Tombers is the President of Intermat,
Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection
of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced
the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for
the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the
Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat
recently sold METEORS TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael
ORourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television
movie. Visit his
web site at http://www.intermat.tv
A Change in Mood
By Mat Tombers
With the first fluttering of spring in the air, New Yorkers
began to come out of the grey mood that has rested over us
to one extent or another since September 11. People were in
the parks in shorts and playing Frisbee with each other or
with their dogs. Lovers were walking hand in hand through
the Battery and along the streets.
Tourists were everywhere and the walk down Church Street was
more challenging than a stroll through Soho on the worst of
days. Families of tourists posed in front of the barriers
and had their pictures taken, smiling at the camera, at Ground
Zero, a moment to take back to wherever they had come from.
Others stood silently, heads bowed, full of silence and respect.
Many New Yorkers who had not had the courage to go downtown
yet, found in the better weather, the courage to go down and
see the hole. A man with whom I am friendly but not quite
friends, admitted that until last Sunday he had not had the
courage to go downtown, couldn't actually go below 14th Street
until now. But he had gone and felt he had assimilated the
My impression of the chap is that he lives with his life inabsolute
order and this destroyed order too much to be confronted,
until his sense of internal order had been restored by the
resumption of an "everyday" sort of life. And that's
what we had gone back to, some sense of normality, of "everyday-ness."
It was a sense of blessing, this moving back to feeling ordinary.
But then came Sunday of this week. The front page of the New
York Times had an article in it about the possibility of new
attacks, on New York. And the television news that day was
full of the same: New York was the target. It was inevitable.
My god, but have I heard that word a lot lately: inevitable.
It was/is inevitable we will have suicide bombers. Attacks
By Sunday evening, people were incredibly tense. Four of us
gathered for some champagne and cheese and salmon to celebrate
and enjoy the visit of a friend from the UK. But, in corners,
we talked of being afraid. In the days since then, friends
have spoken, seriously, of leaving New York. Of working to
find some place far away from the city. Other friends have
said that our buying the house upstate was an act of "unconscious
competence." I am tired tonight. And I am afraid. And
I do not like this feeling of fear. But it is the inheritance
of our time.