OSG Home > Opensewer 10

OS 10: 10|10|01
America: Life After September 11

GO: Boston Cleveland Columbus Ithaca Jackson Jacksonville New York


A time of retrospection, of healing, and a chance to gain some insight... Opensewer 10 was a milestone for us--both because it was number 10, and because of the unprecedented participation. It's quite exciting to see OS spreading to so many additional cities, and encouraging to see the interest and energy being maintained in our past member cities. A couple of the new groups had only a few attendees, but we're excited about their enthusiasm and know that in time critical mass will build.

Due to both the recency and the sensitivity of the topic, discussions at the gatherings tended in general to be a bit more volatile than usual. This was expected to some degree, so it was up to the moderators to ensure that emotions were kept under control, and that everyone had their chance to voice an opinion. Another interesting observation about OS 10 is that the discussion tended to stay centered on the topic, which is rarely the case. Usually, the moderators must constantly "gently remind" participants to stay within the realm of the topic. There was none of that this time--everyone was held in the grip of these events.

Rose and I here at HQ would like to thank all of our coordinators for their continued efforts--OS would not succeed without your dedication. Now, select a city at right to start reading about the details of each gathering!

Statistics: Seven cities--Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Ithaca, Jackson, Jacksonville and New York. The mean attendance at a gathering was 8 people, with a maximum of 14 and a minimum of 2. Something between 7 and 20 people is considered ideal attendance.

Background Material

The Charge

As nearly every citizen of the world is now well aware, on September 11, 2001, terrorists destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center in New York and severely damaged the U.S. Pentagon. The loss of human life has been extraordinary. Few disagree that these events have changed the state of the world for an entire generation of people.

Rather than provide an elaborate buildup of this situation and restate the issues of which many people are already aware, we present a few simple questions to consider in preparation for the discussion. There are, of course, thousands of questions, but let this be a start:

>> Have these events caused irreversible changes to the American lifestyle? It is obvious that our sense of comfort has been compromised for the foreseeable future, but is our inherent sense of relaxed freedom gone forever?

>> Does America need a "wake up call," and if so, was this it? We've all heard the (now somewhat clichéd) comparisons of America to the Roman Empire--is there suddenly a new truth here?

>> Think about the ways in which the popular media has reported these events. Has it, in general, been appropriate?

>> The G.W. Bush question: Are we at war? Or not? Should we be at war? Or not?

>> How will the events of September 11 change America's attitude toward foreign policy?

>> Think about the cascading effect of this tragedy: Thousands of people die, and hundreds of thousands are affected by their deaths. Businesses have been completely destroyed--what about the thousands of clients that depended on them? The web of insurance liability for this tragedy reaches around the world. Some law students graduating this year will spend their entire careers dealing with the repercussions of this event, and so on...

>> What is the subtext of all of this? What policies were in operation beyond the vision of American citizenry? What were the seeds that led to this? Are things as black and white as they seem?

Let us bond together through our humanity, intellect and emotion and try to make sense of senseless events.

Reading Material

It could be argued that no reading material is necessary for this topic. Of course, one can find endless news sources dealing with this issue all over the internet. Below are listed a few links that, to us, show particular insight.

MichaelMoore.com - Particularly take a look at the diary of his drive across the country.

Alternet.org - An excellent counterpoint to mainstream media.

Common Dreams - Another great alternative resource.

<< Back to OSG Home | Top of page

Opensewer 10: October 10, 2001

[Page posted 8/23/01, last update 10/27/01]

Opensewer 10 took place at 7 venues across the United States. Select a city below to see the details...

Boston, Massachusetts
At Lucky's Restaurant Lounge

Contact: Sara Stucky-Sayner

Cleveland, Ohio
At Fulton Bar and Grill
Contact: Chris Oldham

Columbus, Ohio >>
At Dragonfly Annex
Contact: Joshua Kaufman

Ithaca, New York >>
At The Lost Dog Cafe
Contact: Rose Merendino

Jackson, Mississippi >>
At BlackWater Cafe

Contact: Anthony Difatta

Jacksonville, Florida >>
At Venny's Italian Restaurant
Contact: Steven Anderson

New York, New York >>
At Scharmann's
Contact: Tiona Martin


Click here to go back to Opensewer.com.