(an essay I wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks)
The definitive post 9/11 essay, in my mind, is the one written by John Hodgman over at McSweeney's. Who knew the guy who plays the PC in the Mac commercials and gives such dry, wry commentary on the Daily Show could be so eloquent?
So if art cannot contain or describe this event, and if for now the suffering is too keen to be alleviated by parable ... if stories are for the moment not as critically needed, as courage, as medicine, as blood, as bacon, they can at least revert to this social function. As time goes on, this will all pass away into memory, into a story with a beginning and a middle and finally an end. And that transition from the real into fable will bring its own kind of comfort and pain. Now, though, we may gather and distract one another, take comfort in our proximity, and know that we are, at this moment, safe.