Purpose The in-character journal of September 11th, protagonist and narrator of my graphic novel in-progress, Dies Personae. Take it as his reflections and thoughts on the present, things not directly related to his date.

September 11th is the 254th Day, whose entire previous history has been overshadowed by the events of 2001. And yet this has not caused amnesia, but rather awareness and a sense of purpose, the likes of which are seldom seen among the generally reaction-oriented Days.

Dies Personae



Layout Code modeled after a layout by Sophie. Image of WTC site from september11news.com. Font used in image is, appropriately enough, Ground Zero.

Well. Friday, September 12, 2003
I told myself I would update right away.
I can't. Not now.

And so... Wednesday, September 10, 2003
I have 35 minutes.
35 more minutes before I have to go again, before I have to face the world and show them what I can, regardless of what they may or may not try to do to me.
I'm scared. I shouldn't be. I have to go every year, but I'm scared this year. Perhaps more so than last year, even. First anniversaries of anything are always something surreal, but the world tends to rush on after two years.
Maybe it'll be different with this. I have no way to know yet. But 35 minutes...
I'm going to stop writing. I need to get ready. I'll go as myself this time, no agendas, no disguises. We shall see...

Oh ages, no... Friday, September 5, 2003
LeapdayWarlord: I know! I'll be a holiday!
AshesofSeptember: Oh no...
AshesofSeptember: Er, I mean, oh, do tell?
LeapdayWarlord: >-/
AshesofSeptember: What the heck is that?
LeapdayWarlord: It's an emoticon. I'm scowling at you.
AshesofSeptember: I'm so pleased for you.
LeapdayWarlord: "~"
AshesofSeptember: Um. Right. So. Holiday, do tell?
LeapdayWarlord: I haven't decided what sort I want to be yet, but something important. Something /big/. So they'll have to mark it /every/ year.
AshesofSeptember: They can't mark years you're not in.
LeapdayWarlord: You miss the point, minion.
AshesofSeptember: Minion, eh?
LeapdayWarlord: I've always wanted to say that.
AshesofSeptember: I see. But I know your point, and I don't see how you can make it work.
LeapdayWarlord: Simple. I become a revolutionary. I cause such change in the world that my name shall require celebration and regard year-round.
AshesofSeptember: Ah. So you intend to set a massive revolution into motion in the span of 24 hours, empowering the downtrodded, overthrowing the bourgeoise, correcting all ills, and making, for good measure, a cure for cancer as well?
LeapdayWarlord: Exactly!
AshesofSeptember: >-/
LeapdayWarlord: Shut up, you bloody skeptic.

*click* Friday, August 15, 2003
I feel a need to note that I have no problem with photography.
Quite on the contrary, I feel that photography is a useful and necessary tool for remembering things. When studying history before the earliest daguerrotypes, any depictions of events are stylized and toned down or glorified, not showing the true nature of anything--bad or good. Starting with the American Civil War, though, images are preserved as they actually were (despite a few incidents of the photographer setting up corpses to be more photogenic), and because of such precision, historical documentation is richer and clearer from then on. Taking pictures now will be a wonderful supplement to historians in the future.
So, I have no problem with people going to the World Trade Center site and taking a whole roll of film's worth of pictures. You can go and overload your digital camera, for all I care. Providing one thing--that you're taking pictures of the SITE. I mean, the actual hole, the fence, the remains, the surrounding buildings, the sky once occupied by the Twin Towers...You get my drift. Having images of these things is essentially the preservation of a hole that will have only existed for a small amount of time in the grand scheme of history, the representation of a space that could definitely be forgotten. Nobody will forget the images of the collapsing buildings, but aftermath, even after being cleaned up, is important and sobering. So take pictures.
Do NOT, however, take pictures of people just standing there. Why does it matter to show yourself standing there? At some sites, sites of older and better events, that's just fine. Places you might be proud to visit, things that are history as opposed to current events. Taking pictures of people standing in front of that hole and grinning like idiots shows disregard for the hole itself. With something temporary, capturing it is more important than shoving yourself between it and a lens. I object to tourism over history.
Photography is fine.

