It’s one of those days you remember better than any birthday or wedding. Those were planned; these hit you suddenly, stunning your mind, breaking your heart. “The shuttle blew up!” “The Towers fell!”
The impact was even greater if you saw it happen in real-time. If you watched the shuttle launches. If you caught the breaking news before the second tower was hit. Saw the second plane, realized at that moment, “This is no accident!”
Even if you saw it after, you saw it; saw it as an attack.
A few months ago a friend asked me if I had ever read, or seen, The Sand Pebbles. I replied that the closest I’d come was the Mad Magazine parody of the film. My friend felt this was a serious gap in my experience and offered to loan me the book and his DVD of the film.
Two things I should explain at this point. The first is that I’m always open to trying new things. That is, assuming they’re not utterly insane, extremely illegal or likely to cause harm. (Mildly insane, slightly illegal or probably harmless, yeah, okay, keep talking.) I would rather try a new restaurant than one I know, and I’ve turned down many a road just to see where it went.
The second thing is that, as much as I love movies, I’m not real big on war movies or westerns. The friend mentioned above loves both, and has been rather pointed sometimes about the “gaps” in my collection.