by syaffolee

Topic for this week’s Tuesday Too:

What do you think about the US government giving money to family members of 9/11 victims?

1. Is a firemen’s life worth less than a stock broker?

It would be downright egotistical, not to mention foolish, for me to judge. Sure, most people apply stereotypes when thinking of a fireman and a stock broker. A fireman saves lives from burning buildings. Stock brokers sit in offices all day making money. Society tells us which occupation is more “noble” but it says nothing of the individuals themselves. What would you say then, if the fireman goes home to beat his wife and abuse his kids and the stock broker spends his spare time donating to charity and working at a soup kitchen? I have no right to judge the “worth” of anyone’s life, especially of those I do not know.

2. What about family members of victims who died from circumstances not related to 9/11?

I believe victims and their family members should be respected regardless of circumstances. 9/11 only garnered more attention because of its world-wide implications. It wasn’t the deaths themselves (more people can get killed in an earthquake) but the acts that caused these deaths of the 9/11 victims seem “more important”.

3. It is likely that 9/11 will not be the last terrorist attack. Should the same “compensation” be provided for future victims families?

I don’t like the idea of selectively giving compensation to only victims of terrorist attack. Compensation should be given to anyone who had a loved one murdered.

Upon more rumination: I admit my answers are detached and probably not very sympathetic. I live in an insular, academic world and it’s very hard to break out of it. Perhaps my answers would be different if I actually knew someone or even talked to someone who lost a loved one on 9/11. In the beginning, I also had a gut-wrenching reaction, but as the months go by, all I get is talk and posturing and politicians using the event to further their own agendas. What is real and what is hype? I’m not sure what to believe anymore.

Something completely different and trivial in comparison:
Last night, I went to see Star Trek: Nemesis. I suppose it’s more the duty of a ST:NG fan than really of anticipation that made me get off my butt to go to the theater. It’s like going to see Episode II even though I knew it wasn’t going to live up to the original Star Wars trilogy. (My enthusiasm for Lord of the Rings hasn’t dimmed, but I suspect if the LOTR franchise was also dragged on for several more movies, my view on Tolkien’s world would also become lackadaisical.)

Possibly indicative of its future box office earnings, not very many people attended the screening. Mostly it was just fellow geeks, couples with nothing better to do, and some teenaged girls gushing about Patrick Stewart. The movie itself was a little lackluster although there were a couple of intriguing themes brought up (most prominently the nature vs. nurture debate). But somehow, I got the feeling that it was nothing but a rehash of Wrath of Kahn. I wished they lingered longer on the bad guy’s motives. For instance, why is Shinzon so intrigued with Counselor Troi? Why was he hesitating instead of going immediately ahead with his plans for world destruction?

I have a bunch of other extremely minor quibbles with the film (like how Wesley Crusher should have had a line or ten, the Romulans needed more screen time, cut out the gratuitous fight scene between Riker and the Reman, and B-4 should of stayed inactivated). But despite the really unbelievable technobabble about cloning Picard (which I’m convinced was scripted by a writer who overheard the term “RNA” from a bunch of high school biology students), it’s good for a night’s entertainment, especially if you’re partial to special effects, sci-fi violence, and ST:NG nostalgia.