[ cross-posted from Zenpundit — values ]
Sacrifice was high among the unifying ideals that many Americans hoped would emerge from the rubble of ground zero, where so many Good Samaritans had practiced it. But the president scuttled the notion on the first weekend after the attack, telling Americans that it was his “hope” that “they make no sacrifice whatsoever” beyond, perhaps, tolerating enhanced airline security. Few leaders in either party contradicted him. Bush would soon implore us to “get down to Disney World in Florida” and would even lend his image to a travel-industry ad promoting tourism. Our marching orders were to go shopping.
I’ve drawn this partial paragraph from Frank Rich‘s New York piece of August 27th, The 9/11 decade is now over. The terrorists lost. But who won? – it really caught my attention.
If you shake it down in the mind like someone panning for gold to get rid of the lightweight details, the heavier material that remains for you to sort through will, I think, consist of two words: “sacrifice” as representing one order of values, gleaming in contrast with the darker “shopping” representing another.
Yesterday I made a post about words and culture, this one is about culture and sacrifice… what comes next will be the series on ritual and ceremonial…