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Ten Years Ago Today

The last few days, I've been thinking, What am I going to write? What am I going to say? On that day, which is this day. And looking back, I don't think there's much more, for me, to say than what I said a year ago, which is (modified):

Ten years have come and gone. And we have our memories of the horror of that day. And we have the legacy of that day, which is not only our memories of the horror of that day, and our memories of those who died.

We have war in Afghanistan. We have war in Iraq. We have the Patriot Act. We have Islamophobia. We have torture at Gitmo. We have injured and traumatized war veterans returning to a country that will not care for them. We have TSA's "guilty until proven innocent" behavior. We have new memorials, to those who were heroic, and to those who were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Everything has changed.
For in truth, it's the beginning of nothing,
And nothing has changed.
Everything has changed.
For in truth, it's the beginning of an end,
And nothing has changed.
And everything has changed. -- (David Bowie, "Sunday")

And my mind reels at the knowledge that children born that day are turning ten years old today, and they never knew the world before.

As for my personal memories of that day. I watched on CNN, unable to believe what I was seeing, terrified, crying because that was fucking New York City. It would be a week before I learned if everyone I knew in Manhattan was safe. I was living in Atlanta at the time. Kathryn was at a job interview, which was interrupted by the news. That afternoon, with fears of additional attacks and the nearness of the CDC, an obvious and especially terrifying target, we left Atlanta for Birmingham. The flashing traffic signs on the strangely deserted interstate that usually warned of accidents ahead were all reading "National State of Emergency Declared." I remember, most of all and for the first time in my life, seeing a night sky without airplanes.

(Also, you should read this post by kambriel.)


Everyone needs to read this article, "What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents," unless you already know how bad the schools in America are, and how much of that damage is being done by parents. When I was in elementary school, many – if not most – of my teachers had been teaching (I shit you not) for thirty or forty years. Many had taught my mother. "Today, new teachers remain in our profession an average of just 4.5 years..." And "we" wonder.


Good work yesterday.


Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter for The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. We finished with 301% of the funding we were seeking. I promise you, we'll make the best book trailer in the short and sordid history of book trailers.

In Memoriam,
Aunt Beast


( 14 comments — Have your say! )
Sep. 11th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
I personally find these words from the Secretary of Defense, which appeared on the front page of today's NY Times, very appropriate for this day:

“There are no words to ease the pain that you still feel.” — Leon E. Panetta
Sep. 11th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)

I have to consider this.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
My thoughts are with you as well as all horribly branded by this.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)

We are all branded, in the course of our lives.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I just wish I could turn this brand, like many of my others, into a source of pride.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)

I've never believed that catastrophe, natural or man-made, should breed pride. It may breed caution, sorrow, and humility. But maybe that's just me. Too much of 9/11 has been used as an excuse for unjustifiable war, prejudice, the rise of the American Far Right, and (what the terrorists hoped for) a change in the way Americans live and treat one another, following from paranoia, etc.

Edited at 2011-09-11 05:48 pm (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Their memory for a blessing, and ours: it is all we have.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)

I would argue we have the responsibility to better handle the consequences, and thereby honor their memory the better.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
I would argue we have the responsibility to better handle the consequences, and thereby honor their memory the better.

I don't think memory is useful if it's no more than enshrinement, a closed circuit of ritual. But I do believe it's all we're left with of the dead. And the instant misuse of their memory made—and I think still makes—these dead difficult to grieve.
Sep. 11th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)

Sep. 11th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I remember it as the last day I smoked dope. I saw what happened to a nation I'd seen as impregnable. The stunned/stoned horror. I could not view that again, not under those influences. British Radio playing Cohen's "Hallelujah".

Even now -
Sep. 11th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)

British Radio playing Cohen's "Hallelujah".

That's a good detail to recall.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 11th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)

You're welcome.
Sep. 11th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
Atrocity Exhibition
And, as ever, the atrocities and the death of that day have been used as an excuse to commit more acts of perversity, by all involved. You just feel like taking mankind by the throat and saying fucking grow up, don't forget about it, but don't enshrine it in even more hatred. Aaargh, it just makes me want to rant on and on about people, but what's the point? I apologise, but some things just poke sharp sticks into sore areas.
( 14 comments — Have your say! )