9/11: Trauma, Truth, Censorship & Hogwash

As our Love Train rolled through the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we looked back on those outrageous attacks like no one had ever seen before… or since.

9/11. It’s a date that almost everyone knows, yet it’s one that’s still shrouded in mystery, many mysteries, like it was a dream, a myth or a movie.

It sure looked like a movie, four jumbo passenger jets flying smack into America’s two tallest buildings and its seat of military might, as well as the ground (we think). Watching it live, rubbing the sleep from my eyes so early that fine Tuesday morning, and then on perpetual repeat—one fiery, phantasmagorical special effect after another—from every different angle, felt totally surreal.

Unfortunately, it was real.

It was also very deadly. At least 2997 human beings lost their lives that dreadful day, and thousands more were poisoned by the fumes.

It was also traumatic. Certainly, the harrowing experience, the struggle to survive such a tremendous assault is seared into the psyches of the actual survivors who somehow escaped the Nightmare on Fulton Street, stumbling down flights of buckling stairs, digging themselves out of rubble, courageously rescuing trapped colleagues and strangers, or just kicking off their heels and running, tripping and staggering down Wall Street, as if chased by a gigantic fire-belching Godzilla, while the sky rained toxic ash and billowing, cancer-causing smoke.

You didn’t have to be there to be traumatized. Millions, if not billions of us were shocked senseless by the sight of such an immense, unprecedented attack upon those iconic American edifices. Many of us still have 9/11 PTSD, plagued by chronic fear, anxiety, defensiveness, despair, delusion, confusion, rage and terror.

Indeed, the prime “enemy” in our multi-trillion-dollar, 20-year-old “War on Terror” has long been our own unresolved 9/11 PTSD. It’s a war against ourselves, and we’re losing.

American Castrati

Many also have sexual PTSD from 9/11, as I glumly flagged on 10/01/01 in “Sex, Terror, Jerry bin Foulwill & the Raving Castrati”:

What does sex have to do with America attacked? What does sex have to do with a young man in the prime of his life who believes that his wife—if he can afford one, or four—should be shut up in a tent, uneducated, unseen? Who thinks that if he expends his righteously raging libido in a terrible violent, homicidal-suicidal act in the name of a macho male God, that he will be rewarded in heaven with a harem of beautiful virgins, there to serve his every desire in an erotic eternal paradise?

What does sex have to do with America attacked? What does sex have to do with having our two tallest phallic works of architecture—our biggest dicks (the biggest in the world?)—blown up before our early morning eyes on international TV, over and over again, wounding us where it really hurts, using our own planes like the castrator’s boxcutter to slice into our soaring symbols of virile trade, forcing a ghastly, fiery sort of ejaculation, a gush of smoke, body parts and pain, a volcanic eruption of awful beauty (beauty has no morals), a castration, a degradation, a humiliation beyond death. Though the deaths of the [3000] are painful enough, this international, multi-billion-fold humiliation is a bitter salt on our wounds, the humbling of America, the lone superpower, Master of the World, the Man.

We are all men in America, all strong compared to the poor of the world, and we have all had our big dicks cut off. Suddenly. Without warning (well, we didn’t feel warned). And it hurts. Real bad. And we cry, oh how we cry. And we pray, oh how we pray. And we’re scared, oh so scared. And we talk stupid when we’re scared. We’re a bunch of raving castrati. Our leaders talk about crusades and ridding the world of evil. Our politicians beat the drums of war, against whom, we’re not quite sure yet, but war is on the horizon. And this is a “different war,” yes, a war being fought by civilians taking planes, going to work, taking the kids to school, buying stocks, having sex, braving the terror. A different kind of war where the casualties are civilians, and not just any civilians, but American civilians.

At least, we haven’t bombed anybody…as of this writing (10.01.01)

And then we did. Of course, it didn’t help at all. Bombing never helps anyone but the bomb-makers.

Unfortunately, ever since WWII, the bomb-makers are in charge of America.

So, two decades later, this collective 9/11 “castration” wound hasn’t healed. If anything, the perma-wars, the tortureprograms, the ammosexual advertising, the incel rebellion, the QAnonsense, the plaintive cries to “Make America Great (or do they mean “Hard”?) Again” have made it worse, more painful, destructive and impotent than ever.

Part of the problem is we never really solved the crime of 9/11, never put the living perpetrators on trial, never as a nation endeavored to understand what happened, “who done it” and why. It’s a huge question, and a hornet’s nest wrapped around a can of worms.

