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  1. #11
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    9/11: Woke up to my music station talking about some plane crash. Went to the other room to turn on TV (no TV in the bedroom pre-kids days). Saw second plane and jumpers live on TV.

    It had an immediate impact on our neighborhood, as people who were not as social suddenly joined us in our social activities.

    On me, it made me consider if what I was doing was benefiting the world at all. It started me on a path to change employment and find meaningful work, which I am still trying to do (meaningful work that pays well is hard to find, unfortunately).

    But it really impacted me much less than the birth of my adopted sons the next spring. Parenthood is much more life-changing than any distant event.

    Fall of the Berlin Wall: I was out of the country and not really connected to a lot of news. I never thought it would happen and I never thought we would see the end of the Soviet Union.

    Having done nuclear war drills from 1st grade through high school, living every day with the pressure of knowing a nuclear war could happen, and suddenly having that threat gone was profound, to say the least. The current minimum threat of being a victim of a terrorist attack is nothing compared to living in a world of Mutual Assured Destruction.

    The 90s seemed somewhat free of concern in comparison. "The End of History" also seemed hokey, but there was idea of things settling out. And when "The Clash of Civilizations" was published, it seemed irrational to consider, given everything up to that point.

    It personally changed my life, as I had planned to work in national security affairs after college and even lined up a job in a defense related agency for after graduation, only to have to the bureaucrat that hired me tell me a few weeks before graduation that he was out of a job and the agency was getting closed down.

    Earthquakes (various): growing up in SoCal, earthquakes are a way of life, but each of them is pretty traumatic, no matter what. We did earthquake drills in school, as well as the nuclear bomb drills.

    Anyone that has not been in a major earthquake really has no idea about how much being in one shakes up ones reality. The most trusted thing in life is the ground and suddenly buildings are moving up and down in a wave and everything supposedly solid is shaking and moving.

    Of course, the Big One will be coming soon, maybe.... (and I am glad most all my family is out of California). It is overdue.......

    Rodney King Riots: Mostly stayed home and watched them on TV. My middle-class suburb was actually not very far away from South-Central and Compton and such, so there was a real danger of the riots expanding. My city had its own police force and they were out in force and even so, most people just stayed at home like the authorities instructed.

    It strongly altered my perception of my community. I have not lived there much since then (for other reasons, mostly, but still....)

    Challenger: The space shuttle program wasn't a big deal anymore, by then. It was routine, where before my schools put up TVs to watch the launches. My area built a lot of the space shuttle and I knew many people that had worked on it, so I know it mattered to them.

    To me, it seemed like it should have been a momentary issue, sad, but not too important. Sure, they died, but accidents have happened before.

    I did not know at the time that it would signal a decline in space development, that a few years later the Clinton administration would largely kill off manned space flight.

    I fully expected in the 70s and 80s that we would have moon bases and asteroid mining and Mars colonies and such in space by now. What was going like gangbusters became a novelty or a secondary matter. As I was watching the Martian with my children, I remarked that all the technology there has been around for awhile and that we could have had a Mars base years ago. A very sad change in life and understanding from the hopefulness that I remember being shared by almost everyone.

    Fall of Saigon: I was very little when this happened and I remember watching TV and seeing a news report interrupting my TV show. I asked my mom what it meant. She couldn't explain it to me.

    This set me off on my quest to understand history and politics and international affairs, something that I am still very much interested in and will likely be until I die.

    Waco: The attack on David Koresh and his cult always seemed bizarre and a great example of unnecessary government intervention and incompetence. What a screw up! The ATF wanted to justify their SWAT team after a scandal they had. The Clinton administration being compete idiots about the entire thing...."oh, the poor children"...

    Janet Reno should have resigned over that...taking "responsibility" but not actually paying a price is worthless.

    Personally, it gave a lot of my natural skepticism over government additional evidence and life. Everything I read afterwards screwed incompetence by the feds and dishonesty by the Clinton administration.

    I hadn't been bothered at all that Clinton had been elected and I disliked Bush 41 a lot and thought he had been a weak and poor president that didn't deserve reelection. I really liked Al Gore when he ran for president in 88 and was disappointed he had dropped out before my state voted.

    But the level of incompetence and dishonesty the Clintons displayed in so many ways, incompetence and dishonesty repeated over and over again, really made me have little confidence in them.

