"Everything was fine two hours ago and now nothing was fine and might not ever be."
September 11, 2006 12:00 AM   Subscribe

 
Jeff Deeney is a Philadelphia-based writer who was living and working in lower Manhattan on September
11th, 2001. He is currently seeking a publisher for
his book about the black market trade in the
pharmaceutical, OxyContin, titled, "Pill Hill."


Luckily, he isn't going to write a whole book about his 9/11 experience in the same wandering prose.

Enough already with the "rememberances". All it does is feed the tyrannical appetite of government.

Terrible events such as this should become diminutive with the passage of time, not enlarged out of proportion.

Looking at some statistics, in the 5 years since September 11, 2001 about 200.000 Americans have been killed in "homeland" automobile accidents, 100.000 from "homeland" flu, 65.000 killed by "homeland" murder, 450 killed by "homeland" lightning strikes - and exactly zero by homeland "terrorists."

Lowering the speed limit to 55 mph would do more to "save lives" and "protect Americans" than any "war on terror."
posted by three blind mice at 12:34 AM on September 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


It was a seismic metaphysical rumbling in my viscera, a total crumbling of sense and reason; the unveiling of the Heart of Darkness, after whose revelation surely nothing would ever be the same.

And at that moment, the second bad analogy struck the South Thesaurus with an earth-shattering cliche and my eyeballs literally froze in their sockets, beholding the sight of the horrific explosion of metaphors and similes and run-on sentences unfolding before me like a fiery origami bedspread of terror.

Good luck with the book, Jeff.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:37 AM on September 11, 2006 [14 favorites]


Wow, that was zero minutes before the first 911 post.

Here we go.

Another day of: Why the bombings mean we must support my politics
posted by sien at 12:44 AM on September 11, 2006


Am I a bad person if I say that I just don't care anymore?
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 1:03 AM on September 11, 2006


Here here, three blind mice.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:06 AM on September 11, 2006


Am I a bad person if I say that I just don't care anymore?

I guess I'm a bad person too. Poor bastards, they died for our country unwillingly but would they approve of what it's becoming in their names?
posted by IronLizard at 1:12 AM on September 11, 2006


Here is my Dada poem version of this story (done in the blind highlighting method)

Toward airborne woods
Barely deciding work
Rising momentarily
at dawn
hovered afraid
the Wall Street of land.

I feel that I too have a shot at writing ineloquent rants.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 1:17 AM on September 11, 2006


Here's some haiku, using phrases from Jeff's story:

All mouths hung open;
Cell phones flicked open and shut--
Awesome to behold.


Blew me off my feet--
Hands on my knees, to suck wind;
The Second Coming.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:33 AM on September 11, 2006


Let the spamination of 'remembrance' posts commencitate. You were all set and waiting to post this at 0.00, I see.

Since this is Metafilter, I feel free to get a bit of this off my chest.

I feel free to admit that I felt skeptical of the huge reaction from day one. I remember at the time having read about a recent flooding of the Yellow River in China killing some 100,000+ people, thinking of the wars that were going on at that exact moment -- not to mention that 'peace' rarely means there's no fighting -- and wondering why the entire world would express shock at this one event. How many people with brown skin, how many cities, tribes, races, need to have their tiny corner of the world destroyed, before the world is shocked to the extent it was when two American buildings were destroyed? I would suggest: grow up and accept that war exists, people die, and effects generally have causes, kthnx.

I love to remember the weeks after the event, reading the thousands of posts that expressed crude variations of "Osama bin Laden is going to die so incredibly fast." We're going on five years now ... the clock is still ticking.

Oh, but wait, I'm just an insensitive monster who "doesnt' care about those people who died". If you say so, it must be true :/ *owned*

Even though I'm not American, in my own way I mourn those who died that day -- as much as anyone can who only lived it through television and the internet. While the people in the towers that day could be innocents, the system that they, all of you, and myself as well, all participate in, is guilty, and we all have to accept responsibility for that.
posted by Riovanes at 1:44 AM on September 11, 2006


Like Riovanes, I'm not American, but that day is a part of me just as much as it is anyone.