I’m not saying 9/11 was an “Inside Job” (the Bush Gang, though ultra-violent, couldn’t shoot straight; let alone set hundreds of hidden bomblets). But the official treatment of the biggest mass-murder on American soil was and still is a con job.

So, I wasn’t surprised that throughout September 11, 2021, the MSM broadcast nothing but solemn platitudes, heartrending recollections, vivid images, bored-looking dignitaries and quasi-religious intonations of “Never Forget,” mourning but never questioning what happened, let alone why, on this momentous, mysterious and very emotional day.

How can we “never forget” what we don’t even know?

That gnawing awareness makes some people even more emotional about 9/11, and emotions were running high as the F.D.R. (Fuck Da Rich) Love Train began its live 9/11/21 broadcast, so high that, about a half-hour in, our Reddit moderator shut us down. Huh? Wut? Why?

Just because we’re asking questions about 9/11 doesn’t make us “Truthers,” like Alex Jones on the Right—or the late great Ed Asner on the Left. Of course, we love Ed and loathe Alex, but both have a right to speak (don’t they?), and my primemate Max and I are not either of those guys anyway. We’re not even Spike Lee! I’m just a curious sexologist and Max is a publisher trying to heal our own 9/11 PTSD, and help our audience with healing theirs.

As per usual, no explanation was given for shutting down the show, and we can only assume the poor close-minded moderator was triggered. Fortunately, we’re on several other platforms that were fine, but Reddit is one of our favorites. Well, it used to be.

Whether it was one moderator’s triggered 9/11 trauma or a rogue censor-bot, Big Tech’s crackdown on speech is on the rise, driven by a confluence of various fear factors, one of which stems from 9/11 “terror” and its aftermath, producing some very real legislation, including the draconian Patriot Act, passed in a flurry of fear, opportunism and Ayatollah Asscraft‘s extreme Christian authoritarianism.

We’re used to censorship of erotic images (which is bad enough, though understandable), but many subjects are now forbidden to even discuss; Youtube censored our 1/06/21 Insurrection all-audio show and Facebook shut down Survival of the Friendliest which didn’t show anybody having sex, except bonobos, but did criticize American perma-wars.

And the “truth” of 9/11 is one of the most forbidden, derided topics of the past 20 years, delineated in Media Roots‘ Robbie and Abbie Martin’s fascinating show, “The Return of the 9/11 Conspiracy Left.” Though, as the title suggests, the compelling search for 9/11 “truth” is making a comeback.

It’s important. Many Truther notions are almost as “out there” as the QAnonsense for which it’s unfairly blamed, but people shouldn’t be censored for questioning what happened and how it was handled. After all, 9/11 was an American Reichstag. It gave a group of “neocons” an opportunity to force their militaristic vision for the Middle East on the American people and the world in what former U.S. General Wesley Clark called a “soft coup.” It thrust us into 20 years (and counting) of horrible perma-wars, loss of civil liberties, torture and lies, lies, lies.

Or, as Capt’n Max calls it, “hogwash.”

Swimming through 20 years of smoke and mirrors, solemn pronouncements, unanswered conspiracy theories, unmoored fantasies and filthy toxic hogwash, we’ve traveled from Ground Zero into a Brave New World that now, besides the perma-wars and crackdowns, brings climate catastrophes and a deadly virus.

Indeed, looking at 20-year-old images of terrorized New Yorkers streaming down Wall Street and across the Brooklyn Bridge from our 2021 vantage point, their facemasks seem like an eerie harbinger of the impending Coronapocalypse.

Blowback vs. Blowjobs

And we wonder, what other keys to American history, cloaked in mystery, lie within these images? There are so many secrets—some “top secret,” others just “unknown unknowns,” as Rummy barked between bombings—interwoven with the tapestry of 9/11 factoids, rubble and memorabilia, most of which we’ll probably never unravel.

Still it’s almost bizarre how people on the Left and the Right, as well as all serious politicians and “elites” in general, have tried—often successfully—to shut down any questioning of the standard, rather spurious, 9/11 narrative, with patriotic certainty (my country, right or wrong!), pious outrage (as if 9/11 is a religious holiday), snide mockery (as if the truth about this weird day is so very obvious to everyone but moronic “conspiracy theorists”), exasperated impatience (are you still talking about 9/11? it’s so 20 years ago…) or simple censorship such as this show received on Reddit.

