I spent a few minutes this morning watching Glenn Beck’s Howard-Beale-meets-Bob-Ross act on Fox News, and after having several brani clels melted, I flipped over to watch President Obama telling his “fired up” story, which I had never heard before. The contrast was pretty amazing.
Still, Beck did get me thinking about the idea of 9/12, which he is twisting to his own freakish ends. I know I didn’t wake up that day thinking, “Man, I have got to protect insurance company profits!”
What I was looking for that day was some firm ground to stand on. What I found was a nation, and a world, united in the kind of brotherhood that results in a 90% approval of anything. I don’t think ice cream even gets those kinds of numbers.
I also got to thinking about right-wing activist Caleb Howe, who is criss-crossing the country as we speak, spreading the 9/12 message (whatever that is) as the Chief Magistrate (or something) of the American Liberty Tour. Here are his first 6 vlogs.
OK, there only appear to be 5 of them. Maybe #3 was the one where he got drunk and chanted “Yes We Can!” through a waterfall of tears.
Anyway, Caleb is a guy with whom I disagree strongly. This much, everyone knows. Caleb and I also happen to be good friends. This is also something that most people know.
What you might not know is that Caleb and I became friends just a little over a year ago. I’m also pretty sure that hardly anybody is aware of the deep hatred I felt for Caleb prior to meeting him. I don’t mean the standard left vs. right rivalry, but rather, a very special animosity that I reserved all of my best curse words for.
He and I were both writing for The Political Machine, although he didn’t come aboard until months after the blog had started, and he pissed me off routinely with his rabid ideology.
I found out that Political Machine was sending me to Denver to cover the Democratic National Convention, and I was ecstatic. The trip had actually been my idea, and I had already reserved a car, intending to go either way. Then, I found out they were also sending Caleb.
I had a whole strategy worked out, however, for how I was going to undermine him and make sure that I got all the good stories. Yeah, I’m a jerkoff.
The plan never materialized because Caleb and I became instant friends when we met at the rental car lot. We had worked out, in advance, a bit where we would exchange gifts. He gave me a tinfoil hat, and I gave him something stereotypical, I can’t remember what. We filmed it, and it was so lame, we never used it, but I think it helped to disarm my blind rage.
Here are some of the videos I took in Denver:
So, when I think of September 12, 2001, I think about my friendship with Caleb, and the way it mirrors the hope of that day, that we could all see past our differences and find some common ground. I believe it still today. That is, as long as I can keep Caleb and his pals from ruining this country.