    But I still just voted libertarian in 96 and didn't think much of the two party system.
    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    “It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.”

    ― Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays
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  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Of course, 9/11. I had not thought of joining the military during my high school career, in 9th grade, in art class that morning when it happened. It was my first time I was actually aware of 'war' and the makings of it. My art teacher couldn't control the loud speaker announcing it, but she did just tell us to continue drawing and that there'd be plenty of time for worrying after class. My next teacher was more compassionate, my history teacher, who let us watch the news and history in the making right then and there. We were released home after parents started complaining. The subsequent bomb threats being called into our school 2 times, which was a completely foreign concept to me.. probably made by children wanting to play pranks, but the school took both seriously, and we stood outside for hours.. which gave me time to space out and contemplate things. There were a lot of military advertising and recruiters around our high school after that, and I ran into the one that would eventually sign me up for the service. It's reshaped my entire life to have gone to war, and to have served. I was a pretty squishy, NFP, unorganized little thing before that. Now, no one stands in my way and I always have a plan before I space out.

    The Tsunami of Japan was heart wrenching for me because I have such a deep love for the country. I worked extra hard to donate to the relief efforts.

    In a way, the Holocaust. To be clear, I am not Jewish nor had family involved in it.

    But this particular event had a hold on me that never let go. I attribute a lot of what I am to a seed that blossomed with life's lessons and challenges, and I think this single moment planted that seed. Maybe I rationalize it too much, or maybe I've always been this way and would turn out like this regardless, but it's what I look back to every time either way.

    A holocaust survivor came and talked to us in middle school. I am 85% sure it was Elie Wiesel, the author of Night, and we were reading that book at the time.... But I honestly cannot 100% remember. Still. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I had ever heard in my life. He cried as he talked about sections of the book, and it was very candid.. It was important. He showed us his tattoo, and he told us about how insidious the germans were about everything, about how his culture played into that perfectly, how it was a perfect storm of awful, terrible things people were capable of and the amazing incredible heart people have in the face of suffering. I cried, a lot. It truly changed my world. Not only did it make me question the 'status quo', but it gave me a much needed dose of reality in a world of fantasy and escapism I had built up around myself.. It told me that governments can be bad people, and do bad things. That anyone was capable of that. I started critical thinking that day. I started reading. I credit Tamora Pierce as being my launching pad for reading, but I really think this book assignment and this speaker coming to us made reading an important thing--even if I didn't quite enjoy it yet. The book is still something so soul crushing for me I have a hard time even picking it up. It taught me humility, because I thought I was soooo brave... It also started my escapist mentality in entertainment.... I tend to not want to see sad movies/stories in general... but if they're true stories I'll watch them anyways... outside of true stories, in general I tend to really hate sad movies... I remember not being able to handle the emotions that would well forth from sad stories I'd be forced to read in school all the time.. and not really having anyone to turn to either for them.

    It was the seed of my mentality that no one is going to bully others around me or tell me what to think. I didn't want to ever be someone who just let people do bad things to other people... and in high school I ran into several situations that shaped my life to uphold this mentality. To this day, I've made great sacrifices and broken far outside of my comfort zones to uphold it. That seed let me branch away from religion, from my father's conservative mentality and thinking.

    And it taught me to value my own life. This became very important later on, and I think it helped shape and protect me from all the crazy people and bad influences in high school and grow up in a way I was pretty proud of.
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  3. #13
    Unicorn in disguise Lord Lavender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Of course, 9/11. I had not thought of joining the military during my high school career, in 9th grade, in art class that morning when it happened. It was my first time I was actually aware of 'war' and the makings of it. My art teacher couldn't control the loud speaker announcing it, but she did just tell us to continue drawing and that there'd be plenty of time for worrying after class. My next teacher was more compassionate, my history teacher, who let us watch the news and history in the making right then and there. We were released home after parents started complaining. The subsequent bomb threats being called into our school 2 times, which was a completely foreign concept to me.. probably made by children wanting to play pranks, but the school took both seriously, and we stood outside for hours.. which gave me time to space out and contemplate things. There were a lot of military advertising and recruiters around our high school after that, and I ran into the one that would eventually sign me up for the service. It's reshaped my entire life to have gone to war, and to have served. I was a pretty squishy, NFP, unorganized little thing before that. Now, no one stands in my way and I always have a plan before I space out.

