By Alexander T. Riley
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Extra info for Angel patriots : the crash of United Flight 93 and the myth of America
Geertz believed that cultures consist of stories that can be narrated more or less like a novel. Indeed, they are so narrated in natural settings and by social actors going about the business of their everyday lives inside the culture. For illustration of this idea, we can turn to a Flight 93 and 9/11 | 27 brief examination of one of the chief cultural narratives in American society. This is a story, or set of stories, about the possibility (in some versions, “possibility” is replaced by “inevitability”) of anyone low in the social pecking order making his way up the status ladder with the right amount of hard work, the right values, and a few breaks.
If we seek to investigate the meaning of death for human beings, we are led unfailingly to investigate culture. ”14 The meaning of the statement “we all die alone” in the modern West depends centrally on a basic fact of the cultural framing of death in societies like ours. In cultures that sequester death and demonstrate what can legitimately be called an obsession with youth and vitality, and that insist on denying the reality of mortality even (indeed, especially) in the company of the objectively dying, and that endeavor nearly always to put the dying away in institutional spaces distinctly separated from the quotidian worlds inhabited by those not suffering under an imminent but only a more abstracted and distant death sentence, a profound and nearly universal accompaniment of dying is a sense of isolation more total than that suffered by any outcast group with the possible exception of the most serious criminal offenders.
17 It is difficult to say precisely what we do know about the death of the Other, although it is certainly not the experience of death itself. To die is something one can undergo but once, and we cannot use the experience as a basis for comparison to the experience of Others in the same way that we can, for example, know something of what other people are “going through” when they suffer pain and illness, having ‘gone through’ them ourselves. . ”22 The Catholic thinker John Henry Newman presented a similar set of categories with the concepts of notional assent and real assent.
Angel patriots : the crash of United Flight 93 and the myth of America by Alexander T. Riley