Brett Kavanaugh, in Florida, with the Hand Recount
September 11, 2019 9:21 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by lalochezia at 10:02 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


remember when the vice president's office leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative, everyone involved was punished to the fullest extent of the law and steps were taken to make sure nothing similar ever happened again?
posted by logicpunk at 10:11 AM on September 11 [15 favorites]


I had just started 10th grade (age 15 to non-USians). I think there was an unofficial plan for everyone at school to wear black on...9/13? 9/14? That same month, our high school had a creepy "memorial" assembly (we were in the Midwest and virtually no one in the school had any personal connection to 9/11) and I was in the orchestra and we had to play America the Beautiful and also some sort of requiem or hymn (I forget which one); the principal presented a large check to the local chapter of the Red Cross, and a local musician, the dad of one of our classmates, played his electric keyboard and sang a really shlocky version of God Bless the USA in the dark gymnasium with a spotlight on him. The whole thing was weird and even at 15 I was thinking "this feels really fucked up." Everyone wanted to go to war and this was "our Pearl Harbor."

Also for like, weeks after 9/11 most of the TV channels had some sort of live scrolling news ticker on the bottom of the screens, even during non-news programming like daytime soap operas. I forget when that finally went away. I think that's also when some cable news channels began adopting the 24/7 scrolling news ticker, but maybe that's just when I first noticed it.

The "Most Wanted" Iraqi playing cards. Annoying flash ads in your web browser showing Osama Bin Laden moving around and you could aim the crosshairs at him. People would dress up as a gory murdered/zombie Osama for Halloween.

"If you see something, say something."

It felt like every piece of art or entertainment made in the next year HAD to reference 9/11 in some way. I even went to a local youth theater (church) production that my friends were in, and their show screeched to a halt in the middle to darken the auditorium and play audio from the planes hitting the towers and the kids somberly lit their faces from underneath with flashlights and did a bit about how "the world changed forever" on 9/11, then sang a song related to it.

Very weird, dark times to be a teenager.
posted by castlebravo at 10:12 AM on September 11 [19 favorites]


Oh, all I had to see was that fucking grinning woman with the purple heart bandaid on her chin to feel the rage flood back into me.

Sorry, folks. I'm gonna skip past this and save myself the stress.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:13 AM on September 11 [28 favorites]


"Mission Accomplished"
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:18 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


"After Democrats spent years thinking Karl Rove was a master genius, it turned out he just knew a good hacker and had been forwarding DNC emails. Magically once the hacker was caught Rove's political analysis became useless."

What's the story with this one? Googling turned up only 2016 russiagate stuff.
posted by youthenrage at 10:25 AM on September 11 [11 favorites]


"We must stop the terror. I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:25 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Just after 9/11 I remember hearing the USA being referred to as "the homeland" (by USians) for the first time, and it produced some weird cognitive dissonance.
posted by youthenrage at 10:27 AM on September 11 [25 favorites]


logicpunk: "remember when the vice president's office leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative, everyone involved was punished to the fullest extent of the law and steps were taken to make sure nothing similar ever happened again?"

It's like an American muscle car, driving backwards, over your face, forever.
posted by chavenet at 10:28 AM on September 11 [11 favorites]


Sure, there was a bunch of nonsense and misinformation going around.

But I thought it was great how a lot of radio stations just turned into a round-the-clock "call in and talk about your feelings" show for a while. That felt good. For a moment, at least, it seemed like we were all on the same side.
posted by sacrifix at 10:29 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Flash animations with songs about how it was time to bomb Saddam
posted by yellowbinder at 10:35 AM on September 11


"call in and talk about your feelings"

It was like that for a short while. Before the bloodlust.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 10:35 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


youthenrage, that one also caught my eye. I think it might be referring to Michael Connell, who wasn't "caught" so much as "died in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances."

I'm not sure I'd call it a conspiracy theory, but it's certainly, umm, "speculative."

Although I have to say, the speculation seems a lot more plausible since right-wingers seem to have used it as a common "both sides"-ism when promoting their nonsense about Seth Rich.
posted by bjrubble at 10:43 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


The relic of mid-00s culture that still plinks around in my brain is the slightly twangy pop-rock song "Bush Was Right" by the Right Brothers, which was infuriating in 2006 when it was released, but became steadily funnier through the next 5-6 years as every triumph the song crowed about turned to ashes and everyone it mentioned became humiliated. Now, though, it's taken a dark turn and is no longer funny since it turns out that all of those people just get to come back and do whatever and no amount of humiliation or electoral defeat truly mattered.
posted by Copronymus at 10:45 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


The anthrax scare of late 2001 seems to have gone almost entirely forgotten.
posted by Automocar at 10:48 AM on September 11 [21 favorites]


Sometimes the now-crazy makes me want to think the then-crazy wasn't so crazy, but then The Remembering happens and I stand corrected.

With apologies to Mitch Hedberg (may he rest in peace, decompose in dignity, what have you), "We used to be crazy.. We still are but we used to be too"
posted by elkevelvet at 10:49 AM on September 11 [11 favorites]


I remember reading http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/ and feeling so angry at my government. So angry.
posted by drfu at 10:52 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I've said this before on the blue, and I'll say it again. I was called "traitor" to my face multiple times because I called bullshit on the "Iraq has WMDs" lie. I will never get over that. I will never forgive the Republican party for encouraging that.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:02 AM on September 11 [38 favorites]


This is a good antidote to what I'm hearing too much today, "While I wouldn't want another terrorist attack… it sure was great how united we were back then." Which completely glosses over 1) how incredibly short the window of time was when we were politically united (if at all), after that 9/11 was used as a bludgeon against dissent or even debate, and 2) it's a fantasy that a real emergency today would could somehow lead to this administration suddenly governing with any morality or competency.