Flag Code Monday, July 28, 2003
Hey, Bandwagon Patriots! Catch!
So much for respect and love for one's country...Oh, and you'd better get rid of those t-shirts by respectfully burning them...

A victory Monday, July 28, 2003
The official report has been released. 800+ pages. The extent of detail and investigation into my events thus far. And a release hard fought for at that.
I'm so glad for that, so glad that people aren't insisting on withholding this information from people who deserve to know.
Now if only I could find it somewhere...

Spectacular Monday, July 14, 2003
I always receive news articles several turns after they come out. It takes news a while to spread through people at times, and through Days, well, a paper dated in July is less likely than so to end up in the hands of a member of September. But I remain within the news, and I thank July 10th for passing this to me. If thanks are the proper thing.
This one phrase sticks out to me: The report will show that top Bush administration officials were warned in the summer of 2001 that the al Qaeda terrorist network had plans to hijack aircraft and launch a ``spectacular attack.''
A "spectacular attack" indeed. And regardless of whether or not anybody in the United States government knew, no citizen privy to classified knowledge had even a clue. Even people who were paranoid or suspicious that something was bound to happen to the United States at some point just didn't know.
And yet the world, as a whole, knew more than I did. If significant articles relating specifically to myself take several turns to reach me, classified vaguenesses simply would not filter down. I knew absolutely nothing before. I hadn't even the tiniest clue, even compared to the whole world.
It's mine, but I hadn't heard "spectacular attack" until now. As a warning, it makes me want to cry.
I thought perhaps I was a little less fragile by now.

I see no point to this conversation. Thursday, July 3, 2003
IDeclare1776: hi
AshesofSeptember: July 4th, I presume?
IDeclare1776: *g*
AshesofSeptember: You're IMing me because you want me to add you to your buddy list?
IDeclare1776: lol no. i just want to know if u r ready for tomorrow
AshesofSeptember: Of course I'm ready. It's not my turn, so I need do nothing different than usual.
IDeclare1776: but tomorrow is my turn
AshesofSeptember: I know that. And you know I've never done anything to observe that fact. It's always been irrelevant to me.
IDeclare1776: but i though it wasnt irelivant anymore now
AshesofSeptember: Pardon?
IDeclare1776: ur not going to make people try and stop being american and stop celebrating? o.O
AshesofSeptember: It's really none of my business.
IDeclare1776: then y did u yell at me before?
AshesofSeptember: It's a different story when you're trying to influence my area of expertise, so to speak.
IDeclare1776: i wasnt
AshesofSeptember: Uh huh. Right. Sure.
IDeclare1776: and i observ ur turn
AshesofSeptember: In ways I wish not to rant about at the moment, thank you.
IDeclare1776: u rant too much. u need ice cream ^.^
AshesofSeptember: Just go get your little flags ready or something.

Hollywood was NOT involved... Wednesday, June 25, 2003
I suppose it was inevitable that such a thing would happen, but it irks me that it's so soon. Yes, there is a movie being made about the attacks, to be aired on the second anniversary. Which, quite frankly, is far too soon. The film is called "DC 9-11," and it focuses on how the US government stayed calm and handled the attacks so well. Except, well, as I recall (and I should know), nobody remained calm through that course of events, and the government is still using the attacks as a way to get panic reactions out of people. So the specific subject is fabricated. And as for the background, my events, I need not repeat that movies never portray anything accurately. And considering the fact that many people are still trying to figure out what it all was and what it means to them, a Hollywoodified version is not going to be a beneficial thing. I already have to try so hard to make people think, and this will be a setback.
And it's not like it's a personal reaction thing, either. It's definitely something that will glorify the US government, and the cinematographic group who produced it is surely counting on high ratings (which, of course, means big bucks) considering the air date.
And another inherent problem with this? It's a made-for-TV movie, and practically as a rule made-for-TV movies are terrible. So my mission will be set back by poorly-timed bad acting. Revolting.

