If Anything Important Happened On Yesterday’s Date, I’d Remember It

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A.G. Ulcerberger
I’m Sure Nothing Happened the Day Before September 12

Hello readers! It’s me, AG Ulcerberger, Publisher of this august institution, and I just wanted to check in and assure you that we aren’t just hung up on the latest whiz bangs and gizmos, like that Facebook thing and those popcast dealies. We have an institutional memory here.

And if there was something important that happened on the date before today, September 12, I promise you this paper would be all over it.

So let’s see. Yesterday, the day before September 12, the front section of my paper didn’t refer to any kind of event happening on that date that needed commemorating. I guess that means nothing important ever happened the day before September 12. If it had, we’d remember! We’d write about it.

Was there, for instance, some kind of important public edifice that was destroyed on the day before September 12? Not that I can remember. Now, it’s true the paper I publish did refer to an important edifice falling yesterday, but only in a symbolic way — on the day before September 12 we ran a front page article speculating that the death of Queen Elizabeth was like London Bridge falling down.

London Bridge falling down! How terrible! Imagine if anything like that happened in New York City the day before September 12. We’d never forget that here at my paper. But since we never mentioned it at all in the entire front section of my paper on the day before September 12, I’m sure that never happened.

I’d remember!

Liberal “Twitteratti” May Forget, But People With Integrity Like Me Never Do

Now let’s see. I can do a quick search online to see if the phrase “never forget” ever appeared in this paper. And guess what — it sure did, all the time. So clearly, never forgetting things is important here.

Weirdly, a lot of those seem to have come up in past editions right around this time in previous years. You might even say right before I took over this paper, not forgetting something that happened in the first part of September was really really important here, and then it stopped this year.

Well, that’s probably a problem with my dad who ran this paper before I took over — purely on the merits and nothing to do with my last name, which was the same as his. As for me, under my watch we don’t forget.

And to be clear, we have no problem writing about events that “Changed Everything” if they’re truly historical. For instance less than a year ago we ran this article about a momentous occasion that “Changed Everything” – a 1949 hospital visit from Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges! But obviously nothing that happened on the day before September 12 counts.

If it did, I’d march right down to the newsroom and insist we cover it!

Oversaturated? We Love Oversaturated!

Now, some might think we’re not talking about something important that happened the day before September 12 because we don’t like oversaturated things. Why, in the past year alone we’ve written many times about things we think are oversaturated, like “the world of wellness,” “a patch of central Manhattan,” “fin de siecle Vienna,” NFTs, satirical TV, casinos, and movies about monarchs. I pledge that as publisher of a paper that once ran four different articles with eight reporters about a lonely old rich guy on Martha’s Vineyard who just happened to also be a guy who kept his underwear on during a massage at the house of a trafficker in underage girls, we will always oversaturate our coverage if it meets our agenda.

My Conservative Friends Back Me Up

To make sure I’m not wrong, I just read the recent columns of my conservative friends David Broke, Russ Doubthat, and Brat Steaming to see if they remembered any important event coming up. Nope! Nothing in their recent columns about any event in early September we need to remember.

Now, Brat Steaming once wrote about how Obama forgot something important about some group called Al Qaeda back before we hired him away from the Wall Street Journal. If my good friend Brat said that, clearly he thinks not forgetting about this Al Qaeda group is important, so if he’s not writing about remembering them now, there’s nothing they did on the day before September 12 that matters.

Now that we have this past not mattering thing settled, I’m looking forward to my psychic friend David Broke‘s next prophecies. After all, as George Santayana wrote, “those who cannot predict the future aren’t worthy of a high paid job with me.” Or something like that. I forgot what, exactly.

AG Ulcerberger is definitely not the Publisher of a major newspaper who got there by having the same last name as the last few publishers. It’s just a coincidence! He read an email from a reader just last month. Wow are they a pain, but that’s the price you pay a few times a year. He once ate a domestic version of prosciutto, unlike those freaks at the Union Square Greenmarket who get there early and buy up all of the imported and then lord it over a hard working publisher who got distracted talking to another heir who totally earned their status too. Boy, did they have a valuable discussion about how affirmative action is threatening the status of heirs all across the Upper East Side and parts of Connecticut. Anyway, Ulcerberger can best be described as a parody of an effective publisher who finds a good balance between past and present.



  1. Yes. Let me be frank (as politicians say when they’re about to lie through their teeth), I was living in downtown Manhattan on 9/11/01 and…well, I finally, after a very memorable morning commute, partially achieved on foot, was in my office (in Midtown, far from the carnage) when word of mouth spread that first the South Tower (the one that was hit second) had fallen, and then that the North Tower had fallen (the one that was hit first.) And then I lived through the aftermath.

