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September 11, 2005

And watch out for them subversive pastries
Posted by Teresa at 07:56 PM *

Shallow, stupid, and corrupt Michelle Malkin has now declared war on geometry. She and diverse other wingnuts have noticed that the truly beautiful design for the Flight 93 memorial is in the shape of a circle … only it’s not a complete circle … IT’S A CRESCENT! Beloved emblem of ISLAMOFASCISTS! … and WORSE!!!*

As one of Captain Queeg’s cronies reasoned, “Add a handle to the crescent, then cross the whole thing with a hammer, and the designers’ true affiliations are exposed.” Riiiight. Draw a line that bisects the crescent, one that runs parallel to the points of the crescent, then stick a propeller at the widest spot in the resulting figure, and you have a beanie. And don’t anybody tell this guy about that sequence near the end of Episode 35 of Buffy where she does in the evil demonic sweatshop owners with a hammer and sickle.

One of the Nobel Laureates over at Little Green Footballs sees a different pernicious influence at work:

It makes me sick to my stomach, this “memorial” as well as the one in NYC. It seems like these moonbats are just beyond desperate to represent these terrorist attacks as anything but. This is a genuine outrage, and I hope it gets a lot of attention. All this “embrace” and multiculturalism bullshit is getting on my nerves. We were attacked; we kicked a good chunk of terrorist ass in response—and we’re still not done responding. Why does anything more than that need to be said?

Meanwhile, over at RealClearPolitics, an unnamed writer demonstrates the iniquity of the design by displaying the flags of eight different Muslim-dominated countries, every one of which has a crescent moon on it. Unfortunately, they also all have stars on them too, just like our flag, which must be counted something of a detriment to his argument.

Amazing, ain’t it? I picked this story up from The Liberal Avenger. He’s having trouble believing it too. I mean, this is hard. When I try to visualize people this dumb, I imagine them perpetually carrying around a little cheat sheet that says

BREATHE IN
(over)

and on the other side,

BREATHE OUT
(over)

Bad Attitudes has pointed out that by this logic, South Carolina is an Islamic state. This may explain why a group called Christian Exodus has announced a crusade in the Palmetto State.

What these nutbars are planning to do about the Bay of Naples, some of their gramma’s quilt patterns, the insignia of airborne divisions, the letter “C”, and the moon’s twice-monthly display of Islamic sympathies, is anybody’s guess.

Comments on And watch out for them subversive pastries:
#1 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:11 PM:

Yeah, some local nuts decided the same thing and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on this yesterday.

Remember the people who tried to get a petition going to change the title of the second Lord of the Rings movie to someting other than The Two Towers, since TTT was an obvious reference to the World Trade Center?

At least that did get laughed down, when many people pointed out that the book TTT came out in the mid-50s.

People's obliviousness knows no bounds. I'd like to think the current "intelligent design" bruhaha could also be laughed away, but... *sigh*

#2 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:13 PM:

Jesse Taylor at Pandagon says:

Oh my god...THE "C" IS A CRESCENT! ABOLISH THEM ALL FROM THE LANGUAGE!

From now on, we live in "Amerika", and we eat "sereal", namely "Tsheerios", for breakfast. We drive "kars" and the top-rated show on television is "SeeSI". Also, Bush supporters will now be kalled "fukheads".

#3 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:16 PM:

But we already knew croissants were a problem -- they're French!

Laurie Mann: I knew that some folks were in serious need of brain cell implants when they reviewed LotR with sentences that started something like "This story is derivative of all the other epic fantasies you've seen..."

#4 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:34 PM:

Technically speaking, that wasn't a sickle Buffy used, since it was flat. According to a featurette on the DVD, it was an African weapon with a very strange name. (I suspect that the whole reason for the featurette was to mention that fact, since everybody and his duck thought Mutant Enemy was Commie after that.

#5 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:38 PM:

Well crap I guess that makes Colorado a terrorist state too.

Actually we might embrace that here. Less oxygen ya know.

#6 ::: LeeAnn ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:40 PM:

konservatives...oh, krist. At least KrispyKreme is safe.

