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12 September 2011

September 12th, 2001 to September 12, 2011

On September 12, 2001, I wrote a thing about the day before. (Though I was living in Brooklyn at the time, that week I just happened to be in Los Angeles.) Here it is with some pictures I took when I returned to New York.

Remains of the Day

The thing to remember in the face of death is that it is a moment when we who live through it are the most alive. We notice the same things. Reality comes into focus.

This morning, you freeze up when you hear the news and drop a handful of change on your hardwood floor: three nickels, four dimes, six pennies, one quarter. You wonder where on Earth the news photographers are going to get their awful negatives developed and their pictures processed. You decide to take up smoking again, and the brown-skinned clerk at the 7-Eleven where you buy them is upset because a customer came in this morning to make hateful accusations. Calls arrive from everyone you know, but there‘s little to say, so these conversations are brief. You want to cleave to ex-lovers, because the problems you had seem minor now. As you drive to work, you look pedestrians in the eye and share a moment. You open a door on a co-worker, and he recoils and squints his eyes. “A little jumpy today,” he says. There is a common understanding.

“We’ve given up a little of our freedom today,” a police chief says on the radio. But it‘d be wrong to give that up. We will give blood instead. Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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Talk at Redwood Library in Newport, Rhode Island

September 22, 2011 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

I’m giving a talk about “changes in music” at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum in Newport, Rhode Island. Wikipedia tells me the venue is the “oldest community library still occupying its original building in the United States.”

I’m told to expect more of a public conversation than a formal lecture, and have been asked to come prepared to talk about everything from new genres to new delivery systems (i.e. Spotify, the iPad). It’s part of a salon series on New Frontiers that the library is doing this fall. I believe the talk is free & open to the public. Address: 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840-3292 – Phone: 401-847-0292

It will coincide with a visit to my mom’s house. You are not invited home for dinner.

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29 July 2011

RIP the nation-state c. 19th century-2011

This may be my first cross-post from Twitter. It is deserved.

Read more here (about Apple’s cash liquidity outpacing the US government’s) and here (about the evolution of the nation-state).

It was fun while it lasted.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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