The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. Now it’s gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labour and imagination and commerce and it’s gone.
But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.
[x / Transcript]
The last thing that I’ll say about 9/11, since I’d rather not.
Jon Stewart came to Cornell in October of 2011, and I had the chance to see him. He was in full force that night. But he ended with a story about 9/11 which I thought would end us off on a dark note. I was thinking, “No. Come on, Jon. Not now.”
He talked about leaving his apartment a few weeks after the attacks, still feeling miserable and worried like pretty much all of New York. But then, he said, on his stoop, he saw a homeless man. This homeless man had his fly open, his dick in his hand, and was shaking it like nobody’s business.
Jon, as he said to us, looked down at him. The man looked up at Jon. They exchanged pleasantries. And the man continued to masturbate.
In spite of all that the city had been through, and no matter what troubles humanity had faced in those last few weeks, this man found the courage to get up, shuffle over to Jon’s stoop, and jerk himself off.
And that’s when, Jon told us, “I thought, “we’re gonna be okay.”
I’ve liked that story ever since.
Have a good day, guys.
I come back to this Megatokyo strip every so often. That “every so often” just happens to be on September 11. This strip is from 2001. I admit that it’s not just by coincidence.
Megatokyo was the first webcomic I ever really read. I was nine when it started. I didn’t get all of the jokes, and I didn’t understand all of the gamer lingo, and I didn’t even know whether or not my brother would find it on his computer history. But it made me laugh, and that’s what matters most.
I came home from school on that day, where I first heard about the attacks hours after they’d happened, to see my mother crying in the kitchen. It treated me to the reality of the situation. Even then, however, I still wasn’t sure of the magnitude of the tragedy. Seeing the replay of the footage from that morning helped, if you want to call it that.
Seeing this strip, though. At first I was disappointed that the strip wasn’t funny. I didn’t feel better having read it. There wasn’t anything to laugh at. And that’s when I realized: That was it. There wasn’t anything to laugh at. In my dull ten-year-old head, I understood. Humanity was shattered. The bond between human to human - the bond that allows us all to simply exist - had been broken. And finally, it was the first time many young people - like me - had been exposed to such death.
Like Seraphim in the comic, I didn’t know what to say.
I don’t ever want to feel like I can’t laugh again. I pray for the day when all of us - everyone around the world - is able to smile about the things that they can smile about. Without happiness, the world shuts down. Without laughter, people become corpses. Without smiles, humanity weeps.
September 11 was a terrible day, not because of who did it, or who started it. It was terrible because there was nothing to be happy about. And I really hope that someday, the world will never have to feel that nothingness.
If I didn’t get this out before turning the light out, I never would have slept. I’m sorry.
EDIT: Might we all remember that we shouldn’t have a “failure of conscience.” Today, treat everyone with respect, no matter what. It’s not a day for anger.
During a bit of room cleaning I found an old journal from fifth grade. I hadn’t looked in this thing since then, and I figured a decade was long enough to keep old memories locked away.
What stunned me the most about my old writing wasn’t the lack of ability in spelling or grammar, or the horrible plots that I’d written for movies that I’d fantasized about. It was how completely blasé I was about September 11th.
Here’s the full text from that journal entry (which, by the way, I had dated September 10th for some inexplicable reason:)
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in September 2001. I was doing work in the afternoon when Ms. Pisano’s (the principal’s) voice came over the loudspeaker — “Would all students please report to their lofts.”
Ms. Pisano then told me the stunning news — 2 planes had hit the World Trade Center — both towers, and they had collapsed. Soon after, a plane hit the Pentagon. Then another crashed in a field in Pittsburgh. I never knew on that plane that crashed in the field the passengers overtook the hijackers.
Please ignore the awful grammar.
That was it. That’s all I had about September 11th. The next journal entry was about Hamtaro. Yes, Hamtaro. I kid you not.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Will, circa middle school.
(Also while reading through this journal I realize that it’s pretty much exactly like my Tumblr is today. I was Tumbling in diapers. Every day I’m Tumbling.)
In the weeks after 9/11, I thought that this was it. I was like, “The world’s never gonna change. We’re always going to be looking at it in black and white and grey now, and all the laughter will be gone.” And it was very depressing.
So one day on my way to work, there was a homeless man sitting on my stoop. And it was very clear that he was, um, masturbating. So I gave him a look like “Eh?” And he looked back and gave a look like “Hey.” And then he just went right back to pleasuring himself.
And in that moment I thought, “You know, we’re going to be okay.”
Paraphased from Jon Stewart, last night at Cornell University.
Food for thought for your morning. Also, LOL, masturbation.
You know, for a president who had been nearly two years out of office by the time 9/11 came around, it’s still nice to see Bill there.
[Clinton declares a memorial in Shanksville, PA commemorating the 9/11 attacks. SOURCE: CNN.]
- Is that seriously Miley with a Homer Simpson face on her crotch? No? I’m going to believe that the answer is “no.” Please say no.
- When wireless internet works, it’s awesome. When it doesn’t, it’s the most frustrating invention ever made.
- Chicken noodle soup is delicious.
- 9/11 masterminds: What were they thinking?
- I am a god of awesome music.