As the events of 9/11 remorselessly drift back into the realms of anecdote (here’s mine if you missed it before) and soundbite cliché, we come to realise that Baudrillard was right to an extent; for the majority of us who aren’t directly affected, big events don’t actually exist. All we truly experience are the reflections and distortions that the media offers – which is why I’m posting this today, because it’s really about what got said and written and posted yesterday, rather than about what happened a dozen years back. And sometimes these reflections barely even pretend to be about the destruction and misery perpetrated on that bright blue morning. Look at The New Yorker’s slideshow of its own 9/11 covers and ask what’s really being commemorated. And I’m not even going to talk about this:
But, hey, there are still a few happy surprises to be had in the most unlikely places. Amidst this year’s bout of navel-gazing was David Wong’s witty but thought-provoking analysis of the years since, including this reminder to us old farts, especially if we find ourselves working in an office full of 20-somethings:
After all, if you're under 30, you were still a kid when 9/11 happened, living at home. What the rest of us are calling “a Post-9/11 World” you know only as “the world.”
And this rather wonderful picture by Toby Amies, who was there or thereabouts:
Because, let’s face it, most of us weren’t victims or heroes on that day. Most of us were bystanders, viewers, consumers. And still are and will always be.