....LMB: "Jake's Official 9/11 Post"....

September 10, 2002

I’m not going to pretend to know what to say here.

I’ll just tell one brief tale.

In the hours and days following the terrorist attack, I was glued to the internet, and watched many a conversation flow via email lists and bulletin boards.

It was ugly out there. Real ugly.

Anger, hate, bloodlust, vengeance. Calls for the death of the “sand niggers” and “towel heads.” Normally rational people suddenly announcing that they were going to join the army so that they could kill some Arabs. One memorable message saying that the U.S. and Russia should line up all their nuclear weapons and incinerate everything from Marrakesh to New Delhi.

And there was fear. Lots and lots of fear. Some who were certain that Los Angeles was going to be hit next, that same day. A man said that we should organize a citizen patrol to guard the local reservoir, because maybe the terrorists were going to put anthrax or smallpox in the water supply. A fellow who thought that it would be a miracle if he were still alive by Thanksgiving.

I suppose I was better equipped mentally to deal with the terrorist attacks and its fallout than many. Some years previous I’d done research and writing about Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and the Taliban. Not extensively, but enough to have a decent understanding of the situation. Enough to know who bin Laden was and what his grudges were against the United States. Enough to know (well, believe) that another imminent terrorist attack against the U.S. was unlikely. Enough to know that a U.S. assault on Afghanistan was a possibility.

What I saw most clearly, though, was a direct parallel between the behavior of the angry, fearful Americans, and the terrorists.

The terrorists, furious with the U.S. government and its treatment of the people of the Middle East, attacked the citizens of the U.S., as though the government and its people were one and the same. They killed thousands of people who’d maybe never even met a Muslim, let alone oppressed one, when their real grievance was with a handful of policy-makers.

And some of the angry and scared Americans I saw were making similar generalizations. I saw them calling for the deaths of all Afghans, all Arabs, or all Muslims, confusing the actions of a murderous few with a much larger group. Just as very few Americans set U.S. foreign policy, very few south and central Asians have committed terrorist atrocities.

People around me were calling for the blood of many. And when I argued that killing the innocent should be avoided, they said that I was on the side of the terrorists. That was a low point.

I realized that the people who were the most irrational, the ones who called out most fiercely for war, the ones who were most utterly fucking terrified, were the ones who were the least informed.

This stayed with me. The most fearful were the ones who had the least knowledge.

It’s something I’ve been doing for years, learning things and then teaching what I’d just discovered to others. Back in high school I was often sort of an unofficial teaching assistant, quickly absorbing the day’s lesson in math or physics or history, and then helping out my classmates who hadn’t caught it on the first try.

I’m still doing it, I suppose, but I’ve switched from the classroom to the newsroom. I do my best to figure out what the hell’s going on in this crazy world of ours, and then pass my opinion along. Not everyone has the time, energy or resources to research every little thing like I do, so I try to help fill that gap.

I’d stopped writing back in 1999, just too many things to juggle in my life. But then I saw these terrified folks last September, and realized that maybe if they’d had some of the facts in advance, maybe they wouldn’t have been so frightened, maybe they could have coped a little easier. It was a sort of kick in the pants that got me to resume this self-appointed task, to learn and to teach, in my own particular way.

Well, while we're on the topic of what drives me, I’ll go one step further. I have three main goals through all my writings and political activism:

1) get people to really see and think about the world around them;
2) get people to really think about what kind of world they’d like to live in;
3) get people to take action, any action, that will make the real world a little more like their ideal world.

That’s it. No matter what your beliefs or goals or passions, there’s probably something you can do move them closer to reality. And you’re probably going to have to do it yourself, because no one else is going to.

There you go.

We now return you to the sound and fury already in progress.

Posted by Jake at 11:44 PM

Jake, you are an incredibly cool individual. You are wonderfully talented when it comes to both writing and reasoning. Never stop.

Peace, man.

Posted by: ... at September 11, 2002 09:29 AM

yes indeed, it' very sad when people make generalizations about other people, but let us not forget, that the killing of innocents (afghan civilians at wedding parties, civilians in hiroshima, vietnam, need i go on ???) at the hands of the policy making few, has been too long without any reciprocity, the policy making few did not think about those innocents when they did what they did (and we KNOW what they did), like the old saying goes, An eye for An eye, a Tooth for a Tooth.

Jake, i'm not trying to make light of the great loss the united states has suffered, but in the great scheme of death and suffering in the world today, it doesn't come near to others innocents suffering around the world.

if you play rough , you're going to get hurt and the U.S just lost a tooth.

Let's just hope that people wake up, realize what's going on, and stop spilling blood for the measly resources of this planet.

Posted by: at September 11, 2002 12:50 PM

I like the comment above. With all the 911 anniversary specials on TV, I'm waiting for the specials on the bombing of Yugoslavia, Gulf war specials, the bombing of Iraq etc. Oh wait, sorry, that's not going to happen because those countries deserved it.

Silly me for thinking that what happened was related to the US's involvement in wars all over the world. Sorry for even thinking that America aggressively tries to have a monopoly of the worlds resources and be the self designated CEO of earth.

Posted by: at September 12, 2002 04:51 AM

You stupid liberals. You just dont get it. You can blame America for of the problems in World and it wont change a thing. The Muslims hate non Muslims, with extra hate for Jews and Christians. Thier are no Palastenian people just more Arabs. The word Palastenian did not exist before the British mandate. They are no differant than Jordanians. Jordon makes up 85% of the original Palastine. The Jews got 15% but the Muslims want more. They always want more. The polocies of the US have nothing to do what Muslims do or do not do. They want to rid the earth of all governments except Islamic governments and will kill as many innocent people as they can in trying to fulfill thier goals.

Posted by: Kirk T at November 14, 2002 07:41 PM

At the end of the day......Islam is a violent and blood thirsty religion. And the towel heads are too stupid to know the difference.

Posted by: Jeff at October 9, 2004 11:21 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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