Friday, August 25, 2006

One thing I've never bothered to mention - and which occurred to me only now: it may seem as if I re-started this blog in August 2004, exactly two years ago, when the two Russian planes fell from the sky simultaneously - but this isn't so.

I was writing about the planes, and then about Beslan, elsewhere, keeping record for my friends who were asleep in the States at the time of the storming of the School, among other things, and then, sometime in early September, I decided to re-post it all here. So it may seem as if I was liveblogging some of the stuff, but it ain't so: I was doing it live but elsewhere.

I don't want to look at September 2004 archive now, it's still too scary, still too painful, but if I could, I'd remember the exact date I re-started this blog.

Two years.

(And it's a typical August in Russia again: a market explosion, a plane crash. So sad.)


I did have a quick look back at my September 3, 2004, "liveblogging" when I was reading C.J. Chivers' The School in Esquire a couple months ago. Strangely, it felt almost good to re-read it then. It was like an emotional prop, a way to cut a corner or two: I skipped feeling some of the pain for real by reading about the pain I felt two years ago and why I felt it.


Okay, so I have gone back to the September 2004 archive - couldn't keep myself. I was too busy to write much about the pain. Pain is what I remember the best, though. What I wrote then is different and, often, weird. Like this entry, posted at 3:16 pm, September 3:

NTV is still doing more or less live coverage. NTV is watched by a lot of people - but their signal doesn't reach as many places as that of the other two - Channel 1 (ORT) and RTR.

Channel 1 has another Soviet comedy on - when I switched over to them there was a scene involving a big black submarine being evacuated - very surreal, you know...

RTR has commercials - Twix, Pantene shampoo, etc. - and then a preview of a documentary about General Pugo - the only 1991 coup guy who committed a suicide after they got busted - very weird because i just mentioned 1991 here - and I've always felt almost sorry for this Pugo guy - if he hadn't killed himself, he'd be totally safe and comfortable now, maybe even still in politics - Mishah told me a few days ago that Pugo probably was the only person with conscience out of that evil bunch - i don't remember why we were talking about him... Still, it's weird that a state channel is planning to show something about the 1991 coup - what's happening today is so much worse but probably has the same significance, the same implications for Putin as 1991 had for Gorbachev. Or maybe not - it's highly unlikely anything will change now.

on NTV a shirtless boy of about 13 - cute cute cute - is telling (in Russian with an accent) how he was breaking the windows in the gym to make it easier to get out - his hand is bandaged, it could've been worse, he says, but the windows are plastic... two younger boys next to him are also trying to contribute some information, trying to be helpful... they do look shocked, in a childish way, without tears, just their eyes, huge and black... it's me who's beginning to cry, i wouldn't be able to be a journalist...

also, journalists seem to be getting in the way of the rescuers, all the time

4:10 - NTV live news is over. CNN is still on, a BBC reporter is wearing a helmet.

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