We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, February 3. 2008
OK, I will grant you that Frank Loesser caused 9/11. But did the demonic imperialist Loesser also cause the Moslem hate and murderousness in Bali, Thailand, Burma, Turkey, England, India, Pakistan, and Africa? "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a great song, but who knew that it was that well-known in places like Bali?
To play it safe, let's just go ahead and ban that terrible tune which has understandably caused the world so much misery, hate, and bloodshed.
But first, before the EU and the UN ban it, one more time with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan with the insensitive Moslem-offending song that began it all:
A friend of Maggie's took this shot at the WTC site yesterday:
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In a post yesterday I mentioned the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane. The WWII remains of a town the Germans destroyed. A town that had lasted a thousand years became a memorial, remaining just the way it was after the Germans left as a reminder of what can happen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane
From the immediate aftermath of 9-11 until this day I have felt that partial remains of the tower that still retained some height, with it's facade splintered and bent should have remained as a memorial. The picture referenced below is an example.
The value of lower Manhattan real estate of course trumped any thought of this but what it would have done, what no picture, no IMAX, no narrative of any kind could have done is remind us of what can happen, and that enemies are to be dealt with to their ultimate annihilation. No quarter. The greedy developers could care less.
To see the actual remains of that horrible day should have been preserved for the generations to come. They would then too never forget. A picture montage can never have the impact that one should come away with from the doings of that dastardly event.
"Trumped." Good pun.
Actually, I disagree. Some messes are worth preserving, but I'd rather simply see the thing rise again, in this case.
BD, sorry you consider the attack and demolition of the Twin Towers "a mess" that isn't worth preserving. I stand by my idea that the imprint would,and should be greater than a "push this button to hear what happened" while looking at one dimensional pictures of once great buildings, building that people chose to leap from as opposed to burning to death.
Yeah, it was just a "mess" after all. Get a paper towel and we'll simply clean up the "mess."
I'm with you on this one...
It would have served a similar purpose as the U.S.S. Arizona resting in the waters of Pearl Harbor. Never Forget.
I am in BD's camp on this subject. I think there are some cultures that are handicapped by a too-strong focus on previous victimization. If reported correctly in the classrooms of the America, a clean new structure will be the greatest response. We don't need another tombstone. We need to demonstrate to our children what real inner strength is and how it can overcome.
Handicapped by a too strong focus on victimization?
In many cases of much lesser import I could agree with you but placing the greatest attack on the United States in a victimization category is to trivialize what happened. And then saying basically, if we memorialize it we're playing too much the victim is too difficult to choke down.
I guess we shouldn't have developed Arlington Cemetery, or the Tomb of the Unknowns? Perhaps Gettysburg Battlefield should now be a mall.
The Iwo Jima Memorial..more tribute to our victimization status? The Arizona Memorial .more tribute to our victimization.
Some horrors are worthy of preservation in their native state.. the concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and a hundred more I could list. Should they now be used car lots? Have you ever been to and seen one of those camps? I have, but prior I had seen many, many pictures and films ..it isn't close to the same in any way shape or form.
If we suffer from any handicap it is one whereby we leave the field to our enemies instead of using all the tools we have to defend ourselves with. I fully understand the desire to sterilize events, forget them and move forward, but tributes to the fallen, in this case innocent civilians is worthy of more than a PowerPoint presentation.
Victimization? No, a tribute, a purposeful standing ruin of what was, and then was not, for all future generations to look at in horrified wonder.
For the New Yorkers who witnessed this horror and for all those who tried to help and died doing so, the constant re-traumatization of seeing the skeletal remnant of one of the towers would be too much. For the families who lost someone in the tragedy, the same. There are several generations yet who know this personally. Rising above it is what we need to do. That remnant could never portray the horror to future generations.
Tell it to the Israeli's who lost 8-10 million in the ovens if they would rather have or not have the concentration camps as a reminder.
American's, even New Yorkers are strong enough to live the trauma. Your argument is silly.
Also it's wouldn't be done just for the tender sensitivities of the New Yorkers. It was an event that changed the world and it certainly transcends New Yorkers feelings. It would be fitting to remind them every day...never forget...although I know you're in the camp that's trying hard to do so.
