posted 9/18/01

THE VIEW out our windows has changed. The change is not just physical, with a haze of smoke and a gaping absence on the skyline, but emotional and personal as well. The people who lost their lives on September 11th were neighbors, protectors and friends.

It's difficult to be comedians right now. It's difficult to be human beings right now. Many people wiser than we have said that among the casualties of last week's attack is our media's flip cynicism, its ironic detachment from genuine feeling. Well, if irony isn't dead then it's gravely wounded. How can we be ironic when our fire squad in Park Slope, Brooklyn, has lost half its members? When thousands of bodies may never be found in a mass grave across the river from where we sit? When the smell of ruin continues to flow through our windows? We have been reeling for the past week, first stranded in California, unable to reach our loved ones (or you, our readers, who we also kinda like) and then arriving home to a scene of immense sadness and loss. You probably wouldn't guess that the creeps behind Modern Humorist are the sort who wave flags and sing "America the Beautiful" with strangers in the street. But that is what we have been doing, in unity with others across the country. Unfortunately, the world is not like the Modern Humorist office, in which an Arab, a Jew and an Art Director work together in harmony.

Understandably, some of you may not want to think about comedy right now. We hope, though, that you will eventually return. Our comedy serves two functions: escapism and satire. Satire—our means of mocking the news and our leaders—may not feel as appropriate now, but escape is needed more than ever. That is why we are starting to post new content online, and why we hope you indulge us as we begin promoting the release of our second book, "Rough Draft: Pop Culture the Way It Almost Was," which arrives in stores on October 2.

Over the last week we've been directing our readers to the Red Cross Web site. If you haven't found a way to donate time, blood and/or money by now, then you're a hard-hearted bastard, and we doubt a plea from Modern Humorist can move you. Nonetheless, here are some important links:

The American Red Cross

NY Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund

NY Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund

Washington, DC Survivors Fund

Please give, and please find some way, no matter how small, to make a difference.


Michael Colton, co-editor
John Aboud, co-editor
Pat Broderick, art director
and the greater Modern Humorist family

NOTE: If there were ever a time we wanted to hear from our readers, that time is now. Please send your thoughts, comments, hopes and pictures of monkeys to