A White House press conference revisited.

A White House press conference revisited.

A White House press conference revisited.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Sept. 15 2006 6:31 PM

Watch What You Say

A White House press conference revisited.

(Continued from Page 3)

catholicreader, remembering his experience that day.

After 9/11, I found myself listening to U2's October album almost constantly. The album is one of their most angry and awkward, made while they were still young, fledgling, working-class Dublin nobodies. The songs are steeped in rage, doubt, and confusion, and yet are guided by a sense of purpose and hope at the same time. Consider these words from "Rejoice":

it's falling, it's falling,
outside a building comes tumbling down
and inside a child on the ground
says he'll do it again
and what am I to do?
what in the world am I to say?...

what am I to do?
just tell me what am I supposed to say?
I can't change the world
but I can change the world in me
if I rejoice...

So in terms of facing a world full of fear and ugliness with something other than madness, that album helped me more than anything else. It's consistently underappreciated in U2's discography, and particularly in light of the relevance it has had for me, I think that's a shame.


TeacherAbby sharing the work of art that helps him make sense of that day's events.

I was so stunned that morning - I was on the way to the airport in the airport limo when the shut down the flights. So I returned home. Sat in shock in front of the TV for a while.

Then wandered out onto our peacefully sunny porch. And being a tactile person needed something to do with my hands. So I grabbed a handful of clay and sitting in the warm sun in shorts and bare feet, I felt compelled to create something.

What came out of my hands was a sculture of my foot, veins, bunions and all. The beauty of the human body was the only response I could think of in the face of so many bodies destroyed and mutilated.

And still, it can never be adequate to the task.

Degsme, recalling his attempts to cope on that day.   GA9:25pm PDT


Friday, Sept. 8, 2006

Slate's newest feature, "The Survivalist" by David Shenk asks its readers to soberly contemplate seriously frightening scenarios. The Survivalist Fray has its elements of one-upmanship, such as RoyJaruk-18's contemplation of an Antarctic cruise wreck. But the majority of posts amplify Shenk's advice with more cheap and common-sense steps citizens can take to forestall catastrophe in the face of disaster.

If the earth starts shaking, MacAdvisor takes issue with the advice to shelter under a doorway:

Not to be mean or contrarian, but I think Mr. Shenk's advice to get in a doorframe is most certainly wrong. The American Red Cross "has not recommended use of a doorway for earthquake protection for more than a decade. The problem is that many doorways are not built into the structural integrity of a building, and may not offer protection. Also, simply put, doorways are not suitable for more than one person at a time."

portorchardkid offers the debatable advice to stock up on butane.

Are you worried about your own preparedness for disaster? You could try taking Clown_Nose's simple test:

Consider the last time you experienced a power failure in your home, which we have all experienced. Did you have to stumble around looking for flashlights? Did they work if you found them? Did you have a method to prepare food? Did you have canned food to last a few days? Did you have a system for family members to contact each other? Did you do anything different when the power came back?

In a large disaster, do you have the training and supplies to help your family members if they are injured and need first aid? Are you part of an organization that will help organize the response, or are you expecting others to help you?

If that's too complicated, you still might try Sarvis' disaster prep quiz: the "who's a bigger asshole" test.