Anyway, adding to this one, I was riding a bike to work from 2001 to 2004 and there were so many ratty flags that fell off cars littering the streets, it was emblematic of the shallowness of that era's performative patriotism.

This one is a mystery to me: We had a doctor who created surgical dick lengthening procedures act as our representative to the lead religious authority in Iraq.

I'm stumped, any hints on who this refers to?
posted by peeedro at 11:04 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]


"Duct tape your windows (!) but keep shopping like you would normally."
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:27 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Which completely glosses over 1) how incredibly short the window of time was when we were politically united (if at all)

Not really at all, the societal and state-enforced expectation was that we "unite" by anyone left of center on their views of war, vengeance and tolerance sitting down and shutting up. United in pain and shock, sure, for a while, until it became clear how many latched onto that as a performative signifier of
a right wing concept of patriotism, and united in a whole lot of people giving the benefit of the doubt to W for a window of time, which was really an effect of the pain and shock, but never really politically.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:29 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I happened to fly within a month of 9/11, CA to NJ, before they had instated the crazy security theater stuff, so it was mostly normal. but there was a guy near me, talking about his check in experience: this guy was 100% american as apple pie, baseball cap, USian accent etc., but clearly of some middle eastern or south asian ethnic background, had a beard etc. and he had been subject to a level of scrutiny (call it harassment, why not?) that he'd never encountered before. it was a whisper foreshadowing what was to come...
posted by supermedusa at 11:32 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


The large, tacky, hand-painted sign someone put up in town depicting an American flag and the words “These Colors Don’t Run”. In my memory, the flag is grasped angrily in a fist, but I may be making that part up. The sign stayed up for at least a year and eventually the colors started fading.
posted by dephlogisticated at 11:33 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I was in fifth grade in 9/2001 so just remember the extremely high-octane patriotism that pervaded everything. "Freedom fries", yes, and I remember myself going around telling everyone my favorite song was The Star-Spangled Banner and writing an incredibly earnest poem on 9/12/01 about how worried I was which I later edited to have an optimistic ending because I was worried the original wasn't patriotic enough. Also going on a field trip to a mosque as part of a world religions course where the poor imam had to spend the entire time explaining that Islam is not a violent religion.

Oh, and the endless rounds of debate about how gosh, well, I know it's probably ~not PC~ to say this but racial profiling by airport security is just the only possible way we'll ever catch terrorists. Such as, for example, a guy from London named "Richard".
posted by capricorn at 11:34 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Just after 9/11 I remember hearing the USA being referred to as "the homeland" (by USians) for the first time, and it produced some weird cognitive dissonance.

It creeped me out the first time I heard it, and I still don't like it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:35 AM on September 11 [29 favorites]


What I remember most is hearing radio call-in show improv genius Phil Hendrie unable to do his show. And then the whole thing eventually broke him and he became a bloodthirsty right wing nut for a while.
posted by queensissy at 11:54 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Wow, you really see what happens when you keep kicking the can down the road on fucking corruption and white collar crime.
posted by Aquifer at 12:01 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


“Oh yeah, The NYT just straight up published completely unsubstantiated facts. They also published a TON of fake stories from Jayson Blair. When other media caught wind, NYT blamed it on racial quotas lol.”
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


In February 2009 11% of Democrats approved of George W Bush.

The same poll in 2018 found that 54% of Democrats have a favorable view of George W Bush.

The rehabilitation of an absolutely monstrous regime is an erasure or defense of crimes against humanity and deaths that by now are surely in the millions.

Nazi Germany existed for 12 years. Guantanamo has been a torture camp for over 1 1/2 Nazi Germanies.

We did not hold them to account. If we do nothing the next chance we get (if there is another chance) then Democrats will soon be wishing for a return to the civility and stability of the Trump administration: "sure, he made a lot of mistakes, but he had a good heart."
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:09 PM on September 11 [36 favorites]


The anthrax scare of late 2001 seems to have gone almost entirely forgotten.

I seem to recall some reporting of a cluster of unexpected deaths of academic scientists in the US in the months following 9/11. And then nothing further.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 12:11 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I remember a guy telling me afterwards that the Navy was going to go find Bin Laden and kill him with their totally working and real rail gun. This was the same guy that swore up and down that Tom Clancy books were all real, the names had just been changed.

I also remember my dad and I having an argument about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and me taking the stance that the whole suitcase bomb/dirty bomb thing was manipulative and scaremongering, and him coming back with something along the lines of "Would you rather see a mushroom cloud rising over New York City?" That he's now a Fox News zombie shouldn't be a surprise, but it still feels like I'm talking to a pod person sometimes.
posted by gc at 12:29 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


That cave drawing almost qualifies as a MC Escher throwaway. Egh.
posted by buzzman at 12:34 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Light-hearted local newspaper columnist James Lileks went from writing about 1950s cookbooks to grim musings on war. He never really recovered -- or if he did, I didn't see it, because after a good twenty years I simply stopped reading anything under his byline around 2003.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:39 PM on September 11 [23 favorites]


I had largely forgotten about 'freedom fries,' but was rather surprised to discover, while on a road trip through some smaller towns and rural parts of the US, that they had never actually gone away: still on menus in some places circa 2015. I would assume they still are, now.
posted by halation at 12:45 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


There's a few playlists of the Clear Channel memo songs on Spotify.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:45 PM on September 11


‪You know what? I remember people talking about all the devious ways terriroists could cheaply cause terror and mayhem and its all stuff white nationalist mass shooters do now. ‬

Also no one went to jail or even lost their job and they all keep coming back up.
posted by The Whelk at 12:47 PM on September 11 [21 favorites]


NYC was no fun during those post 911 months. There was a rumored terrorist attack predicted for every weekend for months. And the smell of burning plastic often blew through the streets from downtown just to remind you. But ironically it was probably the sanest place to be in the US, because people considered the event from an introspective angle. What had the US done to cause this reaction..etc. NYC still loathed Bush and didn't get sucked up in the Pro-American bullshit frenzy.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:01 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]




I remember a lot of interfretting about the "end of satire" and "what will happen to The Onion?"
posted by chavenet at 1:32 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Boy, that threat level scale. The first time I ever left the country, I was abroad for several months. When I came back, I remember being in the airport and hearing an announcement that said "the current Threat Advisory Level as determined by the Department of Homeland Security is Orange" and thinking it sounded like something out of science fiction.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:36 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


NYC was no fun during those post 911 months. There was a rumored terrorist attack predicted for every weekend for months. And the smell of burning plastic often blew through the streets from downtown just to remind you. But ironically it was probably the sanest place to be in the US, because people considered the event from an introspective angle. What had the US done to cause this reaction..etc. NYC still loathed Bush and didn't get sucked up in the Pro-American bullshit frenzy.