    The Tsunami of Japan was heart wrenching for me because I have such a deep love for the country. I worked extra hard to donate to the relief efforts.

    In a way, the Holocaust. To be clear, I am not Jewish nor had family involved in it.

    But this particular event had a hold on me that never let go. I attribute a lot of what I am to a seed that blossomed with life's lessons and challenges, and I think this single moment planted that seed. Maybe I rationalize it too much, or maybe I've always been this way and would turn out like this regardless, but it's what I look back to every time either way.

    A holocaust survivor came and talked to us in middle school. I am 85% sure it was Elie Wiesel, the author of Night, and we were reading that book at the time.... But I honestly cannot 100% remember. Still. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I had ever heard in my life. He cried as he talked about sections of the book, and it was very candid.. It was important. He showed us his tattoo, and he told us about how insidious the germans were about everything, about how his culture played into that perfectly, how it was a perfect storm of awful, terrible things people were capable of and the amazing incredible heart people have in the face of suffering. I cried, a lot. It truly changed my world. Not only did it make me question the 'status quo', but it gave me a much needed dose of reality in a world of fantasy and escapism I had built up around myself.. It told me that governments can be bad people, and do bad things. That anyone was capable of that. I started critical thinking that day. I started reading. I credit Tamora Pierce as being my launching pad for reading, but I really think this book assignment and this speaker coming to us made reading an important thing--even if I didn't quite enjoy it yet. The book is still something so soul crushing for me I have a hard time even picking it up. It taught me humility, because I thought I was soooo brave... It also started my escapist mentality in entertainment.... I tend to not want to see sad movies/stories in general... but if they're true stories I'll watch them anyways... outside of true stories, in general I tend to really hate sad movies... I remember not being able to handle the emotions that would well forth from sad stories I'd be forced to read in school all the time.. and not really having anyone to turn to either for them.

    It was the seed of my mentality that no one is going to bully others around me or tell me what to think. I didn't want to ever be someone who just let people do bad things to other people... and in high school I ran into several situations that shaped my life to uphold this mentality. To this day, I've made great sacrifices and broken far outside of my comfort zones to uphold it. That seed let me branch away from religion, from my father's conservative mentality and thinking.

    And it taught me to value my own life. This became very important later on, and I think it helped shape and protect me from all the crazy people and bad influences in high school and grow up in a way I was pretty proud of.
    I also had a holocaust survivor come to my school to tell us his experiences. As a matter of fact he was a relative of Anne Frank and he was very interesting. I am not normally a emotional person but his story broke my heart. He saw others getting abused, raped, tortured e.t.c and I was shocked at how well he held himself together during the speech as if we were telling the story of what he had for dinner. Afterwards he had an open question session with us all and I asked him "What do you think of holocaust deniers" and he said "They can believe what they want but I know what I saw with my own eyes" with this look as if he had given up on trying to convince the deniers it really happened.
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  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brain in a Jar View Post
    I also had a holocaust survivor come to my school to tell us his experiences. As a matter of fact he was a relative of Anne Frank and he was very interesting. I am not normally a emotional person but his story broke my heart. He saw others getting abused, raped, tortured e.t.c and I was shocked at how well he held himself together during the speech as if we were telling the story of what he had for dinner. Afterwards he had an open question session with us all and I asked him "What do you think of holocaust deniers" and he said "They can believe what they want but I know what I saw with my own eyes" with this look as if he had given up on trying to convince the deniers it really happened.
    Man, I think the worst part about holocaust deniers is that they just completely invalidate an entire genocide and the survivors of that genocide with a wave of a single hand. I hate how flippantly the word privilege is used lately, or how negative it has become, but in this case, this is the perfect example of negative privilege.

    We just went to a funeral for my bf's matron of the family.. she was a survivor as well, escaped being caught in camps by hiding in barns and fields and living off of bugs and sticks and stuff. She was an intensely passionate happy woman from what I can tell, and the family took great pride in her outliving all of the nazis trying to catch her back then. There's just something very satisfying about her living a full, positive life, and touching so many people, and in the process her life standing a giant fuck you to all the awful ugly things people can be.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

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    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  5. #15
    Let me help u with this geedoenfj's Avatar
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    Does airstrikes count? I had my fair share of them..