    I don’t exactly relish reliving that once a year, cathartic and necessary as that might and must be. However, I personally found it deeply insulting when the Times‘s front page made not a mention of this, but found room for that “think piece”/”news item” about the breaking of Britain’s national psyche following the death of QEII. Momentous, yes, and doubtless very jarring for the vast majority who are not [I’ll delete this]. But had the Queen died six months ago or six months from now it would still stand as a fairly useless college-sophomore-level three-pager “what have we learned in class so far” summary document.

    I’ve wondered, “When will come the day when 9/11 is treated like Pearl Harbor Day?” That is, a day that happened but the world has Moved On. I guess 2022 was that year, partly thanks to QEII, partly thanks to The New York Times, but we’re not quite over it yet. The annual ceremony was still held, human interest stories about who died and the families they left behind still appeared (just not in the NYT), and it still arouses plenty of “high feelings,” as the Victorians used to say.

    In a sharknado-like maelstrom Donald Trump’s golf club, which is leased from the city on municipal land in the Bronx, will be hosting that phony Saudi PGA-like tournament, and this, mind you, will feature women players, so LPGA-like. Women golfers playing on a Trump course within the confines of New York City in a tournament sponsored by the Saudis. I hope those paychecks are worth it, ladies.

      • My story isn’t particularly rare or interesting, there were about 8 million of us in the City, at the time maybe 1.5 million living in Manhattan. Given the nature of the offices that were housed in WTC 1 and 2, most of the non-first responder fatalities actually lived in the suburbs. Back when the Times was a serious newspaper (Howell Raines had just taken over and hadn’t gone off the rails yet) they did a profile of the community that lost the most people in the attacks within maybe a month of their occurrence. That town was Middletown, NJ. It reeked of Times snobbishness. I still remember its description, no [cutesy, “historic”] town center, newish single-family housing, attractive because of its easy connection to Manhattan via [shudder] NJ Transit. According to The New York Times the only people who should ever be boarding a NJ Transit train are those who board at about 20 of its many dozens’ stations, and Middletown isn’t one of them. Middletown is on the Coast Line, which goes to Asbury Park, where lower- and middle-class gay and non-white people live, so the Times has never really heard of them.

    • I worked 1/2 mile or so from the US Capitol on 9/11 which was one of the targets, although the plane never made it.  One of my office mates had a sibling in the Pentagon and was freaking about what happened to him as the smoke rose.

      The pundit class overreacted for a long time, leading to the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then underreacted, leading to the later chapters of disaster in Afghanistan.

      They never cared, they lied, and entire nations were thrown this way and that. And this little twerp Sulzberger doesn’t even have the glimmer of a soul needed to change directions.


      • Better Half lost a close cousin at the Pentagon. If you ever meet him, casually mention that there was no attack on the Pentagon, where were the plane remains, false flag; repaired in no time and the government is not capable of paving a mile of highway in no time–actually, don’t. You might not survive the encounter. He’s still hale and hearty. I’m no longer hale and hearty enough to tackle him.

  2. My story isn’t particularly rare or interesting

    I’ll respectfully disagree with the “interesting” part of that statement, as you were in very close proximity to a larger-than-life historical event. Understand that watching it unfold on some TV screens at the office in Boise, Idaho, was very different than yours or other folks there who lived through the initial events and after-effects right there.

    • I will tell you, and I think I’ve told this story before, that the afternoon was weirdest of all. I smoked at the time, so at one point I went down to the avenue that my office building was on and looked south and could see this weird, smudgy blackish cloud far away. People were flooding out of the building and the ones around me, Midtown office canyon Hell, and I thought, “I wonder if the subways and the commuter trains are running?” I lived along the E train line, last stop: World Trade Center.

      So I hung out, figuring that I might be of assistance. Not that we were going to be attacked directly, I didn’t think, but maybe as an after-effect the electricity would be cut off and the elevators wouldn’t work and I, being a tall, stronger, thirty-something male 21 years ago, might at least organize an orderly exit from my floor via the stairs and help anyone who couldn’t manage the trek alone, not that there were many people left on my floor.

      Then, I was pretty much the last one left on my floor, so I took the stairs (what if the electricity went out?) and walked home. Under normal circumstances this wasn’t difficult; I used to do it recreationally in nice weather, as the weather on 9/11 famously was. It took about 40 minutes to an hour, but these weren’t normal circumstances.

      I finally got home to a Better Half-free apartment, because just that morning he had flown away on a business trip. There was no way to contact him, all the phone circuits were either jammed or down, 2001-era Internet servers were down, very weird. Very pragmatically I leashed up my dog at the time and grabbed this old tennis racquet that BH had from when he played semi-competitively and some of the dog’s tennis balls and we went to the dog run.

      The dog run was located hard against the West Side Highway, which was the main conduit for emergency vehicles heading to the WTC site. Sirens, constant sirens, sirens in their hundreds. The dog run was deserted, which in all the years I’d been visiting I’d never experienced before. I unleaashed the hound and started whacking balls. I know how to play tennis, not as good as BH. I tell you, my overhead serves that evening? I would have won Wimbledon.

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