Saving Face

Sunday, September 11th, 2005, 10:23 pm

For those of you who spent the weekend on tenterhooks wondering about my medical condition, I can say that I am definitely “better”. Not 100%–oh, no no no no. Still lots of redness around the eyes, still have big red blotchy areas in places I’m too demure to go into further, and my left hand still looks like I stuck my hand into something I found bubbling in a chemistry lab. But I can see, I seem to have turned the corner.

Had a good weekend, ate too much, drank too much, watched lots of sports on TV. The anti-itch medication put me on my ass and knocked me out but good Saturday morning (tho going to bed at 5AM Friday probably helped. Played some poker, more about that in a later post. Finally got off the schneid (is that how it’s spelled?).

Watched Pitt get embarassed by Ohio, watched my Lions feast upon Cinci, watched as Fast Willie Parker burst upon the NFL scene (any fantasy football types reading this might want to grab Mr. Parker ASAP, if you weren’t savvy enough to grab him in a late round).

But before the Steeler game, a minor outrage. It’s September 11th, and the house I was staying in is about a 15 minute drive from where Flight 93 went down. Our friends Frank and Heather went to see the temporary memorial on Saturday. I’ve always meant to take a left turn on the the way home and see it, but the permanent memorial design was just selected and I’ll go see that when it’s done. Anyway, I think the actual sites (including the Twin Towers and the Pentagon) should be left more to friends and family on this particular day. I can’t say I did anything particularly patriotic or anything in remembrence, other than hanging out with my friends, tooling around the lake on the JetSki, and watching football.

But of course the mind returns to that day on its anniversary. Perhaps more so this year because of the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. Once again we’re all asked to chip in, help our fellow citizens, rally ’round. Just as on 9/11, we’re all asked to do our little bit to help.

So the football games are about to start, and with the Steeler game in commercial we switched to Fox and their broadcast of the Washingon/Chicago game. The game is in DC, where the Pentagon was hit. And so they’re going to have a musical tribute in honor of that day. And what to they do? They trot out the execrable Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey to get up on this elaborate stage on the field and lip-synch a predictably overwrought version of “America the Beautiful”. Lachey does his flatlined slow-jams crooning, Simpson fractures the words “waves of grain” into 16 syllables, all the while her face is contorted into what are expressions of what passes as her emotions.

Ghastly. If the corporate powers-that-be want to shove this couple down our throats (as they’ve done with a plunger the last 2 or 3 years) that’s their business. But on a day like 9/11, especially in a city where people lost their lives, couldn’t the NFL or Daniel Snyder or whover the fuck thought this up come up with a better way to entertain the crowd than inflict these people on us yet again? Instead of the song being a celebration of our collective loss, pain, and resolution, it became a celebration of…Nick and Jessica. Why not ask everyone to stand up, read the words on the screen, and sing along together? Wouldn’t that have been a much better way for the fans, all of whom have their own 9/11 memories, to share in the remeberance for this day?

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5 Responses to “Saving Face”

  1. Daddy Says:


    I only know this because my great-uncle invented it. His name was Gerald “Fatty” Schnide, and he once lost a world record 141 coin tosses in a row.

  2. Mark Says:

    Hey Mean Gene. I have been reading a few blogs around here and came over here from AlCantHang’s blog. I clicked on the link of “steelers fan”. Just wanted to let you know, I went to PSU and am a huge Penn State fan, and have been a Steelers fan all my life. The steelers made me some money on Sunday, but unfortunately PSU didn’t cover the spread. I’ll be stopping in now an then to keep up to date on your happenings.

  3. Neil Bittner Says:

    Your suggestion of having the entire crowd sing the lyrics I think what have been a pretty powerful thing to watch. 50,000 fans (or whatever the number is) singing in unison on the anniversary is a much better sight than Nick and Jessica mouthing the words to a crappy version of the song.

  4. TripJax Says:

    A fellow employee stopped me in the hallway today and said, “You haven’t gotten poison ivy this year huh?!” It was a random comment, but the guy has seen me go through some tough battles with the ivy so he must have remembered.

    I had to stop and think about it for a minute. Me thinks this is the first time in my life I haven’t gotten it. I realize as I write this I’ve just sealed the deal for me getting it somehow, someway, but when he made the comment I thought of you.

    My response to him was, “Yeah, I’ve stayed the hell out of my backyard.” Good call Gene.

  5. Kender Says:

    Actually the flight 93 memorial design hasn’t been finalized yet…a fight is in the wings as it is a crescent… will be interesting, I think.

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