I work now but I was still at University at the time it all happened. Infact, I had started studying there just that year. I was still very naive about how to be a 'proper' Uni student. By 'proper', I mean 'lazy'. I still had this notion that you had to really throw yourself into your studies, attend every class on time and, well, attend every class. Obviously as the years drew on I settled into a more 'normal routine but in 2001, that's how I was doing things.

I had gotten up at 6am that day so that I could go through my normal routine and so that I could make the 1 hour trip into University for an 8am lecture. After that I had lectures and tutes all day, up until 2.30pm, when my classes ended. I headed on home, almost falling asleep on the train. Indeed, I almost would have if the screaming horde of school children who were on the train with me hadn't been so loud and annoying. Upon arriving home, I studied for a few hours, surfed the net on my dial-up connection for a few hours more, had dinner, showered, and then settled in for some evening television and general relaxation.

My plan was to go to bed after The West Wing finished at 10:30pm. The truth is, I was having trouble staying awake even during what was, at the time, my favorite TV show. I can't remember what episode it was, but it was still back during Sorkin's time of writing the show, so it was an excellent one. But still, I was tired. I knew once I hit the hay I'd be fast asleep.

At around the 10pm mark, a news flash came on the air. I remember they didn't interrupt normal TV to bring us the news flash; it just came on as soon as TWW went on an ad-break. A plane had hit the World Trade Centre, apparently. The small amount of footage they showed us belied the emergency that was unfolding on the other side of the world. Afterwards, I went and told Mum and Dad (as I was still living with them at the time). "A plane just hit a building in New York" I told them. "Oh really?" they replied. "Which one?" I couldn't remember. I was that tired. Though in retrospect, it's interesting that not even the other channels had cut into regular broadcasting to tell them the news. "I'll check out the late news and let you know" I said.

It all just seemed like a horrible accident.

After The West Wing finished, the Late News came on. But by now, they had cottoned onto the fact that this was no accident; a second plane had hit the second tower. They cut to live coverage of the US media with cameras trained on the towers. It was clear this wasn't an accident. I decided, tired as I was, to stay up until at least 11pm to see what was going on. Then, I thought, I'll go to bed and catch up on this the next morning.

The news coverage cut to some US reporter sitting at a desk talking to some other dude. Then they quickly cut back to the towers. My mind examined the image on screen... something was wrong. What was that grey, cloud like stuff on the grou... HOLY FUCK THE TOWER COLLAPSED! And almost as soon as my exhausted mind had caught on, they replayed the tower collapsing, an important moment in time not played live because they had cut to some self-important reporter talking about what he thought was going on.

My first thought now was "Well great, now I have to stayup even later." And I did, staying up until 1am the next morning and watching in shock, horror and utter disbelief as the second tower collapsed and the world changed forever.

The next morning the news media had it all worked out. It was terrorism and Osama (or the interchangeable Usama) was responsible. He was part of some group called Al Qaeda. I'd never heard of them before but hey, who was I to argue? Like everyone else, I was just taking it all as it came. Cynicism was to set in much later.

That day I had a late start at Uni; 4pm was my first class. My trip into Uni was bizarre. Unlike the day before, the world seemed quiet. It was as if everyone everywhere was in shock. The engine in the bus was loud but inside, even the crowd of annoying school kids was quiet. The University campus was quiet, the in-class discussion of the tragedy was quiet. It was a surreal day.

The world has all but moved on and the ambient noise levels of the world have returned to pre-September 11 levels. The events and images of that day have been analysed and discussed and repeated ad-infinitum but the day's horror has not been dulled one iota. And every year on this day we're reminded by the inevitable TV special of just how awful and utterly tragic it all was. It's all redundant, of course. We all know that it happened and that it was awful and every time the networks drag out one of their special tribute shows on September 11 we're made to remember it all over again. It's not needed, dammit. We don't need to be made to remember it; we already all remember it. How could we ever possibly forget?