Many don’t really want to know.  However, if you do, just apply the old question of “Who benefits?” to 9/11, and a few answers emerge in the smoke.

First and foremost, 9/11 was beneficial to U.S. President George W. Bush whose very presidency was still in questionon September 10, 2001. Like tRump, Bush hadn’t won the popular vote. His executive skills were also questionable. However, having been a Yale Frat House President, he had a taste for torture, and as a cheerleader, he knew how to pick up a bullhorn to deliver the bull.

Oooh, swooned the Freedom Friers, how Presidential!

Seeing the old Mass Murderer-in-Chief, now an artist (Hitler was also an artist before killing millions, but who’s comparing?), clumsily hogwashing his way through 9/11 tributes, I just want to throw my shoes at his faith-basedforehead (I’d use stiletto heels and make sure not to miss). Instead, this vicious war criminal and lousy painter is treated as a great statesman and cute old man simply because he’s not tRump.

9/11 was also of great benefit to Bush’s “brain,” his diabolical Dick, and unfortunately, I don’t mean Mr. Happy; I mean “Mr. Halliburton,” the demonic Dick Cheney. Other beneficiaries included rotten Donald Rumsfeld and NeoconWarlord Paul Wolfowitz who fantasized about making over the entire Middle East into one vast sandy McDonald’s, selling hogwash shakes, bullshit burgers and freedom fries while stealing oil, lithium and other goodies, as well as positioning American troops and bombs to threaten Russia and China. That worked really well.

Despite his enormous blunders, Wolfowitz is still treated with respect, but at least, the stately flow of 9/11 anniversary hogwash was interrupted with some comic relief when Newsmax gullibly interviewed a fake Wolfowitz (of the Yes Men) who wisely told them, “It’s very clear $2 trillion could have gone to things that Americans could now be proud of [like health care or education] instead of a 20-year unwinnable war.”

This brings us to the biggest 9/11 beneficiary of all: the American Military Industrial Complex (MIC). You might recall that between Gulf War I and September 10, 2001, the MIC was floundering a bit, wondering what to do with itself, bombs languishing on shelves past their expiration dates. Then in a literal flash, 9/11 crowned the MIC King again, along with its handmaidens in Congress who always vote, in bi-partisan harmony, to give their MIC King more money. Another beneficiary was and is the Mainstream Media, even peppier, preppier cheerleaders for war than Dubya himself.

It’s no secret “truth” that all these greedy hogs stuffing their jowls at the War on Terror trough, churning up hogwash for the people, exploited 9/11. Whatever they may or may not have had to do with that tragedy before it happened, the nanosecond those planes hit the buildings, Bush and the Neocons used it to turn the American MIC into an even bigger, more destructive, expensive, inefficient, ammosexual Military Monster than it was before, invading sovereign nations, slaughtering countless (because our Pentagon refuses to count them) innocents, draining America’s own blood, treasure, dignity and sanity.

It gives us no pleasure to note that the predictions of that creep we *credit* for 9/11, a dead dude by the name of Osama bin Laden, have over these last two decades, assumed a bitter “truth” that cannot be denied, unless you are wearing the rosiest of red, white and blue glasses.

The privileged Saudi son of the premiere builder to the Sheikhs of Arabie, Osama bin Laden worked for the CIA for years, helping the notorious Afghan mujahedeen to drive the Soviets (and women’s rights) out of Afghanistan. Then he turned against his American patrons (obviously the dude had Daddy issues) when he noticed they were also backing Israel, maintaining U.S. troops on Saudi soil, sanctioning Iraq into starvation and other exploitative, destructive Middle Easter policies. Forming Al Qaeda, he appears to have financed several terror attacks on Americans abroad, topping them all the Coup de Tours, or so goes the standard narrative.

As such, 9/11 was big “blowback.” No, that’s not a blowjob, though the folks in our phallic Towers would certainly have preferred that. “Blowback” is the CIA’s term for “unintended consequences and unwanted side effects” of a mission or perhaps a whole empire. Hopefully, the blowback recipient learns something from the experience, so as not to repeat it.

As Seth Bardacke put it to his father Frank on 9/11 afternoon, “I guess now we know that bombing civilians is wrong.”

