Monday, May 2, 2011

An eye for 2,973 eyes

People don't have crystal-clear memories, I've learned in my Behavioral Perspectives course. We tell and re-tell stories and lose details over time, and eventually our version of the truth is an unintentionally warped collection of details we think we remember.

So it goes with "Where were you on 9/11?" I was in St. Louis, with my boyfriend at the time, Brad. I had graduated from UNC the May prior and had spent the summer editing copy for the Columbus Dispatch. I was taking about a month to unwind in St. Louis, my home town. Brad had been visiting for a few days and was supposed to fly back to Omaha on Sept. 11 (a Tuesday). One of his friends called to tell him to turn on the TV, and so we did, and we watched things unfold from there. I don't remember too much else that day. We went to a seafood restaurant for a late lunch at some point, and my friend Jenny came over and we watched TV for a while. Later in the week, maybe the next day even, Brad rented a car and drove back to Omaha.

Now I may also remember where I was on May 1, 2011, as the news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I was here on the couch taking care of some school-related things on my laptop, when my roommate, stationed in the dining room, shouted that bin Laden had been killed. I think her mom had called to tell her. From there we were scanning the web, although the main story on wouldn't even open (due to immense traffic, I assume). We opened links on and to a live stream from the White House, where Obama was scheduled to make an address. We don't have cable. The speech was little awkward. Obama was at a podium (or lectern), in front of microphones, but he wasn't making eye contact with the camera, and there was no audience, so it wasn't clear who he was talking to. It was a sort of off-putting way to deliver the news. Just earlier this week he made headlines by being rather funny at the White House Correspondents Dinner, in the wake of producing his long-form birth certificate. This was an interesting contrast.

So that's where I was, and now I've recorded it to help assist my future self that will twist and delete the details. I have to admit, part of me isn't totally gung-ho to see photos of people dancing in the streets shouting "USA!" after we've killed someone. Not that bin Laden wasn't an SOB, but might we be inciting anger in the Muslim world by reacting this way? Perhaps some decorum is in order?

Maybe I'm just no fun.

Or maybe I'm selfishly thinking about the Manhattan high-rise I'm moving into later this month.

1 comment:

  1. I remember waking up to your voice on the answering machine telling me to turn on the news...and more recently, Chris waking me up and telling me, "Do you want to hear some news?"