Remembering 9/11

Today, as I invigilated in the exam hall, I remembered what happened 10 years ago, when the twin towers collapse happened just in the middle of my Preliminary examinations.

For a moment, nothing seemed as important. We were all pulled away from our books, from our usual anxiety about our ‘paper the next day’ to watch the footage on the news and find out what exactly happened. That precise feeling is impossible to describe or imagine, but I recall that feeling very clearly and vividly today. It was a mix of shock, disbelief, grief, confusion, fear and more.

In the midst of all the various 9/11 features and articles, here are some online features which I thought were informative and thought-provoking in their own remarkably creative ways:

  • A look at today’s 9/11 anniversary newspaper visuals

    This compilation, by Charles Apple, contains some of the most visually stunning and horrific ‘cover pages’ from various newspapers and magazines yesterday.

    The first image from the Plain Dealer was just…. breath-taking and so powerful:

    You must click on the link yourself to see more! There are so many other representations there that you can just spend an hour reading everything. The News+Views one and Albuquerque Journal cover page are others that are truly amazing.

  • The September Eleventh Project
    The writer of this blog started on September 2010 and composed a poem each day about 9/11.

    The poems/verses are so brief yet so evocative and haunting. Day 364 was indeed powerful. It will take you less than an hour to read the entire collection of poems/verses, but the images left behind are just so profound.

  • I’m Glad We didn’t have Facebook or Twitter during 9/11 by Cord Jefferson
    “That’s the real problem with attempting to make sense of 9/11 using social media: the former requires deep thought while the latter feeds on immediacy. Ten years and millions of articles after 9/11, we’re still trying to come to terms with what happened that day.” 

    – It’s true. 9/11 is truly one global event which changed the world, yet nobody has fully grasped or understood what it means. I read another article which spoke about how even now, 10 years after 9/11, there has not been a definitive novel or movie which can fully capture its impact.

Articles on Presidential Elections – the Good and the Bad

The Good

1. PE 2011 – Paradoxes and Perils of a Politicised Role by Catherine Lim

This is the best article that I’ve read that focuses more on what happens next rather than analysing what ‘went wrong’ or simply criticizing the PAP. Catherine Lim traces the changes in people’s perception of the role of the President during this GE and what this means for Tony Tan and future Presidential Elections. It’s not an easy piece to get through, but it’s definitely a worthwhile read!

2. The perfume of emollient moderation [Alex Au]

Alex Au has written many articles post-PE, and this is the easier read. He postulates a possible ‘strategy’ that future parties can take to ensure success (based on his observations of TCB’s popularity). The comments on the post are worth reading too!

The other article Very little tactical voting in Presidential contest really requires intense concentration to follow his argument and statistics.

3. Analysis of PE2011 Results, Hard Truths from the PE and Who can be the next President by Yee Jenn Jong

I really like Jenn Jong’s style of writing – crisp, clear yet insightful and thought-provoking. Jenn Jong is obviously someone who doesn’t just post based on emotional reaction to what he reads or sees and is truly involved in politics.

4. Four Lessons from the 2011 Presidential Elections [from New Asia Republic, by Terence Chong]

Clearly presented and I particularly liked point 3 on court politics because it brought an additional dimension to how our society is evolving not touched upon in any of the other articles already mentioned. 

5. Micropolling results of PE 2011

Breakdown of votes for each PE candidate by constituency. This is just hard and fast facts – no analysis here, which is great because you can do your own analysis. Note that this is not official data and reported by volunteers after a very late night. 

The Bad [i.e. read with a critical mind]

I’ve scanned through most of the other blog entries, which present similar ideas to the articles above less eloquently. I wasn’t quite impressed with the representation of issues from overseas press though, namely Wall Street Journal’s Singapore Divides over Elite Rule and The Economist’s Tantamount to a humiliation.

Like Alex Au’s article states, the whole PE wasn’t really about supporters of PAP vs. opposition supporters – which is what both articles seem to reduce the debate to. The electorate was much more complex and there are many out there who still believe in the PAP, but also want more moderation and control.