One of the most enraging things that the GOP has done in my lifetime is making it a thing culturally that NYC doesn't own or even have a voice in NYC's pain from 9/11, but they do. They co-opted that so fast and so fully to the point that even now if someone who was there at ground zero during the attacks felt like justifiably calling them out on it, I'm sure that they'd be excoriated in the media without a second thought, like an involuntary cultural reflex.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:40 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


I’m not American but I stayed with family in a small town in Illinois in 2004. I remember seeing so many signs outside gas stations and shopping malls like this:

9/11 NEVER FOR ET
WE RESPECT THE T OOPS
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:51 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Fun fact: I thought my dad died on 9/11.

I was going to write a long comment about how much I could relate to this, but instead I'll just say that my dad and stepmom were in the NYC area, and I went to school in the DC area. It was easily one of the worst and scariest days of my life, and I'll never forget it. Just absolutely horrible. Emotionally, the months that followed were incredibly difficult for people close to me. It made all the bullshit political stuff that immediately followed that much more infuriating.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:01 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


One of the most enraging things that the GOP has done in my lifetime is making it a thing culturally that NYC doesn't own or even have a voice in NYC's pain from 9/11, but they do. They co-opted that so fast and so fully to the point that even now if someone who was there at ground zero during the attacks felt like justifiably calling them out on it, I'm sure that they'd be excoriated in the media without a second thought, like an involuntary cultural reflex.

I refuse to talk about 9/11 with people who weren't in New York, so I understand this very much.
posted by Automocar at 2:04 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


For the first week after the attacks, everything south of 14th Street in Manhattan was considered a restricted zone. They had police blockades set up every ten blocks on every avenue running north-to-south, and police stopped anyone trying to cross the blockade in a southerly direction and asked them to prove they lived within the area they were trying to access. At the time I worked with a theater company that was within this restricted zone; and I lived about five blocks south of the theater. I was the only person in the company who lived within the restricted zone, so for a week our artistic director promoted me to default company manager, because I was the only person who could actually get TO the theater. Every day I would wake up and check whether they'd lifted the blockades yet; and if they hadn't, I'd have to go to the theater, change the answering machine's outgoing message to say that "this evening's performance is cancelled", and then call all the people who had had reservations for that evening's show and offer to re-schedule and re-book their tickets for a later date. Then I'd update the cast and crew that "yep, we're still down for the count tonight" and then I could finally go home. And the last block I had to traverse before going home brought me to one of those blockades, and I had to show my ID to the cops in order to get back onto my block.

Having to cross police barricades on a daily basis in my own neighborhood made me a damn wreck by the end of the week.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:08 PM on September 11 [19 favorites]


They co-opted that so fast and so fully to the point that even now if someone who was there at ground zero during the attacks felt like justifiably calling them out on it, I'm sure that they'd be excoriated in the media without a second thought, like an involuntary cultural reflex.

When there was that furor about the "mosque near Ground Zero" I got into a Facebook exchange with someone that went pretty much thus:

THEM: How dare they put up a mosque there! It's an insult to the New Yorkers who survived those attacks!
ME: Uh....I am a New Yorker who survived those attacks, and to be honest, it doesn't bother me.
THEM: Who cares what you think, you live in New York and it's a liberal sewer!

No joke. From "spare a thought for the New Yorkers" to "New Yorkers live in a liberal sewer" in the space of one sentence, just because I'd disagreed with him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:10 PM on September 11 [32 favorites]


Anthrax attacks.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:25 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]




I remember the Dixie Chicks.
posted by Uncle Ira at 2:30 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


There was also the Terri Schiavo case, which was the final straw for a few former republican voters I knew.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:44 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about that color-coded alert level and was wondering if there was some similar system currently in-use. Turns out the DHS has a biannual "National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin" If you missed it, don't worry, it's the exact same one as 6 months previous. It's good through January of next year though, and I'm sure someone is hard at work updated the boilerplate to cover domestic terrorists at this very moment.
posted by subocoyne at 2:51 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Animated GIFs of fonts on documents
posted by jquinby at 4:29 PM on September 11 [+] [!]
When I look back, this feels like the beginning of the now. The same internet persons who were swiftboating Kerry were making strident and authoritative and unverifiable and clearly bullshit claims about which typewriter an Air Force base could possibly have had in the 70s and the media was uncritically reporting all of it in a pointless effort to avoid bad faith accusations of bias.

And I thought, "grow up nubs, you're being trolled."

Much later, 2016 happened.
posted by Horkus at 2:54 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


I was in high school less than five miles away from the Pentagon. Classmates of mine were panicking with fear for parents who worked in or near there. My best friend's mom had been there for a job interview that morning and he had no idea if she had still been there when the plane hit.

School was basically over for the day as soon as the news was announced, but it was several hours before the administration was confident enough that no further attacks were coming that they felt safe letting us leave.