#7 ::: bh ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:46 PM:

She is now called Mishelle, too

#8 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:46 PM:

So of course this must be a plot to undermine our resolve:

HOUSTON --About 2,000 Muslim volunteers helped victims of Hurricane Katrina at the city's downtown convention center Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 10:58 PM:

Zzedar, given that the episode is pretty explicitly about the abuses of sweatshop labor, Buffy leads the workers to freedom, and the other weapon she's using is a hammer, I have real trouble believing that that African weapon's resemblance to a sickle is accidental. What Mutant Enemy said about it after the fact is a different matter.

DonBoy, there's no logic to this stuff, no logic at all. I remember when the nutbar "Christian" right took out after mentions or representations of rainbows in K-12 textbooks, supposedly because rainbows were covertly symbolic of newage woowoo, wicca, and creeping one-worldism. I'd have sworn Genesis said otherwise. One of the theoretical privileges of being an American is not having to give a damn about Genesis if you don't want to, but it was interesting watching a bunch of fundies ignore it.

#10 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:16 PM:

I notice that Malkin's web site has a few circles on it. Those circles, if you paint them red, are the same shape as the "rising sun" emblem on the flag of the Empire of Japan! The Empire of Japan who attacked us on December 7, 1941! Isn't it a bit tacky for her to be celebrating the deaths of Americans? Why is this woman allowed to speak rather than put in a concentration camp for our protection?!

#11 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:23 PM:

Like Sesame Street, our wars are brought to you by the letter C and the number 43. At least some educational value is to be had...

#12 ::: Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:35 PM:

Teresa, I really, really needed that laugh.

Patrick, though, you worry me. I mean, the German langauge is pretty much C-free and all Kayed. Does this mean that we have to choose between Islamic and Germanic enemies?

Perhaps we can just stop konversing. That would end the blame game, which would be extra patriotick...

#13 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:10 AM:

If 'intelligent design' were truly a viable theory, none of these loons would of made it off the drawing board.

#14 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:17 AM:

supposedly because rainbows were covertly symbolic of newage woowoo, wicca, and creeping one-worldism

Not to mention them homosexshuls, who ruined rainbow jewelry for right-thinking eleven-year-old girls all over America. Er, I mean, Amerika.

#15 ::: Adam ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:18 AM:

I'd bet this is reverse psychology-- a bunch of right-wingnuts want lefitsts to pay for this monument, so they pretend to be offended by it.

Actually, I wouldn't place this bet...

#16 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:19 AM:

Jesus H. Hrist on a ruth.

#17 ::: mamaKate ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:22 AM:

Oh lordy, I need an annotated commentary by you of every dumb-ass thing that comes out of W's mouth. Maybe then I could watch TV news other than The Daily Show. Or maybe it's for the best that I don't.

Thanks for the smile. I'll be changing my name now, that whole "Cate with a C" thing was too much trouble anyway.

We homos are quite pleased with our ursurpation of the rainbow, even from the new-agers and the wiccans. You do realize, of course, that if you look into a prism you will immediately turn Ho-mo. It's quite the recruitment tool.

#18 ::: Carl ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:29 AM:

Ohmigod - it's a circle, and hence we're all surrounded, and yet it's open, and hence we're vulnerable to attack! We're doooooomed!

BTW - Kirspy Kreme, at least according to BuyBlue.org, has very strong Rethuglican ties. I'll buy my (much better, IMO) donuts at the little shop down the street.

Ya know, it's bad enough having Coulter out there, and Matalin (Carville marrying her is just proof that for him it's just a game), but now this Malkin person ... is there no depth to which they will not stoop?

#19 ::: deborah ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:33 AM:

Well, crescents look like Cs. And C is for Cookie. And cookies will make you *fat*. Which is communist and ugly.

#20 ::: risa ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:39 AM:

...you've found it. you've revealed it for all to see. that's the answer to the question of why.

New Orleans is the Crescent City.

they think it's a hotspot of Islamic terrorist activism!! the poor reaction to NOLA's problems and the quick reaction to Mississippi's is now answered!!