I haven't decided, though, whether or not this is worse than the musical which premiered on my time last year. Going by time alone, the musical is worse, as it takes a significant amount of time to write the libretto, compose the music, put together a cast, rehearse, build the set, etc etc etc. All that considered, the individual responsible for the musical must have started putting it together almost immediately after my turn in 2001, which is, again, entirely too soon.
This one might be a personal reaction, as it was the brainchild of one individual, but some people's theraputic works aren't necessarily things that should be released immediately. A musical, by nature, is a spectacle. Even musicals with serious subject matter are still made lighter merely by the concept of people randomly breaking into song. Plays can be very serious and introspective, but even the most personal number from a musical is still extravagant merely for what it is. And one year after such a cataclysm isn't long enough to wait before exposing to people who are still, for the most part, bewildered with regards to to those events to a grand musical spectacle.
And it's not like the plot was of great depth either. The main character is a young Broadway hopeful, who just was cast on 10 September's time in 2001, only to have her hopes and dreams crushed by the falling towers on my morn. Pardon me, but I must say: cliche, cliche, cliche! The nature of the plot only trivializes the events further. I don't care if the thing is a masterpiece of composition. The timing and concept are inexcusable.

But I do know it was inevitable. More and more things are being brought to performance media as years progress. I just wish they'd wait and let people figure things out, let me present things as they are before offering their unauthoritative slants. Five years, maybe. Ten, I suppose. Two is not enough time.

Revisionist history, eh? Tuesday, June 17, 2003
For all the corruption, insanity, and utter nonsense that has always been inherent to the United States government, some things still don't fail to amaze me.
A statement from President Bush today declared that those who criticise the motives involved in the attack on Iraq are writing "revisionist history," because, apparently, there were in fact weapons of mass destruction even if any were not found in this invasion.
First of all, the term "revisionist history" is used incorrectly. What that means is, clearly, to revise history in presenting it. Which is not what Bush is targeting. Criticizing motives is editorial commentary, clearly opinion as opposed to fact, and is thus being written as criticism, not history. And making an editorial statement isn't revising anything. Informed statements and criticisms are based on interpretation of facts. Uninformed ones should not be taken seriously regardless.
But definition aside, revisionist history? Regardless of whether or not any WMDs were ever in Iraq, none were found in 2003, and to say that any were found would absolutely be revising things. And if the administration was so certain to look, that proves they had no idea for certain. Thus the motive is questionable, as Iraq had not directly provoked anything, and nothing was known to exist.
But details aside, the word usage is what really irks me. And yes, Bush is not known for his language skills, but to make an accusation containing such an error...Agh.
Revisionist history would be saying that Hitler really didn't kill many people, or that the American South never did anything to get on the nerves of the North before the Civil War.
But with the current revisions, I must be altering things myself, to dare and say that the World Trade Center was not a patriotic symbol of American superiority before my turn in 2001...Among other things...

Vendors Sunday, June 15, 2003
New York City has always had street vendors, and there have always been more than enough tourists to keep said vendors in business. And I need not go into a lengthy description of the subject matter printed on their merchandise in the past 21 months.
Of course I still don't approve of capitalizing off of tragedy, particularly not in the blocks directly surrounding Ground Zero. However, I do understand the natural tendency of people to want physical items of commemoration. Yes, the postcards featuring the Towers are getting extraordinarily redundant, but if people want a visual memory and can only keep it with a photo or postcard, it's not like they can take their own photo anymore. So that's understandable, as much as I don't like what the vendors get out of it.
But another specific item has been brought to my attention, and for this there is no excuse. It's a remarkably simple little thing, just a t-shirt that says "New York City, Ground Zero, September 11th 2001." It appears harmless, but think about it. A souvenir. You wouldn't pick up something proclaiming you'd been to, say, Tiananmen Square or Auschwitz or someplace else where many innocent people were killed. Sure, people go to those places, but it should be to pay respect and to enhance understanding. Having a placename t-shirt is basically bragging or showing off that you've been somewhere, and showing off pretty much contradicts any real reflection. If you want to show that you've been to such a place as Ground Zero, write out your reflections. Do something meaningful. Far more of a statement or a memory than some stupid t-shirt.
And another item...Well, World Trade Center socks (which really do exist) just make me laugh. I'm sorry.

