Friday, 21 November 2008

unbeatable views

This is very random, but was doing a bit of wikitrailing today and ended up on Jon Stewart's page. I'm a big fan of the The Daily Show but had never seen the following bit of US TV history before - Stewart's cold open for the first show back post-9/11. It's a truly moving piece of watching, and even though it seems unscripted and disjointed, I found myself hanging on every word - as, it seems, did the audience, who respectfully held off any applause or response until the host was through.

For me, it recalls a strange incident at home a few years ago. An American friend of my father's was staying with us, and when 9/11 came up, I was excited to be able to pull out a wad of newspapers I'd saved from the following coverage. The friend was speechless, and I was shooed away in shame. At the time, I only half-comprehended the idea. But I guess it's hard to imagine, even now, that so many people were killed in an instant by the choice of another. I'm a huge fan of perspective - the current problems in the DRC or Darfur, for instance, are just as terrifying a human tragedy, if not infinitely more because of their respective longevities. But all the same, what Stewart has to say is worth hearing, because it reminds us that not only are we immensely privileged by fortune of birth, but we don't spend anywhere near enough remembering that.


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