I didn't watch most of the 9/11 tribute shows that were on yesterday. I kind of felt like if I saw one, I pretty much saw them all, because they were all very similar in their presentation. However, there were two in particular that I found quite interesting. One was an MSNBC special called "9/11 As it happened", which basically replayed all the news from that day, so it was kind of like re-living the events as I saw them when they happened. The other was an incredible special on The History Channel called "102 Minutes that Changed America". This was a completely un-narrated collection of amateur video, fragmented news reports and news chopper footage that basically told the story of what was going on in New York during the 102 minutes between the first plane hitting the towers and the last tower collapsing. Both did what I think any good retrospective of 9/11 should do and just let the images and raw footage tell the story instead of a pretentious narrator with a melodramatic soundtrack and a bunch of forced-tears interviews. Overall, it was sort of a somber day. 9/11 was a tragedy that still stings to remember, not just because of the incredible loss of life and violation of our safety and security as a nation, but because of the profoundly damaging and frustrating policy decisions and politicizing of the "war on terror" that have resulted in the decade since then. Seeing the ceremony at the Freedom Tower Memorial is kind of like sitting down to eat with your dysfunctional family at Thanksgiving, it's like a moment of forced togetherness for a group of people who would rather be anywhere else than next to each other. That's how our country feels now and it's frustrating and disappointing.
Speaking of which, now that it's Monday, I'm looking forward to the divisive political rhetoric kicking back into full swing. Ok, not really. It's kind of funny though, I heard and read on a lot of different traditionally partisan news and opinion shows and sites yesterday that, in the spirit of remembrance and all that, that they weren't going to engage in any political mud-slinging or any partisan punditry for the entire day. The first thing I thought was "oh wow, a whole day?" How about, in the spirit of remembrance, you stop fighting amongst yourselves like Al Qaeda and Bin Laden wanted us to do from the beginning and work out your crap so we can start moving forward as a country again, just period? I mean, what good does it do to call a day of cease fire just to go right back to the same old garbage again 24 hours later? It's like whenever Israelis and Palestinians declare cease fires for religious holidays and then start killing each other again at midnight. Like, way to get the point of your religion in the first place... The other thing was that most of these places couldn't even make it to midnight before they started trashing each other again. Apparently, "day of remembrance" meant just that, day. Once the sun set, it was back on again. Oh well, somewhere in heaven about 3,000 innocent men and women and 9,000 soldiers are shaking their heads and wondering if we'll ever figure out exactly what it was that they died for...
Another remembrance of sorts for today is that it's been 8 years since the world lost Johnny Cash. Now, I'm not a big fan of modern country music, but I do have a strong appreciation for roots country, the old school "gangster country", back when country stars were outlaws and rebels and they drank and smoked and got high and got arrested and had real problems. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Wayland Jennings, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., those guys were the shit. They were country, real country. Johnny Cash was a legend who's career spanned decades and who's music holds up today as good or better than it ever has. That kind of music, real roots country, is so lacking in today's country artists. That's probably the reason I can't stand listening to new country, it doesn't tell a story like that old stuff used to, it doesn't have the grit and the honesty and the hunger to it. Country artists now are singing for cars and clothes and awards, country artists back in the day were singing for the rent. I think it's long overdue for a good, roots country act to come out and bring back that classic sound and songs that meant something. Speaking of which...
I had the pleasure of seeing my good friends D.M. Seale and the Chasers play at a local bar this Saturday. Mr. Seale is the guy who first introduced me to a lot of those great classic country artists who I still appreciate today and his band is keeping that traditional sound alive for sure. It's always a good show when they play, and this weekend was no exception. I'm hoping for big things for those guys, they're hard-working, determined and hungry for success and they deserve to have it. Really, I'll be happy if they just keep playing shows at good dive bars so I can hang out with my friends, drink for cheap and party down real proper once a month or so.
I think I'm going with the Bears this season, which my friend Shawn will like I'm sure. They're looking good and solid and I think they'll at least make it to the playoffs, but I would really like to see them go all the way. The Packers are looking good too, so who knows, but then again it's also way to early to start making playoff calls yet, in my opinion. Who knows where things will be by week 7 or 8? Still, I'm liking the Bears. Also, sorry Kristin, but the Colts aren't gonna do it this year.
I just saw a segment on Dylan Ratigan about a device that some guy invented that automatically mutes your tv whenever someone mentions a word that you don't want to hear. So, you can set your tv up to automatically mute whenever anyone says "Kardashians" or "Jersey Shore". I think that's pretty amazing. Now, if they can just get it to automatically change the channel to anything else, add the show to your V-chip blocker and send an angry form-letter to the network complaining about ever letting this crap get on the air in the first place, I might have to buy one! Still, I think it's rather telling that not only did someone get motivated enough by the lame crap on tv to actually invent a device that automatically silences any mention of certain over-exposed "reality" tv stars, but it made enough of a splash to merit national news coverage. I can only hope this is the beginning of the inevitable public backlash against the scam job these morons have been running on the collective intelligence of the American people.
Alright, when I'm reduced to bitching about Kardashians, that means it's time to wrap it up for the day. Tomorrow is going to be a big day at The Dave Factor, I'm welcoming my first-ever guest blogger to take over content-providing duties for me as I will be out of town for the day enjoying the cool, fresh, pinko oxygen in my favorite major CA city, San Francisco. So, in my absence, the brilliant and talented Siarah O'Brien will be submitting a little something for your consideration. I am honored that she accepted my offer to guest-blog for me and I am looking forward to sharing a little piece of her wonderfully unique mind with my loyal readers. It's all about synergy at The Dave Factor. Synergy, and tacos.