September 2001
Tongue Petals won't belabour the events that occurred on September 11th, seeing as how anyone with a television no doubt has had their fill of nightmarish images and dissections of what happened. However, I'm sure I speak for everyone here on the Shunt Staff when I offer my sympathy to those who lost loved ones during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
There was of course, a flurry of activity on the list and I have tried to get everyone's opinions and statements into TP this month. The usual 'dry as wry bread' humour I try to keep in effect is also, at least mostly, temporarily suspended.
Kim Johnsson was the first to post regarding the attacks, checking in on the NYC list members who, it turns out after a quick head count on the part of Yolanda, are all okay. Bernard Van Isacker, Shunt's resident Spamanator, turned off the spam and spoke of radical Islam's holy war against the west.
Laura Ahonen spoke for many list members when she hoped that the US government kept a calm head and didn't resort to knee-jerk reaction as the obligatory comparisons between America's new 'War on Terrorism' and The Crusades were made. Chris posted some known facts early on the 11th keeping everyone abreast of developments due to extremely slow web speed.
Shaun dusted off his combat boots and polished his radiation suit. Francesc reminded everyone not to jump to conclusions regarding who was responsible for the attacks, citing the bombing in Oklahoma City and the anti-Arab sentiments spouted immediately afterwards. In spite of Francesc's warnings, the media immediately pointed their finger at Osama bin Laden, who it turns out was probably responsible.
While American list members recounted their individual tales of woe, some spewed forth with a volley of xenophobic trash talk, which immediately raised the hackles of the already admittedly anti-American faction on Shunt and made for a couple of days of highly emotive, expletive-filled reading.
Many European list members were accused of being heartless and without sympathy for indulging in discussion of the potentially horrific side effects of chemical warfare which they feared was about to engulf the world. Of course, the Americans have every right to feel frightened and violated, but perhaps we should remember that this is the environment of terror that the rest of the world lives in every day (see: Northern Ireland, Israel, Spain, etc.). When it happens to Americans, then all of a sudden it's the most important thing in the world.
One interesting facet of the running commentary provided by various list members was how many of the 'facts' posted about developments ended up just not being true. Many web links from reputable news agencies contained a lot of misinformation. You would hope that with the technology available to humans these days, we'd be able to root out the truth. But not so... even Nostradamus was misquoted, albeit to great apocalyptic effect.
Lulu had the misfortune of witnessing first hand both planes crash into the World Trade Center. KJ posted some really great sentiments regarding America and what it means to be an American, or in her case what it means to be an English person living in America. Donna praised New Yorkers for the manner in which they are handling the crisis, Jonathan Park gave a nostalgic look back on the now extinct NYC landmarks and Dina recounted how her father fled from the second tower just in time to escape the second plane crash.
Everyone seems to be comparing the video footage of the attacks to a movie or a television show, with its seeming unreality. What kind of society do we live in where, when events like this happen, our only frame of reference is the forms of entertainment we engage in? The Tongue Petals free advice service offers the following: humans should not fly through the air in pressurised metal tubes... it's just not a good idea.
Marks offered up visions of Taliban heads on sticks and Rebecca hoped that the bombings would cause the rest of the world to understand what the Israelis go through every day. A little debate between Conor, Laura and the aforementioned Rebecca regarding the initial split up of Israel and Palestine got the smack talk flowing again, as did some old school, world class doo-slinging from Alexandra and Hardy (in the good Doctor LaVey's direction). Joe Piekarski posted a chilling CD cover depicting the destruction of the World Trade Center and Marco chimed in regarding how the attacks had effected the people of Germany. Henry Finch recommended Fight Club for good post-terrorism viewing while Kristina Moodie offered her unfavourable thoughts on the irrational hatred certain list members were displaying at the time.
Ben Williams supported the annihilation of all terrorism and the countries that support them whilst Paul Lloyd and Richard Berry offered their support to their grieving American friends. Shaun and Chris argued over the cost of NASA ball-point pens and former Recoil collaborator, Nicole Blackman, turned up in US People magazine seen doling out food stuffs to the exhausted rescue workers.
All this after the month of September had begun so innocently on Shunt, with Kristina Moodie dissing on some fools for their over dramatic statements regarding the death of Depeche Mode. The news that DM has gone the way of Richard Melville Hall and licensed their songs to assist in the selling of automobiles proved her point. Early in the month, Germany had been defeated, nay, obliterated by the keen edge of English football in a momentous 5-1 World Cup victory , causing the elusive Pablo Castrati to grace the list with near unintelligible posts once again.
News of Alan's work on Curve's latest LP was leaked to the list by Anton ('Polaroid' contributing 'strings and ambiences' ) and while some pirated mp3's showed up, they were not of Alan's contribution. The record was however released in the United States on Tuesday the 18th.

At month's end, talk turned to lyrical dissections, reviews and remixes and the list in general seemed desperate to turn from mouth-frothing hysterical soap boxing onto lighter, more gentle topics like 'Gravity's Rainbow' by Thomas Pynchon and the works of Dostoievsky. However, no amount of conscious mind offsetting will remove from our thoughts the terrifying events of September 2001.

Quote Of The Month.

goes to Henry Finch, who offered the following heartening advice in these uncertain times:
"Life sucks - wear a helmet."
Bin Worryin',
Segasmaskian K.
Photography - Robert Mapplethorpe