“A Choking Life”

But did Osama do the deed? He appears to have paid some of the hijackers’ bills, but other Saudis and Pakistanis may have too, and as I recall, the Big O seemed almost as stunned as everybody else when those planes smashed those towers and “the walls came a’tumbling down.” However, his surprise was quickly followed by noxious glee and the assumption of credit for this unprecedented crime that American Neocons were quickly turning into a launch-pad for war, war, perma-war (never mind that they weren’t sure who, what or where the “enemy” was), just as he’d forecast.

“I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed,” Osama told Al-Jazeera in early 2002. “The US government will lead the American people and the West in general into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”

Many scoffed at this frizzy-bearded freak threatening the world’s greatest, freest, healthiest country; even if his flying goons had hit our big buildings; we were still #1… weren’t we?

Sure we were, and now here we are, enmeshed in perma-wars (though thankfully pulling out of one… sort of), with the rich getting obscenely richer as the poor can’t pay rent, America losing the world’s respect, climate change upon us, much of it caused by our perma-wars.

Meanwhile, some of us (far too many of us) are dying alone on ventilators, “choking”—as that damn Osama put it, like a freaky fortune teller—on some variant of Covid-19.

And another fairly annoying 2021 development: long frizzy beards are now stylish.

Saudi Sweethearts

Bearded or veiled, the Saudi Arabian connection to 9/11 is hidden in plain view.

Besides Bin Laden the financier, 15 out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, and the Intercept has recently revealedthat Saudi officials provided funding and assistance to the hijackers. Nevertheless, though the American MIC invaded a bunch of countries that have had nothing to do with 9/11, it has not touched a grain of sacred sand in the country that clearly had the most to do with 9/11, just as Osama requested.

And then there’s the little matter of that chartered plane filled with Bin Laden family members which left Virginia for Riyadh within a week of 9/11, when all planes in America were grounded. It seemed pretty bizarre at the time (remember?), but friends look out for friends in times of crisis, and the Bushes and Bin Ladens were friends and Carlyle Group business associates. Historically, American politicians have given the oily Kingdom a pass (even F.D.R. did), long before the Trumpus excused MBS for murdering Jamal Khasshoggi, not to mention thousands of people in Yemen. And if Americans are seriously chagrined by the Taliban’s mistreatment of women, why are we just fine with Saudis doing essentially the same thing (but with more money)? Nevertheless, the attack on the WTC took the American/Saudi relationship to another level.

Observed through the Bush/Bin Laden (American/Saudi) lens, 9/11 was a grossly dramatic family feud turned into a business opportunity on a global scale with catastrophic collateral damage.

And we wonder why so many Americans choose not to believe the government, science or any authority they don’t already agree with.

Drunk Rudy & Torturing the 9/11 Mastermind

Not that our 9/11 anniversary Love Train is all about conspiracy theories; we also share our love and appreciation for the heroes who gave their lives while trying to save others.

Though that does bring up some glossed-over 9/11 “truths” about “America’s Mayor” (oh Oprah, why’d you have to call that Mafioso gasbag such a cute folksy name?), Rudy Giuliani. We’d rather talk about his more interesting “polyamorous” daughter, Caroline Rose Giuliani, but Rudy is Mr. 9/11, especially on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. During the day, Newsmax slobbered all over him like he was a statesman, though later that evening, Crazy Rudy Ghouliani emerged to give an extraordinarily unhinged “drunk speech” that veered from threatening to shove General Mark Milley’s medals “down his throat” to denying having drinks with Prince Andrew’s “young girl.” Anything to avoid addressing the actual events of 9/11, especially how he refused to fix the NYFD’s faulty radios, causing 343 firefighters to die in the collapsing towers because they couldn’t hear the order to evacuate. He also failed to protect recovery workers from polluted Ground Zero air, causing countless cases of cancer and other ailments.

More recently. Rudy’s fee-stiffing friend tRump withheld funding from the 9/11 firefighters; no wonder Trumpty Dumpty skipped the 9/11 memorial. Not that he’d go anyway, since those who died in the Towers were “losers,” whom he spoke of almost just that callously on 9/11/01 itself, as a WWOR tape reveals, gloating ghoulishly that now that the WTC towers were gone, his building on 40 Wall Street would be Downtown Manhattan’s biggest.

Expressing similar taste and sensitivity this year, the Big Orange spent 9/11/21 doing color commentary for Belfort-Holyfield Boxing Bout (really a “fake” match, over in the first round), challenging Joe Biden to a boxing match, with maskless MAGAts chanting “we want tRump”… as this “choking” nightmare tightens its grip on us.