As soon as it became clear it had been Al Qaeda, we all became frightened on behalf of our Muslim friends and classmates. It was clear even to us teenagers at the time that the nation's racists and xenophobes were going to use the tragedies in the multicultural centers of New York City and the Capitol Area as motivation to further attack us and denigrate our values. And sure enough, that's what happened.

The tendency of some New Yorkers to minimize the significance of the plane hitting the Pentagon for the civilian communities around it is something I see a lot, and it still stings.
posted by biogeo at 2:55 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


NYC still loathed Bush and didn't get sucked up in the Pro-American bullshit frenzy.

NYC did drink a railcar of the pro-America bullshit koolaid, they just didn't follow it all the way to liking Bush.

Remember that time you went to a baseball game and had to sit through "God Bless America"? Yeah, that was in NYC. Oh wait, it started in NYC and then spread to the rest of the country. Oh wait again, it was last night. (I cannot believe we still have this going on 18 years later.)
posted by Cris E at 3:00 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Previously on MetaFilter:
my greatest fear is how our government is going to respond. more erosion of freedom in the name of security. mark my words.
posted by rebeccablood at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2001
posted by kirkaracha at 3:02 PM on September 11 [27 favorites]


I first read about the 9/11 attacks on Slashdot, of all places.
posted by SPrintF at 3:11 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


In the summer of 2001 I was a summer intern at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. At the time the campus was a lovely mixture of medical buildings and park-like green spaces completely open to the community. When I started I was issued an ID badge that was a laminated piece of green paper with my name printed on it, the words "summer student", and the NIH logo.

At the end of summer, I wrapped up my project, and one of my mentors invited me to come back and do a little part-time freelancing that fall. With the start of the school year, I wasn't able to start right away, but I think it was in early October that I was able to return to the NIH campus. Needless to say, things had changed. A fence surrounded the previously open campus, with high-security checkpoints for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. What had felt like an academic refuge reminiscent of the grove where Hippocrates taught now suddenly felt like a military base.

A few years later in college I returned for another summer internship at NIH. In order to start, I had to submit to fingerprinting and a background check before they would issue me with a photo ID. The fence had become a wall, the temporary checkpoints permanent security stops. The sheer cost not only of constructing and maintaining this security apparatus, but also of performing extensive background checks for every student who comes through the NIH's training programs, is mind-boggling. And for what? So that some disease sample that was already being kept in appropriately high-security storage in an anonymous building on campus can't be stolen? Any security expert will tell you that it's better to make your perimeters as large as they need to be and no larger.

How much medical research could have been funded with those resources? How much could impoverished families have improved their health and lives by giving them those funds as welfare? How many students could have been educated with free grants?
posted by biogeo at 3:14 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


My parents kept me from school and I played Counter-Strike all day with the news on. Already figured it was Al-Qaeda that did it because I was a nerd.
posted by gucci mane at 3:21 PM on September 11


I worked in Jersey City, on the Hudson, and we had windows that looked out towards the WTC.

I was coming up the elevator when plane 1 hit, and my manager told me about it as I walked towards my cube. I dropped off my bag, turned off my computer, went to his manager's office to see... and got there just as the second plane hit.

I went to my desk and looked up some things, and then went to my manager's manager, because I had the feeling a lot of stuff would be closing soon, and most of our people lived in the Bronx and Queens, and he handed me his card, and I found rooms for them because I figured they weren't getting home tonight. Twenty minutes later they announced the closing of the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the GW Bridge, and pretty much they were screwed, and I was a hero for doing it.

I was the last person out, and I walked along the waterfront until I found a bus that would take me to Hoboken station, and I took the train home. They were just loading them up and running them, no real schedule anymore.

The next morning I was the only person who made it in, and I basically ran interference and made what decisions I could, finding room in our building for some of our counterparts who worked in 7WTC, and then...

...what I did was handle firewall and email forwarding for Citigroup, internationally. So if you sent an email to someone@citicorp.com I'd arrange it so it went to the right system, and also if you wanted Internet access, I'd set that up for you.

So when I got to the email from someone in India complaining how we were slow, because he'd put in a request at 5:00 AM NYC time and it wasn't done yet (and we had a 240 hour SLA on that kind of request), including asking why we were so upset, it was just a building falling over, we should keep working... well, I later was told that I wouldn't have gotten in trouble for breaking corporate communication protocols and calling him a flaming asshole.

But the city... it's not what it was. And I'm not saying that because of the security measures in place. I'm saying that because there's a difference in how people seem to act, and especially in Lower Manhattan. There's a wound in the collective NYC psyche and as long as people do the "never forget" thing about it, it's not going to heal.

And the new One World Trade Center, at street level, is a profoundly ugly building.
posted by mephron at 3:24 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


Anyway, adding to this one, I was riding a bike to work from 2001 to 2004 and there were so many ratty flags that fell off cars littering the streets

John Prine's song "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Any More" was a great comfort for me during that time, reminding me that none of it was really new or inevitably permanent despite what it seemed at the time.

Sadly, the possibility of a return to something approaching normalcy turned out to be false hope, but I continue to maintain that there was a possibility of coming to our senses.
posted by wierdo at 3:52 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I was in a rural law school, and after my first morning class finished, I saw students talking anxiously in the hallways, and looking back, more anxiously than usual, but I didn't stop to ask why, because I had my next class to get to.

I remember the teacher nearly sashaying into class and announcing that Washington, D.C. and New York City were under attack, but she wasn't going to cancel class, because we had a really important lesson to cover on Questions Presented.

I still don't know exactly why I didn't get up right then. My entire immediate family was located in the DC and NYC area at the time, but between the shock of the news and the realization that there was nothing I could do, I sat there, staring into space, not paying attention at all to whatever the teacher was talking about, my leg bouncing with anxiety. Then the class time was over, so I packed my bag and stood up, and I remember the teacher saying in a sing-song voice, 'uh-uh, I've got you for one. more. minute!' but I remained standing, with my bag on my shoulder, until she said we could go.

