Articles like these are why I love great writing. Andrew Sullivan writes about 9/11 in this week’s Newsweek.
I remember watching the towers fall, and feeling something deeper fall as well. This was the end of American innocence, the end of the American century when the New World could really understand itself as immune to the theocratic barbarism of the Old. We saw an emblem of our entire civilization tumble to the ground in the middle of the city that had once brought the skyscraper confidently and brashly to the world. We also saw the mighty Pentagon violated by a few religious fanatics living in caves. The skies were silent. Nobody seemed to know if this was the end or just the beginning. But what we did know was that only one word really sufficed to define the scale and gravity of what had taken place: war.
And in that very formulation, in the depths of our psyches and souls, we took the bait.
The bait was meant to entice the United States into ruinous, polarizing religious warfare against the Muslim world, so that the Islamist fringe could seize power in failing Muslim and Arab dictatorships. The 9/11 attacks were conceived as a way to radicalize a young Muslim population through a ginned-up war of civilization against the Great Satan on the Islamist home turf of Afghanistan and, then, Iraq. It looks obvious now. It wasn’t then. We were seized with righteous rage, every ounce of which was justified. But the victim of a rape is not the best person to initiate the strategy to bring the rapist to justice. And we, alas, were all we had. Our president, meaning well, did his best, and it was more than good, at the beginning. But in retrospect, he never mastered the fear or the moment either. Instead of calming the populace over the coming months, he further terrified us with drastic measures that only seemed to confirm the unprecedented gravity of the threat.
My Sunday subscription either didn’t come today or was stolen. That seriously is the worst start to the day that I can imagine. Coffee just tasted bitter. Cereal was soggy. I feel ignorant about the world.
BUT instead I’ve had a lovely chat conversation with Speakthelanguage (tumblr r.i.p.). Silver linings, bitches.
Last night, I followed through on an idea I had wanted to put to action for awhile: creating a wall collage of NY Times headlines, captions, and photos. Jenneric and I worked on it last night, using about three back issues of NYT, and I think it looks pretty fucking cool so far.
Sure, the double sided tape sucks and shit keeps falling down because of my fan, but I think having to avoid frustration is part of the fun too. The rules of the collage are simple:
Only use The New York Times print edition.
No full articles or pages.
Thus, in the end, the entire wall will be full with newspaper stuff and no white space will be able to be found. Cutting out random headlines also lends itself to a lot of out-of-context fun, like: “A Storied Apple, Struggling to Hold Its Own Among Grapes,” or “Slowly Grasping the Adult World and Its Secrets.”
I can’t find a good angle to take a photo of it yet, and it’s not nearly finished. Stay tuned.
I get what you were talking about in your last post, but also find those posts annoying. Like, "I love my life, but it would really be improved by adding THIS." The THIS to me (because I do it too sometimes) is always something dumb that I worry about when there is nothing else to worry about. You can't get better than having a group of close friends. Sure, you're not friends with everyone, but you can't be. Like who is?
I appreciate this point, and understand your criticism. It’s well taken.
EDIT: To clarify, I don’t think it’s possible to be friends with everyone. I’m actually quite discriminatory I’d say with whom I surround myself. That was my point, however. I think I should be a little more open minded about people.
This desire has become a bit of a common trend between some of my closest friends. We mostly acknowledge that we love the friends we have, but that it would be nice to expand our circle a bit.
I’m worried that I come off as unapproachable at times. I’ve always been “the initiator” in many situations, whether it be conversation, friendship, sex, whatever. Maybe that’s not because I’m better at small talk but because I’m a hard person to approach. I don’t know exactly if that’s the case, but I think it could hinder my ability to meet new people.
It’s the beginning of sophomore year, and I love the friends I have. And I want them to continue to be my best friends. But I know that there are people at this university and in this city whom I’m missing out on.
remind me again why you're minoring in econ, re: hating econ post
because I enjoy learning about it, but hate this class and shouldn’t’ve taken it over the summer. but overall i feel good learning it. I’m just frustrated with the professor, the course, and myself. also, I only need to take three more classes after this one to minor in it, so it’s pretty worth it i think.
and on a broader note, I want to learn economics because it’s a defining issue of our time, and as an aspiring reporter, I want to understand it.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of political decisions flying in the face of proven theory and substantiated evidence. re: ignoring the precedents of how to grow an economy, and ignoring the factual basis of man-made climate change.