Watts (chipotle) wrote,

  • Music:

Plan for the 11th

1. Avoid all TV and radio news.
2. Avoid most internet news, too, other than scanning headlines.

I'm not interested in watching endless memorials. I'm not interested in NPR-style analyses of the way media will be exploiting the anniversary. And I'm very not interested in watching rebroadcast footage from last September 11.

Actually, I avoided watching news back then that day as much as I could. I listened to Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now"--or at least the reporters from it.

Pacifica is a "radical" network. They're radical because by and large Americans have come to believe that the New York Times, CBS and CNN are "liberal"; compared to the Washington Times, Fox News and nearly all talk radio, they are. So Pacifica comes across as mind-blowingly radical, way out in left field.

The problem, as some of the more savvy (and seldom-heard) observers note, is that the entire framework for political debate has shifted to the right, making reactionaries merely conservative, moderates liberal, and liberals into radicals. It sounds like a weird conspiracy theory, doesn't it? But when you think of "the '60s," unless you've actually studied the period the chances are you think of tie-dye, "free love" and pot. We forget that politics then was Martin Luther King, the Pentagon Papers, and fighting against CoIntelPro. Our recent history has had its context surgically excised, leaving only images deemed safe to mock. And so we've come to a politics in which the difference between Liberal and Conservative in a debate is whether the President needs Congressional approval to bomb Iraq or not.

But I digress.

See, "Democracy Now" had, sometime in July 2001, moved into what they called the "Firehouse Studio" due to disputes with Pacifica. It's a studio in NYC a few blocks from the World Trade Center. The reporters were there working on the show that morning.

And they stayed there.

If you saw video a reporter shot inside the WTC before it fell, going up the stairs, looking at the damage, that was the guy who runs the Firehouse Studio.

Less dramatically--but more importantly--the staff set up phone banks outside their studio, on the street, using what private lines they had that were still operating to let survivors call their families to let them know they were all right. And, they were covering things from the ground, as the only reporters--only reporters--within the evacuation zone. Very immediate, real, honest. No emotional manipulation, no replaying tapes over and over, no immediate scramble for talking heads to pontificate.

It was harrowing listening, but it was probably the network's finest hour in a decade. (Ironically, due to the dispute with Pacifica, it wasn't technically part of the network's broadcast. None of the Pacifica management responsible for that dispute is still at the network.)

So. I didn't watch then. I don't want to watch now, either. I can't help a streak of cynical bitterness: no, folks, the world didn't change much, and on the balance I think the changes that have happened--particularly with respect to American policy, both domestic and foreign--aren't for the better.

Maybe I'll go out driving with Peroxide. I don't think Linvatec will call to set up an appointment until tomorrow or Friday if they do, and I'm growing a little pessimistic about the potential San José position--I'd have expected at least a response to Monday's email by now if the employer was interested. (Honestly I'd have expected a response by now even if he wasn't. Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances.)

Technically I could--and yeah, probably should--stay here and get going on packing. But I'm feeling somewhat less overwhelmed by that, partially from the simple act of boxing up most of those comics. I chucked out an awful lot, I confess, but I've still ended up with most of a "long box" (which holds about 200), and that's after returning a number of the ones I've found to their original homes in the two short boxes I had my collection in previously.

I'd really like to drive up into the mountains, but that's always problematic in Florida.

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