It’s the end of the world as we know it…
Bill McNeal, one of the posters on my messageboard made this moving tribute.
You’ll need quicktime to view it.
I got a phone call on my office phone at 7:03 am Pacific time, Tuesday morning. I remember thinking "Who the fuck is that calling me so early?" I let it ring, and then after the voice mail had picked it up I got curious and went to check and see what it was all about.
In my half asleep stupor I heard my friend Kevin Booth’s message: "Dude, get up! They’ve launched attacks on America! The World Trade Center and the Pentagon are on fire!" My heart skipped a beat, and I clicked onto the internet, but my homepage, cnn.com wouldn’t come up. My breath started to come in quick and shallow bursts, and my pulse was racing.
I hurried into the bedroom and turned on the TV. The very moment I did CNN was showing the footage of the one tower on fire, and the second plane banking into the second tower. AMERICA UNDER ATTACK was written in bold letters under the footage. There was a huge explosion on impact, and I heard Michael Stipe singing in the back of my head.
"It’s the end of the world as we know it…"
I swear to you, I heard the music and everything. Just like it was a movie. The rest of the morning was a blur of phone calls and disbelief. Phone call after phone call… "Can you believe this shit!!??"
"Holy fuck, dude. It’s World War 3." No one I talked to seemed to believe it was really happening. I can watch the same footage over and over again, knowing it’s real, but thinking it can’t be. It’s like it just doesn’t register. I’ve had that feeling before in my life, the stunned disbelief that comes with tragedy. I had it with the Oklahoma City bombing, I had it with the OJ verdict, and I’ve had it with the death of several close friends. It’s that cold, wet, slap of reality that just says "You have no power to stop or change anything, anybody could die at any minute, you know nothing, and nothing makes sense." I’ve had it before… but never like this.
This was a real feeling that it was possible for the end of the world to come at any moment. This was the first time I ever really considered that a nuclear war is very much a possibility. For the first time we felt what it’s like to be one of those "other" countries. The ones you see on TV every day, carrying wounded bodies out of buildings after a terrorist attack. The ones you look at and say "Man, it must suck to live there." Well, now you do live there, and there is here. We’re through the looking glass, and it’ll never be the same again. Not only were innocent civilians attacked, but they were attacked by people that live here. They could be students at the school you go to. They could be living in the house down the street…
I could only stay home and watch so much of this before I lost my fucking mind, went full Art Bell, and started digging a bunker in my backyard, so I called my buddies Eddie Bravo and Joey Diaz to go and smoke a peace pipe. We met in Hollywood, sacrificed the sacred plant to the fire god, and went to get some burritos.
The first thing I noticed was humility. People just seemed more humble. The were more personable, and more aware. They looked you in the eye and said hello, something rare for Hollywood. Everyone was shaken, and in this shaken state they were more pleasant. Sad as it is, sometimes it takes something tragic for people to come together and act like caring humans.
There was a lot of talk about giving blood. There was talk about donations to the red cross.
But every 5 minutes or so someone would just shake their head and say "Fuck… I can’t believe it." Joey, Eddie and I went over to my friend Mike’s house, and it turns out his roommate, Craig was supposed to be on one of the planes. He missed it by 10 fucking minutes. We all just sat around watching the news talking about it.
One of the most disturbing things to me was the fact that the people that did this crime committed suicide while doing it. That is just so fucking disturbing to me, and I’m sure to most of you too. How can you fight someone that’s not afraid to die? How can we truly feel safe with people that are more than willing to die to kill us? I remember I was listening to a talk radio show in LA called the John and Ken show a few weeks ago and they were saying that there are signs up in some of the Palestinian grade schools that say "The students of today are the holy martyrs of tomorrow" They said the school has a photo of a young man with sticks of dynamite in his hand. He was one of the suicide bombers in Israel earlier this year, and he is worshipped like a hero. They explained that the children are taught that anyone who dies in the defense of Allah gets the pleasure of 50 virgins once they get to Heaven. Now… how much of this is just propaganda, and how much is true is open to debate, but just the thought of the possibility that there are children somewhere being raised to be suicide bombers is just unfathomable. Almost as unfathomable as Tuesdays attacks. Almost.
I spent most of Tuesday night alternating between the Internet and the TV, feeling like at any moment this shit could start up again. Every time I would start to feel normal, that footage of the plane banking into the second tower would pop into my head, and Michael Stipe would start singing.
Wednesday rolled around.
