Friday, May 05, 2006

Ground Less Than Zero: 9/11 Memorial Blight

It was always a matter of time before September Eleventh (or “September the Eleventh, as President Bush insists on so plumply putting it the eleven times a week he calls on the 11’s twin towers to prop up his numbers) became an obscenity of memorializing and opportunism. In fact it took just three days: By Sept. 14, 2001, the National Cathedral was all 1812 Overture rendered as the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and off we were on our vague new war on terror and distinctly less vague war on ourselves. At least back then we could still think that Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan would be one easy victory, a way to rebuild, move on, and up, remember but also live anew. New York City would show the world, right? Not a bit of it.

Ground Zero has become a symbol of the national failure that post-9/11 America has turned into—a hole in the ground literally, figuratively, politically. The nowhereness that Ground Zero plans have plumbed year after year parallel the nation’s projections abroad, and how it has managed, since 2001, to dig itself into holes economically and politically. Read the rest...