The events of that day are as clear to me now as if it were yesterday.

The day's images are seared into our retinas.

To the networks I say please, for the love of fuck, spare us your emotional 'tributes'. You don't need the ratings and the money that badly and we're all tired and exhausted from seeing it for the Nth time. We're only human.

And to the world; to my fellow humans may I say that I hope we, as a group of apes hurtling through space on this tiny blue rock, never have to suffer such an inhumanity again. The real tragedy is that we will. I said before that the world has moved on and it has; the lessons that day has taught us are forgotten, and we're doomed to keep repeating those mistakes again and again. We're repeating them right now. We don't seem to want to learn.

September 11 2001. The day that changed the world until, sadly, it changed right back again.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:04 AM on September 11, 2006


I thought it was so badly written because it was meant to be a parody of... something (maybe of Amis imitators?). But, reading the comments, it looks like I wasn't meant to be laughing. That's one of the worst pieces of writing I've ever read, and I keep a thought-upon-waking journal.
posted by bunglin jones at 2:20 AM on September 11, 2006


Hit a dog and it will only bit you back harder!. stop hiting iraq and maybe the hurting would heal!
posted by matteh at 2:51 AM on September 11, 2006 [3 favorites]




prior comment flagged.
posted by pruner at 3:30 AM on September 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Lame in at least 3 dimensions:

-trying to be cool by posting first
-posting a crap story
-not giving any indication on the frontpage pullquote or the post title as to what the link is about
posted by peacay at 3:46 AM on September 11, 2006


ack. thpt.
posted by quonsar at 4:24 AM on September 11, 2006


ack. thps.
posted by tellurian at 4:45 AM on September 11, 2006


What peacay said. Bad show, Blazecock Pileon.
posted by languagehat at 5:40 AM on September 11, 2006


Sept. 11 is so emo.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:42 AM on September 11, 2006


Despite some flaws I kind of liked that piece.
nice post
posted by caddis at 6:44 AM on September 11, 2006


Enough already with the "rememberances". All it does is feed the tyrannical appetite of government.

Right. On.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 AM on September 11, 2006


I live in a port town. Every morning I literally drive through the middle of one terminal, through a tunnel, and on to my office about a mile from another major terminal.

It irks me to no end to know that we are wasting lives and money in Iraq when port security has essentially been ignored. When I hear Dumbya prattling on and on about how "America is safer" while I drive right next to thousands of unexamined cargo containers I want to smack somebody.

If these guys were really serious about protecting American citizens instead of blindly following their neocon manifesto of world hegemony, they would be spending money closer to home. Make no mistake - this administration is as fanatical as our opposition. It's past time to call them on it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:56 AM on September 11, 2006


Shall we have a . for every atrocity that has occurred in recent years or only those in the western world?
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:08 AM on September 11, 2006


If anybody had any sense at all, they would take all the DEA agents and set them to watching those containers.
posted by cookie-k at 7:09 AM on September 11, 2006


I was a victim of a subway gas attack this morning. The guy next to me farted.
posted by fungible at 7:33 AM on September 11, 2006


i wish 9/11 never happened.
posted by obeygiant at 10:15 AM on September 11, 2006


obeygiant writes "i wish 9/11 never happened."

MetaFilter would definitely be much more pleasant.
posted by Bugbread at 10:26 AM on September 11, 2006


On the one hand, that article sucked big-time. On the other hand, I just know that if some Mefite had written it here in the comment everyone would be OMGZ GREAT COMMENT IM SO TOUCHED YOUR A BRILLIANT WRITER!!!11
posted by reklaw at 11:51 AM on September 11, 2006


It was a seismic metaphysical rumbling in my viscera

I get that whenever I eat a whole salami.
posted by Sparx at 2:05 PM on September 11, 2006


A curious moment hung as I debated with myself over whether or not I had ever heard a plane passing over Manhattan while I stopped to wait at a red light. Can planes pass over Manhattan? Isn't there some kind of law against that?

