Coming to terms | 5 years ago | September 21, 2001 | In the wake of 9/11, Camille Dodero reflected on her generation.
“Every day, I wake up and think I’ve grasped the magnitude of this tragedy, accepted the fact that we’ve been attacked, come to terms with the reality that someone overseas who knows nothing about me wants me dead. But each new day brings new videotape, new testimony, new perspectives, new headlines, new evidence of the violent racist backlash brewing here at home. By the time this is published, America could be at war, the stock market could have bottomed out. Undoubtedly, the world — still uncomprehending — will still be bracing itself for the future.
“So where does that leave us? We could employ clichés: the end of innocence, the future is ours, life will never be the same, the end of ignorance, the rules have changed. But platitudes seem garishly irresponsible, given that more than 5000 people are dead and that we, an unprepared straggle of twentysomethings, will inherit the repercussions of a monumental terrorist attack. Maybe we’ve just witnessed the end of unbridled irony. Maybe a coddled generation that bathed itself in sarcasm will get serious. Maybe we’ll stop acting so jaded and start addressing the problem. Maybe not. Maybe we don’t know where the events of the last week have left us, and maybe that’s the least shocking thing we’ve learned.
“For myself, the story isn’t all bad. Like many of my twentysomething brethren, I am a product of a broken marriage. And in my personal narrative, at least one good thing came of last Tuesday’s cataclysm. On September 11, 2001, for the first time in 20 years, my 64-year-old mother told my 70-year-old father that she loved him. Two weeks ago, I would’ve been embarrassed by the moment; last week it practically moved me to tears.”
Fast lane | 10 years ago | September 20, 1996 | Franklin Soults examined the recent death of Tupac Shakur.
“Twenty-five-year-old rapper and actor Tupac Shakur was intelligent, passionate, talented, and arrestingly handsome, but by and large he will be remembered most for the way he died. Shot four times in the chest by an unknown assailant in a Cadillac that had driven up next to the BMW in which he was riding, this renowned proselytizer for the thug life is now the most famous person yet to be killed in a gangsta-style drive-by. Even his death throes can be read in terms of the gangsta’s warrior mythos. After being shot in Las Vegas on Saturday night, September 7, he was operated on the next day to remove his decimated right lung, yet somehow he managed to hang on for almost a full week after that. He finally died on the night of Friday the 13th, with his latest album All Eyez On Me (Death Row/Interscope), which reached number one on the Billboard R&B album chart earlier this year, still in the Top 40.