And then I ran home, past my straight-edgiest neighbor drinking beer on the little porch in front of our apartment building. I grabbed my phone, and tried to call everyone, father, mother, sister. My brother was in school, and didn't have a cel phone, hardly anyone had cel phones back then. All the lines were down.

I remember yelling out, 'WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!' and at some point finding a television. At some point, my mother figured out that email was working. She heard the Pentagon get hit, and said her and all of the neighbors wandered out of their homes, wondering what was going on. My brother was locked down in his school. My sister was okay, shaken but locked down on the Upper West Side. My stepmother saw the news about the planes hitting the tower, called my father and told him to get the hell out of Midtown.

My dad said he went into crisis counseling mode on the train. One of the first calls I remember getting was from one of my former college roommates. She had been working downtown, at a mental health clinic, and that day, a client came in, talking about airplanes hitting buildings. Okay, have a seat, we'll be right with you. Then another, and it seemed like everyone was having the same delusion that day, until they got the order to evacuate.

She said her friend was in the hospital, he had been downtown in the chaos, and there was a child, just crying in the middle of the street, so he ran over, picked the kid up like a football, and ran. He wasn't able to cover his face, so his lung collapsed. She was walking uptown with the mass of people being evacuated, telling me what she was seeing.

The next term, I enrolled in National Security Law. The professor had to push out a massive update to the textbook to accommodate the changes that followed.
posted by katra at 3:53 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Remember the Beltway Sniper? Jeez, that was a crazy one. It was mostly concentrated around the area I grew up in, and my high school was on lockdown for a while. It was bizarre feeling like oh yeah, I could get shot today.

The school was also locked down over a suspected anthrax attack when someone found a pile of white powder, but it turned out to be, as I recall "powdered sugar with traces of blueberry." But that was the insanity of the period, that it was plausible enough that the police came out and everything.

Speaking of my high school, they allowed us to protest on the first day of the Iraq war, but then informed us that they would lock the doors behind us if we did, and it would count as an unexcused absence. Still, a small crowd formed and then kind of milled around for a while until they let us back in at the end of the day.

Oh yeah, and the one time I stood onstage at a protest next to CNN and other network news cameras. I got into the media area by flashing a hastily-laminated badge for my school's TV news show, which I wasn't even a part of. My friends tried the same thing and didn't get in, but I was already committed so I was like, I guess I have to stay up here for a little bit and try to look more professional than a 16 year old. Somewhere, there's a VHS tape, shot from behind, of an Iraqi anti-war protester giving a speech to a crowd of many thousands. I just want to see if there's news footage of geeky-ass me with my friend's clunky camera.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:06 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Remember the Beltway Sniper? Jeez, that was a crazy one. It was mostly concentrated around the area I grew up in

Me too, and one of the people that was killed had the same name as my mom, who still lives in the area. It was a surreal experience and it could just as easily been my mom as someone else's.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:08 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


The anthrax scare of late 2001 seems to have gone almost entirely forgotten.

"We face a second wave of terrorist attacks in the form of deadly anthrax that has been sent through the U.S. mail."

-- George W. Bush, November 6, 2001
posted by kirkaracha at 4:11 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The tendency of some New Yorkers to minimize the significance of the plane hitting the Pentagon for the civilian communities around it is something I see a lot, and it still stings.

Yeah, I feel like that gets overlooked. I don't know that I've personally seen that kind of attitude from New Yorkers, but it does feel like it's generally treated as not a thing. But it was! A number of kids at my school had parents who worked at the Pentagon, and were sobbing because they couldn't reach them -- nobody could reach their parents, because the phones were messed up for hours. And remember, we didn't know how many attacks there were going to be, or what was going on. A lot of kids had parents who worked for the government in DC and elsewhere, and none of us had a clue if any of their workplaces would be targeted, too. School let out early, and I remember fighter jets flying overhead as I walked home from the bus. It was terrifying.

Plus, then, the aftermath. The people who lost family members. The ongoing cleanup. The smoke. It was absolutely horrible, and to some extent it does feel like the Pentagon attack has been forgotten.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:12 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


All of your stories are really powerful, and this thread has reminded me of a great many things I'd forgotten (the aqua teen bombs! the reason Dan Rather isn't a reporter anymore!)

But the thing that always sticks with me more than anything else was GWB calmly reading "My Pet Goat" to a room full of schoolchildren while he was informed of the attacks.

That shit chills me to this day.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 4:20 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I vividly remember reading the webcomic “Get Your War On” by David Rees, in the months after the attack, starting in October 2001. I’ve been rereading a print copy now and I can almost remember where I was when I saw some of the strips for the first time. It chronicles quite a bit of crazy stuff already mentioned. I haven’t seen it referenced much these days, but to me it was the best thing on the internet at that time. I wasn’t very political then and had pretty mainstream opinions. Reading GYWO was a real turning point for me as far as losing all faith in mainstream media (including the NYT) and elected officials of both parties. Some people will now say that it wasn’t clear back then that the Iraq War would be such a disaster, but it just isn’t true. The whole humor of that comic is based on the fact that it was completely obvious it would all be a corrupt and deadly shitshow, a humanitarian disaster right from the start. I remember feeling like I was going crazy during the run-up to the Iraq invasion: all these elected officials, well-respected journalists, and even smart people on the internet (on blogs that existed then, like Crooked Timber) were actually seriously discussing this war as a thing that it might be good to do, and something that could have some positive effect. At times it seemed like only GYWO was sane (I wasn't aware of the existence of much 'left' media then). Never let anyone tell you that our political class or our mainstream media was more sane back then.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 4:24 PM on September 11 [22 favorites]


Also I'd like to add that however tinfoil-hatty it may sound now, in the aftermath of all this, the book Crossing the Rubicon genuinely changed the lives of a lot of people I knew at the time.