Again I got up early and checked the news. Then I went to some of the messageboards that I frequent, and the retards had shown up in DROVES. Good old fashioned, blind, idiotic, American anger was everywhere to see. Sure we’ve been attacked as a nation, and we all have every right to be angry as fuck. Sure we all want to make sure this never happens again, and if it means hunting the people down that are responsible for harboring and funding these murdering pieces of shit, I’m all for it. But what I’m talking about is just pure, stupid racism. Every other fucking idiot was using racial slurs, and connecting this thing to the entire Islamic faith. "Kill all the towel heads!!" was actually the heading of a post that I saw. Thank god there were people battling them, calling them on their shit. There were even some Muslims posting, offering their prayers, and saying that only evil people could do such a thing, and that a true Muslim would never act this way.
We have an official enemy now, the guy I’ve been calling the boogey man for over a year now. The one guy that’s supposedly behind all of the anti American attacks all over the world, Osama Bin Laden. Click on that link for some of the scarier shit about him, like the fact that he has ties to our CIA, and was aligned with the US during the USSR’s war with Afghanistan. "We" actually trained this monster. Click here for even more info.
How is all this possible? I thought we were safe? I thought we spent 30 billion dollars a year on anti-terrorism? With all of our resources and intelligence, how could we not know about something as huge as this? Well, of course the wacko Internet conspiracy theorists chime in, and they say "we" did. There are many who believe this whole thing is just a plot to remove more of our personal freedom. They say that it’s something that the government has been plotting for a long time now.
The government let this happen? I don’t believe a fucking word of it. I want enemies. I want a bad guy. I, like most of you want to see an evil man dressed in black, and I want to see him killed in front of us all on national TV. I want the world to be safe again. I want the playground that was America just last week to be opened again. I just have a feeling it’s never gonna feel quite the same, and I have a feeling that it’s not going to be so easy to spot the bad guys.
A guy that’s in the USAF who posts on my messageboard under the name "Grinder" wrote this Tuesday night:
As my day comes to end, I really feel compelled to spit out my comments. First off, I’m relatively new to posting on this kick ass board but I have found many of the people I have read posts from and interacted with as a friend. At the start of my day, I wake to the news of horror on the east coast. Being a member of the USAF, I knew my day was going to be fucked. I’m in California; nowhere near the tragic events but being stationed at Edwards AFB is a bit different than other AF bases. We are a developmental and flight test base, we don’t have a war time role. But……today was different. We canned all our test missions right off the bat. Next thing you know, we get increase security. Locked everyone up. No leaving the building. (Pissed off the smokers) All sorts of fucked up rumors start flying. LA is next… the base is targeted… the usual stupid shit that people say when any crazy shit goes down. Anyway, we get some aircraft locked and loaded and ready to fucking roll. F-15s and F-16s with nice Air to Air configuration baby. I’m sure we’ll maintain this posture until things seem to "calm down" Well, to wrap this up because I’m coming down from a major day of adrenaline and emotions and I’m crashing hard. I know there are people who hate the role of the US military and may not agree with any future retaliatory actions that may take place but know this… We always got your back!
I don’t know about you people, but when the shit hits the fan, THAT’S the kind of thing I want to hear. Thank you, Jeff. I felt better just reading it. And to all of the people out there in the military that are out there risking their lives to make us safe again, you have my love, you have my best wishes, and you have my respect.
It’s after 2 am here in LA, and I’m just about ready to pass out. I haven’t had more than 3 or 4 hours sleep in the past couple days, and I think tonight I might finally get some shut eye. In conclusion, (if anyone is still reading this rambling post) I just wanted to say that in this time of great stress and anger, I think it’s important that we keep our minds clear on certain things. It’s very easy to get caught up in this shitstorm, and start pointing fingers at "others" whether they be Muslim, or whatever, and point them out as the enemy. This is why I thought it would be a good time to once again post the Joe Rogan golden rule of humanity:
There are only 3 types of people in the world: Morons, assholes, and people you can hang out with.
I don’t give a fuck if you’re black, white, Asian, Arab, male, female, gay or straight. It’s all just morons, assholes, and people you can hang out with. We shouldn’t confuse people that practice the same religion with being the same type of people. There are many that call themselves Christians that would have no problem killing or judging others, just as there are many that call themselves Muslim that cherish human life in all forms.
Don’t ever forget, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Henry Lee Lucas, and John Wayne Gacy were all AMERICANS.
A Palestinian boy carries a poster during a vigil outside the U.S. consulate in east Jerusalem, September 12, 2001. (Reinhard Krause/Reuters)
My prayers and wishes go out to all the victims and their families. Please give whatever you can here.