Re: Things That One Would Never Otherwise Do

[A Day By Day remix.]


Because people like Muir think that they’re ‘entitled’ to 9/11 as their cultish emotional lodestone.


The caption would be nearly identical (Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., Confirmed dead, World Trade Center, at/in building), except that Wayne was an accountant there instead of an executive secretary. And there’s more that isn’t nice to speak about.

The remains of [Lynne’s] brother, Wayne Russo, 37, of Union were identified six months after Sept. 11. His remains were found at the landfill, but the family does not know what was found, only that his entire body was not recovered.

And that’s why.

I’m not going to ask whether Muir knew her, or whether he did what many right-wing bloggers did and selected someone to ‘honor’ from a list of those killed on 9/11, looking up names on the Internet and claiming others’ feelings as their own. I’d actually, probably, prefer not to know. Because while I couldn’t describe Wayne’s family’s suffering, I’ve gone five years without having any idea where and when it’s proper to mention Wayne’s death, and the act of mentioning it now makes me want to go hide in a hole. With a big bag of Funyuns and an AM radio softly playing a Yankees game — which was Wayne’s only major fault as a person.

Not the Funyuns, the other thing. But admittedly, Phil Rizzuto lived nearby, and the kids in Union used to go visit him. I might forgive that.

[One pic below]


MP3 here.


Comments: 40


I’m confused.

What does Muir want to say about this girl? Did he know her? Is she the inspiration for one of his characters? What?


I dunno. He just posted her picture and some text from this website.

A lot of right-bloggers just picked people to ‘honor’ from lists of victims, but it wouldn’t be fair to think that of Muir without knowing anything about it.


No no, we have it on good authority that, reached in the afterworld, from the oil trader and the parking lot attendant to the pork belly market-maker and the security guard, every victim of the WTC tragedy would not only drop the mead and raise themselves from the manicured meadows of paradise to return to earth to vote Republican whenever possible, but also lend their images to any glib halfwit cartoonist who asks, and this one who doesn’t. Thus, by virtue of extra-super-spiritual decaduple-voting power they’d reverse by their ownselves the 86-12 polling victory in Manhattan by Kerry in the 2004 election.


..and the ghosts of their little white dogs would bite the people who vote Democrat.


They’re just taking the lead from their Dear Leader, who avails himself of every opportunity to use the piles of the conveniently dead as his bully pulpit and soapbox.



It’s ok, Gavin. You gotta get the pain out or it kills you. Really. And, of course, I have no way of knowing, but I bet it would be ok with Wayne…

Remember, strength comes from love and courage, not anger and sadness



From the picture, it is apparent that Wayne Rocked.


I’m sorry Gavin. I don’t know what else to say.



Honor him. Watch a Yankees game…as if he were there with you ’cause he probably will be.


I’m so sorry, Gavin. I’m sure that wherever Wayne is, he appreciates being remembered.


That was difficult to read.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to write.

Thank you, Gavin.


Thanks Gavin, that was very heartfelt and moving.


It irritates me to no end when the right winged contingent decides that they somehow own the memories of those lost on 9/11. Nevermind that most of them were New Yorkers. Nevermind that most of them were probably democrats. Nevermind that most of were more likely to have decorated their cubicles in those towers with Doonesbury than shitty Day by Day clippings. Nevermind that these were mostly educated urban people, the kind of people that, 364 days out of the year, Muir and people like him have no problem ridiculing, reviling and diminishing.

Fuck Muir. Fuck the people that think that the ghosts of these people belong to them.


I just like seeing the pic of someone doing something they loved. I wish a lot of people were still here so we could have them as actual people, and not terrorist porn rag dolls like they are treated.

Gavmo, we see your pain even if we can’t feel it the same acute way.


I’m sorry, Gavin.


I don’t feel pain; I feel stupid.

I think Mikey understands that better. I only understand it a little bit.

While I’m hammering nails into my head, maybe we can talk about something else…



You’re not the only one who feels this way. After someone sent me a link to Keith Olberman’s very similar burst of emotion, I noticed many more examples of anger this year at the co-opting of people’s personal grief for their political argument, including my own. It would be better to have your thoughts to yourself and others that personally knew your friend, but this point how can you?