WTF?! Until 9/11/01, was there ever a time when you couldn't hear an airplane over Manhattan? Or more like 5? This man's memory is as pathetic as his writing. Isn't there some kind of law against this?
posted by headless at 2:19 PM on September 11, 2006


WTF?! Until 9/11/01, was there ever a time when you couldn't hear an airplane over Manhattan? Or more like 5? This man's memory is as pathetic as his writing. Isn't there some kind of law against this?
posted by headless at 2:19 PM PST on September 11 [+] [!]


First they came for the lousy writers, but I said nothing because I considered myself an above-average user of language in its written form, especially among the subset of writers whose words ring in the ear like sheet metal being shorn with a jigsaw ...
posted by diddlegnome at 3:25 PM on September 11, 2006


Planes don't usually fly right over avenues--they're directed over the rivers on either side. Flight paths go up the Hudson and over Queens, but not over Manhattan.

It's the smell and taste of the air, and all those flyers for missing people that will stay with me til i die.

...As we know now, while most of the country went to bed in, to say the least, a somber mood, ol' Dubya & Lump were having a good giggle on the graves of 3,000 of their employers.
The Bush folks have political skill at manipulation, but they have no appropriate policies for this time in history at all. They did not choose to be uniters, but rather they choose to be exploiters. I'm in my early 40s and people my age will be paying for these things the rest of our lives.

posted by amberglow at 3:37 PM on September 11, 2006


Poor bastards, they died for our country unwillingly but would they approve of what it's becoming in their names?

That's what compounds these incidents and make them such a horrible ongoing tragedy--that we continue to invade and kill and lie and torture based on the events of that day.
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on September 11, 2006


To paraphrase George Orwell: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a shoe stamping on a symbol of freedom - forever."
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on September 11, 2006


Yup. It's a queer day. Again.
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on September 11, 2006


The just-fired Alterman: This nation was doubly cursed on this day five years ago;...
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on September 11, 2006


... And we have had the curious spectacle for five years of Bush reminding everyone of 9/11 every time he opens his smirking maw, while at the same time remarking that he's not all that bothered about the location of those alleged to have planned, funded and ordered the attacks. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on September 11, 2006


It's the smell and taste of the air, and all those flyers for missing people that will stay with me til i die.

Me too. Thanks for all the added value you've provided, amberglow; you've pretty much singlehandedly redeemed this thread. That "queer day" link was excellent—I just sent it to my brother. I didn't think this anniversary would hit me so hard.
posted by languagehat at 5:33 PM on September 11, 2006




more on the air:
The Dust At Ground Zero

posted by amberglow at 8:56 PM on September 11, 2006


you've pretty much singlehandedly redeemed this thread

So nice of you to contribute snide, rude, condescending remarks (once again).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 PM on September 11, 2006


metafilter: snide, rude, condescending remarks (once again).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:33 AM on September 12, 2006


Wow, only on MetaFilter can you get called snide, rude, and condescending for thanking somebody!
posted by languagehat at 10:39 AM on September 12, 2006


Wow, only on MetaFilter can you get called snide, rude, and condescending for thanking somebody!

I think Blazecock was referring to the way your compliment pretty squarely dissed everybody else, languagehat. Nit that I'm, er, taking sides either way, you understand...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:43 PM on September 12, 2006


from Culture Kitchen-- "are they coming back?"
posted by amberglow at 4:06 PM on September 12, 2006


I think Blazecock didn't like the fact I didn't think his post was very good.
posted by languagehat at 4:57 PM on September 12, 2006


I'd just like to take a moment to thank the developers of Mondo Meta and Greasemonkey for making this site slightly less snide and that much more enjoyable.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:52 PM on September 12, 2006



posted by matteh at 8:01 AM on September 14, 2006


It's working already! :)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:43 AM on September 14, 2006


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