At American Digest, you can read a lovely essay about 9/11, the day the smoke rose in the sky. I’m especially envious of its beauty because, as we near the Sixth Anniversary of that day, I find myself with nothing to say. As always, I mourn the dead, but I also mourn the death of my culture, the division of my world into before and after. For my kids, it’s always going to be an after life, but for so many of us, the world on that day was neatly divided into two temporal halves. Many, the ones who identify themselves as Progressives, seem to have opted for a regressive point of view, desperately trying to fit themselves into the past half, the world that was one of easy pieties about rich and poor, empire and third world, haves and have nots. Others, myself included, felt that, when the smoke cleared, it revealed a new era, one that had always been hinted at, hinted in 1979, and 1983, and 1993, but that we’d refuse to see. We see it now.