While the Union County, NJ 9/11 Memorial might not win the grand prize for the ugliest 9/11 memorial in America, it sure as hell wouldn’t be laughed out of the competition. I’m not a good enough photographer to capture just how ugly it is in person. I suppose the torch is an allusion to the Statue of Liberty, ironic considering the virulent xenophobia that’s always been a part of the “9/11 never forget” cult.
5 thoughts on “Reading the Landscape: 12”
“Never forget” can be read at least two ways. The xenophobes want to use it to hold grudges.
The term can also refer to the idea of preventing future catastrophes by addressing the root causes of terrorism. That our twin phallic symbols of wealth and power were targeted and so easily collapsed says our pretentions to greatness are illusory and so fragile that supposed religious fanatics with box-cutters can rip them to shreds.
The timing of the event is also interesting. The Enron scandal began unraveling earlier that year and was revealed a month after 9/11. The dot-com bubble bust was also brewing, with WorldCom going bankrupt a year later. I’ve always wondered if the 9/11 event was a manufactured, convenient way to disappear financial records and justify war with Iraq.
The term can also refer to the idea of preventing future catastrophes by addressing the root causes of terrorism.
That would be the way I’d like to remember 9/11, but I doubt the bourgeoisie of Union County, New Jersey meant it to be anything other than an expression of unthinking, uncritical American nationalism.
I agree. That’s why we’re losing the war on terrorism. We have a paranoid government that is creating enemies faster than it can kill them.