Thursday, July 14, 2005
Sometimes a bit of bile is necessary....
With deepest respect for those who lost family members and friends on 9/11 and for their grief: respect is always reciprocal. This means that in no case should one set of families, one group or one community defer to another under such grievous conditions of loss.
All of us need to arrive at reciprocity of understanding of our deepest feelings, which we share in remembering and memorializing this event.
The ground zero discussion must be taken out of the political realm. This does not mean that we defer or submerge our memories. It means that we must recognize that we are all bound together through our responses to the tragedy, however diverse those responses are. It is especially important for a memorial of this kind to find a center of harmony for all individuals and all groups.
Communally, therefore, other cultural representations must be allowed to be present on the memorial site.
Toronto, July 13, 2005
Miz Darroch-Lozowski is very good indeed at spouting every cliche in the liberal playbook, so let's dissect her screed a tiny bit. First of all, just to (re)establish my credentials, I was there that day - I saw the first plane hit, and I ran for my life. While Miz Darroch-Lozowski was probably sipping her coffee and listening to the traffic report about the Don Valley (or is it Don Pardo) Parkway, I was praying harder than I ever did, praying that if it was my time, that I at least get to see my kids once more before G-d took me.
Reciprocity of feelings? Lady, you have no standing in the matter. I barely consider myself to have standing in the matter, and I was there. My only mission in this is to be a witness for those who cannot speak, and to stand with their families. Do you want reciprocity with those who would call you a Crusader or a Zionist infidel pig and who would slit your throat? Or is it your secret hope that if they do become overlords they'll put you at the back of the line for decapitation because of your imagined service to them in getting their obfuscating lies across?
Other cultural representations? Every farking culture in the world was in that staircase evacuating the World Financial Center with me. Every race, creed and color. And all of us had only one thing on our minds, whether or not it was the end. Let me tell you something Viv, we only cared about one thing - getting the hell out of there. The only prejudices expressed that day were the ones we instinctively knew - the Islamofascists had decided to throw la mierda at el ventilador, and we were in the middle of it.
My deepest sympathy goes out to all the families who lost a loved one on 9/11. These families have endured much. Their opinions about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site should be recognized, but not at the cost of one of the most integral parts of the site.
The Drawing Center is supposed to be a place of artistic freedom, where artists are able to express themselves in their creations. Trying to censor this institution by calling for reassurances that its programs "will harmonize with the concerns" of a group of 9/11 family members is a blunder of great proportions.
Bronx, July 12, 2005
Artistic freedom? What the hell does that have to do with a mass murder? Patrick would probably like a Drawing Center at Treblinka and Majdanek, too - surely artists would like to "express themselves" at the site of millions of murders, after all, the Trade Center was penny-ante stuff if you look at the relative scale of things.
Back in April or May, I happened to be downtown, and I walked over to the pit. A few passers-by came and clucked over it, and I just stood there. I found myself silently saying Kaddish for those souls who were silent, who should've been rushing past me trying to get to meetings, or to grab a bite. I wished I had been able to do more than that for them, and I knew that had things gone differently that day, perhaps I would've been one of the silent ones. Drawing Centers and the like won't do a damned thing to assuage those of us who remember.