Things We've Lost
Just as Sept. 12 was the day the White House actually got it together, some of the iconic Sept. 11 moments happened in the days and weeks after the attacks. Here are some memories we refuse to surrender:
* A Nation Challenged That was the first time we laughed after 9/11. A Nation Challenged? Good job maintaining that NYT air of comical pomposity under tremendous pressure!
* Somber Wagnerian dirges on CNN Just to add to the "Empire Strikes Back" vibe, all the cable-news stations switched to this outrageous "Imperial March"-style music, which was a hell of a lot more foreboding than we knew. When you were drunk enough -- which was always, remember that? -- you could almost see Darth Vader walking out of the Ground Zero smoke.
* Cipro Remember that stuff? The Bush Administration may have started eating their supply on Sept. 11 -- a week before the actual "anthrax attacks" -- but the rest of us were scrambling like meth freaks to find a supply of the magic stuff. Seriously, people were selling Cipro for $50 per pill on Craigslist. Good times.
* Firemen Remember those guys? FDNY guys basically got more ass than a toilet seat, plus free drinks, plus applause wherever they went, plus they were Paul Simon's backup band or whatever on SNL (did that actually happen?), plus a movie about them starring "Wicker Man" pinup Nicholas Cage! It might seem retarded now, but remember the entire U.S. military failed to stop a few passenger jets on 9/11, so somebody had to be the hero.
* We are all New Yorkers now Yeah, how long did that last? For most of the country, it was back to "Jew York" by Christmas.
* We are all Americans now OMG, can you believe they were putting this on the front page in France?
* Tom Friedman The most inexplicable media star of the post-9/11 months, Friedman was everywhere. Why? Apparently because he was one of hundreds of reporters who covered Israel's invasion of Lebanon 20 years earlier... which had nothing to do with anything, other than involving some Arabs, maybe ... uh ... globalization!
* Christopher Hitchens We'll close with a little bit of post-9/11 Hitch doing what he used to do best: Tearing Dubya a third asshole:
More than ever this week, we were reminded that this President is essentially a frontman: A slight and malleable figure who was invented by a committee of stronger men as an "electable" symbol.Add your favorites to the comments ... and United We Stand, suckaz!
He is a shadow framed by powerful advisers and handlers, a glove puppet with little volition of his own and a celebrated indifference to foreign affairs.
America needed a hero this week, and it had to content itself with Jeremy Glick, who called his wife from United Airlines flight 93 and said that he and his friends were preparing to take on the hijackers with the butter knives from the airline breakfast tray.
Not all Americans now [Times of London]
WAR ON THE WORLD:CHRISTOPHER HITCHENSON BUSH [Daily Mirror, Sept. 14, 2001]