I think you can absolutely state that Muir is making a political statement by taking someone’s picture from a website and making it his strip. This strip has been 100% about political commentary from the beginning. If Muir did know her, he inexplicably omitted any personal aspect of her from the strip meant to be a tribute to her. If he did mean it as merely a tribute, and this would be a unique deviation from every other strip, including those on each anniversary of 9/11, then, very sadly, he’s just fallen into the same emotional trap that has made the whole bullshit “war on terror” possible. Taking a random face and using it to personalize 9/11 for the purpose of evoking a response is by definition political speech. Irrational political speech, but political speech nonetheless.

Going down the ground zero and posting a picture just isn’t the same thing as putting up a picture pulled off a website and stuck in a right wing cartoon. I, for one, won’t give Muir the benefit of the doubt on that one, no way.


I’m pretty sure stupid is one of the stage of grief. Anyway, the thing is, you will feel better – not just better than you do now, better than you did before. And hey, to help change the focus, I offer you this for a little light reading.

You’re welcome…



Well Gav, I have read this a bunch of times and I still laugh. Godzilla’s Journal

or this one: Rapebear


Remembering someone the way you just did is not stupid. It’s very touching, and I’m sorry that you’ve had to live with that loss.

What bothers me is the way the right-wing acts like they own the pain and tragedy of 9/11, like they are the only ones who really get it, when the attack happened in two places that want little to do with their Bible-thumping bullshit. Posts like yours show not only how incorrect that view is, but how morally corrupt it is.

I hope you feel better, and thank you for sharing.


“Remembering someone the way you just did is not stupid. It’s very touching, and I’m sorry that you’ve had to live with that loss.”

hear hear!


About “co-opting someone’s grief”:

Back in my telecom days, I trained the NY port authority on our fiber optic network equipment. I spent a week or so with about 15 guys at Newark with one side trip to La Guardia. I did this kind of thing 15-20 times a year, and never thought twice about it.

Two years later, after 9-11, the NYPA asked us to pull all the network design documentation from the archives and send it to them again, because guess where their network control center was located? So I know the system control computer was destroyed, and I know all the manuals and documentation is buried somewhere under that concrete slab…but I have no idea if any of the guys I trained were there that day.

I used to wonder about them, wonder about their families, and hope they were all okay. But I would never dream of pulling their training records, dredging up their names, and trying to contact them. I feel like I don’t have the right, you know? I met these guys, once, several years ago. They wouldn’t know me if we bumped on the street, nor would I recognize any of them. What business would I have, calling their families, their employers, driving home their loss, just to satisfy my curiosity and maybe make me feel better? Because that’s all it would do. I had nothing to offer, no help to give, no insight, no comfort. How on earth could I justify tying up phone lines and rescue workers for pure voyuerism when other people were desperately trying to contact family and close friends? How could anyone?

This is as close as 9-11 came to me. My family connections in New York weren’t in the city; the few friends I had there weren’t in the area. The only loss I could “lay claim to” is that some guys I knew once whose names I can’t even remember might have been there.

That almost-touched-by-loss is also plenty close enough for me. I consider myself quite fortunate that it didn’t hit any closer. And I honestly don’t understand the people who seem crave more than this.


Gavin, you hold a special place in the hearts of many of us around here. You’ll never seem stupid to people who care about you.

And it sure seems like you do very well by your friend’s memory. Not just with this, but every day.

I hope it gets easier for you with time.


The people who are coopting this grief apparently have a need to belong to something greater than themselves.

It’s a pity that that need can’t be harnessed to something more positive than hatred of whatever boogeymen their leaders conjure up.

But I’m afraid they view the world in a fundamentally different way, and their need to belong can never be decoupled from authoritarianism.


I wonder if these right-wingers flogging the 9/11 dead are aware that catching OBL is pretty far down on Bush’s priority list???


Gavin, we remember the people we have lost however we can, and honor them in whatever ways we can. You are a kind, beautiful man and Wayne was lucky to have you as his friend during his too-brief span of time here on earth.

LA Confidential Pantload

And that’s why you America-haters will always, always lose – ’cause you think your REAL grief is somehow better than our FAKE grief.

Shit, it’s not funny. I’m sorry for your loss, because you’re somebody that had a real loss. Not 2000+ bullshit talking points.


To pull from the article mikey linked to:

[i]While praising Bush for his “courage and determination” in pursuing his war on terror, [Gingrich] implicitly criticized the president for failing to communicate the potentially cataclysmic threats posed by “an emerging anti-American coalition” consisting of al-Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, [b]Venezuela[/b], and Saudi Arabia and doing more to counter them.[/i]

Venezuela? WWIII? Fook me running with scissors Batman, raise the Terror Alert level to alpaca-braunze!