    9/11 : I was 14 and I don't remember many details, it was evening in our part of the world, I finished my homework and saw my family gathering around TV, I saw people running and bricks falling, and it says that World Trade Center is been attacked by an airplane, we were at shock seeing such huge building falling down like that, people running, people jumping for their lives, I remember most of the talking of my TJ parents is investigative and analytical of the situation.. It's disastrous terrorist attack, miseries that happened because of that is disastrous and terrorizing as well, it eventually created even more terrorism and extremism instead of cutting it off.
    Don't climb mountains so that people can see you. Climb mountains so that you can see the world.



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  6. #16
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    She was an intensely passionate happy woman from what I can tell, and the family took great pride in her outliving all of the nazis trying to catch her back then. There's just something very satisfying about her living a full, positive life, and touching so many people, and in the process her life standing a giant fuck you to all the awful ugly things people can be.
    My Aunt Charlotte was the same way (her father was Jewish and she became a refugee after the Nazis took everything away from her family, leading to her father's suicide). She thankfully avoided the worst of it by having friends sell family valuables and thereby raising the money to leave. She was already a doctor, but had to go back to school because her credentials were not recognized. Her zest for life was amazing (I think she was still practicing medicine into her eighties, and seemed at least thirty years younger than she was when I knew her).

    Her impact on my mother's life is probably what led her to tell me the basics about the holocaust before I was in kindergarten.
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  7. #17
    Its time. Cassandra's Avatar
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    Berlin wall: like @Typhon I was young when it came down and remember it being talked about with significance and watching the wall coming down on Tv.

    Dutroux scandal - When I was 14 a notorious pedophile who had kidnapped and raped two 8 year old girls and had buried two 17 year old girls in his garden after a similar treatment for several years in an underground dungeon. His partner and wife let them starve to death when he was away. In response, 'White Marches' in honor of the two girls broke out all over the country and even my own school was 'liberated' by other schools who were going from school to school in the region, to join in the march. It was a surreal day. In the end, the father of one of the girls formed a new political party which gained some traction and got some child protective policies through. Meanwhile, my mom went nuts on my safety and security.

    Two years later, he escaped. Though they caught him again, suddenly all the freedom I'd worked so hard for by being trustworthy and a good girl (I was the only girl and the youngest child at home), went up in smoke. My curfew got screwed back 3 hours, I was no longer allowed to go anywhere alone and so on. It was the second time in my entire life that I stood up to my mom (and once again, on this topic), tearing her a new one about the injustice her anxieties were inflicting upon me. I remember her looking at me in pain, and having to acknowledge I had a point. So she reluctantly gave in on some points and compromised with me on others. She was always a fair woman, but when it came to being Mama Bear...bless her <3

    9/11. I was 19 or 20, and turned on the tv at 11 in the morning. And suddenly I'm staring at this tower that's...got a lot of smoke coming from it. It was the first tower. 10 minutes later, Im sitting there watching with open mouth as I watch the footage of the second tower getting hit. I remember feeling like it was a surreal moment and thinking I'd remember this moment for the rest of my life, most likely, yet it felt so utterly mundane, standing there in my nighty in the middle of our TV-corner.

    Breivik's bomb in 2011: I had just moved to Norway a month before. Suddenly a big bang was making the house shake - it pretty much sounded like a heavy truck putting down his load. Once I found out it was a bomb, I checked on my INTJ who was...well, several blocks away from the bomb at his office. Thankfully, he was ok. Next thing I know, its all over the news. Suddenly, on the next sunday evening, a Facebook comment gains traction about coming together in the center of Oslo with a white rose to pay respect to the victims. The next day, on monday, the march is organised by Amnesty International itself, complete with torches, white roses everywhere, speeches from all the important people and songs by well-known artists being performed live. And I remember taking it all in and being utterly touched by the sense of tribal nationalism.

    I'm...unfamiliar with tribal nationalism, since we dont particularly do patriotism in Belgium. Sure..we had the dutroux thing, but those marches were spontaneous, not national. And the national one was...well, stuffy, boring and 'obligatory', for my experience. Here in Norway though...they did nationalism right. It wasnt about anger aimed at an enemy. It was a coming together of a people that was hurt, and was looking to comfort their own, while figuring out how this couldve happened. It was..beautiful to behold in its serenity.

    The roses were left behind in reverence around one square they almost renamed after the roses, in beautiful flower pieces which stayed there for an entire week before they were respectfully cleared away.

    It sort of forged my opinion of Norway right then and there

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