21 January 2009

Ode to 9/11

This song, as well as others from the Glitter soundtrack, was my playlist the day the Twin Towers fell. Was I having dance parties to celebrate in my room? Well, no. The album came out on Sept. 11, 2001 and I was not going to wait to buy it. I remember well forcing my brother to stop at Barnes & Noble on the way home from high school so I could pick it up. We didn't talk much on the way home that day, it seemed the whole day was a prolonged moment of awkward silence, nobody wanting to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

I've always thought this video, and the whole failed Glitter media spectacle was very interesting, somewhat for reasons that were beyond the producers' control. Something about it was so "pre-9/11," which is a very obvious thing to say, let alone hard to technically counter-argue. But what I'm referring to is the way I feel it captures part of the free-spirited, apathetic American mindset, before we were all injected with a shot of Islamic-extremist saltwater to awaken us from our overdose on hyperreality. Of course, we hastened to deliberately take up the addiction again once our beloved former President encouraged us to, but that tangent is for a different time, a different thought, perhaps a different grad school thesis.

I've been thinking about 9/11/01 a lot lately, I think it has to do with the fact that my country feels really close right now, as well as the fact that a lot of us are looking back into our recent memories. It was absolutely a different world on the tenth of September that year. Now, we feel much more at ease about certain things than even a few years after 2001, but there's still this omnipresent mist of paranoia, like we're all Oedipa in Crying of Lot 49.

The whole fallout from the terror-spectacle of that day was absolutely intriguing. The news networks replayed the moments of the crashes and the buildings' respective falls repeatedly over a 24-hour span; they had to be sure that the shock-therapy they were imposing on the American public would be 100% successful. Clearly it was. We threw our emotions into product transactions, offered our faith to a Texan cowboy, and tossed our rational minds into garbage bins. They only things we kept were fear, and the hope that the devils plaguing us could be solved with a simplistic, old-world perspective.

Even since then such actions have caught up to us. Now we plug into broadcasts of other people's seeming realities on television because we are dissatisfied with our own, and the nation itself is caught in an economic mess that was created by artificial, imaginary mercantile exchanges.

And once again I come back to the question that revisits my head everyday: "What happened to reality?"

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