Sunday, September 11, 2005

How the West has really changed since September 11

It’s the 4th anniversary of the day when the US experienced an attack on its mainland. Back then I wondered if it was the end of the world as I knew it. I spent a few days looking at how tall the buildings were whenever I walked to work and I began to feel uncomfortable with the sound of a low flying plane overhead. I still do.

My fears were not of this new phase of terrorism but of the possible retaliation of the worlds biggest superpower. I had lived with bombs, or the threat of them in London in the 80’s. Over even a couple months I had narrowly missed explosions in Oxford St, Paris and Belfast (I spent only a few hours in that city, some of it on a bus but most of it in a railway station that was bombed the following week). Hardly a war zone, but neither is the US.

Expert opinions are divided on whether our world has really changed since then. In this debate I see a notable lack of commentary from the citizens of the Middle East. Our own little Johny has his piece of propaganda in The Age today. He talks of working behind shatterproof glass, being bonded in tragedy with other nations and the pride of being part of bringing democracy to East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not everyone sees this brave new world as any greater blips on the horizon than say, the Cold War. Michael Elliott, in Time Magazine believes many current issues on the economic agenda are shaping their country more profoundly. What interests me equally is his analysis on how the tragedy 4 years ago affected the individual. He points out that churches were packed to the rafters on September 16th, but now they struggle as much as they had previously to fill the pews.

This brings me to what I believe has really changed since the tall buildings fell down. Knitting. Yes, an initial response to the time of uncertainty was a return to hearth and home. Meals at home surrounded by friends and family (didn’t last), home decorating (see what happened to Martha) but knitting, that took off in a big way and seems to have stayed.

Whenever I walk into the delicious Artisan Bookshop in Fitzroy, its not the glossy art books that beckon, it’s a beauty down the back always waiting for me in craft.

“Unexpected Knitting”. What, knitting nude on the tram? Knitting in parliament? Men in hard hats on building sites in big machinery knitting? I don’t know, but I blame September 11 for it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:31 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

PS: i don't knit, but i know a very nice socialist who does.

5:09 pm  

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