Friday, September 11, 2009

Rebecca Solnit: How 9/11 Should Be Remembered

It was nearly two-years ago that we highlighted Rebecca Solnit here on The Garlic, and, on this specific day, we are compelled to have her return.

Over on TomDispatch, Ms. Solnit has a fantastic post, an excerpt from her new book, that should be read by one-and-all;

How 9/11 Should Be Remembered - The Extraordinary Achievements of Ordinary People

For this eighth anniversary of that terrible day, the first post-Bush-era anniversary, let's remember what actually happened:

When the planes became missiles and the towers became torches and then shards and clouds of dust, many were afraid, but few if any panicked, other than the President who was far away from danger. The military failed to respond promptly, even though the Pentagon itself was attacked, and the only direct resistance that day came from inside Flight 93, which went down in a field in Pennsylvania on its way to Washington.


We failed, however, when we let our own government and media do what that small band from the other side of the Earth could not. Some of us failed, that is, for there were many kinds of response, and some became more radical, more committed, more educated. Mark Fichtel, the president of the New York Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange, who scraped his knees badly that morning of September 11th when he was knocked over in a fleeing crowd, was helped to his feet by "a little old lady." He nonetheless had his Exchange up and running the next day, and six months later quit his job, began studying Islam, and then teaching about it.


Far more people could have died on September 11th if New Yorkers had not remained calm, had not helped each other out of the endangered buildings and the devastated area, had not reached out to pull people from the collapsing buildings and the dust cloud. The population of the towers was lower than usual that morning, because it was an election day and many were voting before heading to work; it seems emblematic that so many were spared because they were exercising their democratic powers. Others exercised their empathy and altruism. In the evacuation of the towers, John Abruzzo, a paraplegic accountant, was carried down 69 flights of stairs by his coworkers.


Many New Yorkers that day committed similar feats of solidarity at great risk. In fact, in all the hundreds of oral histories I read and the many interviews I conducted to research my book, "A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster", I could find no one saying he or she was abandoned or attacked in that great exodus. People were frightened and moving fast, but not in a panic. Careful research has led disaster sociologists to the discovery -- one of their many counter-stereotypical conclusions -- that panic is a vanishingly rare phenomenon in disasters, part of an elaborate mythology of our weakness


New Yorkers triumphed on that day eight years ago. They triumphed in calm, in strength, in generosity, in improvisation, in kindness. Nor was this something specific to that time or place: San Franciscans during the great earthquake of 1906, Londoners during the Blitz in World War II, the great majority of New Orleanians after Hurricane Katrina hit, in fact most people in most disasters in most places have behaved with just this sort of grace and dignity.


After the 9/11 storm struck, the affected civilians in New York were seen as victims; after Katrina, those in New Orleans were portrayed as brutes. In both cities, the great majority of affected people were actually neither helpless nor savage; they were something else -- they were citizens, if by that word we mean civic engagement rather than citizenship status. In both places ordinary people were extraordinarily resourceful, generous, and kind, as were some police officers, firefighters, rescue workers, and a very few politicians. In both cases, the majority of politicians led us astray. All I would have wanted in that September moment, though, was politicians who stayed out of the way, and people who were more suspicious of the news and the newsmakers.


The dead must be remembered, but the living are the monument, the living who coexist in peace in ordinary times and who save one another in extraordinary times. Civil society triumphed that morning in full glory. Look at it: remember that this is who we were and can be.

September 11th may never become the holiday, or, day-of-remembrance, it should be, chiefly due to the dwarf, finks, phonies and frauds of The Bush Grindhouse, and all the cronies - the Flying Monkeys of the Right Wing Freak Show, and the cheerleading Corporate Media - how they exploited the tragedy for the masturbation of their own warped ideology (ironically, killing hundreds-of-thousands more).

It takes ordinary people - like Rebecca Solnit, and many, many others - to put it in the right perspective.

Go read Rebecca Solnit's "How 9/11 Should Be Remembered - The Extraordinary Achievements of Ordinary People", and leave a comment, if you were able to keep your eyes dry while absorbing it.

And, you can go here to purchase her book, "A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster"

This Date ... On The Garlic

11 September 2008... On The Garlic

Peace Piece

11 September 2007... On The Garlic

Good Post Alert: Author under gag order assails producer, ABC for 'Path to 9/11'

11 September 2006... On The Garlic

Minced Garlic Trois - Special September 11th Special Comment By Keith Olbermann: “This Hole In The Ground”

Breaking and Developing News! ABC Fesses Up; Plan For 'Path To 9-11' Is To Launch ‘Dancing With History’ Series; Establish “Dancing” Franchise In Same Vein As CSI, Law and Order; Disney Signs Coulter for New Death Wish Projects

Cheney Woozy After MTP, Failed To Continue Nazi Thread; Cheney Briefly Hospitalized After Television Appearance Yesterday; Vice President Complained Of Dizziness After Relentless Spin Session on ‘Meet The Press’

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Happy First-Monday-In-September, otherwise known as Labor Day!

