Tuesday, September 11, 2007

awkward memorial/anti-memorial

It was appropriately unpleasant in New York City today. Early in the morning it rained, but instead of cooling things off, it just made it really muggy and hellish. Which is to say that it was uncomfortable in the city today, even moreso than to be expected on the sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I didn't really want to write about this, and I don't know that I have anything spectacularly insightful to say about it, but at the same time it seemed kind of wrong not to put anything on this blog at all about it.

September 11th memorials make me uncomfortable. Ideally, I think this should be a day of quiet reflection, but instead it seems to be more about flag-waving and making proclamations that 'New York is the best city in the world', or 'America is the best country in the world' or that we have the best such and such in the world, or whatever. The idea behind all this is that there is something inherently right whatever it is we are doing, and if we change in any way, we're somehow letting the terrorists "win."

Which is of course total bullshit. America is probably more hated in the world community than it was before the September 11th attacks, precisely because of this attitude. The aftermath of 9/11 became more about getting Americans back to work, spending money and squelching any vestiges of dissent among the citizenry, that people seem to have taken very little time, even six years later, to really think about the attacks. And, in a way, that's our great failure, this terrible arrogance...

I think that's all I'm going to say, though I guess I could go on and on. In a few days I'll be back with more film and media related writing, so stay tuned...

1 comment:

Eric said...

I watched Marc Levin's doc "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" tonight, and it had some timely content regarding 9/11. Mostly it was about how it somehow brings out a lot of antisemetic drivel in certain demographics (mainly antisemetic ones, apparently). And there was footage from the 3rd anniversary, and I was really torn, because there were all these people that were obviously reliving painful memories, but a lot of them had American flag headwraps, and scarves, and flags draped on their shoulders and stuff. One old lady, who was crying, had a fucking American flag sticker on her cheek. And that made me angry, because it was so misplaced, so inappropriate, so not having much to do with what happened there. I appreciate that people want to come together, but I guess a lot of people don't know how else to do that? I guess I don't know how to do that either. So I was watching footage from today, and there was a lot of that stuff, and people saying cringe inducing things like "from the 73rd floor, to the stairway to heaven, rest in peace brotha" and it's hard to be angry because I'm overwhelmed with just feeling awkward and sad for those people, who seriously don't know any way to express their emotions. I'm just ranting I guess, but I think I get angry because it's so depressing and helpless and uncomfortable. Anyway, back to the Levin doc, there was a part where someone was talking about antisemetic sentiment around 9/11, but the reality of the situation (the unmediated version) was that there were people of all races and religions and creeds all working together to try and save people, and nobody was stopping to ask what club anybody was in at the time. I feel corny for even subscribing to something that sentimental, but I can't help it.