“Song for George [Live]”
Ah Via Musicom
“Song for George [Live]”
Ah Via Musicom
“Dun, dah dun dun DUN!”
Ben is an ass and got this theme song stuck in my head — 0:32 to 0:38.
Mathnet Theme Song
It’s the theme to Dragnet. I have no idea how that came to mind.
“What I Got”
Yet another long delay in new updates — the songs are always there for me, of course, so I apologize once more! I’ll go ahead and put it out there that over the past few months, a little bump in life has developed, but I’ll be okay… just a bit preoccupied, probably.
Therefore, I’m going to ask you (dear reader!) to actually pester me to update. I welcome all demands for new posts — comment on an entry or e-mail me any time at email@example.com, and I should get off my ass and give you some music. If I missed a day of posting, feel free to just nudge me so I don’t go AWOL.
I know it’s been about a month since I last posted, so it seems a little weird that I pipe up on September 11th. I think I always write something, somewhere, about this anniversary, though. Almost as if I can’t help myself. So, if you’re here just for the music, listen to that. If you want to read the annual sentiments of some white girl today, feel free to continue. If you came here accidentally, do what you feel.
I discovered the song posted in this entry in the week following September 11, 2001. I listened to “Hallelujah” so many times that I cannot make it through an anniversary without thinking of it.
I saw the World Trade Center in person for the first and last time when I visited New York City with a friend’s family at the end of July 2001. We had an inbound flight to JFK from Ithaca, and I remember the view from my window seat as we flew by the towers. They were the biggest man-made things I had ever seen rising out of the ground, and they would be gone in less than 50 days.
I was 14 and sitting in my freshman civics class when the planes hit. We were covering the first amendment rights that day. My teacher used the WWII army field jacket I was wearing that day in his explanation of precedents set by the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Class ended at 9:30. If anyone knew what was going on at this point, it was only my school’s administrative staff.
At the end of my second period honors geometry class, shortly before 11 AM, my principal, Michael Trifaro, came on the PA and announced the morning’s events to the entire school. Trif was the kind of principal who knew the name of all of his 1,000-odd students and would play practical jokes on other faculty and staff members. We thought he was joking. We didn’t consider that, since he was originally from Brooklyn, one of his brothers was a New York City fireman… although I don’t know that we understood how many rescuers had died. My geometry teacher immediately sat down at the computer to check the news. I remember that this process was incredibly slow — I’m still not sure whether that was because my teacher was an older guy who wasn’t great with technology, because it was 2001 and the internet connection we had was just slow, or because things felt like they were moving in slow motion.
My biology class was just a few feet down the hall. There was a small black-and-white TV with aluminum foil bunny-ear antennae on my biology teacher’s desk. The physics class from next door had crammed another 30 kids into the room, and the dance class from the other end of the school added another 15 or 20. My biology teacher already knew much more about what had happened and was trying to keep it together. Her aunt worked in one of the towers and she hadn’t been able to get in touch with her.
I don’t think any of us really talked. The room was just packed full of teenagers on the floor and lab tables and even on each other’s laps, staring at this tiny screen, watching thousands of people die — over, and over, and over again. I remember looking at my biology teacher (who would later become my mentor) with the physics teacher and the dance teacher — there was some exchange of hushed conversation between them, but I remember everything being deafeningly silent with the exception of the audio from the TV.
We went to lunch about 30 minutes later. There were three large TVs on in the cafeteria, but the volume was too low to hear commentary from the news coverage. I don’t remember eating. I remember watching thousands of people die over, and over, and over again. I remember seeing the first footage of a jumper.
We moved when the bells told us to move. Things were the same everywhere, though. Confusion, silence, a TV, and thousands of people dying over, and over, and over again.
Fourth period was marching band, which meant that I was at least with my closest friends for this part of the day. I don’t remember going home, but I do remember that band practice had been cancelled, so my dad brought two or three of my friends back to my house with me until their parents could pick them up.
We got home, turned on the TV, and watched thousands people die over, and over, and over again.
The front doorbell rang. My neighbor was at the door. He was a sophomore, and he hadn’t been in school that day because he’d gotten a concussion during a soccer game the previous afternoon. He usually used the cul-de-sac in my driveway as the end of his daily run before he went home. I don’t remember what we said to each other, but that was our first kiss. We dated for the next three years — so that’s how that started.
That night, I fell asleep listening to NPR, which had just recently switched over to an all-talk format in our area. I fell asleep to the news on the radio every night for the next several months.
People often say “9/11 changed the world forever.” From my perspective, there are events every day that “change the world forever,” so I think it’s more appropriate to say “9/11 changed the way we lived.” That’s what seems to endure on every single anniversary, anyway — the contrast between the way we’d gone to bed on September 10th and the way we went to bed 24 hours later. And a week later. A month. A year. Five years. Ten years.
It seems that anyone born after 1983 or 1984 has been called “the 9/11 generation,” depending on who you talk to. I was just old enough to have consistent and meaningful memories of life before and after 9/11. There’s some kind of weird purgatory in there for those of us who weren’t 18 (or almost 18) and able to sign up for the miliary and those kids who don’t really remember what life was like before 9/11. Interestingly enough, it seems like kids who were just a year younger than me (and in middle school rather than high school) largely had a very different understanding of what actually happened. For me, it feels like I developed a political consciousness overnight. For them, it often took months for them to get a straight explanation of what had happened. It makes 365 days of life seem so arbitrary when you consider how those born at the beginning of that year were watching thousands of people die in real time whereas the kids born at the end of that year were “protected” from it and told little or nothing of what was unfolding just a few hours north of us… these events that ended up defining our generation to the point that we were going to be named after that day. Some of us would die because of that day, thousands of miles away from home and years later.
About a year and a half after the attacks, I remember sitting in silence on the floor of my high school’s auditorium as President Bush made his address on the beginning of the war in Iraq. We’d stopped practicing rehearsals for our spring musical to listen. Everyone in that room understood what was happening, and I distinctly remember that moment as the moment I understood how much I really cared about how our government was reacting to that day in September. I did not believe what I was hearing on that radio was right. I felt cheated and sick to my stomach.
In the following years, a lot of things happened.
Trif died, and I met his firefighter brother at the wake.
Bush was re-elected, and I was 17, so I legally had no say in the matter.
I graduated and went to college. My roommate and I bonded over things we felt we’d been cheated out of by a government we never supported.
I declared my major in political science. One night, I was having dinner with my boyfriend at the time, and I barely ate because I couldn’t stop talking about extraordinary rendition; I finally realized how incessant my ranting had been and I apologized — he told me not to, because I was so deeply passionate about something, and he loved that about me (this remains one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received).
Kids from my graduating class suddenly found that there were no jobs for them. I was busy struggling with my health.
I recovered, for the most part. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed. I stayed up for three days straight to watch it pass. I still believe it was and is the most personally important and beneficial legislative act signed during my lifetime. Since September 11th, 2001, the passage of the PPACA has been my proudest moment as an American, and I feel like that says more about how my country “lost” after the terrorist attacks than anything else. However, that is a more complicated issue for another discussion.
10 years ago, I was confused, scared, upset. Today, I am still confused, scared, and upset — but for the most part, for different reasons. My overriding sentiment is that my generation has been cheated. While the actions of a foreign group a decade ago seemed to be a catalyst for this, I feel that other young adults and those born after us have largely been cheated by domestic forces acting selfishly while using us as some sort of excuse.
I’m not sure if this entry had a point, or if it did, if it was the point I wanted to make. I think, though, that it was what I needed to say.