It is a Federal Holiday today, and Wikipedia tells us;

The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada. In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year.[citation needed]

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.[1] In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[2] Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair.[3] All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

A President who makes something a "top political priority" and then gets it done - Imagine that!

Today is also, unofficially, the demarcation point, signaling the end of Summer (you can put away those white pants now).

So, for our contribution, we'll give you, what became, a Jazz standard, recorded by just about everybody (including Bobby Darin).

Work Song, written by Nat Adderley (HERE"S an interview with Nat), however, more associated with his brother, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (and, sometimes given the title "The Chain Gang Song").

At least one line of the lyrics is still, unfortunately, on-the-money for today;
Been workin' and workin', and still got so terribly far to go ...
Whatever you do today, however you celebrate it, Happy Labor Day!

Cannonball Adderley Sextet- Work Song (From Oscar Brown Jr's Jazz Scene, with Nat Adderley, Louis Hayes, Sam Jones, Joe Zawinul, Yusef Lateef)

Bonus Bonus

Here's another rendition from a killer, All-Star line-up of Sonny Rollins, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Watrous, Hubert Laws, McCoy Tyner, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Airto Moreira;

Down Beat 1975 poll-winners' show: 'Work Song'

Or, Oscar Brown Jr. hittin' it

Nina Simone

Grant Green

Monty Alexander Trio

Ray Barretto & New World Spirit

Eddie Harris

This Date ... On The Garlic

7 September 2008... On The Garlic

Good Post Alert: Sarah Vowell's "Party Guy"

We Have Our Winner ...

7 September 2007... On The Garlic

"And Now We Come To The Sanity Clause ..."

He Should Have Used "The Google"

7 September 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News! President Speech “Absolutely un-American” Says Chicago; Chicago Council Stirs New Controversy, Passes Ban On Bush Speeches

Garlic Exclusive - Developing Story “We Have To Fight These Afghan Narco-Fascists”; Bush Admits, Defends Afghanistan “Just Say No” Policy

Top Ten Cloves: Problems Created With President Bush Admitting To CIA Black Site Prisons

7 September 2005... On The Garlic

Cheney To Visit, Beef Up New Orleans Security; Will Patrol and Bring Law and Order; Also Paving Way For Halliburton Contracts

Justice Dept. Swamped With Flood, Hurricane Confessions; Thousands Say They Are To Blame; White House Orders Log Kept For Future Use

Top Ten Cloves: Things That Can Go Wrong With Playboy Magazine Offering On-Line Version

Sunday, September 06, 2009

"That's What Canino Said To Little Jonesy ..."

Well, we need to walk around out here a bit, get our bearings, as it has been awhile.

A super-sized Lo Siento, Garlic Fans, for our disappearance this past week.

Now, nothing as the title of the post may suggest, as complicated as 'The Big Sleep' plot, and who killed Sean Regan.

Look angel, I'm tired. My jaw hurts and my ribs ache. I killed a man back there and I had to stand by when a harmless little guy was killed. Do you think I can tell them all that happened because Geiger tried to throw a loop over Carmen? If I tell them that, they'll swarm over your house so fast that every closet you and your family have been in for the last six years will look like a police convention. They'll all ask the same question - where's Sean Regan? Why did Eddie Mars hide his wife to make it look like she ran off with Regan? Why did you hide out there? You're playing with dynamite.
Merely, we had multiple things happening on the homefront, and for a few of the AWOL Days, we didn't even fire up the computer, between dealing with what needed to be dealt with, piled on by major allergies, and just, at the end of the day, being bone-dead tired (perhaps the Full Moon at the end of the week kicked in something, as well).

We're planning on getting back into the groove tomorrow, so hang in there - fresh copy is in the pipeline.

As always, Mucho Thanks for visiting The Garlic.

Bonus Bonus

Since teasing this post with 'The Big Sleep' ....

The Big Sleep Trailer

The Big Sleep - music scene

This Date ... On The Garlic

6 September 2007... On The Garlic

New Garlic Song: Bush Could Write A Book

6 September 2005... On The Garlic

Baghdad Blockbuster! - Sunni's Offer Deal To Support Vote In Exchange For Sections of New Orleans; Believe Better Chances of Revenue in Flooded US City Than Iraq; Can Offer Security Services As Area Rebuilds

DOD Adds Carrot Top, Omarosa To Freedom Walk; Rumsfield Adding 'Hollywood Glitz' To Festivities; Commemorative Levee To Be Built

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things Kayne West Knows That President Bush Doesn't Care About