From: Some Dumbass <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2003
This is long and rambling and filled with stuff you
don't care about,
but I'll get to the point (sort of) eventually. Feel free to ignore
this post NOW.
Today, I went to see the Smithsonian's traveling September
(http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/6754138.htm). This marks the second
time that the events of September 11, 2001 have completely convinced
me, at least momentarily, that I had finally snapped and was quite
literally no longer in touch with reality.
The first time was at approximately 9:00 CST on 9-11-01.
and fall were not kind to me at all, and I had been experiencing MAJOR
stress at home and at work. I'd been having panic attacks and
developed near-crippling anxiety and depression.
I had been listening to the local news radio station
on the way into
work, and it was just another boring day. I got to work at 8:00 and
stood around outside smoking a cigarette and chatting with some
co-workers before going in (my shift started at 8:30). Once inside, a
co-worker told me that he had just heard from his wife, an American
Airlines employee, that a plane had hit one of the buildings in the
World Trade Center complex. At first I thought he was wrong, because
after all, I'd just been listening to the news 10 minutes ago and
hadn't heard anything... He had the radio tuned to the same station I
had been listening to on the way in. His mood matched my reaction: I
wasn't especially shocked. I assumed a relatively minor accident
involving small Cessna -type plane... pilot has a heart attack, or
pulls some jackass stunt that goes wrong. I fully expected to see
news footage later that day of the ass-end of a small plane hanging
out of one of the windows.
Then there was a second plane. A jetliner. Then we
learned that the
FBI had reports of multiple, simultaneous hijackings of commercial
airliners. Reports of people jumping out of the WTC towers by the
dozens. Then the friggin buildings came down. Then there was a
report of an "explosion" at the Pentagon. There were also reports of
a car bomb at the State house, and another report of a bomb at the
capitol building. The government grounded all flights. I worked
only a few miles from the 3rd busiest airport in the world, and the
complete lack of aircraft noise was extremely creepy. During the
course of the morning, it was also reported that there were additional
international US-bound flights which were unaccounted for. Local
government buildings were being evacuated. Lots of these reports
later turned out to be false, but on that day suspension of disbelief
was very easy, and nothing seemed impossible. This was a nutcase Tom
Clancy conspiracy theory come to life.
Needless to say, I was completely freaked out. I fully
full-scale military invasion by some unknown entity. I would not have
been shocked at all if the next report had been of mushroom clouds
over Los Angeles.
I was doubly freaked out, because I worked with a bunch
IDIOTS. I'm in a total freak-out, and everyone around me was reacting
as though they'd just heard that Brad Pitt had stubbed his toe.
Somehow, everyone else seemed to think it was no big deal. I became
alarmed by their lack of what I considered to be an appropriate
reaction to these horrifically surreal events. It must have meant
that I was reacting inappropriately. Because it all seemed so
impossibly unreal, and because everyone else at my workplace seemed to
be completely nonchalant about the whole affair, it slowly started to
occur to me that maybe it WAS just a Cessna, and I had completely
imagined the rest of the news reports. Maybe none of it had happened
at all. After all, I hadn't really been feeling like myself lately;
maybe I had finally lost it, and this was my first genuine psychotic
Eventually, I calmed down somewhat, but to this day
I cannot go into
a high-rise building without imagining what it must be like to have to
choose between burning to death and jumping out the window. I can't
stop myself imagining what it must be like to consciously decide to
jump from the 103rd floor and fall several long seconds to certain
obliteration. I remembered times when I fell onto icy sidewalks and
hurt my knees and elbows. I wondered if the jumpers' last
microseconds were filled with terror and agony before "lights out".
I have never been comfortable with flying, but now I think it would be
pretty much impossible to get me on a plane for any reason. For
months I couldn't stop thinking about the horrors that must have been
experienced by the people on board the planes, and the people who had
to jump. Still, there's some part of my mind that refuses to believe
that any of it was real.
Fast forward to today. I go to the Fort Wort Museum
of Science &
Industry, knowing that I'm going to see artifacts from that day. It
seems to be specifically tailored to my neuroses... a display of
things guaranteed to freak me outl. There's a video camera that
Gedeon and Jules Naudet used to film the horrific events of the day.
