“War watch of George W. Bush after the terrorism of September 11, 2001″ … those were the words I wrote describing the page you find below (I’m now making this page live again, on April 2, 2010). I was right about the war(s). Too bad, I guess.
Strange reactions to horrible events
Reflecting on that day in Amherst, Massachusetts, where I was a graduate student in communication, it was strange. I taught a class that began at 9:30 that morning. It was the beginning of the semester and I was just getting to know my students. The class was Media and Culture, which broadly means we covered the politics and history of our media system.
Other than the 2 or 3 students that came in late, the class ran until 10:45 without incident. As I was gathering my materials and wheeling a TV/VCR out of the room, students from the next class filed in and asked me to put the news on.
“Why? There’s no cable in this room.”
“There’s a big explosion in New York City. Planes flew into the World Trade Center. It’s all over the news.”
My next class, on Thursday, September 13th, we talked about the terrorism events in the context of how the media was responding, and how we were experiencing the media. One of the first questions I asked my students was how they learned about the events in NYC (given that most of it took place during class).
Because I had office hours an hour before class began, I was out of the news loop from 8 until class ended at 10:45, but some of my students might have seen the beginning of the events before coming to class for 9:30. And sure enough, my late students had all been watching the news before coming to class. They knew what was happening, but never said a word anybody in the class.
In my personal experience, that was one of the strangest things to happen that day.
There may be some broken links below; the additional commentary may be helpful in understanding why I included the links.
Photo (CC) by sizeofguam and republished here under a Creative Commons license.
SPECIAL: The airline industry, along with getting corporate welfare, has protected themselves from lawsuits. Here is an excerpt from the new Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, liability for all claims, whether for compensatory or punitive damages, arising from the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, against any air carrier shall not be in an amount greater than the limits of the liability coverage maintained by the air carrier.”
Robert Fisk: Bush is walking into a trap: “Retaliation is a trap. In a world that was supposed to have learnt that the rule of law comes above revenge, President Bush appears to be heading for the very disaster that Osama bin Laden has laid down for him. “
“When the unexpected met the unimaginable in Tuesday morning’s terrorist attacks on the East Coast, newspaper Web sites were no match for the numbing live and taped pictures of the catastrophe broadcast on TV.” From Editor and Publisher
Update: Transcript of Pat Robertson’s Interview with Jerry Falwell From the 9-13-01 edition of The 700 Club at the People for the American Way Web site.September 13, 2001: Here is what Jerry Falwell said on the 700 Club: “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'” Pat Robertson concurred: “Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted their agenda at the highest levels of our government.”
I have moved all of the Web logs (they’re called “blogs”) to a separate page. I hope that you take a look at some of these. Blogs are first person narrative accounts from people (these people live either in NYC or Washington, DC. I have also included some photos from non-professional photographers.
I hope these come to Blockbuster: Historical Nuclear Weapons Test Films. The Department of Energy has been kind enough to post on the Web streaming video of nuclear weapons tests. Who said nuclear weapons were a waste of money?!
Ever wonder how the military comes up with those nifty nicknames for “operations”? Then read The Art of Naming Operations: “Applying the four guidelines will result in an effectively nicknamed operation, an outcome that can help win the war of images. In that war, the operation name is the first–and quite possibly the decisive–bullet to be fired. Mold and aim it with care.