And hey, I just discovered you can download a PDF of it from the CIA's website!
posted by SystematicAbuse at 4:30 PM on September 11


demonic winged headgear, thanks for that, I'd somehow completely forgotten about Get Your War On, and it was something that I was a regular reader of. One thing that sort of helped me is that I was (and still am) out of the country for 9/11, and while I still remember my initial reaction (and it is a painful, intense memory), watching how quickly things went from Nous Sommes Americans to Let's Roll was sickening, but all so very clearly obvious.

Scrolling down the list of songs on the Clear Channel memo, one entry made me sort of snort laugh at the obviousness of it:

Rage Against the Machine ----- All songs
posted by Ghidorah at 4:34 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Ah, also the proto-meme of photoshopping the (hoaxed) 9/11 tourist guy into a variety of absurd backgrounds and situations.
posted by jquinby at 4:37 PM on September 11


Since it was 15 years ago, there are a few words I wish I’d written differently, but this still basically captures my thoughts: https://ickster.livejournal.com/2481.html
posted by Ickster at 4:43 PM on September 11


My relationship with the blue is entwined with 9/11 - that first thread haunts me to this day.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:43 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


We Are All Americans, Le Monde, September 12, 2001

Freedom Fries, February 2003
posted by kirkaracha at 5:12 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


that first thread haunts me to this day

Yes, I'd been lurking occasionally for more than a year but 9/11 is when I first began really appreciating Metafilter. It's been helping me think through stuff ever since.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:17 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


demonic winged headgear, that book still has a prominent place on my shelf.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:18 PM on September 11


demonic winged headgear, you are spot on. It was patently obvious that the Iraq War was a fraud and was going to fail. The band I was in at the time was called Hans Blix & the Inspectors, in a kind of nod to that idea. Anyone paying attention knew that Iraq was a fraudulent war and was going to be a total shit show, just like so much else post-9/11. Most pathetically blatant despite-the-facts march to war in my lifetime, aided and abetted with gusto and glee by the 4th estate.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:36 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


But the thing that always sticks with me more than anything else was GWB calmly reading "My Pet Goat" to a room full of schoolchildren while he was informed of the attacks.

Get Your War On:
--Wait, hold up. Just how interesting could that children's book have been? What would it have taken to get Bush to put the fucking book down immediately that morning? Maybe if someone fucking flew the World Trade Center into the Pentagon? Would that have been serious enough???
They already knew about the first plane and he was being told about the second attack.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:37 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I first read about the 9/11 attacks on Slashdot, of all places.

I heard about it on the Fucked Company message boards.
posted by thelonius at 5:56 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I don't know that I've personally seen that kind of attitude from New Yorkers

Yeah, I feel I should emphasize that it's some New Yorkers. I've had two or three friends who lived in New York in 2001 express something like what automocar expressed above. And I get it; the rest of the country was really quick to appropriate New York's tragedy while writing off the feelings and perspectives of actual New Yorkers, exactly as EmpressCallipygos described above. But I think the effects of the Pentagon attack on the civilian population in the DC area have been so eclipsed by the much larger effects on New York that a lot of people almost forget about DC entirely. And while I would never argue that the DC area was affected in anything like the same way that New York was, those effects were nevertheless real and affected my community in real ways. And while New York's suffering was appropriated to serve jingoist warmongering, DC's suffering was practically forgotten entirely.

So anyway, I don't blame automocar or anyone else for feeling that way. As I said, it just stings, and sort of feels like our experiences are getting lumped in with the appropriators. This is not intended as a criticism, it's just a feeling I have.
posted by biogeo at 6:05 PM on September 11


You didn't have to live in New York to be affected by what happened there, even if not as much as the residents. I had very close friends that lived in Park Slope that I visited for years (they moved a few years before the attacks). I had an ex-girlfriend that lived in Murray Hill. A few weeks before the attacks I flew the same Newark-to-San Francisco flight as one of the hijacked planes.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:22 PM on September 11


The strange thing is that here we are, almost two decades later and every year people keep obsessively pick, pick, picking at that scab like it is some sacred memento. 3000 Americans died one day in New York. More than 3000 Americans died one day in Puerto Rico. 1500 Americans died over night in New Orleans. We don't turn those into an annual event.

Republicans have weaponized 9/11 and Democrats have played right along. It's time to stop.
posted by JackFlash at 6:29 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


The strange thing is that here we are, almost two decades later and every year people keep obsessively pick, pick, picking at that scab like it is some sacred memento.

It was one of the worst days of my life and it profoundly affected people very close to me. I've told this story before, but as much as I remember the terror of the day itself, I also remember seeing my dad obsessively watching the news for months to see if anyone else he knew had been added to the list of the dead. It sucks that this event has been so cynically used as a political tool, but don't act like we have no real reason to keep caring about it. Your comment comes across as incredibly callous and insensitive.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:58 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I lived on 14th street at the time, so I have a ton of memories. I remember businessmen walking up from the area covered in white dust, shell shocked, not really knowing where they were. I remember walking by a fire station and one of the guys saying to his chief that all the rubble would never be cleared out. But most of all, when I think about New Yorkers on that day, I think about how they just never stopped going on with their lives. Nothing was going to stop that city from moving on, and if 9/11 didn't nothing will.

Also, there was a ton of goodwill, people helping one another, stores handing stuff out for free, etc. But what was most impressive about it was how automatic it was. It was just time to help out and people did so and that was that.
posted by xammerboy at 7:10 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


report suspicious activities.

we were not all united
not for a moment
but perhaps in inchoate fear.

the smoke from the pentagon was visible on the drive home from civ pro class as they closed the school.
the skies were silent, empty. all traffic flowed meek from the city.
hugged a weeping stranger in an elevator. wept.

the weed was a greater balm that week,
the sex sated more in great fatalistic abandon.

i said in megathread several of my dearest most open & inspiring friends, in _the_city_, became incorrigible ‘phobes that day.