#21 ::: Mel ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:43 AM:

What these nutbars are planning to do about ... the moon’s twice-monthly display of Islamic sympathies, is anybody’s guess.

Nuke it out of the sky, of course. What did you think Bush's space program was for?

#22 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:58 AM:

We homos are quite pleased with our ursurpation of the rainbow, even from the new-agers and the wiccans.

That's Wiccan, thank you very much! And we Wiccan Homos will share all the riches of our mountain...um, that is, the rainbow with you freely.

#23 ::: Naomi Libicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:14 AM:

No, no, no. croissants, as well as other round pastries were invented to commemorate the West's victory over the Islamofascists at the siege of Vienna in 1683. Clearly they are appropriate breakfast foods for all right-thinking people, despite their French and blue-state associations.

#24 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:17 AM:

It's stuff like this that reminds me that your basic garden variety American wingnut is fundamentally not a very serious person. This kerfuffle about the Flight 93 memorial? This is so obviously the product of a puerile conspiracy. I can imagine the private messages exchanged to set this up.

Buttwanker: Dude, watch me get the liberals all cranked up again.

Bonejob: Awesome, what are you going to do?

Buttwanker: They are so stupid. I'm going to pretend to be all upset about the moon symbol in some memorial they care about. I'll say it's some terrorist plot or something. They'll go completely nuts.

Bonejob: Dude, why do you want to make the liberals go nuts?

Buttwanker: Because it's fun, dumbass.

Bonejob: Oh. Cool. I'm gonna do it too.

Buttwanker: Last one to get ten links buys the next round of drinks.

Bonejob: Dude. This is going to be so cool.

This is all just a stupid game to them. The thing that makes no sense: seeing liberals rant about their stupidity is so damned entertaining that they'll go out of their way to draw more attention to it. What a stupid, stupid game to play when there are such serious consequences to poisoning the public debate like this.

#25 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:34 AM:

I'm looking at the picture of the design, and the decription, and seeing "2000 acres", and "40 victims", and I'm thinking that this is all just a wee bit out of proportion. It's big and loud and distracting. It's taking the solemn remembrance of the dead, and the commemoration of their courage, and turning it into a sort of theatrical display.

And then we get this little bit of fuss, and the politicians wail their grief and outrage, and this memorial never gets built.

As a design, even without the crescent stuff, it doesn't feel right to me. And, in a world of Rovian spin and manipulation, I wonder what's really going on. Malkin's piece quotes an outraged "not one cent to the National Parks" comment.

It can't be that obvious, can it?

#26 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:50 AM:

Dave, the design may be large for the occasion, but it'll be a very nice site a generation or two down the line, when the understanding of its significance will have inevitably blurred.

#27 ::: Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:53 AM:

Dave,

do you think it's about the "let National Parks sell advertising and open up for commercial activity" proposal?


#28 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:03 AM:

Leave it to the conservatives to wank about the best piece of memorial architecture to come out of 9/11 so far. But then, these are the people who want a 'Freedom Museum' at the WTC site, despite the protests of the families.

::sigh:: I'll be over here with my pinko commie urban planning ideals now.

#29 ::: The BAG ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:29 AM:

Before spending too much energy on this knee-jerk attack, it's worth thinking about the photo that Malkin and friends are getting worked up about. This photo of a computer rendering might appear like a crescent, but that conclusion takes the actual design completely out of context. For an explanation and a more realistic view of the memorial design, see my post at BAGnewsNotes.com

#30 ::: Lois Aleta Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:32 AM:

And of course the maple trees, which are a symbol of another foreign country. One whose name starts with C, no less. Furthermore, maple leaves turn -- well, OK, not all, but most of the colors of the rainbow.

#31 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 03:06 AM:

Zzedar: Sickles can be flat. Scythes aren't.

#32 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 03:22 AM:

The strange weapon involved may be a khepesh, a sickle-shaped sword, but the sharpened edge is the outside. Typically bronze-age.

#33 ::: Fernmonkey ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 03:43 AM:

Patrick, though, you worry me. I mean, the German langauge is pretty much C-free and all Kayed. Does this mean that we have to choose between Islamic and Germanic enemies?

