The Henchman

Posted on 13. Sep, 2011 by admin in Mmmm... | No Comments

How many members of the choir were even born when tragedy struck in 2001?

There’s a scene in Austin Powers III in which Michael Caine – Austin’s Daddy -gets into Dr. Evil’s submarine lair and begins taking care of business.  To the unnamed henchmen he says, “I mean, look at you. You don’t even have a name tag. You’ve got no chance. Why don’t you just fall down? Go on son.”

We’ve just been through the ceremonies surrounding the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Before you go any further, don’t ever think that I have any sympathy for people who hurt others to make their views heard.  Kidnappers for a cause that want airtime in exchange for lives given back, mad gunmen in post offices, in university lecture halls, in high schools, in commercial airplanes..Yet I can’t help but think of those men, boarding the planes, knowing what the course of action was.  How many times did they change their minds during the days leading up to this?  During the minutes between earth and sky where each of them could have spared their victims?  Does that make any sense at all?

And furthermore, the planners of all of this.  Were they not alive and well for the next ten years afterwards?  The minds drew the scheme up, indoctrinated the right henchmen, put them through the formation they needed.  But did they make any sacrifice at all that day?  Who is guiltier, the planners, the minds, the leaders or the executors of the plan?  I wonder.

I wonder if each of those pilots ever understood the true result of their impending action.  They would be heroes, of course, to the cause.  But in the balance, did they not see the old, the young, maybe even some compatriots on the same plane as they were.. Did they not look out the window at the absurdly blue sky and think, “This is not God.  God is in what I’m about to do.”

I don’t doubt God but I doubt the godliness of my fellow human.

On a small scale, we bow our heads, some of us cry, some of us make pious wishes and statements.  Then, we put away the prayer books and pick our tools back up.  We go back to work and to being nasty little people.

And so I go back to work and try to see where my nature hurts others.   I start the day at work by opening up the old trunk and taking out my bass, Lucille.  In there,amongst the photos of big fish I caught, small dogs, the Canadian Women’s Hockey team that won in Salt Lake City (teamwork reminder..), a rubber chicken and some antlers, there’s a newspaper clipping from some years back when the Dalai Lama came to visit Ottawa.  The quote is, “First, inner disarmament. Then outer disarmament.”

I’d say that’s a good thought to start the day with..


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