“intelligence failure”
“connect the dots”
“total information awareness”

i remember a time when donald sutherland’s pro-torture propagandist son was just an actor.

i have been “randomly selected” by “the computer” for additional scrutiny each time i have flown since.

remember when donald rumsfeld announced opening an office of disinformation to seed strategic lies into media whose only overt act was to declare itself contrary to american values in announcing its own closure?
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:13 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Hurricane Katrina, the author of the linked thread in the FPP also has a very interesting thread discussing the "animals" narrative around refugees from Katrina. No discussion of the insanity of the Bush 43 presidency 2001-2006 would be complete without discussing that miserable failure of leadership and basic governance.
posted by biogeo at 7:19 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Heckuva job, Brownie. God, I remember seeing an ad on a bus in late 2005 that was something like "when you need protection against terrorist attacks and natural disasters, choose [Private Security Company]." I couldn't take a picture because this was before the age of smartphones (and before I even had a cell phone, period), but I remember thinking "huh, this really sums up the current state of things."

And like... I don't want to sound like I'm minimizing how horrible Katrina was. It was so messed up, and we even got a movie about the sniper who was said to have shot "looters" from a rooftop. I just think there's a way to make a point about why one tragedy becomes a National Tragedy and the other is played as "animal" violence without knocking the people who still care about the former.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:27 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Barbara Lee speaks for me.
posted by kendrak at 8:29 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Heckuva job, Drownie.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:17 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


9/11, evening, colorado, all air traffic grounded. But, there's a contrail way, way up there. Saudis fleeing.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:32 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The only person I could reach on the day was my dad, who's cell was for some reason working, despite the fact that he was staying at a hotel across the street from the burning Pentagon. He rounded up three other west-coasters and rented a car to get back to California. I had already moved abroad on 9/11 and could experience with shock each fresh incarnation of the descent into craziness on my visits home. When I flew back to help my mom sell the house in the spring of 2003 we were going to have an open house on Saint Patrick's day, so I scurried off to get some green helium balloons for the sign. Alas, the store only had red, white and blue. Presenting them to my mom, I whispered that, just between the two of us, they were actually bleu, blanc et rouge.
posted by St. Oops at 10:18 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


No mention of flying pallets of cash to Iraq, and then misplacing them?
posted by pompomtom at 10:46 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I was viscerally reminded of the insanity of the Bush years when I read Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping by Patrick Radden Keefe just last week, which was published in 2005. It's much more interesting as an artifact of the post-9/11 pre-Snowden years, especially in how it tends to look down on "paranoid" and "conspiracy theorist" privacy advocates.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 10:59 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]



My boyfriend at the time called and woke me. He was driving over the Williamsburg bridge and could see that the WTC was on fire. I turned on NY1, our local 24 hour news channel, and there was nothing at all about it yet so I pulled on pants and grabbed the dog and went outside to look.

We were standing on the street corner watching tower one burn, talking about how they were gonna put out a fire that high up and whether the plane hit on purpose or not when a fireball engulfed the top of tower two (we were watching from the east side so couldn't see the plane approach from the west).

The woman on the phone next to me got word that it was another plane that hit and she started screaming "terrorista! terrorista!" I remember being shocked that I literally just watched hundreds of people die. I remember thinking then that we were going to go into some country somewhere and kill a lot of innocent people in revenge.

I remember how bizarre it was after tower two fell and just tower one was standing. After all the years of having the twin towers in the background, just there hanging out nonchalantly in your peripheral view, having just one tower in the skyline just felt weird and odd and not right. And then that one was gone, too.

We opened up our bar on the lower east side early because people covered in dust started wandering through the neighborhood, apparently lost on their way to get to one of the east side bridges as one of the only ways to get out of Manhattan. We had a working phone on offer (which was one of the issues that morning, lack of cell service and working phones), and water and supplies if they wanted to at least wash their faces. There was one head to toe dust covered guy sitting at the bar for hours after. Just sitting there.

On the news they were showing all the ambulances and emergency crews waiting on the West Side Highway for the injured people that never came. You were either alive and mostly fine or dead.

There was the smell that seemed to last for months, NYC locals, is that my imagination? Was it weeks or months that the smell lasted? I also seem to remember the plume of smoke overhead lasting for weeks, but again, not sure if it was really that long. I moved the african gray parrot that I was babysitting into the innermost room that I had in my apartment, worried about the toxic fumes affecting it's little lungs.

Everyone wanted to go down to the pile to volunteer. It was just the thing you did. If I recall correctly, they were turning people away and started putting word out on the media to not go there.

I remember the tanks lined up on Delancey street one morning (or was it Houston? I knew I should've written some of this stuff down) and the fighter planes overhead as I took my dog for a walk. I also remember early one morning bringing my dog into the East River Park via the Delancey street entrance, exiting on the Houston street entrance and being told that I couldn't turn down my street to get home because it was the restricted zone and I didn't bring my ID. So i just went back into the park and easily went out the way I came in a few blocks away. I didn't have the label for it at the time, but that was likely my first run in with Security Theater...

The thing that affected me most at the time was the thousands and thousands of missing persons flyers taped up everywhere. The loss, hope, and mourning each one represented was heartbreaking. Just as heartbreaking when they started disappearing.

The attacks achieved their objective. We're not the country we were prior, so many of our rights eroded or erased under the guise of security, so much devisiveness. Seeing an american flag aloft on a house or a patriotic bumper sticker on a car prior to 9/11 barely went noticed by me. It's sad that the primary emotion I feel when seeing those things now is disgust at what they represent.
posted by newpotato at 3:51 AM on September 12 [12 favorites]


There was the smell that seemed to last for months, NYC locals, is that my imagination? Was it weeks or months that the smell lasted? I also seem to remember the plume of smoke overhead lasting for weeks, but again, not sure if it was really that long.

