“A people unaware of its myths is likely to continue living by them, though the world around that people may change and demand changes in their psychology, their world view, their ethics, and their institutions.” — Richard Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence
* * *
A couple of days ago I got an advance copy of a book by Susan Faludi titled The Terror Dream, due to be released in October. I’ve gotten only a few pages into it so I cannot say if the book as a whole is good or not. But the premise is spot on.
Faludi explores what September 11 did to our national psyche. In short, Americans as a whole did not respond to September 11 clearly and honestly. Instead, we retreated into a dreamworld of John Wayne cinematic epics and frontier melodrama. In this spectacular we cast ourselves as both the hero and the damsel in distress. The villain role has been filled by a rotating cast — Osama bin Laden, of course, but also Saddam Hussein, France, the United Nations, liberals, various straw man characters allegedly representing liberalism (Ward Churchill, whoever the hell he is, comes to mind), Democrats, the entire Middle East (excluding Israel, of course) and the entire religion of Islam.
Keep reading ...