Tuesday, September 12, 2006

That Big Hole In The Ground

There's been a fair bit of rending of garments about the fact that the site of the World Trade Center in Manhatten, the so-called "ground zero" of the 9/11 attacks— which always rubs very badly on me when I think about how it distracts the mind away from the big chunk of the Pentagon that had to be remodeled— that big hole in the ground remains a big hole in the ground.

Oh, yes— they rebuilt the Pentagon lickety-split. There's a nice memorial in that field in Pennsylvania— though, one wonders whether everyone understands what it supposedly memorializes. But the hole in the ground in Manhatten remains a hole in the ground. As Billmon points out, even the memorial is a jerry-rigged temporary affair built mainly to provide Commodore Codpiece and his rockin' sidekicks a cool backdrop for putting aside all that "partisan rancor" we keep hearing about.

And yet, I'm not all that surprised. Five years after the World Trade Center was destroyed, and they haven't rebuilt anything yet. Look, I live in San Francisco. I remember the last time we had a major disaster here, and a President Bush came out and walked around on the concrete rubble of a mass grave of Americans. It was 1989, in the days after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Granted, I was living in Southern California at the time, but my heart was still staked out in Civic Center Plaza. I watched the television reports while the rest of my SoCal family, friends and acquaintences went on about their lives. It was terrible, but it was happening in somebody else's town. It was when I fought back tears and rage while seeing President George H. W. "Atheists Are Neither Citizens Nor Patriots" Bush posing for a photo op on the remains of the Cypress Freeway while the bodies of several hundred Bay Area commuters had yet to be dug out from under his shiny leather wingtips— that was when I knew San Francisco was my town.

That was 1989. We are still rebuilding the Bay Bridge. How the fsck long did you really think it was going to take to get the World Trade Center site rebuilt?

Honestly. Really, be honest.

Oh, I get it. It's in Manhatten, not some goddamn podunk commie shithole on the Left Coast where nobody cares if the bridges fall down. It's a fscking TRAVESTY that we didn't have another pair of skyscrapers built right in the same spot, this time even bigger than the freaking Taipei 101, inside five years. San Francisco, New Orleans, none of those places matter. Manhatten, though— goddamn it, drop everything, something has to be done right this second.

Meanwhile, we are slowly, steadily making progress rebuilding the most heavily trafficked commuter bridge in the world. Maybe, we'll finish before the next century quake strikes, or some cracker terrorist from South Carolina plants a bomb on it to make us all pay for allowing queer people to get married.

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