So 9/11 is three days away. Meh. People seem oblivious to the main advantage of living in a linear timeline -- that events happen, and then they stop
happening, and you're free to move on with your goddamn life. Or you could pick at the scab and thoughtfully stroke your scars as if they were the only part of you that matter.
I'm getting increasingly cranky about the compulsion to note and somehow observe anniversaries of pivotal events as if we were honestly capable of forgetting them. Florida Rep. Allen West seems to think it's possible, but West is a tiny-minded anti-Muslim fetishist
with a questionable relationship to sanity and an impressive disregard for constitutionality for someone sworn to uphold it. Every single member and institution of the media seems to think it's possible for 9/11 awareness to somehow slide off the public consciousness, and each seems legally obligated to weigh in as yet another anniversary closes. We don't need supposed sports columnist Rick Reilly weighing in with his educated assessment of the bravery of the passengers on United Flight 93 -- Rick, we know, there was a goddamn movie made which we've all had the opportunity to rent if we wanted to, now get back to recycling columns or sucking things out of my carpet
. We know
. If you can successfully recite two numbers and instinctively know that it refers to a specific event ten years ago (and it's acceptable AP style on any
reference), it does not need constant reintroduction to the general public for fear of it evaporating into the ether.
I'm not saying it shouldn't be observed; obviously, if you want to mark the occasion for whatever reason (and I'm certainly not saying those who suffered personal loss on the date should soldier on obliviously), feel free. But we as a people have been doing this for ten straight years, and nobody should be slighted for wanting to finally turn the page.
If you really
want to relive or revisit it, watch it as it happens
from TV stations from across the world. I throw this out there because it's a fantastic resource and nicely presented and executed (though I wish the clips were longer than 30 seconds apiece), and because one of my personal interests has always been the media's reaction to earth-shattering events -- and I think it can be argued that 9:03 am is the
most earth-shattering event ever caught on live TV, certainly by multiple networks (the only other two that come close in my mind are Jack Ruby and losing Challenger, and those were only shown by one network -- though the latter was being watch by thousands of impressionable and soon-to-be scarred schoolchildren). So yeah, I'm deeply intrigued by Diane Sawyer gasping for breath and the panicked shouting of the on-the-scene interviewees and the anchors getting things wrong, wrong, wrong as they unfold. But that's my
personal peccadillo, and I've already revisited it at my leisure and to my satisfaction. (If the anchors are too restrained and collected for you, perhaps this reaction
is more of what you're looking for; 102 Minutes That Changed America
definitive found-footage documentary of the NYC end of 9/11 which unfolds in astonishingly swift real-time and is as riveting and horrifying as it could be.)