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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

7 - 9/11 and Its Aftermath


I had expected to find the annihilating economy of the event – the way in which it had concentrated the complicated arrangements and misarrangements of the last century into a single irreducible image – being explored, made legible. On the contrary, I found that what had happened was being processed, obscured, systematically leached of history and so of meaning, finally rendered less readable than it had seemed on the morning it happened. As if overnight, the irreconcilable event had been made manageable, reduced to the sentimental, to protective talismans, totems, garlands of garlic, repeated pieties that would come to seem in some ways as destructive as the event itself.

– Joan Didion, “Fixed Opinions, or the Hinge of History.” New York Review of Books, 2002

Propaganda is going to get really thick & deep and we should reserve judgment.

– A poster on the chat room of the neo-Nazi website Stormfront

One good thing could come from this horror: it could spell the end of the age of irony.

– Roger Rosenblatt, “The Age of Irony Comes to an End.” Time 2001

abu, palm pilot salesman, detained without charges by the fbi: “I’m not just being inconvenienced here! I could be sent to a military tribunal, tried in secret and shot! All perfectly legal now! Do you know where else they have trials like that, my friend? Iraq! The country I fled from to come to America!”

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