My sheltered life

So, last night hubby and I decided that after the kids were in bed we'd watch a video for about half an hour while the kids settled down and then, ahem, we'd, you know, go to bed early.

So, the video we decided to watch for half an hour? Fahrenheit 9/11, which somehow we'd managed to avoid up until now. Frankly, I didn't want to watch it before the election. Back then, I was already terrified at the prospect of the shrub (as Guusje calls him) winning the election, and I knew this movie would only make me feel worse. After the election, well, we were too depressed. Didn't want to make it worse. But then Steve brought it home from the library, so we watched it.

And I do feel worse.

Not because of the facts, most of which we already knew. No, it was the visual images that freaked me out pretty badly. The Iraqi civilians, the American soldiers. Not to mention, at the very beginning, the scenes at Ground Zero. Whoa!

Confession here: we use our tv only as a monitor for the dvd player. We don't have cable. We don't have an antenna. Not even rabbit ears. We couldn't watch the news if we wanted to. We get our news via NPR, CBC Radio Two, the Atlantic Monthly and Mother Jones, and our local paper. To this day, I have never seen the actual footage of the hijacked planes. Photos, yes, but not the video.

I read lots of gory stuff, though, and so does my husband. Unlike some of the people in my book club who try to avoid reading about war, I've read quite a bit, including such classics as All Quiet on the Western Front and Johnny Got His Gun. My husband is not only a social studies teacher, but also a military history buff, and I have also read a fair amount of the stuff he leaves lying around. Most recently, and in quick succession, I read the separate Viet Nam memoirs of 1) an army doctor; 2) women; and 3) a corporal. All shocking, not only in their descriptions of the carnage and bad policy, but also in their poignant attempts to readjust to life back home afterwards.

Fahrenheit 9/11 really brought home to me the difference between reading about something and seeing it. Lord knows, my imagination is vivid enough that you'd think just reading would be enough.

We are NEVER getting cable.

* * *

And, as you probably predicted: the romantic interlude did not happen that night. We sat riveted in front of the tv until midnight, and then we were too raw and tired to do anything but sleep.


  • This is why I don't do a lot of visual media at all, not even movies. I can't get the images out of my head afterwards.

    posted by Blogger Phantom Scribbler on 11:41 AM  

  • We watched it for the first time this week too. I am very glad I waited, had I seen it just prior to or just after the election I would have been even more depressed & angry. All of the the shrubs friends and cronies are making a LOT of money from this war and for some reason not one of their children is fighting in it. Nope, they are all safe behind their desks, working at jobs their daddies obtained for them.

    posted by Blogger GuusjeM on 11:55 AM  

  • Saw it at the theater the first week it came out (the VERY CROWDED theater which gave me false hope about our nation . . .) and got the DVD but haven't yet been able to watch it again. It's just too disturbing.

    posted by Blogger SuzanH on 3:28 PM  

  • That movie made me so mad I shook.

    posted by Blogger Running2Ks on 10:09 AM