Finally it didn't happen just to the New Yorkers, it happened to the USA.
If Israeli's really want what y'all do, they could move those camps to Israel.
Rather than leaving towers USA should give 911 perpetrators home cities something to rebuild.
The spoiled WTC was an open sore of bereavement and source of contaminants for survivors the removal of which is in interest of public health.
Other buildings in the area also, required demolition.
'There is no factual dispute or controversy as to the nature and extent of contamination in these buildings, which contain significantly elevated levels of WTC-derived toxicsubstances, by some accounts elevated by orders of magnitude above background,expected, or “acceptable” levels. Contaminants in these buildings include asbestos, lead,silica, dioxins, mercury, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and fungi (mold). Testimony of David M. NewmanNew York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
"...never forget...although I know you're in the camp that's trying hard to do so."
You don't know this. Why do you lower yourself to cheap tactics in such a way? I live very close to DC and have visited all the memorials there. I had my students read "Night" by Elie Wiesel and took them to The Holocaust Museum every year. I taught "All Quiet on the Western Front" every year and spent much time through literature dealing with the horrors of war. I could say much more about what I have done to 'never forget' but will not waste my time.
Choose your words more carefully. If you intend to hurt someone because they don't happen to agree with you, use expressions that hold water.
During our generation the function of museums has in many cases been moved from that of collecting, identifying objects and their use--to a far more powerful purpose--an emotional embedding in the visitor of a particular political viewpoint. Seventy five years ago your local museum collected Indian arrowheads, and military muskets, etc. to tell the story of your community. Today, those same items will be laid out in a very calculated sequence with a specific political purpose. Now that is a fact as to the development of the function and concomitant design of museums during the last few decades.
I am assuming that the picture you have in mind is that never to be forgotten photograph of the remains of one wall standing among the smoke. I agree with you that the photo is a powerful piece. When it comes to re-inforcing the remains of that structure in such a way as to safeguard the people around it--that would be technically challenging. The fact that there is to be a memorial at the site which is of another nature (zen like?) that should be considered a rhetorical debate.
In some ways I agree with you Habu--the message of the blood curdling and hatefilled terrorist intentions should never be minimized. But, I disagree that it should be such no one is able to go into that part of the city without being emotionally battered by travelling down that block--well, that is too much like the impact that the terrorists wanted
to have--I won't give them that!
You might be interested to know that the design of exhibits in museums is taught in many of the same classes as is the design of the waiting lines for theme parks such as Disneyland--what to do with the visitor's mind--that is the question. More importantly what to do with the mind of tomorrow's generation.
Every great nation has tangible remains of atrocities
committed against them.
"Cowards die many times before their deaths:
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come"
And yet you two women talk of delicate sensitivities and traumatized emotions..how sad.
Sorry you misunderstand intention/purpose Habu. There is more than one way. If, what you want to do is to raise up stout hearts, and I am assuming that is your wish, then we must be more willing address that specifically. Not where to put the monuments, or how to remember the hatred. I am always stunned by some of the war memorials in Europe. They range from small brass placques with simple recording of event. Say for example on a wall facing a small fountain in a small mountain village. The placque is about 24"X24". It states simply something like this: here in this plaza 24 men, women, and children were shot against this wall for treason. It is startling in it's simplicity Habu.
The other thing to consider is this--it is the words, always, always the words that will build courage and patriotism in the hearts of the young. It is for us the older to make sure those words do not mislead and thereby weaken the trusting heart. Bricks don't do that Habu--words do that. What are you doing to confront those academics who teach betrayal of this great nation in the classroom every day? Maybe that will require more bravery than leaving a pile of bricks standing.
It hurts to have this small kerfuffle with you. The decision has long since been made. It is not my intent to raise up stout hearts but to remind generations to come of the horror that only the actual visual remains of those buildings could do. I reiterate that a PowerPoint presentation will never capture the gut wrenching act of 9/11.
But to address your idea that it is always the words. Well once again we have divergent opinions.