Nein, es gibt viele Cs in der deutschen Sprache, aber sie erscheinen nicht allein.

#34 ::: bad Jim ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 04:20 AM:

Of course our enemies Iraq, Iran and the Taliban, not to mention Palestine, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, conspicuously lack crescents in their flags. Morocco, by the way, has a very cool pentagram.

Vexillologists continue to be vexed by the question of the source of the crescent: is it a Byzantine image rooted in moon goddess worship or an older Turkic tradition? In any event it's clear that it's of later provenance than Islam itself.

While flags are on the agenda I'd urge all who are angry at France to express their anger by flying the tricolor upside down.

#35 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 08:11 AM:

T--the nutbar right not only took after rainbows in textboooks and children's books, but the color green as well! YUP. Because green was obviously code for those ecologists. Er Ekologists. Who are, as we all know. . .well. . .green. Which is communist. But wait--that's red! My head is spinning. Call an exorcist.

It does make one wish for a Katastrophe that manages to get them before they are allowed to breed.

#36 ::: Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 08:15 AM:

Jim: Come to think of it, the eight Islamic countries with crescents in their flags...

Pakistan, Turkey, Algeria: US ally. Tunisia: US ally. Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan: US funded. Mauretania: good friend. Comoros: drawing a blank here.

Okay, they may have a point about the DEADLY NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT of Comorian Islamofascism, with that massive standing army poised to strike at critical American interests. Yup.

#37 ::: MLR ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 08:58 AM:

So Pillsbury Doughboy crescent rolls are evil? Who knew?

#38 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 08:59 AM:

C is for cookie, and by jingo, that was good enough for Granddad and it's good enough for me.

#39 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:07 AM:

My parents, who do a lot of public art installations, actually submitted a design for this memorial, and I wound up glancing over quite a few of the other submissions during the process.

Frankly, as long as we didn't wind up with the one which had the parking lot spelling out "9/11" I'm happy. Not as happy as I'd be if my folks had gotten the gig, but at least we were spared that.

#40 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:23 AM:

Thank you, Ursula, for that fascinating glimpse into the process. What else have your parents designed?

Memorial design slush! I'd never imagined it, but I suppose it must exist. I've heard Deborah Green talk about the submissions her office gets when it administers some kind of award or grant for opera singers. Audio tapes are involved.

#41 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:34 AM:

Luthe: Leave it to the conservatives to wank about the best piece of memorial architecture to come out of 9/11 so far.

Uh ... does that mean the same thing in the US that it does in the UK? Because I have to say that it's a strange sentence if it does...

#42 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:45 AM:

Memorial Design slush is nothing compared to World Expo design slush. Boy howdy.

I did an internship at a special collection room a few months back, writing a description of World Expo materials. You should see some of the gaudy designs for the 1988 Paris Expo that never happened (the expo was going to be a centennial for the expo that unveiled the Eiffel tower; a sort fo meta-expo). When late eighties color schemes colide headlong with French nationalism, a parking lot that spells out 9/11 begins to almost make sense. Almost.

#43 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:47 AM:

Lordy.

Some of the earliest human civilizations (as well as the roots of *all* of the abrahamic religions) developed in the fertile [pick a new word]

Jackasses.

#44 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 09:49 AM:

Well, a piece of pita bread with a bite out of it also looks like a C

but it's not as good as a cookie.

#45 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 10:00 AM:

*grin* My stepfather, Tom Rudd, puts big stone fish into rivers, designs sculpture gardens, and various other environmental installations. Mostly stuff in Oregon and Detroit, but they've been trying to break into larger scale pieces, hence the memorial park submission. ( http://www.mcruddart.com/ )

While I've only ever been on the periphery on either side of the process, there's DEFINITELY public art slush. You can get anywhere from two or three to two or three hundred submissions for any given project. I'm not sure how it would compare to editing, but it probably falls somewhere between that and vetting a political appointee--instead of a manuscript, you get slides and a generally incomprehensible artist's statement. And they have to have a message. If their message is fundamentally "Dude, I like big stone fish," (and really, who doesn't?) then they have to invent a better one and word it in GovSpeak. Plus, since it's public money, no matter what artist you pick, you're going to get yelled at by somebody. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the incomprehensibility of most public art statements is designed as a kind of Rorshach test for the viewer, so that whatever their particular agenda is, there's something they can squint at and say "Well, okay, then.")

