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REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: Ten years is not a trivial duration. A decade offers opportunities for reflection on the events past and greater context and clarity than the moment can ever hope to provide. So here we are, ten years removed from the single greatest loss of human life on American soil in a single day in my lifetime. We again mourn the tragic deaths of those who perished because they arrived on time for work that clear autumn morn.

Many recollections are inwardly directed. This won't be different. I was late to work. Mrs. TetreaultVision and I were both employed by the same company at the time and we arrived after the south tower had fallen. The news hadn't been on in our apartment. It still rarely accompanies AM preparations. Feeds in my Google Reader have long since displaced any devotion to televised news coverage. The AP guy at the time came to ask if we had heard. We hadn't. The news sites were down, only intermittently available as millions flooded the Internet to follow the story. A television in the production area played the local ABC affiliates coverage.

We took money out of the bank, cash seemed like the right thing to have on hand at that moment and drove down to spend the evening watching the news with my in-laws. My brother-in-law not even yet in high school vocalizing the fears that were ever-present amongst us all.

"What is going to happen next?"

After we left my in-laws we drove to Jersey City. Across the Hudson from lower Manhattan. Billows of acrid smoke belched out of the tomb that once was the World Trade Center - now a funeral pyre alight. The air was nasty with a variety of indescribable, foul odors. Some of the other visitors were staring across the water like we were. Others couldn't look. Other suppressed the horror by hooking up, the pre-cursor to what Salon would soon thereafter call "terror sex"

I remember the cash on hand, worrying that cascading societal failure would somehow be blunted by the presence of currency backed by faith, that the government would honor it and not devalue it, that because it was stamped legal currency stores would accept it. In God (and the Fed) we trust. I was reminded of that yesterday watching Contagion. The rapid devolution of society in face of a plague that gestates quickly and kills far too many but not all.

Soderbergh's sterile tale of infectious disease spreading rapidly throughout the world left me cold, not the least of which because of the depiction of anarchy stands in such stark contrast to what was our greatest horror and our finest hour. So many of the stories of September 11, 2001 are peppered with he led us to safety, he rushed back in to go find someone else to pull out, she made sure I got to safety.

In short: heroism.

I bristle at the non-sense that such heroism was born on September 11th. Americans - though we are rugged individualists at our core - have long been the most benevolent of souls. We band together to help each other out. For all the terrible stories of looting accompanying tragedy there are anecdotes of selfless giving to ensure that our fellows survive and are able to endure.

Soderbergh's San Franciscans riot in a pharmacy to get a placebo. His Minnesotans loot a supermarket and practice home invasion. His government officials are venal and corrupt. He creates a plotless dystopian society unrecognizable from the world we know.

Perhaps his vision is steeped in a greater reality than mine. I just can't accept that it is.

Happier subjects. NFL Sunday week 1 arrives. Let the fanfare sound. 13 games today another pair tomorrow. I get to wait a day before I see the Patriots play. I doubted the lockout would get settled. Let's hope such fortune favors the NBA as well.

Time Visitor Home Network Pick
1:00 ET Atlanta Chicago Fox Falcons
1:00 ET Cincinnati Cleveland CBS Browns
1:00 ET Buffalo Kansas City CBS Chiefs
1:00 ET Philadelphia St. Louis Fox Rams
1:00 ET Detroit Tampa Bay Fox Lions
1:00 ET Tennessee Jacksonville CBS Jaguars
1:00 ET Pittsburgh Baltimore CBS Ravens
1:00 ET Indianapolis Hoiston CBS Texans
4:15 ET NY Giants Washington Fox Giants
4:15 ET Seattle San Francisco Fox Seahawks
4:15 ET Minnesota San Diego Fox Chargers
4:15 ET Carolina Arizona Fox Panthers
8:20 ET Dallas NY Jets NBC Jets

These picks are straight up and for informational purposes only. You wager, it's your call and your money and your risk. In short, don't blame me. Enjoy the games.