Instapundites, click here
: Looking for David Brenner’s rant on airport security, as recommended by Instapundit, click here. (By the way, I have found traffic heaven: Getting mentioned in Instapundit just before the professor leaves for the day, thus my link is not buried under his usual two tons of links per hour and my traffic stays high. It feels like popularity.)
Pen v. pen
: Jim Treacher gives us a cartoon lampoon of Ted Rall’s obnoxious terror widows cartoon that was pulled from the NY Times for being obnoxious.
: Protein Wisdom gives us another here.
: Drudge reports that CBS is considering putting Howard Stern into David Letterman’s slot if he jumps to ABC. Not sure I buy it. Not sure there is room for three such shows and Stern knows he’d be the new kid. Yes, he is beloved of CBS Viacom boss Mel Karmazin and he has cooled his feud with CBS TV chief Les Moonves (because they have a prime time series in development together). Yes, Stern said the other day that if they gave him $20 million, he’d do it. But the odds are that Dave will stay at CBS and I don’t see Stern working for Disney. An amusing concept, but far-fetched.
: Caryn James in the NY Times has a powerful review — and defense — of the 9.11 show on CBS this Sunday.
It feels like you’re being buried alive. You’re on the ground, gray ash falling everywhere, as if it were being shoveled over you, and you can hear debris rattling on a car overhead, dropping like hail. From the perspective of Jules Naudet’s camera, you have run on the street after escaping from the lobby of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center just six or eight minutes before it would collapse. When it does, you are pushed to the ground, and soon everything gets dark. Then a piece of paper flutters in front of the camera lens. A voice yells, “Let’s go before the car blows up.”
Although it has been only six months since the World Trade Center was attacked, already it seems as if we can’t be shocked by those events anymore. But this extraordinary piece of film, to be shown in a two-hour special called “9/11” on CBS (Sunday night at 9), has such immediacy that it brings back how unimaginable the events of that day once seemed. An important, firsthand piece of history, the program is also amazing to watch….
You may still find it impossible to take your eyes away for a second….
James defends the show against idiotic attacks by those who say we’re too fragile to watch this and who argue that CBS shouldn’t show the harsh reality. I cannot abide attacks on shows by people who have not seen those shows; it happens all the time. These preemptive strikes are wrong-headed because they are uninformed and they are insulting to the audience; these attackers assume the authority to protect us from something they have not even seen. The critic’s defense:
There is nothing here that shouldn’t be shown and much that is immensely moving. The minor flap surrounding the film is appalling, and an extreme example came yesterday morning on the Fox News Channel when the anchor, Jon Scott, delivered loaded questions to Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who said some victims’ families were concerned about the “graphic depiction” of deaths on screen.
Well, there are no such depictions. Mr. Scott asked, “Is it irresponsible of CBS to put it on now?” but he didn’t ask if the senator had seen the film. And when Mr. Scott said the program was made by “French filmmakers” he managed to make the word “French” sound like “Al Qaeda.”…
The film is timely because it reveals how quickly even the most horrifying images of Sept. 11 have been absorbed, have come to seem ordinary: a necessary way to grasp a terrible reality but also a dangerously forgetful change….
At the news conference after the screening of “9/11” Jules Naudet said he thought that continuing to film that day was a way of distancing himself from the horrible reality around him, reducing it, as he said, to “that little L.E.D. screen” on his camera. For us, the small screen offers the opposite: a way of moving into those terrible moments that we all lived through in vastly different ways. The film offers a way of reclaiming that experience even as it recedes into history.
Also visit the discussion on Metafilter on the topic. There are some incredibly stupid, insipid, and offensive comments (e.g., “I suppose flaming death and mass graves are not really my idea of entertainment. Truth be told, I’m getting kind of sick of ER, too.” Asswipe.)
But here is a comment supporting James’ review:
i hope that people stop with the angel pins and the flagwaving and actually confront the horror of what happened. at this six month distance, people seem to have abstracted themselves from it, and think of what happened merely as fodder for superbowl halftime. it is my hope that showing the film makes it less of an entertainment proposition rather than more.
I have faith in the intelligence of the audience. We deserve the opportunity to choose to watch this.
I need to watch this show, just as I needed to visit the Here is New York gallery and just as I needed to buy books about Sept. 11, to see others’ images of the day because, even though I was there — no, because I was there — I find it hard to grasp the memories, to convince myself that it was real, that this was not just a nightmare, that this evil took flight and flame — and that there is life after the cloud of death and darkness and destruction cleared.
It is important to remember and it is not too soon to work at it.
: Mark my words: My idea to repeat David Letterman the night day in the early evening for all us aging boomers who have to get to bed will take hold. Note that ESPN is branching into entertainment to boost ratings; Letterman reruns would be a perfect addition. CBS, too, has plenty of cable networks now; Letterman reruns would be VH1’s first hit. They’re going to spend a lot of money on Dave and they’re going to get more value out of the investment by bringing in more audience. That is the way of TV today.
: Andrew Sullivan is having nuke nightmares. Join the club! Many of us living here on the Axis of Good — the East Coast — are losing sleep. There is nothing these fanatic fascists would not do if they could. Nothing.
: Thomas Friedman in the NY Times on the roots of Muslim rage:
As a U.S. diplomat in the Middle East said to me, Israel ó not Iraq, not India ó is “a constant reminder to Muslims of their own powerlessness.” How could a tiny Jewish state amass so much military and economic power if the Islamic way of life ó not Christianity or Judaism ó is God’s most ideal religious path?….
I have long believed that it is this poverty of dignity, not a poverty of money, that is behind a lot of Muslim rage today and the reason this rage is sharpest among educated, but frustrated, Muslim youth. It is they who perpetrated 9/11 and who slit the throat of the Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl ó after reportedly forcing him to declare on film, “I am a Jew and my mother is a Jew.”
: Andrew Hofer has an compelling post on a morality play that starts on a subway and winds its way through crack dens and is really about the moral choices we are making in this war.
Sometimes we trade evils. We take chances that we can trade long term good for short term compromises, or that some short term relief is worth a chance on a more abstract moral hazard…. Sometimes we just punt….
: A new Rossi Rant is up:
Yet here I am, all these months later.
I wake up every morning and look out the window to make sure The Empire State Building is still there.
I feel like crying whenever I see a firefighter.
My heart crawls into my throat at the sight of a plane descending, (they always seem to be flying too low).
When I look at any construction site I always drift back to the smoking wreck that was the WTC.
The list goes on.
So do the good things that have happened to me, hopefully, permanently.
I pet my cats more.
I say “I love you” to my family and to my friends.
I try to make sure that I am always doing something, anything for someone besides myself.
I think about Israel — a lot.
After September 11th, I went back to painting and discovered that without planning on it, or even trying, my work had changed. The colors were softer … child-friendly.
Rossi has found other artists softening. And so she has decided to produce a show to bring together artists and show how their work has changed after September 11th and to benefit artists in the process. I want to go just to meet this Rossi person, whose writing I like.
The show will be held May 3-10 at DNA Studio Gallery, 2174 3rd Ave between 118th and 119th. Details here.