The unblinking eye that saw it all. There's a mangled and crumpled
door from a NYC fire truck. A file cabinet reduced to an
unidentifiable ball of metal with pieces of file folders embedded in
it. Pieces from the fuselage of one of the planes, including part of
a window. Did some horrified passenger spend the last seconds of
their life looking out that window and seeing their fate approach them
at 600 miles per hour? The telephone on which Ted Olson received
calls from his wife who was on one of the hijacked planes, asking him
to tell her what she could do to stop it. Metal plates from the
World Trade Center building with the floor numbers on them and the
inscription, "In case of fire, do not use elevators, use stairs.'
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper staff had put
together a video
montage featuring local photos from the day. People in line at the
blood banks, others stocking up on gas. People at the airport in
tears. Then, photos from New York. This video was playing on
monitors in the area where you stood while waiting in line to enter
the actual exhibit.
There was no dialogue, only music.
I thought the music sounded familiar, and began listening
It was Frank Zappa.
I was watching scenes of horror, death, terror, and
dispair, and I was
hearing "Outrage at Valdez" and "Get Whitey" providing the sonic
When I was 12 years old, I heard Frank Zappa's music
for the first
time. It completely changed my perception of music from that point
forward. Frank's music became very personal to me. None of my
teenage friends could hear the beauty in "Moggio" or "Inca Roads" or
"G Spot Tornado". I had no contact with other FZ fans, and thus began
to feel like I knew the coolest secret in the world.
When I was 27 years old, a bunch of incomprehensible
3,000 people because an invisible man in the sky told them to. It
completely changed my perception of life on planet Earth from that
I sat and watched the credits for the video just to
make sure. Yep,
there it was, "Music by Frank Zappa, Outrage at Valdez and Get Whitey,
from The Yellow Shark, used with permission". For a few seconds, I
felt that same sense of unreality. What are the chances that all that
stuff from 9-11-01 REALLY happened, and that a couple of years later
someone in the town where I happen to live would happen to make a film
about it featuring the music of Frank Zappa? For a few painful
moments, I figured that I was right ALL ALONG... I had imagined the
entire 9-11 scenario, and now I was hallucinating myself at a museum
watching a photomontage with a Frank Zappa score.
It still doesn't seem real. I literally touched a piece
of one of the
WTC towers today, and it still doesnt seem real.
I felt a strange sort of gratitude that FZ music was
chosen for this
event. I was happy and proud that someone else had taken his music
seriously enough to use it for such a somber project. Ronald McDonald
of the neuveau abstruse, indeed.
It was then, of course, that I suddenly realized that
none of that
scene could possibly be real. I was standing in a museum in Fort
Worth, TX looking at the results of 4 simultanous airplane hijackings
that killed 3,000 people in less than 2 hours and permanently changed
the New York skyline? And I was hearing the music of Frank Zappa
setting the mood of the whole affair? YEAH RIGHT, BUDDY! GET THEE TO
A HOSPITAL! A brief moment of panic. Reassuring myself that it was
all real. I think. Maybe. Staring at a chunk of an American flag,
ripped and burned, recovered from a place called "Fresh Kills
It really happened, I'm not insane. It really happened,
insane. It really happened, I'm not insane. It really happened, I'm
not insane. It really happened, I'm not insane. It really happened,
I'm not insane. It really happened, I'm not insane. It really
happened, I'm not insane. It really happened, I'm not insane.
From: Thageus <thageusTRIANGLE@yahoo.com--REMOVEshape!!!!>
Some Dumbass wrote:
> I would not have been shocked at all if the next report had been of
> mushroom clouds over Los Angeles.
One can only dream.
...Arizona Bay, and all that...
Thageus the Triangular
From: "Citizensmurf" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some Dumbass wrote:
> I was doubly freaked out, because I worked with a bunch of COMPLETE
> IDIOTS. I'm in a total freak-out, and everyone around me was reacting
> as though they'd just heard that Brad Pitt had stubbed his toe.
