"Then, one night, I was watching TV and happened to tape a documentary–it was ABC's Vietnam Requiem–about the war. When I watched it back, what struck me was how young the soldiers were: the documentary said their average age was 19. I was out having fun in pubs and clubs when I was 19, not being shoved into jungles and shot at. One line–'None of them received a hero's welcome'–really struck a chord. When the soldiers came home, people wondered what had happened to the smiling kids who went out there. What did they expect if they'd been through that shit?
I started messing around and adding music to the narrative. The main sound was electro–I was hugely into Afrika Bambaataa at the time–but I added a bit of jazz and a nice melody. I used an Emu Emulator, an early type of sampler that had a two–second limit when it came to doing samples. That's why the hook was 'N–n–n–nineteen'. It was the only bit of the narrative that made sense in two seconds."
(Interviews by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 September 2012)
"Historical expert Jo Teeuwisse, from Amsterdam, began the project after finding 300 old negatives at a flea market in her home city depicting familiar places in a very different context. She researched the background to each of the most interesting finds and created a beautiful series of pictures by super–imposing the old pictures on top of new ones.
Now she has rediscovered photographs of soldiers at war in France and across Europe and put together further sets of evocative and emotional designs."
(Emma Reynolds, 18 October 2012, DailyMail)
"In a paper this week, [Danah] Boyd said typical Facebook users 'tend to come from families who emphasise education and going to college. They are primarily white, but not exclusively'. MySpace, meanwhile, 'is still home for Latino and Hispanic teens, immigrant teens' as well as 'other kids who didn't play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm'.
Ms Boyd also conjectures that the US military's recent decision to ban personnel from using sites including MySpace is evidence of social fissures in the armed forces. 'A month ago, the military banned MySpace but not Facebook. This was a very interesting move because there's a division, even in the military. Soldiers are on MySpace; officers are on Facebook.'
MySpace, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has enjoyed massive success – particularly among young music fans – and recently became the most visited site on the web. But Facebook, started by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, has been gaining ground. Figures last month suggested it had more than 3.5 million UK users. Until last year membership was limited to university students and individuals with an email address from an academic institution. This, said Ms Boyd, has given the site higher value among aspirational teens."
(Bobbie Johnson, 26 June 2007)
"...I heard an American soldier say: 'There's a picture of the World Trade Center hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my Kevlar. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think: 'They hit us at home and now it's our turn.'..."
LRB, Vol. 27 No. 3, 3 February 2005
"Maya [Lin] unexpectedly won the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial while a Yale student, and it threw her into a huge storm of controversy. The controversy over Maya Lin's design showed the raw emotional wounds that still had not healed when it erupted in 1980, and Maya Lin's finished memorial showed the power of art to affect people and touch upon important issues of society.
Lin wanted her memorial to evoke tears in the viewers, to act as a vehicle for veterans to begin to heal from their experience. One of the most touching scenes in Freida Lee Mock's documentary is the beginning scene, watching the reaction of veterans as they look at the names of their fallen comrades in the black wall. In a particular scene, two veterans are looking at the name and one veteran exclaims, 'Look at all these names!' and he begins to cry. What most moved about these scenes was how the memorial touched these veterans, how it honoured the individuals who were killed by making them more than just a statistic. A veteran mentioned that a name may not mean much to one person, but it would mean much to another. Lin put the names in chronological, rather than alphabetical order, to help individualize the names. If the names were in alphabetical order, then a loved one would be lost in a sea of Smiths or Jones or whatever that person's last name is, and it would depersonalize that individual. It would take a person longer to look up the name and find it if the names were in chronological order, but the process would be worth it to a family member or a friend."
(Angelo Lopez, 26 May 2008)