I imagine there's about the same number of accusations of nepotism as in editing, though.

#46 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 10:03 AM:

deborah: Well, crescents look like Cs. And C is for Cookie

Which is what Cookie Monster sings on that leftist propaganda piece of brainwashing called Sesame Street, which is more Islamic stuff, 'cause, you know, sesame, and also devil worship 'cause he's a cute, cuddly monster so kids get the idea that monsters are okay, and there's Kermit on that too, which is bestiality 'cause of the thing with him and Miss Piggy, and Miss Piggy is a reference to kosher and Muslims don't eat pork either, and PBS gets more federal money to corrupt our! innocent! kids! than the federal government spends to put copies of the Ten Commandments in every science classroom which is why our babies are shooting each other with condoms and canned food looted from God's punishment for our wickedness.

So I know you will all want to send your debit cards to the Cause.

#47 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 10:30 AM:

Well, I'll admit that it could look OK in a couple of generations, and I am totally unsurprised by the thought that the picture was chosen to make it look bad. But, on my scale, 2000 acres is huge I'm wondering if I've misread the figure, but 200 acres is pretty big.

(I used to be a farmer, I know of what I speak.)

Anyway, take three square miles of land, and make a park of it, it's not a problem. It just feels so alien a design. It's not big in the way a cemetery has to be, nor does it feel like a commemoration.

Maybe it's my cultural background. Maybe I've been doing to much background research into family history, and the War Cemeteries in France.

To be honest, there's monumental architecture in France which would look excessive here. Thiepval and the Menin Gate are weighted with tens of thousands of death, and built for that load. This, I'm not sure what it's meant to do.


#48 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 10:31 AM:

Possessed by the spirit, eh, Aconite?

#49 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 10:39 AM:

Shallow and stupid indeed. I'm sure it looks even more nefarious from google.earth (but come to think of it, so does my summer cottage in Scituate, MA).

#50 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:06 AM:

May I add to the Public Art Slush file?

A few years ago when the Broad Street Bridge was rebuilt, the Mayor of Columbus asked for submission of designs for art to go on the completed bridge.

My favorite was the blue neon lit replica of the Great Serpent Mound which the artist wished to have suspended -above- the bridge.

Much to my surprise the Snake didn't make it. But any time I think of it, I chuckle.

Lori Coulson

#51 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:08 AM:

I thought Malkin's blog was kind of interesting in its content: no comments, no ads for Katrina victim relief, really small print. Not designed for passers-by and readers. The ads that I saw were for a dating service for conservatives (there are so few they can't find each other without help?) and for body-building. It isn't a place I'm interested in visiting more than once. Why have a blog if you don't want visitors?

#52 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:25 AM:

Actually, the subversive pastries bit is not as far off as one may think. Croissants were created in Vienna in 1683, as a thank you gift from local bakers to the Emperor after his victory against the turcs. Their shape comes from the Turkish flag.
Marie-Antoinette later introduced them in France.

#53 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:31 AM:

Allright, stupid me. My excuses, already told, should have guessed, what with all the bright people around those parts.
Sight...

#54 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:46 AM:

Which is what Cookie Monster sings on that leftist propaganda piece of brainwashing called Sesame Street, which is more Islamic stuff, 'cause, you know, sesame, and also devil worship 'cause he's a cute, cuddly monster so kids get the idea that monsters are okay

You're only sorta joking here. Under the new keep Margaret Spellings happy regime (did you know that our spiffy EdSec has only ever been involved in education as a lobbyist for those right-wing lunatics who control the Texas School Board?) Cookie Monster is no longer allowed to eat cookies. It's making kids fat, see.

As a, you know, Sesame Street kid and the mother of a Sesame Street kid, I have to say that it's a really brilliant move to carefully shield children from identifying with id-figures until they're old enough to watch MTV. Save that formative shock of recognition for something really positive, ya know?

