Monday, May 2, 2011

Random | And the beat goes on

The news of the last 24 hours was one of those Al Stewart moments that collapses the bookends of (nearly) a decade into a single moment.  I (like many folks) was immediately transported back to that Tuesday morning in September 2001.  The sights, sounds, smells and the feelings of that day that also lives in infamy flooded me. 

As is common in these human milestone markers (the birth of a child, your 40th birthday, MJ dying), we can often take stock and ponder the delta of all the things in our lives that have changed over that period.

I heard the news back then, oh boy

In 2001, I was in my recently purchased first home and my just as recently acquired unemployment status.  Just 3 days past my 3 days of severance, I sat in my spacious home office that Tuesday morning massively searching online for a job and scheduling networking meetings.  I was listening to KSTP-AM (talk radio - the social/edgy/viral/ media of that day) when (the late) Mark O’Connell announced “a private plane” had struck the Trade Center in New York.

Still in my work outfit of that day (running shorts and a wife beater), I headed into the living room and turned on the TV and flopped onto the couch.  Moments later,  I witnessed a second plane hit the other tower.  For the next 3 days, Max (my cat) and I remained similarly splayed on that couch watching all the gory details unfold on broadcast/cable news (primarily through the eyes the late Peter Jennings and the now retired Tom Brokow).  There was little else to do - my anemic job search ground to halt as quickly as civilian air traffic that day.

Who told you this guy was in here?

Fast forward to last night.

I am in the same room as 2001 – but now it is my master bedroom.  Max the cat is still there – but also my wife (who I did not know in 2001).  She was watching The Housewives of “Whatever” (since I was not paying attention).  

I had my headphones plugged into my iPad and had resumed streaming “The Sting” via Netflix (as I often use movies as sleep inducing white noise):

Billie: Who told you this guy was in here?
Lieutenant William Snyder: Nobody. I just know what kind of woman he likes. Going to check all the joy houses till I find him

The movie had just rolled by the above scene (with Charles Durning and Eileen Brennan) when a muted beep from a KSTP-TV “push notification” informed me that President Obama was about to speak.  Soon thereafter, we all knew why he was to speak.  It would be over an hour before he came to the podium – by which time both my wife and I had fallen asleep.

The next day, reports chronicled (that like so many recent events around the globe) that Twitter was the source of the first credible reports. 

History has turned a page, ah-huh

As I am wont to do – linking and transitions filled my mind and my morning commute (although dressed in a real suit as I headed to a client site today). 

Of course, in 2001 I did not have a blog (let alone this one).  In 2021, I doubt I will.  What will be the social media killer app of that day? 

October 23, 2001 – one month after 9/11, the first iPod was introduced to the market (white only).  Many colors and variations of iPods, iPhones, iTouches and two iPads would follow. In 2020 – what will be the mass communication media platform of that day…the holodeck?.  If so – I hope I have the life size (virtual) Paul Newman and Robert Redford acting in my living room

There are countless other examples that remind us that drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain….

All I know is we don’t really know what is to come in technology and media that far in advance (although we get closer to the Jetsons and jetpacks every day).   All I know is that I look forward to the journey to come. 

Oh – and don’t worry.  My wife swears that Max will beat the odds and still be with us in 2021 (at a  spry 25 years old). 

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