a letter from the editor

Saturday, 22 September 2001 19:00 Jon Whitney Opinions and Editorials - Deep Thoughts
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The "entertainment industry" often becomes the target for politicians trying to win brownie points for a voting segment or parents who need a scape goat other than themselves. The lifestyles of those who chose to be in this field are often frowned upon — the pay is shit and it's an expensive trade to be in. "Why don't you want to be a doctor or lawyer like your cousin?" There's even that pathetic amount of ridicule that goes on when people tend to disagree on something as personal as preference. Over the last week, amongst many things on my mind is how important entertainment really is.

When I woke on September 11th, one of the World Trade Towers was on fire — nobody could confirm whether it was a bomb or fire. Minutes later, I, along with millions of others witnessed live an airplane crashing into the second tower, shortly thereafter a plane crashed into the Pentagon. What the fuck is going on in our world? What is next? Is this armageddon? It was the most terrifying day I have ever lived through. It didn't help that in these very tense hours, our selected leader was nowhere to be found, flying all over the country, in what seemed like a surreal chess game where the king is the most protected yet comparitively helpless piece.

Panic was taking over where shock was giving way. I tried to phone friends in NY and one in Washington who works for the government but all lines were overloaded, jammed. Soon, the towers crumbled, and the feeling of panic and everything just sunk into an indescribable feeling of void, sadness and emptiness. The pictures had clearly shown loads of rescue workers and volunteers scrambling to save thousands of people, many of them didn't have enough chance to make it out to safety. Towards the end of the day, contacts were made, all friends and family I knew who were in these places were safe. Contacts were made later with close friends and family just to say hi and how much we care for and love each other.
Over the next few days, the news reports were filled with much sadness and despair. The loss is catastrophic and the amount of love and support shown across the world was comforting in a time of great pain. (Heck, I even cried when the Brits played our national anthem.) However, tensions were high everywhere. From my own personal experience, many people on music-related electronic forums I either read or subscribe to engaged in heated arguments, finger pointing and name calling. If anything, these experiences have reinforced my feelings in the necessity for people to listen and try their hardest to exercise a bit of understanding. This goes for -ALL- sides: I'm hurt, sad and angry when I hear about people spouting their mouths off about killing people of various nations as well as when I hear people automatically assume my government is about to take part in the murder of innocent civilians. I have spoken my mind, but have been accused of being a bully, a stupid yank, intolerable, and siding with the opposing side of whoever I'm disagreeing with. All because I probably have not properly communicated that I wish people would try to be more understanding, considerate and less bigoted. Maybe Greater Than One were really profound when they wrote back in 1988, "Ignorance is the Agent of Fear"; "Fear is the Agent of Violence."

There comes a time where you feel that you can't take it any more. The TV shows you images nearly everybody has seen over and over and over again, the arguments get so fierce and personal that you begin to lose ability to focus properly on work, life, personal interactions, etc,... Now, more than ever, I'm finding how important music is in my life. To have the luxury of turning everything off for a bit of introspection, whether it be for the new Lali Puna, a comforting old Cocteau Twins, Beatles, Pixies, Nurse With Wound or Bjorn Again, is truly magical. Some may consider it escape, some may consider it solace, some may consider it spiritual or inspirational, but it is yours for consideration.

With that, I'm proud to have such a minimal part of "this industry" and an important role in a team who is helpful and sharing, caring and listening. We need this. We need to continue on. We need music and we need to continue sharing and listening.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2005 00:01