9/11 is a bit of a problematic topic for Nerd Hurdles. For one, no matter what your feelings are on the hype and propaganda surrounding it, it’s just not something you can joke about. People dying isn’t funny. And two, what exactly is the hurdle? From some discussion on the [defunct] Simply Syndicated forums I’ve come to realize it’s primarily a semantic hurdle for me.
The root of most nerd hurdles is really when you have a sickening suspicion that fans of whatever fandom have lost touch with reality. Something about the way 9/11 is treated and spoken about feels entirely insincere. Perhaps that is a byproduct of overly-slick American infotainment news coverage regurgitating propagandistic messages instead of reporting balanced broadcast journalism.
But as much as I disagree with labeling the firefighters at “ground zero” (that term in itself is a hurdle for me) heroes because they were simply people doing their jobs, the height of absurdity has to be the conspiracy theorists. Charlie Sheen‘s recent YouTube appearance is a case in point. The complete breakdown of rational thought is a massive hurdle for me. As is the subtle misuse of language to sway public opinion away from Truth to Idealism is a hurdle for me. Are they “nerd hurdles” per se? Perhaps not. Perhaps I’m just a cynical curmudgeon. Perhaps “perhaps” should not have been in that last sentence.
Next week we return to more classically “nerdy” and, hopefully, less gloomy topics. But first, let’s take a gander at some stats about casualties in the Iraq War.