Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims' names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Victims' relatives and dignitaries will convene Sunday at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept. 11, 2001 " the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. read more

Uncannily well-preserved bodies from the ancient world occasionally surface Northern Europe's bogs. Stranger even than their remarkable preservation is the disturbing manner of their deaths. read more

Friday, September 09, 2022

A federal judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, several ex-FBI officials and more than two dozen other people and entities that he claims conspired to undermine his 2016 campaign by trying to vilify him with fabricated information tying him to Russia. read more


Back in 2015, Philip Bump at the WP put together an interesting piece: "A quarter of Americans are too young to remember 9/11" (www.washingtonpost.com).

That was seven years ago. About that time I taught my last university courses, one of which included a portion in which we looked at 9/11 as event and its role/function in myth and memory. It was not nearly as theory-based as that might sound. Basically, how have the events been remembered and how those memorializations, e.g. in film, relate to and jibe with historical fact? Even then, students' awareness of 9/11 was dim. And that was even with all the drumbeating and GWOT rhetoric and imagery. The fact remained: they were kids when it happened and the memories that formed for them were not the ones we older folk came away with from that day.

It's always been that way. Go to Gettysburg and drive around, take it in. Those monuments, now piles of bronze, once brought waves of tears from those who came to their dedications. Whatever form they took, those memorials reflected, for those people, the reality of a time they remembered perhaps all too well. For those who followed, however, the emotional power of those places and the memorials designed to sanctify them wanes over time.

That does not make the events that transpired at, say, Gettysburg, in those monument-strewn fields and across that broken country, inconsequential. It just means that while the event itself may lose its sense of immediacy of over time, the measure of its significance and consequence remains something else entirely.

Glad that poet Seamus Heaney helped bring some attention to Tollund Man (en.m.wikipedia.org), the best preserved of the bog bodies thus far recovered. (He is so well preserved - esp. head, hands, and feet - that it was thought he might be the victim of a modern murder.) There's been a tremendous amount of work done on him, and he keeps teasing us with bits of his fundamentally unknowable story.

(By the by, if you want to get a real peat baptism, taste or just whiff the Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg whiskeys from the island of Islay.)

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