Talk is cheap . It is the deed that count. I would point you to Teddy Roosevelt's Speech about the man in the arena.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat
The speech is actually much longer, but worth every line. It's essence however is that, like Cassius with his lean and hungry look, and Brutus, as Marc Anthony told us , was an honorable man, words are hollow until put into action in the crucible of life's challenges. Cassius and Brutus were in word Caesar friends, but in deed the assassinated him.
The world is full of treaties with pretty words. They are mostly always broken and replaced by action..a deed
So I must emphatically say no, it is not the word, but the deed that counts.
AP... the problem is that words can be, and are, being subverted from their original meaning and intent. A deliberate effort by those who would destroy us. If you can agree with, or even understand that... then perhaps you can understand why I think a permanent memorial would have been fitting.
As well, there is some truth to the axiom that...
'a picture is worth a thousand words"
Held the XD45 and the Glock21 one to the other today. An absolute no brainier. Then I went out and fired 100 rounds from the XD, equipped with the 13 round magazine. Damn sweet weapon... grip perfect, recoil straight up the arm, trigger and action so very smooth. My only quibble, the daylight seen next to the front sight when looking through the rear. There for a purpose... but I would like it a tad bit closer. But a laser would fix that.
For sure Habu, you have converted an 'iron' pistol man to a polymer proselytizer. At least in this instance.
Glad you had a good experience with the XD. I think it's a dandy. I had the same impressions you did. Great grip..I couldn't believe they could fit 13 rounds in a grip that compact, but they did. And I'll tell ya with that built in laser from Laser Max you just don't miss at the ranges the pistol was designed for.
Excuse me--perhaps I have mistaken. I must admit that I have not kept current on the designproposals/issues of this special place. It is my understanding that there will be a permanent memorial--something profound and important. I also must admit that I have not been to the site in person. I cannot of course know it exactly as those of you who have been there. You see--I want the whole package--I want that we should with arrogant contempt rebuild better than was there. I also want that the terror and the threat should never be lost on the next generation. The question is how do we do that? I of course understand the fallibility of words--but, I am angry that more people do not confront that fact publicly, constantly, and personally.
Thanks Habu for the TR piece--he became my hero when as a little girl in 7th grade my local librarian introduced me to his thoughts on ranching.
Good conversation. Nobody asked us our opinion so we can just have our own thoughts and memories.
God bless you.
Glad you enjoyed the TR piece ..he's in my hero category...a great man.
AP... please. I did not mean to make light of your thoughts. I have not been to the memorial either, I have only seen 'artist's representations'... so good point.
I certainly agree with your "arrogant contempt"... well put. I had that very thought on 9/11. Screw them. Build it taller and even more magnificent.
We agree on the necessity for 'national' memory... it is just the details of ensuring that, that causes this conversation.
As for fighting for our language... I haven't the education for that task. But one person who immediately comes to mind, and who is capable of such, is Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom. He has been on sabbatical for a while. But he fights the good fight for how our language is being subverted for ill purposes.
Agree with most of the above...Tho, personally, never want to give an enemy the satisfaction of seeing how badly they have hurt us. Growing up in countries with the constant threat of terrorism, bombings, kidnappings, murder, we tended towards "don't let the bugger know they got to you, and going on with normal life is the best revenge!"
Watching"The Thin Red Line" tonight and apart from the bravery of the young that it depicts, also struck by its reminder of the power of the pictures in our minds to motivate us for good or ill just as much any concrete sights or words. Never forget? Can we? I doubt it.
At the site itself, mundane and minimal tho the printed lists and photo montage are, greedy tho the developers most certainly are, the real monument is the heart and resolve stirred up in each fellow citizen come to pay respects, and finding themself shaken simply being there.
WIlfrid Owen's lines from "Anthem for Doomed youth" comes close to capturing the effect of standing there, even without any stupid Zen memorial token....
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in the eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
A final thought from here: Auschwitz and such are perfect memorial sites. They convey the MOST important message very well. This act in these places--must never be forgotten. But, we must always be prepared to respond to war. I believe that what happened in Auschwitz,et al was not about war--it was about something more evil even than that.