Monday, September 17, 16:27 CDT

A belated happy birthday, Heather.

don't believe the forest when he tells you that the roses are free

I see Lake Effect, a blog I've enjoyed for a while, is off hiatus. I may as well steal a link: Phil Agre's Imagining the Next War is the best piece of long winded political commentary I've made myself read lately. Which isn't to say I'm in complete agreement. Agre is on the left side of a political fence I do my best to deny existing. (And am I wrong? Isn't Us 'n Them the worldview that keeps killing people for no good reason anyway?) Still and all, he articulates a lot of things I've been (darkly) thinking for the past 6 days.

I've been half impressed and half saddened by a lot of what I've seen on the 'net since the 11th. Early that morning, finding news anywhere but TV or radio seemed hopeless, but within a few hours, people seemed to have pulled things together. Even while the major news sites were nearly unreachable (and shifting to ultra-light designs that served them better than their standard look), places like /., Google and countless weblogs and journals were doing an impressive job taking up the slack. (At least 'til countless blogs got down to some serious opinionating.)

(I found myself wishing I still had a home IRC server to log on to and make sure friends were ok and just generally share the feeling of wondering what's happening. There's real value to that sort of thing when Stuff's Going On.)

But then of course there's the inevitable fallout, and I've seen no shortage of irrational hatred vented. Pick a flavor. If I still thought of the Internet as a single community and me a member, I'd be ashamed. And maybe a little proud, too - there are a lot of sincere, often eloquent voices out there doing what they can to quell the opportunistic flowerings of the sort of people who live for this kind of thing. And a lot of people sincerely trying to help, however they can.

Few things make you realize how little you truly understand like a time of ugly tragedy, thick flying rhetoric and widespread enraged confusion. Especially tragedy deliberately visited upon the innocent by evil men. And yet the world's full of that. I'm ashamed to admit that I seldom take notice. Just that now we're forced to pay attention, I guess.