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9 Years After

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I was in eighth grade on 9/11, in Mr. Wenthold’s art class.

I remember not taking it too seriously…we were in Minnesota, so we weren’t very afraid of anything happening to us in the middle of America.

I remember doing my homework every night in front of the endless TV coverage, with pundits and politicos trying to make as much sense out of this mess as they could.

But the most searing, burning memories I have of that period came when the comedians stopped making jokes.

(Here’s where I wanted to embed the video: I urge you to watch this)

I remember the shock and utter confusion on their faces. That uneasy sense, wondering if they were crossing the line, wondering if they could tell jokes at all anymore. That lostness. I will never forget Jon Stewart’s first monologue after returning. Conan’s monologue. The SNL opening, where Lorne asked the Mayor if it was ok to start being funny again.

To a 12 or 13 year old kid, seeing the clowns crying signaled that this was real, it was real bad, and it was real serious. I won’t ever forget that.

So here we are, nearly a decade later. A lot of bad things have happened since then. We’ve been at war for my entire adult life. Every now and then, a natural disaster comes along and rips apart a city or two. Financial kingdoms have toppled, and many jobs have been lost. And there’s a lot of hatred.

But a lot of good things have happened since then, too. After every disaster, we’ve rebuilt what we can. New York is still standing, albeit without two giant towers that used to grace the skyline. New Orleans is getting there. Jobs are coming back, to some extent. My generation, the generation that came of age in this mess, created empires in their dorm rooms and are revolutionizing the way people interact with each other. We believe that we can help fix this mess. We still have hope; that in itself is a good thing.

And the comedians are still telling jokes. As long as the clowns still exist, we’ll be alright.

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Categories: Gen Y Tags: , , , ,
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  1. September 11, 2011 at 10:19 am

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