I lived in the Lower East Side at the time as well. The smell and the smoke did indeed last that long.

(I lived close enough that I heard the impact of both planes as they hit.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:58 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


There was also the Terri Schiavo case, which was the final straw for a few former republican voters I knew.

Also the final straw for me, a former Christian.
posted by booth at 5:55 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia's casualties of the September 11 attacks article says the 2,977 people that were killed makes the attacks "the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."

3,155 Americans and 3,903 Confederates were killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 AM on September 12


No mention of flying pallets of cash to Iraq, and then misplacing them?

If we're talking about Iraq War self-inflicted wounds, I'd call breaking into the IAEA bunkers full of Saddam's nasty shit everyone knew about looking for the claimed worse shit they were just so sure he had and then leaving them unsecured when they didn't find what they were looking for cost thousands of lives one of the worst. The legacy of this stupidity still haunts us to this day. There's a whole lot of shit still being blown up with bombs made from the stuff looted from those bunkers.

Hell, there is a good chance that much of the instability in Iraq and further afield in the region only happened because of the ready availability of the vast amount of weapons and explosives that were promptly stolen by parties known and unknown because even our military apparently has ADHD now and promptly forgot all about the stuff until they were reminded by way of explosively liberated body parts strewn across the landscape, by which time it was far too late.

People remember, mostly, the bad outcome, but they mostly never really understood and mostly don't remember the sheer incompetence in planning and execution that made it nearly inevitable. Or the rank denial of reality that only compounded the original mistake.

People were literally pointing this out in near real time in the media, but nobody could be bothered to do anything because we were supposed to be greeted as liberators with flowers and hugs. They had a month or more to do something before looters started showing up, but nobody would. Gotta keep searching for the nukes or at least poison gas or something we just know is there, they said.
posted by wierdo at 6:49 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: ...is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: ...We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:56 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Throughout the US, it felt like any place that could be a target was swiftly evacuated and closed.

In downtown Chicago, concrete barriers went up around the Sears Tower the week after. I'm not sure if there was armed security, police, or Illinois national guardsmen there.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:08 AM on September 12


Seems surreal to think that a few weeks later, the iPod debuted.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on September 12


I live in a town west of Seattle with a Naval Shipyard in town, and a submarine base (Naval Undersea Warfare Center, to be precise) nearby. On The Day, things were so quiet - but utterly bristling with weaponry and barely suppressed rage. Our waterways had strategically placed fast attack ships everywhere, and who knows where the subs were. It was so weird. I remember thinking that Everything Changed that day - and it did.
posted by dbmcd at 7:16 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


No mention of flying pallets of cash to Iraq, and then misplacing them?

The thread mentions several of them going missing, yes.

Also the guy in charge of getting the Iraqi economy back on track going full market fundamentalist and charging people for water or passing out money in the form of pre-filled debit cards that couldn’t work cause like 90% of the phone and internet infrastructure was down.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Props for the Clue reference in the post title.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:58 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


On the day of the attack, I found a great deal of comfort in a radio program I'd never listened to before. I was at work, the internet was terribly slow and the TV news in the break room was just alarming. So I went for a walk at lunch, dialed around on my portable radio until I found a talk station and I was somewhat relieved to hear the host saying reassuring things about how the president, the Secretary of Defense, et al had everything under control. I don't remember what all exactly he said, but it was reassuring, sounded level-headed and he seemed pretty sure of himself.

That man was Rush Limbaugh. HAHAHAHAHAHA please don't take away my liberal card.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:06 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


After 9/11 Fox News took off.

Bush may have been in power, but before 9/11 the U.S. was on an upward trajectory that many predicted would never end. The economy had skyrocketed. We had a surplus. We toppled regimes. All of that was what was meant by the "end of history". After, the country changed immediately for the worse. Its character changed. It never really came back fully.
posted by xammerboy at 10:43 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


It wasn't all bread and roses, but it did seem like the problems were at least tractable. Recall that Bush ran on being less of a dick to poor and brown people than Newt Gingrich, distancing himself from the Limbaugh wing. Needless to say, it was not as described. The Brooks Brothers riot and the US Supreme Court taking the unusual measure of telling a state Supreme Court what its Constitution means should have given pause to even the most optimistic, but was rationalized away by most.
posted by wierdo at 12:53 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


It was my sophomore year of high school. We had marching band practice on the field that morning so none of us knew anything had happened until we came back into the school for our next classes. I remember people around me freaking out that we were going to war and I said (because I was a bit of a dick) why are you freaking out? there's nothing you can do about it so why is everyone freaking out. What was really frustrating was that my next class was second period and by this time it was about halfway between the collapse of each tower but by that point the teacher wanted everyone to pay attention in class so I still had no idea what was going on.

Also, I guess because I was 15 and didn't know how to process everything, I wrote my at-the-time boyfriend (who later turned out to be gay) a like 3 page long love letter. He broke up with me (very kindly!) after he read it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:12 AM on September 13


For a moment, at least, it seemed like we were all on the same side.

Two days after the attacks, I went to the mosque that was in my neighborhood to leave them a note of support. As i stood there on the sidewalk writing it, a dude came up to me, nodded towards the mosque and sneered "so this is where the snake pit is, huh?"

I can honestly say that I have never before in my life, and never since, been as angry at another human being as I was at that man, and he got both barrels when I answered. I shouted and ranted at him so much that he ran away from me, and two dudes from the mosque came out to find out what the hell was going on, only to see a frizzy-haired scruffy thirty-something chick in jean shorts chasing after a schlubby dudebro and screaming like she was a Valkyrie. (....I came back to explain myself. they were grateful. And the conversation I had with one of them afterward is one of the top ten best conversations I've ever had in my life.)

We were never all on the same side. The Islamophobia started almost immediately, and it only took a couple days for those of us opposed to the Islamophobia to also be targeted.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:02 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


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