Never Forget Radio

A feminist podcast that approaches our post-9/11 era as history, cultural quarry, and ongoing catastrophe.

Donald Rumsfeld Horse Soldier

Never Forget Radio’s Equestrian Episode is embedded below:
Never Forget Radio by Never Forget Radio

Donald Rumsfeld Horse Soldier

Never Forget Radio’s Equestrian Episode is embedded below:

“It was as if the Jetsons had met the Flintstones”

I noticed this quote more than once in my research about the America’s Response Monument, which memorializes a specific campaign by American Special Forces operatives working with Afghan rebels in fall 2001. I decided to feature the quote in my episode about this statue.

It immediately struck me as an example of imperial hubris and dehumanization - that even while traveling with and fighting alongside the Northern Alliance forces, the Americans were unable to regard the Afghans as equals, and indeed imagined themselves as people from the future interacting with people from the distant past. The quote is also an example of cultural myopia - a worldview based on cartoons.

I also thought of the quote as illustrative of the way the media covered the post-9/11 wars—us civilized vs them barbarians, a clash of civilizations and centuries—a presentation that deliberately withheld contextualizing political and historical information.

Then I noticed that the quote was differently phrased, and differently attributed, in different sources:

"the Flintstones meeting the Jetsons almost" — attributed to Sgt Michael Elmore by Fox News newscaster sitting next to him (this is the audio clip I used in the episode)

"It was as if the Jetsons had met the Flintstones" — attributed to Captain Will Summers in this article

"it’s as if the Jetsons had met the Flintstones" — attributed to Sgt. First Class weapons specialist Ben Milo in an academic article that quotes Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton

"the Flintstones meet the Jetsons" — attributed to Special Forces Captain Mike Nutsch by Armed Forces Journal

"the Jetsons vs. the Flintstones" — attributed by this review of Horse Soldiers to General Tommy Franks, the overall commander of the Afghan theater who later commanded the US invasion of Iraq.

What can we draw from these multiple and conflicting citations? Did many people think of this quote (referencing very well-known pop culture) independently? Did it spread internally in the armed forces before any of these interviews, so that the speakers spoke it as a common phrase but the transcribers were hearing it for the first time? Was it a strategized talking point that was disseminated to soldiers to be picked up by the media? Do readers just skim over any name in an article if it’s preceded by a rank?

I’m not sure what to make of it myself, but I think it speaks to the overall imposed and designed disconnect between what the American military is doing on the ground and what we hear about it. They have all the power and information, and we are left guessing, wondering, and in the dark. As if the Jetsons met the Flintstones.

New York City’s first equestrian statue was erected in 1770 and depicted King George III dressed as a Roman emperor. George presided over the park at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan, about half a block south of where the Charging Bull statue is today, and less than a mile from the new equestrian America’s Response Monument.
If you visit Bowling Green today, perhaps on your way to or from the Staten Island Ferry, note that the fence around the park remains from that colonial period, and was built to protect the statue.
Rebellious colonists tore down this imperial totem in 1776 (pictured, pseudohistorically) and melted it into bullets.
Never Forget Radio’s episode on an equestrian statue erected in Lower Manhattan in 2011 is embedded below:
Never Forget Radio by Never Forget Radio

New York City’s first equestrian statue was erected in 1770 and depicted King George III dressed as a Roman emperor. George presided over the park at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan, about half a block south of where the Charging Bull statue is today, and less than a mile from the new equestrian America’s Response Monument.

If you visit Bowling Green today, perhaps on your way to or from the Staten Island Ferry, note that the fence around the park remains from that colonial period, and was built to protect the statue.

Rebellious colonists tore down this imperial totem in 1776 (pictured, pseudohistorically) and melted it into bullets.

Never Forget Radio’s episode on an equestrian statue erected in Lower Manhattan in 2011 is embedded below:

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan »

The prologue of Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers exists online. This book tells the same story as the America’s Response Monument, erected in 2011 in Lower Manhattan, and Never Forget Radio’s latest episode, embedded below:

The America’s Response Monument in front of the new World Trade Center, Vesey St & West Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Photo by Never Forget Radio associate Aron Pasternack
New episode on this equestrian statue is embedded below:
Never Forget Radio by Never Forget Radio

The America’s Response Monument in front of the new World Trade Center, Vesey St & West Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Photo by Never Forget Radio associate Aron Pasternack

New episode on this equestrian statue is embedded below:

Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, built in 175. The 2011 equestrian statue of a US Special Forces officer, Lower Manhattan’s America’s Response Monument, is examined in Never Forget Radio’s new episode, The Empire Rears Back:

Never Forget Radio by Never Forget Radio
Emperor Marcus Aurelius is played by editor Mo Martin.

Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, built in 175. The 2011 equestrian statue of a US Special Forces officer, Lower Manhattan’s America’s Response Monument, is examined in Never Forget Radio’s new episode, The Empire Rears Back:

Emperor Marcus Aurelius is played by editor Mo Martin.

“At the time, the statue had been bound for nearby Zuccotti Park, but the Occupy Wall Street encampment there interrupted that plan.”

NYT, October 2012

the 14th episode of Never Forget Radio, on the America’s Response Monument, streaming below:

The America’s Response Monument, in front of 1WTC in Lower Manhattan. Photo by Aron Pasternack.
Episode 14 of Never Forget Radio, The Empire Rears Back, now available on itunes and streaming below:
Never Forget Radio by Never Forget Radio

The America’s Response Monument, in front of 1WTC in Lower Manhattan. Photo by Aron Pasternack.

Episode 14 of Never Forget Radio, The Empire Rears Back, now available on itunes and streaming below:

14. The Empire Rears Back

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is finally about to open – but did you know that there has been a statue of a U.S. Special Forces soldier on horseback a block away from Ground Zero since 2011?

“Sounds like something out of a movie. But this is real. This happened.” – Joe Biden, at the dedication ceremony for the America’s Response Monument.

Music by Dave Marley, Cave Cricket, Old Table, No One and the Somebodies, and TURBOSLEAZE. Special thanks to Gatsby, Rebecca, and Natalie Cohen. Photos of Lower Manhattan by Aron Pasternack.

And introducing Mo Martin as Marcus Aurelius.