On a recent afternoon, an older man and woman self-consciously configured themselves in front of the south reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial. The man placed his hand on the woman’s hip in an awkward clasp and grinned broadly as another person took their picture with a digital camera. A girl in a Yankees cap took a selfie with her camera phone, the Freedom Tower soaring into the sky behind her, the reflecting pool draining into nothingness. She was smiling. An Ethiopian man asked me to take a photo of him and his family. They wore blank expressions, though the youngest girl with them hammed for the camera with her [...]
I discovered news of Paul Walker's passing the way we all discover celebrity deaths these days. My friend Rick had posted a filtered picture of a candlelit vigil with the description, “Here’s a shitty photo of the impromptu Paul Walker memorial service at the house that, apparently, the first Fast & Furious movie was shot at in Echo Park. It was weird.” He added a hashtag: #RIPPaulWalker.
My first thought was, “Aww man, Paul Walker was so hot. He’s dead?” Paul Walker! The apex of high school goy fantasies, the chiseled matinee prince of my 90s adolescence. The non-Dawson in “Varsity Blues.” The only man ever who could get away [...]
My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
Are you pregnant now, and in your second trimester? Then you are obviously the most selfish human in the world, and your terribleness will bring forth a child of great evil, who will shower devastation upon the country and usher in a new dark era of rising tides and a catastrophe of the climate.
Oh, wait, that was happening anyway? Cause and effect is so COMPLICATED. Sorry, no, your baby is fine! As you were! I'll buy it a nice cashmere blanket that it can barf on.
But apparently people were traipsing up and down stairs with buckets of water, people were watching their kitty cats float away, [...]
We're not gonna make a huge deal out of this, but today is kind of a thing.
Every time the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close trailer plays in the theater I have an equally incredible bad reaction. It's like I'm on a tiny bus and I'm allergic to peanuts and everyone is eating peanuts all around me and the bus is bound for somewhere I didn't want to go and maybe the driver is dead from all the peanuts and the bus is going off the road. In Delaware. I have had three of these rage-crying fits now, no joke, and I'm not sure I can keep going to the movie theaters until this thing is released and no longer being teased. The manipulation cuts like a [...]
"We will see today if it is positive news for Nadal as the Open plays its fourth straight Monday men’s final, but the first one that could have been avoided out of consideration for the weekend’s ticketholders. By rearranging the final four days of play, ticket-holders for Friday, Saturday and Sunday had to completely rearrange their schedules on 9/11 weekend." —How was your 9/11 weekend?
This seems like an inappropriate security question pic.twitter.com/JvR6ik78cT
— Hayley Hudson (@hayhud) June 26, 2014
But then consider this: Should something horrible or memorable happen tomorrow, your answer to the equivalent question in 14 years will probably be, "I don't know, on the internet?" [Via]
In most suburban homes, you wouldn't be surprised to find an array of dusty objects—pencil sharpeners, empty milk bottles, skateboards, air fresheners and perhaps a Mr. Potato Head—tucked into corners of spare bedrooms. In Andrew Marietta's house, in Cooperstown, New York, this stuff shares a common theme: September 11, 2001.
Marietta is the owner of one of the world's largest private collections of September 11 memorabilia. Stored in boxes scattered around his home are 1500 to 2000 objects originally produced by companies to commemorate the event. Many of these items are strange in their ordinariness: Marietta's collection includes not just plaques [...]
A couple of years ago, I took the train out to Long Island to interview the last person pulled alive from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. Genelle Guzman-McMillan had been in her early 30s on September 11, 2001, and employed by the Port Authority, which had an office on the 64th story of the World Trade Center. She and her coworkers had managed to make it out into the stairwell and all the way down to the 13th floor before the second plane hit, after which the entire building collapsed and Guzman-McMillan was buried under several thousand tons of debris and dust. She lay there for 27 hours, a [...]
Should we hold news organizations to the account over the prominence they award to 9/11 anniversary commemorations? Who cares, it's 9/13 aready. We don't have to think about any of that for another year.
“I get drunk a few times a week, so I guess I could have done it.” —Local man calls 911 from World Trade Center, reports planes flying into building, is the worst kind of drunk.
Viewed through the unripe eyes of Calhoun’s 13-year-olds, the collapse of the Twin Towers might have been a natural disaster. Captions tell us that the “The loss was sudden and great”; “Smoke and dust were everywhere”; and “The streets were empty.” For all the project’s pretense to chronicle, nothing indicates why. “People donated blood.” So? Blood drives are commonplace. “The people were afraid.” But of what? Yes, “people still miss the Twin Towers.” But why are they gone? Did they just fall down of their own accord? Might their destruction have had something to do with the lethal ideology of Islamist jihadists? Or with Islam’s theological imperative toward [...]
• "20/20: Remembrance and Renewal: 10 Years after the 9/11 Attacks" (ABC) • "102 Minutes That Changed America" (History Channel) • "9/11: 10 Years Later" (CBS) • "9/11: America Remembers Ten Years Later: A Special Edition of Good Morning America" (ABC) • "9/11: Day That Changed the World" (Smithsonian Channel) • "9/11: Heroes of the 88th Floor" (TLC) • "9/11: In Our Own Words" (MSNBC) • "9/11: Rising Above" (NBC) • "9/11: State of Emergency" (History Channel) • "9/11: Stories in Fragment" (Smithsonian Channel) • "9/11: Ten Years Later" (ReelzChannel) • "9/11: The Days After" (History Channel) • "9/11: Timeline of Terror" (Fox News) • "9/11: Where Were You?" (National [...]
"One gift-shop item in particular has raised hackles: a decorative ceramic platter in the shape of the U.S., with heart symbols marking the spots where the hijacked planes made impact on 9/11. As of Tuesday, it was no longer on display in the museum store."
Ugh, every year the same question: "What am I going to get the kids for 9/11?" I mean, how many stuffed animal search and rescue German shepherds can you really give and still expect to be the cool cousin?
Rogue ophthalmologist Rand Paul has been a disheveled weirdo for the entirety of his political career, because the apple does not fall far from the tree of liberty, but last night he won the hearts of many people on Twitter because he was up most of the night reading blogs aloud as part of a filibuster against Barack Obama's pick for the new CIA chief. (The last CIA chief resigned over sexting.)
The moral issue of drone assassins is very important, and there are obvious constitutional and police-state issues both domestically and internationally, but this is less a political shift than a technological evolution. Remotely controlled flying war machines [...]
"I felt really bad when I saw all the non-coverage this morning." —Yup. That's an actual comment on the New York Times' public editor blog today. Meet the one person who felt "really bad" not having 9/11 in her face this morning.
"I was just in awe that we were at the Coliseum. I've made movies for about 20 years and I've done a lot of things, but that one really stands out.… I mean, who gets to have sex on the Coliseum floor?" —Porn star Mr. Marcus looks back at his experience (on September 16th, 2001!) of surreptitiously filming Gangbang Girl #32 on the field of the Los Angeles Coliseum. OJ Simpson wore number no. 32 when he played at the Coliseum for the USC Trojans, which I guess is why the movie was called that. This story just keeps getting more and more macabre. Also: "The plot of [...]
"He said there had been 50 other similar incidents across the country that day." —That's the most striking sentence in this account of being detained by Homeland Security on a plane on Sunday, written by a woman who sat next to two Indian dudes who needed to pee. According to one FBI officer, at least 50 flights had passengers who saw something stupid and said something stupid, so some Americans got handcuffed and detained. We only even hear about a few of them.