The awesomest, the naughtiest

While I was bullshitting about questioning the extent to which my generation has reflected on the past decade, a very good friend of mine was reproducing a show she did as a senior and Drama major at Tisch. So, last night I laughed until I cried watching The Machine Sketch Comedy perform i HATE the naughties!!! at Bowery Poetry Club.

The show is so brilliantly sculpted around what I remember about 9/11, the advent of youtube, the rise of social media during my most narcissistic years, and the absurdity and confusion of the political landscape, that I can’t imagine anyone over a certain age getting what feels like a huge inside joke. Concerned that the humor of a sketch-comedy musical focused with such precision on the Millennial coming of age experience might be lost on the older crowd, I conducted a very non-scientific survey of a few baby-boomers in the crowd who affirmed it was universally hilarious.

Exhibit A:

 

And I won two free drinks at the bar!

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Reflecting on reflecting #meta

I snagged the Special Double Issue of this week’s New York Magazine from my gift bag at the GenArt Fashion Show #WIN (the rest got left; let’s not get into puns about being weighed down at fashion week after parties #notactuallyfunny). In it, the Encyclopedia of 9/11. F is for (among other things) Flight Attendants. Subtitle: “The heroes of the day weren’t all men.” The piece ends:

“As Susan Faludi argued in her book The Terror Dreamthe nation, frightened, grabbed at traditional gender roles in the wake of the attack. Our symbols of 9/11 courage were ­manly ones: New York Firefighters, Rudy Giuliani, the soldiers dispatched to crush the Taliban. The steely presence of mind of the mostly female flight attendants was largely left out of the hero ­narrative.”

I reflected on two things of note: first, the overall reactionary response, social and political, that defined the past decade, a component of which might be articulated with this quote. Second, the idea of the “hero” being tied to masculinity. I’m sure something can be said of the fact that flight attendants are overwhelmingly women, and perhaps this played a role in them being somewhat overlooked in the mainstream “hero narrative.” Certainly, there are many women firefighters and soldiers, who might have been overlooked by those making the case that female heros (see, I have to say female hero) have been overlooked; or, they’ve had masculine notions imposed upon them because their job has traditionally been one dominated by men. Like most jobs. (…)

I haven’t read Falundi’s book, but I’m intrigued.

I appreciated the bit of intelligent remembrance and analysis of the past decade that I heard, but the facebook statuses I was exposed to were a bit disheartening. Yes, remember 9/11. Also remember the CIA support of islamic radicals in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, the bureaucracy of intelligence agencies, the lack of White House policy toward Afghanistan in what later proved to be a very critical period of history, those imprisoned without charge or trial within the last decade, Islamophobia, and environmental activists prosecuted under “terrorism enhancement.” It’s nice to hope our generation is less unconscious than the previous ones, but better to actively work against selective memory. As part of the generation that came of age during this past decade, I was left asking, we’ve had 10 years to wake up: have we?