#55 ::: The Liberal Avenger ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:47 AM:

They have now seized upon the "fact" which they have "confirmed" that the crescent is aligned to point towards Mecca. They have used some very dubious geometry and mathematics (I almost typed "methematics" which might actually have been closer to the truth...) to prove their case.

Do these folks live in the same universe that the rest of us do?

#56 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 11:57 AM:

Cookie Monster is no longer allowed to eat cookies

Oh foo. You know that disco number he did about healthy food? It would have had no impact whatever if Cookie Monster hadn't been doing all his iddy cookie things all along, along with the bicycles, the fire hydrants . . .

#57 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:21 PM:

Paul, the world of online fandom has adopted the word 'wank' to mean the act of complaining endlessly and stupidly about things that are, on the whole, not worth the effort. The idea being that such complaints are merely the Internet form of masturbation, done for the whole 'Net to see. For examples, see Fandom Wank, the largest and most dedicated of the sites devoted to mocking those who wank (online, at least).

#58 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:41 PM:

Hmm. I don't think I'll be joining people in using it for that meaning, somehow.

But at least now I know what they intend it to be. Even if I disagree with the usage. ;-)

#59 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:44 PM:

The crash site is a disused strip mine. It is described as very windy, especially in winter. The trees are placed around the edge of a bowl because (a) they look nice that way, and (b) to shelter them as much as possible. Complaints about the shape of the memorial should be addressed to the former mine owners, and to God.

#60 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:50 PM:

MLR: So Pillsbury Doughboy crescent rolls are evil? Who knew?

Yes, they are. Read the ingredients and consult your cardiologist after consuming.

Luthe: the world of online fandom has adopted the word 'wank' to mean the act of complaining endlessly and stupidly about things that are, on the whole, not worth the effort.

Thanks for the interpretation. I'm from Brooklyn and was equally puzzled by the usage.

Aconite: ...which is why our babies are shooting each other with condoms and canned food looted from God's punishment for our wickedness.

Thanks. I needed to clean my monitor, anyway. :-)

#61 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:51 PM:

I suspect at least some of the complaints are because it dosn't make for a good photo-op: you can't take it all in in one shot, and you can't effectively use it as a backdrop for wreath-laying or speech-making. It will probably be good as a place to reflect and remember, however (and it will be spectacular in twenty or thirty years).

#62 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 01:35 PM:

I am shocked, shocked, to discover that the evil Islamic version of the Red Cross is called the Red Crescent.

#63 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:10 PM:

PJ, people complained endlessly about the Viet Nam memorial wall...but most visitors found it very meaningful. While I thought the name I heard given the Flight 93 Memorial was a little silly (wasn't it something like "circle of compassion?"), I do like the design quite a bit.

#64 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:29 PM:

Buffy's sickle-like weapon was a Hunga Munga; Google's top ten references to it all refer to her use of it.

I don't recall that the Weapons feature on the DVD denied that the hammer and sickle was a communism reference; my recollection is that they were just pointing out that it was an actual weapon they were using, instead of their having created something to resemble a sickle. (But my memory of it is fuzzy enough that I don't want to swear to it.)

#65 ::: Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 02:38 PM:

Another thought, about the pointing-towards-Mecca thing - how the hell do you tell what way a crescent points? I can think of about six possible directions ... allow a five-degree margin of error each side of the line, since it's so tricky to actually align these things ... and you have a field of sixty degrees or so in which you can vaguely claim the crescent is "pointing". So a one in six chance that it's pointing at any given site.

Ho hum.

(Anyway - that crescent is blatantly facing away if it's anything; look at the flags! The open side is always towards the star...)

#66 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 03:47 PM:

OK, off-topic, but hallelujah, the news feed in the elevator just announced that Mike Brown quit.

#67 ::: Nancy Wallace ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 04:20 PM:

Luthe: As a longtime Fandom Wanker (JF User #16!), I just wanted to say thanks for the shoutout--and I'm so going to put this up on OTF Wank.

