Friday, September 22, 2006

Photo Friday: Girl

Otherwise known, by us on the beach, as The Seagull Worrier.
Photo Friday: Girl.

Originally uploaded by incurable_hippie.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Amazingness on the InterWebNet.

You can write yourself an email which it will send to you at a time in the future - I went for a year today.

I am in love with this idea and may do more of them. I have written about today, and wondered about this time next year. I quite hope that by next year I will have forgotten all about it, so when I get the email (from myself) I'll be surprised.

Special mention also to Eiffel Tower panoramic view like, truly panoramic.
and George Carlin on God.

(Quickie today. I'm around, just not so loquacious).

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago Today.

A lot of the online chatter today is 'what were you doing on 11th September 2001?' I can join in with that.

I had been at a day centre that morning, and a member of staff had organised a cinema trip for service users, and was quite upset that virtually nobody wanted to go. In the spirit of improving her mood, I agreed to go with her, and thus I sat through the incredibly dull and ridiculous Planet of the Apes. (Which one? The one that was out on 11/9/01!)

It was even more appalling than I had anticipated and I hated every minute. I have never been so glad to leave a cinema. We had a quick coffee in a nearby cafe, and then I returned home.

I sent a text to various friends, something about having just seen Planet of the Apes, and it was one of the worst films I had ever, ever seen. What a waste of a few hours, etc.

I received a bewildering reply from someone I didn't know so well, along the lines of 'How can you complain about that at a time like this??' but I had no idea what she meant. In the end, a friend phoned and told me to turn on the TV.

'Which channel?', I asked.

'Any', she replied.

At that stage I realised there was something very big happening. My friend on the phone was explaining what had been happening (two planes into big tall buildings, another crashed somewhere else, another into the Pentagon) and all I could think was that it was some kind of Armageddon (planes falling from the sky and all).

I didn't actually know what the World Trade Centre was, but as the news reports went on I got an idea of what they were, what they represented, and how many people this would have affected. This knowledge led me to believe that this was some kind of anti-capitalist attack. Wrong again (kind of).

I, like many others, watched hours of TV, mainly made up of the same few minutes of footage again and again and again and again. It looked horrific, the numbers injured and killed looked like they could have been going into the tens of thousands, and there was a huge underlying feeling of 'is it over? who's next?'.

There were reports that London was being evacuated (which turned out to be wrong), and everything came to a halt for all the attention on New York.

I hadn't heard the word 'unprecedented' on the news so much since the death of Diana ('unprecedented outpourings of grief'), and the shock from America at having been attacked for the first time was almost audible.

I remember thinking, 'Well now they know. Horrific as this is, they will see that sudden random killing attacks are devastating and they will surely never, ever do this to anyone ever again'. I really did think that. Me and my eternal bloody optimistic mind.

I thought, how could America attack anyone after this? How could they consider bombing a town anywhere in the world, when they know how it feels to be under attack.

I didn't think I was being naive and idealistic, but the follow-up proved that I was.

Hugely revengeful attacks on Afghanistan followed, then Iraq, and God only knows where else. Increase in hate, increase in terror, exploiting terror and fear to get away with whatever Bush bloody wants. Increase in racism, in US and UK abuse of human rights and allegations (ha!) of torture.

What the hell did we learn that day? Nothing, clearly.

Over the last few weeks there have been various documentaries about September 11th, of which I have seen / heard a couple.

One I was watching, contained the only footage of the attacks from inside a tower. A French guy who had been filming a documentary following New York firefighters, and found himself in the midst of all this.

Watching the footage - actual video of inside the buildings during the attacks - was terrifying (especially because, unlike we're supposed to with movies, I did know what was gonna happen next) and made me question how I would have coped, reacted, saved myself, or not. Would I have jumped from a window with no hope of surviving? Would I have been able to outrun the fog of dust?

That kind of footage - films of the apparently inconceivable events that happened - filled our TVs at the time of the attacks. People were witnessing these events as they happened. How many times did we see those planes go through those buildings? A hundred? A thousand?

And it struck me. Would the world be so complacent if we had seen footage, a hundred times in a day, of a bomb going through an apartment building in Lebanon, or if we had seen footage, five hundred times in a day, of a hospital being blasted in Iraq, would we be so complacent? Or would we be memorising the dates and reminiscing and weeping for those people so far away?

Because we bloody should be.

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