Just Shocked.....

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by 4everDifferent, Apr 21, 2015.

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  1. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on 9/11/01. I Can take you to the spot in the classroom where I sat when the secretary burst in the classroom and told us to turn the tv on. I remember it still as if it were yesterday.

    Now, going on fourteen years later, I am a teacher in the same high school I grew up in. Today, we decided to show a movie today that followed the 102 minutes of that fateful day. The overall attitude was solemn, they were quiet and respectful....

    Until they saw people falling out of the buildings.

    Insert splat sounds and snickering.

    I realize that the students in my class were pooping in diapers or no older than six, but to have so little respect for one of the nation's darkest times in this young century is shocking. I spoke up for silence and when class was over, I pulled them aside and proceed with the talk.

    I said, "This isn't a movie that Hollywood put together. Those were real people who could find no solution to a hopeless situation. Some simply fell, while others jumped. Those were real people who died real deaths and left behind real families. Show a little respect."

    I got the customary, we got in trouble look, before they scurried off to class.

    I'm just curious, anyone else experience this or things like it? Maybe it wasn't about 9/11 but something else.
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  2. A lot of my online friends from other sites (Many in their 30's) would make the same jokes.
    In fact they made this video about it (it's a group channel. I technically have access to it but I never use it personally).

    As for my personal opinion however?

    I think when you're in a middle of something like your class where the whole purpose is be respectful and remember, then people should be mature and respectful about it.

    But once outside of said situations? I don't hold any issues with dark humor and jokes made about it.
    It's also important to remember that humor/comedy is a coping mechanism, it's how people absorb and cope with otherwise frightening and horrible situations.
    That's why things like Dark Humor is so successful.
  3. So while I agree that it is not at all nice to react that way, I have to wonder. I probably would have been the same back then. I also work with children, probably younger, but still. They also joke about death and all these things. I know how hard it can actually be on a person having a single person die. Having this situation happening and being there just being able to look at it as it happens is different of course. For them it is just a movie, you have another connection to it. I can understand both sides, but I'm not to judge if it is better to joke about it and not take it seriously, or demand others to take it seriously that probably weren't even alive when it happened. It's a tough call, but I can get your frustration. I'd take it seriously, but then again I'm old enough to know what happened. If you don't know about it, I can just guess it looks like a movie.

    I had a similar situation happen to me when someone kept joking about a sickness that had taken someone from me. It pissed me off a lot and I got really frustrated, but after actually talking about this with the person I had to realize something that might seem obvious. If you don't share the same experience, it can be hard to find even ground on the topic. I hope this helped you somehow, I just tried to give my point of view :) Have a nice day nonetheless.
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  4. Honestly, I remember the same sort of scenario you had, being in a classroom when the television was turned on to the scene of two burning/collapsing towers. And I remember my friend and I sitting in the back of the class and being similarly irreverent about what was happening on-screen. Ghoulish, right?

    But the situation wasn't fully understood yet, as it was occurring in real-time, and we were a couple of unrefined kids besides, maybe 13 or 14. I think it's just something difficult to connect with or process at that age and humor is a way to attempt to do that or at least to cope, much like Gwazi said. Not to say everyone of a certain age will have the same reaction, of course, but it's likely that young minds will just naturally shrug off or reject the sacrosanct solemnity or reverence society shows to moments of tragedy/crisis.

    In the case of your students, there's also the factor of it being historical record for them. I didn't give two shits about the Soviet Union dissolving or the Berlin Wall being torn down, because it happened when I was a wee little tyke, even if I can appreciate the significance of those things now. Just how it goes.
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  5. There's no reason to be surprised. This happens all the time. Look at all the jokes people make about World War 2 and the Holocaust, or slavery, or various people who were assassinated or committed suicide. Those were huge issues, the first two of them at least being far bigger than 9/11, but jokes abound. As the saying goes, comedy is tragedy plus time.

    However, it's not just a matter of not caring about things that happened before one's time, though that definitely makes it easier to make jokes about some sensitive topic. Some people use humor as a coping mechanism to avoid really confronting the horror of whatever it is they're joking about. Some people just legitimately aren't that upset about the deaths of people they've never met and make jokes about it because it amuses them. Some people (myself included) who were also school kids on 9/11/2001 and experienced the whole thing unfolding were never deeply struck by it and never got all sensitive and patriotic about it. I've made plenty of 9/11 jokes simply because I enjoy dark humor. I made jokes that same fucking week even. It's just the way I am.

    So basically don't be so surprised about it. People aren't all wired the same, so some will laugh at things that make others cry. Rather than going with the "HOW DARE YOU THIS IS NOT FUNNY" kind of approach, I'd suggest trying something more like "keep the jokes to yourself, be respectful to those around you who don't find senseless death funny." They're gonna find it funny either way, but there's a chance you could convince them to modify their behavior by appealing to societal norms.
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  6. I think I understand where the both of you are coming from. I was raised to honor the memory of the dead and of those who sacrificed their lives for our country. To me, joking and cutting up about those losses is not honoring them. It seems as though it is just to make light of a heavy situation.