> Somehow, everyone else seemed to think it was no big deal. I became
> alarmed by their lack of what I considered to be an appropriate
> reaction to these horrifically surreal events.
You mean the kind of reactions Americans had when their
atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Except some of them cheered the
deaths of the Japanese. Which was actually more like the cheering some
Muslims did when the towers went down. In both cases the innocent victims
happened to be citizens of a country who had enemies who took action. Using
the term terrorism makes people believe that these actions were unjustified
acts carried out by madmen. Which is how I view most of the political
actions taken by the U.S. (and reminds me of a childhood saying "You can
dish it out, but you can't take it.")
So what I saying is it's all a matter of perspective
and context (don't take
this as being an endorsement of the Globe and Mail). It's very convienient
for people to justify their own actions, and then condemn the actions of
others. For me the tragedy of Sept 11 is that a lot of people chose to
remain ignorant instead of educating themselves.
From: "Anachron" <Nospam@biteme.com>
Citizensmurf" <email@example.com> wrote:
>So what I saying is it's all a matter of perspective and context.
When W calls them "evil dooers" it really
drive me nuts, they call us "The
Great Satan." So what? It's all rhetoric.
This same guy who went AWOL from the guard also was eager to call them
Bill Maher lost his show in the end (I think) because
he said that you can
call them a lot of things but they are not cowards. To paraphrase he said:
Sitting 300 miles away and lobbing smart bombs at the enemy is more
"cowardly" than what they have done. ABC bought Politically Incorrect from
Comedy Central because they wanted his ratings but they are money whores for
dumping him for what I think is a trivial comment. ABC management can
rightly be called cowards.
If you have HBO he is back and nastier than ever on
Real Time - He actually
called the catholic priest "child fuckers" on air. Lay it on 'em Bill!
Here is at least one place in corporate America where free speech can take
place on TV.
We need to be honest about the Arab position. They
are not angry because
the "resent our freedom" - what a bunch of shit. Maybe we should discuss
how we supported the Shaw of Iran who was not all the different from Sadam.
The Saudi royal family are also our bitches and that is why 15 of the 19
attackers where Saudi nationals. We will never solve this unless we can be
honest about what is going on.
From: IMBJR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
email@example.com (IshGibber) wrote:
>Some Dumbass <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>How do you know that it happened? Were you there? Did you see it? The
>conspiracy could have made it all up in a studio. Hell, I'm not even
>sure that New York exists. I've never been there. Could just be a tool
>of the conspiracy.--
My wife claims she went to NY some years back.
Everytime NY is on TV she says, "Been there."
I say, "Where's you evidence?".
She says she has a number of restuarant menus to prove
it, but I tell
her that she could have had them printed anywhere.
From: Artemia Salina <email@example.com>
Some Dumbass wrote:
> Needless to say, I was completely freaked out. I fully expected a
> full-scale military invasion by some unknown entity. I would not have
> been shocked at all if the next report had been of mushroom clouds
> over Los Angeles.
> Because it all seemed so
> impossibly unreal, and because everyone else at my workplace seemed to
> be completely nonchalant about the whole affair, it slowly started to
> occur to me that maybe it WAS just a Cessna, and I had completely
> imagined the rest of the news reports. Maybe none of it had happened
> at all. After all, I hadn't really been feeling like myself lately;
> maybe I had finally lost it, and this was my first genuine psychotic
I'm sorry to say that it did indeed happen. You are
NOT insane. One
plane each into the World Trade Center towers, a plane into the
Pentagon building, the nuclear explosions in Los Angeles, the invasion
of Cleveland. Sadly, it's all true. I suppose that the invasion isn't
the type of thing that warrents a memorial; after all, for one thing
it was successfully repelled, and for another it was ONLY Cleveland.
But the nuclear attack on Los Angeles took quite a few civilian lives,
and so my guess is that once the radiation levels drop enough for
us to get back in there we'll be seeing news footage and memorial
tributes about it as well.
Original file name: Frank Zappa music fe#1916F3.txt - converted on Saturday, 25 September 2004, 02:05
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