Department of corrections, retractions, alterations, modifications, mutations, and other improvements on the truth.

September 22, 2001 AD
Well, well. After my brain shut down from the media glut of terrorist "news", I decided to crawl into my shell and spend a week proofreading this site. I found some silly errors:

     1) I started something with a <FONT> tag and ended it with a </I> tag. It worked fine in Netscape, so I didn't notice it 'til AOLPress started screaming.

     2) I caught one horrible factual error which bordered on libel. You don't know how sorry I am for that one. (Yet I kept it - mostly - intact with a note below it explaining it away. Otherwise it looks like I was making accusations then covering them up later, as a casual check of something like Google's cache would point out.) I again apologize to all the people involved, as I really did not mean anything by it. Since, however, the original item I misquoted was gossip that itself bordered on libel, I think that my getting it wrong wasn't really that much more sinful than quoting it in the first place.

     3) I re-read about half this site.

That last one's the clincher. I've made, for instance, a comment about President Bush that, if I were of any import at all, would get me into very hot water. But that's nothing compared to something else.

I re-read my Martial Law webpages. And winced. Just offhand, I saw the following things in different episode rants, and it kept getting worse (I went through the show in episode order).

Rant on "Red Storm". References to terrorists and such, though this one didn't bother me much, as I'm not going to start jumping at shadows. Of course, after that....

Rant on "Sammo Blammo". More terrorists. They were rather comedic white (IIRC) guys.

Rant on "The Friendly Skies". Well, the plot involved a plane being hijacked and rigged to disperse chemical weapons over a city. I didn't make reference to much of that, but see if it doesn't stick with you if you've seen the episode before....

Rant on "Freefall". I didn't say much on this, but some of the more powerful imagery in that episode was of a building wrecked by a spy satellite crashing into it. People buried in rubble, etc. This one, again, didn't really bother me. But, when thought of in the current political environment of radio stations being asked not to play "Bridge Over Troubled Water", as if it gets much play in the first place next to Britney Spears' latest effort....

Rant on "Final Conflict, Part 2". My God. I was almost cowering reading this one, as I'm sure the scriptwriters were if they were reminded of it - and how could they not be?! Part of the plot involved several commercial airplanes crashing into New York City after being taken over by terrorists.

Of course, there's differences. There was no hijacking in the "normal" sense - the planes were remotely controlled. The number was different, and Scorpio was as Caucasian a terrorist cult as you're ever gonna get (outside of the IRA, perhaps). And the good guys saved the day, natch.

But the differences always melt into the background as the similarities come to the forefront. That's a notorious human flaw - we see what we want to see of any two partly similar things, be it the similarities or the differences. We are, at the heart of all our ambivalence and other complexities, utterly binary.

So what does one see of my rants? The point where I'm making light humor of what NYC would be like if a commercial airplane crashed into the middle of it. Calling the "Sammo Blammo" terrorist characters "rather funny". Several painful things grimly march to the front and refuse to move. But that doesn't change things.

Read the dates and you'll see that I wrote the rants in question - at the latest - in early August. You'll also note it never occurred to me to hit the planes into a skyscraper or any other building; I was treating NYC as a homogeneous blob where damage to one point would be the same as damage to any other.

Watch the episodes*, and realize that they were written years ago. I was innocent of any knowledge of the attacks, as I'm sure the scriptwriters were. Unless you'd care to make some very grim and baseless accusations as part of a witch-hunt.

(* Though you'd better have a tape archive, since TNN's been hopping around to random episodes every now and then in what now looks like less of a one-off accident (the accident that allowed me to get the last episode I really wanted) and more of a desperate attempt to conceal the fact that they're not running the episodes mentioned above.)

Please don't e-mail me and tell me to take these things down. I won't. While I can't claim complete editorial integrity, I'm certainly not going to start deleting things because my humorous commentary on a fictional event just happens to be rather callous if someone decides to take it completely out of context and apply it to something real. Something that hadn't even happened when I wrote it. By that logic, everything on this site would have to go, since I'm sure that every item on this site could be applied incorrectly to some past or future event.

If I had to write those rants now, or if I'd not uploaded them yet and was still editing them, then things would be different. I'd have cut out some of my lighter comments, maybe added a cautious disclaimer even then. But not now. Now, they've been on my public site for over a month. The die is cast, and I'll always resist melting it back to slag.

Play with your own idea of posterity all you want. Hands off mine.

The Archon

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