11 September 2006


In honour of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I'd like to take a peculiar tack. I'd like to bring how that time felt back to mind, through the words of comedians returning to work the following week.

Seriously. This stuff really brought it back for me.

You may recall that the first issue of The Onion after 9/11 proved that it really is America's Finest News Source. When people say that there are some subjects that are just not appropriate for humour, period, I think of those Onion stories, especially God Angrily Clarifies “Don't Kill” Rule. The Onion managed, miraculously, to keep its voice while saying exactly what needed to be said.

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I also have video for you. Check out David Letterman's first show after 9/11. First he speaks, obviously extemporaneously. Then he talks with Dan Rather. [Later note: that one has link rotted away.] I'm not among the ranks of Rather's fans, but seeing him cheerleading for the Bush administration in that video is instructive when one reflects on how the right would soon portray him as the personification of “liberal media bias.”

I also have Jon Stewart's first show after 9/11. Watch the whole thing; you must see the bit at the end where he talks about the view from his window.

Two other non-comedic thoughts for today: Nous Sommes Tous Américains, and Phil Agre's Imagining the Next War, written just four days after 9/11, which I have blogged repeatedly because, well, it deserves it.

Updates: One more video memory from Digby, plus Keith Olbermann.

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