This pedagogical essay invites readers to consider how the work of cultural “first responders” to the 9/11 attacks—most notably David Rees, with his online comic Get Your War On—reached students at a small business college in the Northeast. Melnick is interested, above all, in tracking what he calls “stages” of student response to materials that initially seem too radical or culturally challenging. This essay explores how rapidly in the “post-9/11” the most extreme cultural creations came to seem relatively tame and unthreatening.

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