been a year…

It has been a year… A meditation
: This Wednesday at 8pm, I will be delivering a meditation at my church’s memorial service (all welcome; none proseltyzed; address and directions in New Jersey here; click on map).

Here is my near-finished draft of my sermon: The impact of 9.11, a year later. I’ll be eager to hear any reaction from those who dare to read this much; just email me.


California state of mind
: Greg Beato send me email pointing out that Norah Vincent is a New Yorker. Doesn’t change anything I have to say below. It’s the LA Times that chose to publisher her drivel. Besides, California is just a state of mind.

: Sarah Navarro (aka Rhesa) sends me a nice email disavowing the opinions of other Californians.

Her blog also points us to a story at the California Patriot (no, I’ve not heard of it either and I will refrain from the obvious oxymoron gags) saying that Berkeley has banned The Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America from 9.11 observances. Reality or parody? Always hard to tell in California — especially, of course, in Berkeley.

The “Star Spangled Banner” is too patriotic, divisive and political, so organizers of UC Berkeley’s day-long tribute to the victims and heroes of 9-11 are excluding it. “God Bless America” is doubly excluded. Not only is it patriotic, but it also mentions God, something else that is taboo next Wednesday.

The Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance, sponsored by the Chancellor’s office, the student body government and the Graduate Assembly, will also feature student leaders distributing white ribbons, instead of the red, white and blue ones they had originally planned.

“We thought that may be just too political, too patriotic,” said Hazel Wong, chief organizer for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). “We didn’t want anything too centered on nationalism-anything that is ‘Go U.S.A.'”

Wong said the event organizers are “trying to steer away” from anything political, and that, she said, includes singing the National Anthem and displaying the red, white, and blue. She said they don’t want politics disrupting mourning and grieving.

Not political? You dolts. This is all about politics. This is all about patriotism. Jerks.

: This UC Berkeley idiocy only gets funnier (and more pathetic). The Daily Californian, the university paper, reports that they will now distribute red-white-and-blue ribbons.

While the university has planned numerous events to commemorate the first anniversary of Sept. 11, Chancellor Robert Berdahl overruled a decision by student leaders to distribute white ribbons to students during the memorial….

He added the student leaders had initially chosen white ribbons because multicolored ribbons were too costly.

But student leaders said the decision was not based on financial concerns.

“It’s true that (white ribbons) are cheaper,” said Graduate Assembly President Jessica Quindel. “But I was at the meetings, and the decisions had nothing to do with the prices.”…

“Jessica does not speak for the university. I speak for the university,” Berdahl said. “(Red, white and blue) ribbons don’t offend anyone.”

: See also Karl Martino on a key difference between the coasts on 9.11: The East Coast lived this trauma live; on the West Coast, it was a TV show, already packaged and “punditized.”

: By the way, I used to live in and love California. But I left many years ago. And since then, I have come to see that, despite appearances, California is small. It’s the me state. In the north, it’s about small societies and correct politics. In the south, it’s about the oddities of an industry.

Unfair? Of course. Gross generalizations? Naturally. Only to illustrate a point, my friends.