Even if you don’t believe in blowback and just want to punish the “bad guys,” you might be annoyed that the self-proclaimed “mastermind” of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, aka KSM, a Pakistani with a hair fetish who was captured in 2003 and confessed in 2007 to plotting 9/11, as well as some other past and future attacks. Seems like we’ve got our culprit—and maybe answers to some of our questions!

The problem is that all of KSM’s confessions were extracted under extreme torture—typical for Dubya’s War on Terra—so KSM’s defense attorneys now declare them unusable and, unfortunately, they have a point.

Were American interrogators so turned on by torture—so into masturbating over mastering the mastermind—they couldn’t resist using it to the point we are now not even able to try the guy who confessed to orchestrating the attacks on 9/11?

What kind of conspiracy of dunces, or inside job of nutjobs, is that?

Speaking of mental health, as a therapist, I am particularly disgusted by my colleagues in the American Psychological Association (APA) whose high-ranking members have been implicated in torturing inmates at Guantanamo and other secret CIA prisons and “black sites,” using extremely unethical, physical, sexual and psychological abuse and torture(euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation”) of helpless and, in many cases, innocent detainees, “leaving a stain on the discipline of psychology,” even according to the APA’s own president, Antonio E. Puente, PhD.

Meanwhile, after 17 years in captivity (currently in Guantanamo), KSM still hasn’t been tried for the crime. Apparently, torture isn’t *just* bad for innocent people; it taints the confessions of the guilty. Why then did (and do) Americans practice torture? Because Bush, Cheney, Rummy and their “heirs” to sadistic policing and the “theater of cruelty,” tRump and Derek Chauvin, openly and unabashedly like torture.

So, if the winners of 9/11 are the Bushes, the Bin Ladens, the Cheneys and the Neocons—and that damn KSM (though he claims he wants to die)—the losers are the American people and most of the world. Of course, the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries the U.S. has invaded in this 9/11-inspired War on Terror have suffered the most, many paying the ultimate price.

For all of them, as well as the 2997, we bow our heads and “never forget.”

Healing Post-9/11 Sexual Trauma

Sexuality has also suffered from the toxic fall-out of 9/11. Maybe you haven’t noticed, and maybe I have just because I’m a sex therapist who sees and hears people’s sexual pain as vividly as any of the unhealed wounds of 9/11. The castration of our huge phallic WTCs and the penetration of our big round Pentagon seem to have ruptured American sex-positivity.

Of course, certain types of sex have flourished in the wake of 9/11, like sex scandal—salacious, sex-negative (so as not to offend the pious), sometimes truly horrifying and always an MSM crowd-pleaser. And then there’s sexual torture like Bush’s P.O.W. Porn in Abu Ghraib and the kind of treatment (ie., anal food rape) KSM got in Guantánamo that is now rendering his confessions… impotent. But aside from hyping “sexy” celebrities as clickbait, there is not much sex-positive news.

In looking back on these past 20 years of mostly “making war, not love,” I find myself missing (and probably over-simplifying) the 1990s when sex-positive education and exploration were on the rise, which just happened to coincide with HBO’s Real Sex, Radio Sex TV and my honeymoon.

Then boom, U.S. President Billdo the Dildo was impeached (as 9/11 foreplay, I watched the first part of Impeachment ACS, a “Real Housewives of DC” unironically based on a book by Jeffrey “Zoom Dick” Toobin). Puritanical Pornographer Ken Starr nailed the President for a blowjob; then his sanctions and other evils of American empire got us 9/11 blowback. A Born-Again Faith-Based Bush Family F*ck-Up took control of the bullhorn and the wheel, driving us down the road to greed-propelled, climate-ravaging, ammosexual destruction. That’s another way 9/11 has left its mark on American sexuality; we have more ammosexual incel mass-murderers, some of whom are veterans of our perma-wars.

Not that 9/11-inspired sex has to be bad. In fact, a little erotic roleplay can help to heal sexual trauma. So, in the wee hours of the morning of 9/11/21, Max and I did a little reenactment: I flew through the air and made his tower explode.

Make Love Not War!

No partner? No problem: Celebrate Self-Love September! #GoBonobos!

Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure and horny housewife, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For information and speaking engagements, call 626-461-5950. Email her at drsusanblock@gmail.com