Notes From Space:

By Jerry Kranitz

From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)

Phewww.... it's been a while since our last issue, and as you can see from this issue's index page we haven't exactly been twiddling our thumbs. There's been all kinds of activity this summer, and the volume of review material we get seems to increase each month. But more help has come on board and I must start by profusely thanking the contributors whose efforts made this issue the monster that it is. These people are all volunteers with busy lives of their own, yet all kept in touch with me so I wouldn't panic worrying about their reviews, and came through so that I could meet my targeted date to go online. In addition to the necessity of needing more "staff" to help with the volume of review material, the added voices, musical tastes, and opinions only help to make Aural Innovations the top-notch publication that it is. Aural Innovations' knights in shining armor for this issue are: Scott Heller, Keith Henderson, Chuck Rosenberg, Doug Pearson, Jeff Fitzgerald, Albert Pollard, Roger Neville-Neil, Doug Walker, and newcomer Anish Bhatia (welcome aboard Anish!). Thanks guys!!

September 11, 2001... It's hard to go into much detail about what happened in New York and Washington as I've been rambling so much at friends via email that I'm a bit worn out right now. In the first couple weeks we were pummeled ceaselessly by images on the news of the second plane attack on the World Trade Center, and the subsequent collapse of both 110 floor towers. We see so much violence in other places on the news every day, yet I think even the most sensitive of us here in America are too wrapped up in our lives to think very hard about the suffering that war brings to the people in these countries, be it the Balkans, Africa, or wherever. But when we saw it hit us right here... we never imagined it could happen here... nevermind that it was almost inevitable... but seeing something as massive as the World Trade Center, in the heart of New York City, blasted by two hijacked commercial airliners... never mind the powerful symbolism of the hijackers success in crashing a plane into the Pentagon... I was standing in the lobby of a hotel in downtown Columbus preparing for a national conference the company I work for holds each year. Dozens of us were watching events unfold on the television and there was more than one collective gasp, and not a few tears, as we saw what just seemed like a bad dream happening before our eyes.

I'm writing on September 29. At this time our government is well focused on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban of Afghanistan. The latest news reports indicate, though the government at this moment refuses to verify, that US and British special forces have made initial forays into Afghanistan. Now I'll be up-front and say that I think the Taliban that control Afghanistan are a bunch of serious whackos that make the control of daily life in North Korea seem like a model of civil liberty. But let's be keenly aware that there are PEOPLE that live in Afghanistan and live every day in fear of the regime that governs their lives. They also happen to live less than comfortable lives anyway because they've never had a chance to recover from the devastation of war with the Soviet Union over a 10 year period. And now these people in this landlocked country, with no place to run, are petrified even more because they're afraid of an attack from the US... which may well come. What happened in America is unacceptable. And certainly we must act. But if we act out of revenge then we accomplish nothing but to make the problem worse. Even if we don't get directly involved in a full scale war I can easily see war breaking out among the countries of the Middle East, or massive upheavals within countries from populations upset with their governments support of America against Afghanistan. I am NOT insensitive to the massive lose of life in New York. But I don't want either the motivation of revenge, or chaos and suffering in other parts of the world to be what solves our problems. Because it won't.

I won't say more because events are unfolding far too quickly. I could also go on about the insanity that we call airport security in this country but I'll get too pissed off and I've got to finish this issue. I'll just close by pointing out that the Strange Daze 2001 space rock festival is coming in a few weeks!!! See our news page for details. Also, if you haven't been listening to our radio shows then you're missing out on a lot. All shows can be streamed online in RealAudio or downloaded to keep forever and ever. Ok, gotta go because this sucker ain't done yet and tomorrow night is my deadline to be online. See you next issue.

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