Last night, I left the World Trade Center Health Registry meeting and came through the WTC on my way home, as usual. The meeting, of course, cast the place in a different light. It usually feels empty to me. Last night, it was filled again with dust and destruction and memories.
This morning, I got up the courage to watch the trailer for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center movie. The trailer is supposed to be in the theaters now. Though I’ve seen four movies in New York City and the suburbs since it came out, I haven’t seen the trailer in a theater once. I guess they just don’t want to play it here. But it’s online. The scenes are, of course, hard to watch, so reminiscent, so literal, this being a Stone movie. “There is no plan,” Nicholas Cage says, and I can feel the agenda coming on. But not in the trailer. At the movie’s site, though, the Flash intro shows stills over pensive music as the two Port Authority cops this movie is about — the last two people rescued from the site — talk about it. At the end, a voice says, “It is the story of the humanity of 9/11. It’s not about the terrorists.”
And so it occurred to me: Here is Oliver Stone, the conspiracy theorists to beat all conspiracy theorist, facing the biggest conspiracy he could imagine — bin Laden terrorists with Saudi money plotting right under our noses to a devastating outcome. But this conspiracy, he’s ignoring. I shake my head.
And I shake my head again as I go to the newsstand at the World Trade Center PATH station this morning — where I was headed that morning almost five years ago — and I see the New York Post headline: “Washington to New York: TERROR? WHAT TERROR? Feds slash our funds to boost hicks in sticks.” The Homeland Insecurity Department dropped New York’s funds by 40 percent while increasing Omaha’s by 82 percent and Louisville’s by 70 percent. Part of their alleged rationale is that we don’t have national monuments or icons. Oh, we had one. But it’s gone now.