Tag Archives: WWII

Don’t Worry. We Won’t.

11 Sep

This afternoon I had a tutoring session with my 12-year-old student. Part of his homework tonight was to ask some adults in his life what they were doing when they found out about the attacks. He asked me if I remembered what I was doing.

Good Lord. For me, it’s still so fresh.

I chattered on about what I was doing that morning, what street I was on as I drove to work that morning, what the radio announcer’s voice sounded like, what the other people in the other cars on the road were doing. I said,

“And the streets were all packed with so many cars! It was total chaos! People didn’t know what to do!”

“Why?” he asked me, his brown eyes wide with curiosity.

And then it hit me.

He doesn’t know.

Oh my God. He doesn’t know! He was only 5 years old on September 11th, 2001.

He doesn’t understand that we didn’t know what to do because we were certain that we here in Los Angeles were going to be targed for attack next. Fear gripped every American’s heart. How do I explain such devastating, widespread fear that we were saddled with in addition to the heartbreak? We mourned. Not a head was unbowed.

I was only 21 at the time, but instantaneously I age because of this revelation. You’d think my trying to relay to him about the fear that gripped our hearts that day was as antiquated as The Greatest Generation telling us about air raids during The War. Then I remembered something.

While watching History Channel documentaries with older people recounting their stories about what they were doing when they heard JFK was shot, one thing they always seem to preface their stories with is, “I remember it like it was yesterday…”

And I find myself opening my mouth and the words pushing off my tongue effortlessly, as if they were just waiting there for me to speak them:

“Oh Nicholas..! I remember it like it was yesterday…” I trail off.

We all do. And we all will, for forever.


I Didn’t Know Ben Franklin Was Such A Man-Whore?

2 Sep

You know, YouTube ain’t what it used to be.

Is it just me, or did there used to be funnier, fresher stuff on it? Now it’s like a crapshoot–sometimes you’ll only find stupid things on YouTube, sometimes all you’ll find is people blowing things up out of boredom, and sometimes, you’ll find 80s one-hit-wonders used namely to terrify and stupefy innocent victims.

But then, sometimes, you find a gem, a reason to keep clicking on random videos and hoping that they will showcase the brand of humor and wit that made this flagship video hosting site dominate the internet as the premiere venue for fostering independent projects and making a name for yourself, whether it be good or bad.

Here is one such gem:

Drunk History, Vol. 1 is almost a new classic. Though it is a joke meant to appeal to us in geek set who have both memorized every line of hilarity perpetuated in Superbad, and yet could be equally captivated by a WWII documentary about Spitfires on History Channel, this first film still showcases Michael Cera‘s acting tenacity, and–dare I say it?–by acknowleding the substance abuse at the get-go, and utilizing it as a comic relief tool, these films almost create a genre for themselves.

The second film, Drunk History, Vol. 2, utilizes Jack Black‘s smarmy-but-hilarious qualities quite well, casting him as Benjamin Franklin, and continues on in the funniest Drunk History yet, Drunk History, Vol. 2.5, delving into Franklin’s sex life. Finally, Drunk History, Vol. 3 showcases a female storyteller, serving up a profanity-laced retelling of the story of Oney Judge, a slave in George Washington‘s household. I will warn you now, however–The Vol. 2 & 2.5 set have graphic vomiting. Blecch.

But I implore you–make it through! Because Drunk History is well worth the cringing wait through the vomiting moments.