Photo Album Saturday, June 7, 2003
I recently had a chance to look at a hefty book of pictures from my 2001 (860 pages, in fact). It's a very comprehensive and touching book, with many images that are shocking, profound, tragic, and some even beautiful. It's very effective in covering the many facets of the event, and if you can stand looking at large numbers of emotionally-straining images, it is worth a look.
The title, however, is Here Is New York. I personally am not one for devising creative titles (or usernames for blogs...), but I do not think that this one is quite fitting. Yes, the brunt of the event did take place in New York, but the title implies that the collapse of the World Trade Center and all related events are the essence and epitome of Manhattan, the very character of the city and its inhabitants. Perhaps some people might think this, but I very strongly doubt that a majority of New Yorkers would put any merit to this statement whatsoever.
The impression I get, from reading various other media, is that most New Yorkers are sick of being characterized by those events, of their city being thought of in direct conjunction with disaster. They're irritated with all the patridiotic tourons who make a pilgrimage to gawk at Ground Zero every day. This is understandable. There's far more to their city than that.
But to the converse, the element of that disaster will forever be associated with New York, and the people who live there surely realize that nothing is going to change that fact by this point. But to mark it as the crowning point of a city on the front of a massive collection of powerful photography...not the best editorial move the publisher could have made.

Dialogue Thursday, June 5, 2003
A: The overabundance of "God Bless America" stickers does a good job of expressing the growing lack of thought in the country today.
B: But what if they really want Him to bless America?
A: I refer to the "America" statement, not the religious aspect. People say this without thinking.
B: How do you know that?
A: The phrase has become a slogan that is, like reflex, not something with consequence or important meaning. It's bandwagon patriotism.
B: Why does it matter the reason for patriotism? It means a love of one's country, and that's all that matters.
A: But are they saying that because they really love America, or merely because it was attacked?
B: Perhaps it took the attack for them to realize it.
A: If the attack makes them merely focus on America, they are not learning from the attack. It's not just America involved.
B: I know the Towers were international, but the attack was on American soil, and thus Americans take it personally.
A: That is initially understandable, but it needs to be understood past that.
B: You know it will be reduced to a mere paragraph in a history textbook anyway, with only one generation.
A: I know, but the contents of that paragraph will matter.
B: I can tell you, people will not remember it with a surprisingly short amount of time. People don't remember Kennedy now, and that wasn't ancient history.
A: But the contents of that paragraph are related to that. They say only that he was President, and that he was assassinated. They mention nothing of Camelot, of the mystique associated with him, of his activities within that. People remember the bare skeleton of the event, no details. And if people remember for the attacks merely that there was an attack on American soil and people died, there will be no benefits. A national tragedy can be a human tragedy, but a human tragedy cannot be reduced to a national one.
B: That's all well and good; I understand you, but it is a deep though. You must recall that most American citizens aren't so capable of philosophy, but that they're simple and good people, intending only the best but not seeing beyond the easier things to grasp. Surely you cannot criticise them for that.
A: I'm not. However, despite the fact that they may not have deeper and more abstract thoughts of the matter, thoughts beyond the public impression and media shine, they can listen to things. And that is why the people who think deeper and beyond must speak up, so that others will listen and hopefully understand. Comprehension of that sort of idea is easier than development. And nobody can argue that understanding past events and examining different perspectives on them could ever be harmful to the future.

First Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Upon the recent discovery that February 29th's plans for world domination have been kept in painstaking detail over the internet, I have decided to try using that medium for my own purposes.

I figure this: if 2-29's plans were intended to be top-secret and actually effective, then they were foiled precisely because it is so easy to access anything posted online (particularly if it is not password protected). But that aspect of easy access is favorable to me. More and more people seem to be following these "blogs" and journals, apparently to the point at which they come across random ones and sit down to read for lack of anything better to do. And while I understand the need for "downtime," I figure it's worth a try to have such a site of my own, for the hope that people may surf to it and have something to think about during that downtime.

And thus you have this site, not a record of everything that's happened on the eleventh day of the ninth month over the many years during which such a distinction has existed, but the perspective of September Eleventh, the year and its contents with respect to the 254th Day.

I will try not to be so depressing as my distinction might indicate, but I cannot make any promises. And furthermore, the radical nature of February 29th's site was oddly popular. Perhaps my rants will draw all that much more merit.