I remember waiting inside a bus listening to the news. The DJ was talking about the attacks. Twin towers. World Trade Center. I probably never heard of them until that specific time. At the time, we had no TV at home (we had one but it was broken). Few minutes later, a friend boarded the same bus while the DJ was still talking about the attacks. My friend couldn’t believe it, and asked if it wasn’t just some elaborate prank or a movie plot. It was morning then. In the US, it was the evening after the attacks.
I don’t remember much of what transpired after but I’m sure I bought a newspaper later that day. Because that’s what I usually do at the time. Read newspaper, mainly to get the latest on upcoming movies — Hollywood, art house, or otherwise. I seldom read the news though, or the editorials. Internet? Well, internet back then was really slow. And costs money. A single broadsheet would probably give you more reading material than the 30 minutes spent in the internet shop while waiting for the webpage to load. Newspaper was also cheaper. Sure, I probably read less than 50% of what’s in it, but at least I can re-read the articles and reuse them papers for other purpose. And the minutes you lost in the internet shop, you wouldn’t be able to get back.
Of course, there are stuff like, y’know, this tech savvy guy showing you naked photos of Alicia Silverstone. And there were also chat rooms, which some of my friends were so into at the time, asking for ASL, reacting to every reply like their balls were being tickled. Honestly, I don’t really know what sort of things they’d usually talk about. Do they meet up or eyeball? Does it usually end in casual sex like in that Orange & Lemons song? I don’t know. And I also don’t know why Alicia Silverstone was so popular back then. Like seeing a naked picture of her was the equivalent of seeing the Holy Grail. I’ve never seen Clueless (though I probably should) or any of her movies actually. And those photos are fake, by the way. Those were somebody else’s boobs and vagina. And you can tell it easily by the difference in the skin tone. Like it was some kind of Frankenstein monster, assembled in the computer. By the way, that’s like two movies in one, Frankenhooker meets Weird Science. I haven’t seen both, so, I might be wrong.
Few years later, I met the same friend in an internet cafe. Can’t remember what but maybe I went to the shop to create my first Yahoo email, as per the suggestion of another friend. I also don’t remember what for. Then, this friend (whom I met in the shop), he was raving about Green Day’s then-new album. He said it was different from the old Green Day. American Idiot. I don’t know if he sang and air guitar the first line to me (Don’t wanna be an American Idiot), but as far as I remember, he said it was really good. Well, he wasn’t wrong. I liked that album. And “Wake Me Up When September Ends” is really great. Its anti-war music video, probably one of my all-time favorites.