I don’t have much to say, because everyone’s said it already, but Gavin, there’s nothing stupid about this. You know your pain, Wayne’s family’s pain, is a hell of a lot more real, more honest, than anything these wingnut assholes pulled out of their asses this week. Knowing that–that they play grief like they play all politics–makes any sane person sick.


In 1999 I worked on a theatrical show with a plot that included a scene where an actress sings about the grief of losing someone she loves. It was a very striking scene, and because I was paid to light her, I had to watch it closely.

I was on that show for about 2 months, so I saw that scene and heard that song a lot – 8 shows a week for 2 months is a lot of shows.

The show left town and I did something else and 2 years later 9/11 happened.

I was reading the NYTimes’ Profiles of the victims, and read in one stockbroker’s profile how he met and courted his wife, who had been left a widow.

Because she was a Broadway actress, the profile gave the wife’s name.

It was the actress whose grieving I had watched night after night for 2 months.

I knew her face, her name, how she sang, and – probably, since she is a good actress – how she sounded when she wept. But of course, I didn’t really know her, and although she may have said hello to me in passing, she didn’t know me. So I have never been able to give her my condolences.

But seeing the name of someone you know in the paper as the family member of a WTC victim makes you catch your breath, and realize how close this tragedy can touch anyone.


I’ve lived in nyc since 99, which, to make it clear for Gary R and the Jebus-squad, means I was there “that day”. I was fortunate in that all the people closest to me made it through that day. That’s not to say I didn’t know anyone who was lost, but being spared losing anyone I loved and needed was a small mercy I’ve been very grateful for in the days, weeks, months, and years since.
So it’s personal for me, too, not in the same ways as for Gavin and Olbermann and the families of the victims, but still. And I’m trying to think of something eloquent or witty or etc to say, but I can’t. The anger is still too raw, and, if anything, it has grown.
There’s no way to make these…. opportunists understand what they’re doing, or to make those who do understand stop. As much as I want to physically assault Ann Coulter sometimes, I know it’d be hypocritical and counterproductive.
All I can think of to say is that this is the only way to respond, Gavin, and well done. It’s on those of us who weren’t driven into a permanent bloodthirst on that day to get in the faces of the warporn enthusiasts and remind them that their cutout props were actual people who were loved and will always be missed.
On 9/11 I rewatched “Why We Fight”. In a (more) just world ABC would be forced to show that documentary 24/7 for the next month, and Ann Coulter would be locked in a room with the retired vet/policeman and father of a victim whose experiences form the emotional core of the work.
In the meantime, I wait and hope for a new Joseph Welch, for a moment of clarity and conscience powerful enough to turn the tide of public discourse. Maybe I’m being foolishy optimistic, but I think a John Conyers led House Judiciary Committee is our best shot at such a moment.


Let review:

1. Gavin: not stupid. Although feeling stupid is normal under the circumstances

b. Wayne was one of the very few, good Yankees fans

3. Sharing remeberences of those who have gone on: good

4. Using the memory of thos who have gone on as agitprop: bad




e. Wayne rocked

6. Rapebear is the funniest thing I have seen all week, thank you Kathleen.


thanks Elvis. I still makes me laugh, and I have read it so many times.



I’m sorry for your loss. I know grief sucks except when it really sucks, but please stop hammering nails into your head. We need you.


Gavin – Sorry about your loss, and I know what you’re feeling. I lost friends on like Danny Lewin, and more than 10 people from my tiny college worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. Moreover, one of my relatives worked for the Port Authority in Operations at the WTC – he was there that day and lost about 1/2 of his staff (around 15 people). He’s only alive because he had a breakfast meeting that day at the base of the north tower. Had he been in his office (88th floor), he’d likely be dead. He had to spend the entire day at and around Ground Zero, handling things, not running to photo ops. He still suffers from PTSD, although he’s getting better.

And guess what, my relative is still a Democrat, along with his entire family. All those people from my tiny liberal college? Democrats. People actually affected by 9/11 are mostly Democrats.

People who turned 9/11 and its victims into “support” for torture, the Iraq war and indefinite detention of American citizens? Republicans.

They can FOAD.


as someone who lives in walking distance from ground zero, goes throught the ground zero path station every work day and was in manhattan on september the eleventh, it drives me crazy when wingnuts try to tell me i have forgotten september the eleventh. these are the same people who don’t give a shit about catching osama bin laden or combating al quaeda.


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