Does anyone read the Foobiverse livejournal? It's a complete hoot. It's basically a bunch of people ripping on the For Better or for Worse comic strip. So yesterday the host does something different. She writes about where she was and what she was doing on September 11, 2001 and asks others to write in about their whereabouts and what they are doing now. It's probably the most moving memorial to the events of September 11 I've ever encountered. A lot of people wrote in about the loved ones they lost. A lot talked about how their lives changed even though they had no direct connection to the terrorist attacks. For everyone who posted September 11 was something that happened to them. It changed the fabric of their being in profound ways. One poster wrote, "Before 9-11, I didn't think anyone hated the US as much as al-Qaeda does. Now I'm much more concerned with the view of America abroad, and I don't have the sense of security I once had."
We as a nation experience September 11, 2001 together. We were all fixed to the tv trying to find out what happened. It was what we all talked about for the weeks following. For some it got us in conversations about our country's role in the world. For others it brought up feelings of building more walls and barriers. However we processed it we were all processing about the same event.
So why do we need fiction? I'm not talking about an artistic response to September 11 but FICTION. Made up stories that didn't happen. Dramatizations of real people as if the real people and the real story wasn't powerful enough. I have assiduously avoided any kind of movie, made for tv movie, or mini-series that had to do with September 11. It just feels so stupid to make people PAY MONEY to experience a fictionalized version of the reality we all experienced. Why do people need to put such an immense national tragedy in a box?
Knowing that movies about 9/11 turn my stomach in general, ABC's Path to 9/11 was beyond nauseating. This went beyond interpolating the feelings and experiences of a firefighter or plane passengers, this was making shit up about the policy decisions that affected finding or not finding Osama Bin Laden. That's like making a movie about Franklin Roosevelt calling Emperor Hirohito to ask him to bomb Pearl Harbor because Roosevelt didn't want it getting out he was cheating on Eleanor. Beyond the crass fictionalizing is the fact that this stupid movie was billed as being based on the 9/11 Commission's Report and having advertisement saying crap like "what REALLY happened on 9/11." That part is hilarious since it left out Cheney hiding out in a bunker and Bush reading My Pet Goat for 7 minutes.
September 11, 2001, I had just ended a job and would start another one the following week. It was a gorgeous day and I was looking forward to my week of relaxation. J kissed me goodbye before he went to work and I made myself the big pancake breakfast I couldn't have made myself on a workday. I turned on the tv and saw the big gaping hole in one of the twin towers. I stared at the screen and watched the other tower get hit and both towers collapsing. Like I do in every major event of my life, I called anyone and everyone I could get in touch with. That day I was kind of separated from the rest of the world because going out just felt weird. J came home around 2:00 pm. Downtown was a mess and by that time, DC took it's own hit with the Pentagon being smashed into. Buses were packed but what was overflowing was the milk of human kindness. J was saying that left and right people were beckoning their fellow commuters into their cab. J coming home when he did was the direct result of that kind of kindness. Some friends came over and we watched the continuing coverage together. I spent Tuesday glued to the cable news networks, trying to see if there was anything new. Bill Clinton talking intelligently about terrorism was a balm for me. By the end of Tuesday I had to stop watching the news.
Wednesday I turned on the Food Network. I know it's a day late, but where were you on September 11, 2001?