File spoon-archives/baudrillard.archive/baudrillard_2001/baudrillard.0109, message 38

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 23:39:41 EDT
Subject: Theorize *this*

Frankly, I feel *released* from theorizing more than I'm refraining from it.  
My sensate, concrete, and emotional life takes priority.  But I'll offer some 
bits for others to theorize if they choose.

Three weeks to the day, almost to the hour, before the first plane crashed 
into the WTC, friends of mine were involved in a horrible car accident.  The 
husband died.  The wife was horribly injured.  The accident was all over the 
news all day, because a chemical truck was involved (the truck driver 
suffered a broken leg) and a major highway was closed for hours. I may have 
heard about the accident during the day in traffic reports, but because I 
don't drive that stretch of road, I paid no attention.  The names were not 
released until about 5pm, after next of kin were notified.  I found out in 
the evening, when another friend called me.

I went over to that friend's house and we began calling people in the 
community theater that the couple were involved in, to make sure they knew.  
While we did this we had the TV on for updates and kept a radio tuned to the 
all-news station which was issuing updates every quarter-hour and said the 
victims' names every hour.  My friend called the TV stations and and told 
them how to correctly pronounce the couple's last name.  When the 11 o'clock 
news came on, we taped it.  We checked every channel (only one got the name 
right).  In between we kept calling people and talked to them.

It was odd trying to connect the news story to our friends as we knew them.  
On TV it looked like any other anonymous news story, and in the meantime we 
were sobbing on telephones, calling up the hospital to see if the wife's 
parents have arrived yet, and we were convinced that friends of the couple 
without direct access to radio or television (many were camping at a music 
festival that was being set up, and the couple was expected there to help) 
did not know.

At the hospital in the critical care unit, when we went to visit the wife, we 
met the friends and relatives of other trauma victims, some of whom had also 
been in news stories.  It was a way of avoiding going into details about the 
patients.  "You probably heard about it in the news."

I don't know whether seeing the smashed-up minivan in the news, and hearing 
their names in the media helped or hindered my grieving.  But it was part of 
it.  Nowhere near the biggest part of it, but it was significant.

So make something of that.


In a message dated 9/17/01 8:37:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I've noticed a pronounced trend on this seems as if ever 
 since the events of 9-11, some have decided that everything that was 
 done before, theorizing or whatnot, was a joke, and that they have 
 "woken up" to the "true reality" and we need to give up our 
 theorizing.  >>


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