The Amish, Imagery, and 9/11

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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35 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    I learned of the attack with an ominous sense of unease. My lab partner wasn’t in class. I would later learn that all other classes had been canceled that day (and had my teacher read his e-mail, it would undoubtedly have been canceled too).

    I would also later learn that my lab partner had stolen a ride on top of the last train heading into downtown (and nearly gotten shot by a cop getting off. cops tend to not like people parachuting directly beside them, under the best of circumstances).

    I learned of it, and mostly shrugged. Another attack, more people dead. Life goes on. I open my mental book, and check my list — do I know anyone? No, I don’t think so. Life goes on.

    My relatives took it rather well, considering they were under quarantine for the day. That was the one day I could see them, and it was cancelled. But life goes on.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    A little dust in here, it seems.Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley says:

    A couple of years after 9/11 I spend a few weeks in the summer at Georgetown U.  I remember sitting on the balcony of my dorm, right beside the Potomac, and realizing that the Potomac itself was the flight path for the Washington National Airport, and being astounded at just how low the planes were as they passed by GU.  And I wondered if, after National re-opened, the folks at GU lived in a state of perpetual PTSD as low-flying jets zoomed past them.Report

    • From my perspective on the other bank of the river, my nerves definitely would get frayed whenever a plane sounded like it was coming in a bit closer than usual.  Planes that sounded a little less loud were never a big problem for me, though; in fact, when National first reopened, those more normal sounding flights were almost a relief to hear because they symbolized a modest return to normalcy.Report

      • I noticed while I was there that certain weather conditions (presumably wind direction), sometimes caused planes to shift away from the river and come more directly over GU.  I can see those being especially disturbing at first.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Great stuff Mark.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Not sure, but I thought Blaise lives in Illinois.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Michael Drew says:

      Blaise moves around a bit I gather.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to North says:

        If he moved to Wisconsin at some point, more credit to him…Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I currently live here.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Wow.  That is very, very specific.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Yeesh I’m just next door in Minneapolis Blaise.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Wow indeed. I lived in Madison until August, but currently live in St. Paul. North, Blaise, and I could have a mini-Leaguefest of our ownup here in Hudson or River Falls or something, like, tonight if we wanted. We could call it Leaguefest 2012 [With] North.Report

            • So let’s board the dogs lock the door
              We’ll roll down Interstate 94
              Be the best week of our lives I can tell
              We’ll take our dream vacation in the DellsReport

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to James Hanley says:

                There you go.  Any time – I’m in.Report

              • I might even be able to make that one.  Any chance of holding it in Ely?  Or better yet, getting a permit, renting some canoes in Ely, and having a League canoe trip in the Boundary Waters?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                Been meaning to get up to Ely for some while now, wolves and all.

                A few images of where I liveReport

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                Ugh.  Post failed hideously.   Let’s try this linkReport

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                And a few more of the area, for good measure.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to BlaiseP says:

                My kind of place (minus the Ren Fair 😉 ).  Good choice of locale.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Wrote this soon after I’d gone to the fair:

                Last year, C missed the Renaissance Fair because I flew her down to Arizona to take her up to Sedona. At the end of a long suburban road, fair maidens and doughty lads are wearing splendid finery, all a-sporting and carrying on most medieval-like.

                The actual Renaissance was a spotty thing, appearing only in a few cities and within the courts and universities. All around, the Dark Ages would continue as they had for centuries. The darkness would continue well into the 20th century, until Czar Nicholas II would finally free his serfs, too late to save his empire. Yet the Renaissance lives on in the hearts of nostalgic tourists and dreamers, not as it truly was of course, with religious wars and the bitterness of the feuding nobles and the overarching stench of a world before the flush toilet, but in a few romantics and silly, beautiful people.

                The Renaissance looked back to a golden age of the Greeks and Romans, as sweetly burnished as our own view of the Renaissance from the 21st century. Perhaps only the distance of time allows us to extrapolate such fantasies: the farther back they go, the lovelier they become until at last we arrive in the paradise of Eden, where we were once naked and unashamed.

                Why do the legends of Arthur and Lancelot still move us? Though we think of the legends of Arthur through the lenses of twee old Tennyson, I am told the heyday of the Arthur legend was the Tudor era, itself become something of a cliché and stereotype. The Tudors claimed to be descendants of King Arthur and we’re pretty sure the Arthur depicted on the Round Table at Winchester is Henry VII.

                Pursuing Arthur is the most pointless of all historical enterprises and yet not a generation has gone by since the earliest glimmers of the Renaissance without a revival of Arthur. Perhaps the wisest approach to such stories is to give them free rein to gallop. The present will become its own collection of myths, given enough time. We are such stuff as dreams are made of.

                I haven’t read fantasy or science fiction in many years. Tolkien spoiled me for further reading in the genre: C gobbles this stuff up. Maybe I’ve become a snob. Let me revise that, I’m pretty sure I have become a snob. Still, I have a soft spot in my heart for this Renaissance Fair sort of thing. It reminds me of the sweet girls who loved fairy stories and the long-ago boy I was who kissed a few of them.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew says:

              I’m down for it.  I’ve been working in Twin Cities for about a year before I opened my own consulting practice out here in the sticks.   Hudson, River Falls would be great.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

              JH & BP – We can talk it over.  A canoe trip sounds a bit involved, maybe start with a meet & greet and go from there….Report

            • We could end up in that general region at a future date. Maybe I’ll make Leaguefest 2012 North III.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

      I obviously had not seen Blaise’s (newish?) author bio when I wrote thi initial comment.  Happy to think of BP as writing from my home state when I read his stuff, however much the wayfarer he truly is at heart.Report

  6. Avatar Will Truman says:

    My 9/11 story was a plot turn in a romantic tragedy.

    Then again, almost everything in 2001 was…Report

  7. Avatar Teacher says:

    I still remember the principal of our building extolling us to continue business as usual as we watched the smoke come out of the towers on the TV in our classroom.  And then insist we keep school running for the sake of normalcy when not one student was willing to do any kind of math work once they knew of the full extent of the attacks.

    I respect the need to make school feel like a bedrock but I will never understand such a blindered response when dealing with teenagers….Report