    I will settle with the understanding that not everyone agrees with me (big surprise there), and say that the setting should have demanded a bit more respect than those students gave.
  7. I was ten, heard it on the radio coming home from piano lessons.

    Well, mom heard it. Ten year old me had so few fucks to give about radio news stations.

    TV reports got my attention though.
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  8. It comes from not actually having been there or alive during that time. To them, they're just watching a video on a TV screen, and that creates this huge disconnect which prevents them from realizing that this was a real event and those were real people that died, etcetera etcetera.

    Simply put, they can't take it seriously because they don't see the reality of it. That doesn't excuse it, but it does explain it.
  9. Wait, the people watching are no older than six? I'm not surprised at this reaction, actually.

    EDIT: Oh, wait, you were joking? I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Teenagers tend to be assholes like that.
  10. I was 7 at the time of 9-11.

    I didn't even realize what had happened.
    The principal went on the announcements saying something like "This is bad. But we're in no danger, we're Canadian" (Far better worded and heart felt mind you).
    And I essentially just went home and quoted it to my Mom without knowing what the hell happened.

    It wasn't until a few years later where the Internet became much more of a common use thing that I was able to look at it and go "Oooooh, so THAT'S what he was talking about!".
  11. I was five years at the time. I was picked up from kindergarten in Germany and was mad because I couldn't play with my friends. I know what happened now, but even then. To me that was was only weird because I was home so early. Everything else was normal. I'm glad for that, but I can imagine that some people went through a lot that day. I simply was too young to get it at all.
  12. I'm working in the same school that I was in when it happened. Didn't learn much until the afternoon because the administration turned off all news networks. No one really knew how to react once we did learn when a teacher turned it all on.

    As said by a stranger in a strange land..

    "I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting."

    Humor is another thing we humans just do. It's a coping mechanism I like to think.
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  13. I was in seventh grade. Our teacher wheeled in a tv and we all watched it until our parents picked us up in the afternoon. I think the biggest shock for me, and probably the whole reason this struck me so hard after I showed it to my class, is that I'm hitting the age of students who are learning about from history books, not because they were around then.

    I talk about 9/11 and some kids ask what the significance of that day was. I know it'll be a day I will never forget and I will honor in my own way. I just wish that people would respect such events in the appropriate settings.
  14. Laughing at terror doesn't mean they can't understand the tragedy of the deaths of 9/11. It just means they don't live in terror of people who think skullfucking buildings with planes is going to solve anything, or is something to be feared. Which is good. People who are afraid to whisper of a tragedy for fear of disturbing the unwaking dead are the kinds of folks who fold to horror.

    The dead rest as is. There is nothing to be done about it now except to move forward. Part of that means letting go of the sacred cow.
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  15. There's a huge difference from being alive when history was made and watching it replay after nearly a decade on some documentary.
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  16. Sure, but not everyone who saw it happening live feels the same way about it as the OP does. Also, some of the people watching it on the documentary now or decades in the future will feel that same level of ache as people who watched it happening on live news feeds. People process and remember things differently. Saying those kids reacting with humor was all because they were learning history rather than experiencing it live would be to ignore the fact that human psychology is not a universal one size fits all thing.
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  17. I didn't mean it as that's how everyone will feel.

    Just that people are likely to feel more when they were there or witnessing it unfold on the news or in person. They won't remember how it was talked about in day to day life. How suddenly everyone had a flag outside their door.
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  18. I actually watched tower 2 collapse live. When you actually are watching thousands of people dying in real time, it's horrific. I actually got in a physical fight with a friend because I was pretty distraught and he somehow didn't know what had happened and he tried rough housing me by surprise.

    Time kind of brings the horror and harshness away from historical events, and simply reading about something or watching a video years later isn't the same, and it's so easy to think it isn't real. Hell, we live in a pretty desensitized culture that thrives off of trying to push shock value. I read about historical events and societies and it's like reading a fictional account instead of something that actually happened. I don't read about the Battle of Kursk and think of how terrifying it must have been and the earth shattering sights, sounds, and smells, I think about how it's the largest battle in human history. I have a hard time looking at numbers and wrapping my head around how much one million men is.

    We're not built that way. Unless we see it for ourselves or have a connection to it, it's a story about somebody else, not real.
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  19. Alright, cool. I've just seen a lot of people seeming utterly shocked by this and saying stuff that makes it sound like every adult American is outraged by this kind of disrespect. Felt it was worth mentioning again. :P
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  20. Considering the 911 music video I linked in my first post was made by 30 year olds?
    That kind of further proves that isn't the case. :P
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