In the hole

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.

  • It’s all too simple, isn’t it? The American voter has a shorter memory than the average Islamist.

    The first WTC attack was in 93 but a WTC not being attacked was “normal” a few weeks later, while to Islamists the attack was ongoing and not finished. An NYC not being attacked is the new “normal” today.

    The Stone movie will surely be set in today’s “normal”. F Stone, I don’t trust the bastard.

  • Old Grouch

    “Feds slash our funds to boost hicks in sticks.”

    Repeat after me: It’s not about security, it’s about pork. It’s ALWAYS about pork.

    (Speaking as one resident of the “sticks” whose first thought was to wonder whythehel my municipality was getting more WOT funds. They’ll probably use ’em for more speed traps– see “It’s not about safety, it’s about revenue.”)

  • Jimmy

    Odd. I guess they don’t consdider Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to be very important icons to ournation. Oh, wait, those are icons to our immigrant past and we don’t like immigrants anymore.

    By the way, why are you even looking at the trailer for Stone’s movie? You have such a visceral dislike for the man (who I think has done one or two exceptional films). Stone himself could have called you personally to get your opinion and you would still hate it. Like any film about September 11, people will either like it or hate it — there will be no middle ground. Personally, I still think it’ s too soon to make films about this subject, but that hasn’t stopped bad mini-series on cable or good films like United 93 from being made. Oh, well, freedom means they get to make these films and we get to decide whether or not to see them.

  • After reading this, I wonder what your take on this article would be?  It’s about a debate here in Indiana about the availability of DHMS money to fix tornado sirens.

  • How was the WTC considered an “icon” before Sept 11th? NYC is packed with icons much more well known that that.

    How do you let these people govern?

  • Jeff, I keep hoping the movie won’t be as overwrought, sappy, with swelling music to tell us when to feel things. This was a painful, awful, evil day, and I worry this movie is going to turn into a kind of goopy, superficially emotional event.

  • clinton

    Old Grouch likely has it right. The assumption that these funds are being appropriately used and, when appropriately used, will succeed in preventing anything is supercilious to say the least. “Its about pork”.

    JennyD can a hollywood (or any other) production, no matter the budget or intent, really do justice to 9/11?

  • I haven’t seen it, but the flight 93 film seemed to be real, gritty, not overwrought.

    Look at the O. Stone trailer and tell me what you see…

  • clinton

    heres the thing about flight 93, since we know very little about the particulars of what happened, it leaves alot open to conjecture, politics, and formulaic tear jerking. i didnt see the movie but i dont need to. it really is too soon for these movies because we cant watch them with a cool head. knowing this movie makers capitalize on our still-oozing wounds by selling us something that has been scientifically proven to make 80% of viewers cry. they couldnt sell us someting objective, free of sentimental excesses, and fact based right now were still too angry. this isnt a protest, they can make their movies, im just sayin it like it is. if that day is a giant hole in your heart, a movie isnt going to fill it and the idea that it could is insulting.

    sorry i still havent seen the trailer but im sure this is what ill see, though it may be marketed to blue states instead of red.