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[whitespace] Forget we ever said that

In the first bubbly-infused hours of 2002, we had an insight: write the number 20 on a piece of paper, hold it perpendicular to a mirror, and you'll see reflected the number 2002 with the second 2 reversed. In other words, 2002 is a numeric palindrome--with inverted 20/20 vision.

Students of Roman mythology will recall that January is a month for both hindsight and foresight, being as it's named for Janus, the god of exits and entrances. Statues of Janus typically feature a gray-haired dude with a two-faced head: one face looks back at the year passed, the other looks toward the future.

Looking back, Janus will see three main events in the year 2001: the energy crisis, Gary Condit and, of course, Sept. 11. Anyone familiar with Stanley Kubrick's 2001 suspected that year would have apocalyptic overtones, but who knew it would be forever branded by a date that matches the nationwide emergency number? In case you've forgotten, here are some things we used to do that now seem so 9/10:

  • Questioning President Bush's intelligence in public

  • Giving your favorite Middle Eastern man flying lessons

  • Naming your band Burning Airlines

  • Worrying that rolling blackouts will melt your Cherry Garcia

  • Returning borrowed laundry detergent by mail

  • Assuming that Tora Bora is a place in a Dr. Seuss book

  • Smuggling drugs onto airplanes in your shoes

  • Complaining about rude New Yorkers

  • Bragging about your brand-new SUV

  • Giving a damn about Gary Condit's sex life.

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  • From the January 3-9, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

    Copyright © 2002 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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