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September 2003

Take It From Me


The Injustice!

Aaaaargh! It's not fair! I placed my order within hours of their release last week, and they waited until tonight to push back delivery:

Dear Valued Apple Customer,

Due to an unexpected supply delay, we are unable to ship the following item(s) by the date that you were originally quoted:

Z07D02ECV, PBG4 15.2/1GHZ/1024/80/CMBO/AP/LL will now ship on or before 09/30/2003 [emphasis mine, brought on by intense disappointment]

Please note that product availability can change rapidly, and it is possible that your order may ship much sooner than we anticipate. You may even receive a shipment confirmation between the time we send this email and the time that you read it. [No dice.]


So it's the anniversary of that day again. Like last year, I’ve been avoiding the news because it makes me mad: I don't want to see the endless human-interest stories, I don't want to bask in the grief, I definitely don't want to see the entire thing used as a cheap political rhetorical device. I get pissed off as all hell because it makes me feel like I no, like all of us are being used. And there's no reason to expect otherwise, consideirng the impact of that nightmare, but I don't want to get mad because it's just more getting mad at the same shitheads that always make me mad. I don't want to get mad again when I’m still trying to figure out why I still get so sad once in a while.

You see, I also avoid the news and the documentaries and the specials because I know they'll play me like a fiddle. Not so much all the commentary and the memorials and whatnot, but the documentation of the experience still bothers me a lot. I still get sick to my stomach and I still end up on the verge of tears when I see that footage, when I read about the details of the day, when I’m made to imagine and remember and empathize.

It's the wound. It's this big, gaping, barely healed wound that I developed that one morning when the shit hit the fan and we had no idea what was happening and what we could do about it. I mourn for the dead, I feel for their families and friends, and I worry about the world we live in, but those are all intellectual abstractions to one degree or another. I don't know anyone who died, nor do I think we are more or less at risk than I did when I woke up that morning. This world is a big, violent, dangerous place and that wasn't the worst thing that has ever happened, or will ever happen. Talking about the event and putting it in context doesn't explain what keeps happening in my gut.

I wasn't in the area of the World Trade Center, but I ran for my life that day. We all ran for our lives that day, trying to get the fuck back to our homes or to our loved ones or to anyplace that felt safe. In a literal a sense a few million of us did run for our lives, streaming through the streets and over bridges and through tunnels to get far away, to any place less likely to be another target in all that pandemonium. But where could we find safety if the attacks seemed to be happening all over? There was news, but it was too much that came too fast and offered too little. All it confirmed was that there was carnage and confusion and danger and that we were all sharing it, so there was no one to calm us down, just other people with those same desperate looks on their faces. I’d never experienced something that bad, that big. It rocked me to the core in a way that I would never have expected, and I can't really explain or understand why the effects linger.

Twisted Realities

Most Offensive Quote of the Week, in reference to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy:

"To me, that’s not a reality show about gay people. A really good reality show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS."

Julie Millam of the Montana Family Coalition

Mmmmmn, now that’s what I call good, Christian, family values. (Thanks to Let Me Get This Straight for the tip-off.)

Big Old Fart

Blog panic! We've barely gotten started over at my latest project and I’m already kicking myself for being such a slacker. Such is the curse, I suppose, of trying to write about culture and stuff when you've become a boring old fart whose big weekly event is a discovering a good episode of Buffy on the Tivo while I sit slack-jawed at the end of the work day. I get over to the Museum of the Moving Image regularly (you should go it's one of those miraculous, off-the-beaten-path treasures that make New York what it is), but it doesn't feel so avant garde, being around the block and all.

I guess I’m a good enough example of the challenge faced by arts organizations: I mean well, I’m a big fan, but I’ve settled down a lot and moved away from the center of the action. (Let's face it Astoria isn't so glamorous, even if it does have better food than most of the city.) Tempt me, coerce me, drag my sorry ass off the couch and out of the house, I beg you.

Tomorrow night, before I slide into total slughood, I’m going to hit the opening night of Heather Woodbury's What Ever (perks for the grunts here in the Army). Heather just had a great profile written about her in last Sunday's Times, which you should go read immediately so you can get all excited and score some tickets of your own before the teeming multitudes beat you to the box office.

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