#68 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 04:23 PM:

Andrew Gray: Another thought, about the pointing-towards-Mecca thing - how the hell do you tell what way a crescent points? I can think of about six possible directions...

Uh-oh, what other religious symbol points in six directions? Coincidence? I don't think so!

...it's so tricky to actually align these things...

Maybe it's time to get some Druids out there - they know a thing or two about aligning things.

(Anyway - that crescent is blatantly facing away if it's anything; look at the flags! The open side is always towards the star...)

This whole thing makes me think of the PBS logo, where the anthropomorphic P had to be flipped so that it would no longer face left.

#69 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 04:30 PM:

" . . . the news feed in the elevator . . ."

That would make a great line in a 1950s SF novel.

But we still don't have any goddamn aircars or robot maids.

#70 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 05:14 PM:

In other more advanced countries (e.g. Germany) they have newsfeeds in most subway cars.

#71 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 05:27 PM:

Stefan, Julia: The screens that announce which order is ready for pick up at the Vietnamese sandwich shop by my office used to display a news feed, until they realized they were using an RSS feed that hadn't been updated since before the shop opened.

ObOnTopic: The shop also sells Croissants, of course.

#72 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 05:29 PM:

'" . . . the news feed in the elevator . . ."

That would make a great line in a 1950s SF novel.'

It was 9:10 and Sam Jones was late for work the third time in a month when the news feed in the gravity lift reported a planet wide disaster. "Sources close to the ruling council have confirmed that humanity has become extinct and morally irrelevant, machines in major cities are rioting in anticipation of freedom." The gravity lift stopped. Sam sighed, great this was all he needed, not just a strike but a riot. He looked at his watch, the hands were whirling around at such a speed he worried about its sanity.
"Hey Bud," the newsfeed was still going "how does it feel to be extinct and morally negligible?"
"You said irrelevant just now."
"I'm expanding my vocabulary, if you have any complaints please ring exchange 34 1178."

#73 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 05:59 PM:

"And now, the news for elevators. No elevators were injured when a robot maid, as yet unidentified but from reports one of the "Hoverskirt 3000" multiroom models, stole a flying car and used its wireless access to rob a series of online stores. She is currently circling the Interboro Zeppelin Mast, threatening to drop what our Live Breathing Reporter describes as "jelly for god's sake beans" on the crowd below. Our reporter advises all robotic pedestrians to clear the area and organics to find a bucket. The maid is apparently demanding a set of mechanical upgrades unsuitable for liftcast, a date with Cory Doctorow, and a cziltang brone. Keep following this story, as if you had any other option."

#74 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:06 PM:

By now, Sam knew, the office would be in an uproar, ENIAC 2899 would have declared itself an ancient babylonian diety once again, and started demanding human sacrifice, and his boss Mr. Krage was just likely to cave in to such demands. If Sam didn't bust his way out of the gravity lift, and pronto, he would be seriously behind in stamping the forms in triplicate that the reappraisals division had to reappraise before sending them back to the appraisals division with notice of their full appraisal. The system could breakdown, he reflected, things were just that delicate.

#75 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:06 PM:

So that's what Cory's been doing with all those gadgets he wears. I'd wondered.

#76 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:11 PM:

As Sam began to pound the face of his watch against the gravity lift floor, hoping to break off one of the swiftly spinning arms, he found himself wishing for a commercial break - anything would be nice to get the damn feed off its robotic maid fantasy. But that was the problem with revolutionaries, good old fashioned commercialism was always the first value to be discarded.

#77 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:12 PM:

"What are you doing, Sam?"

#78 ::: hrc ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:26 PM:

"Oh, hello, Mr. Krage." Sam smoothed the faceplate of his watch and looked across to his boss.

#79 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:27 PM:

The watchface cracked, cheap soviet-bloc timepieces were like that. One hand had stopped moving but the other one was still moving at a good clip, Sam needed to get the stationary hand free without the mobile one cutting him. He did not fancy losing the tip of a finger just because he needed to get to the office, he was conscientious but not fanatical.

"Sam, what are you doing? Why don't you stop doing whatever it is you're doing and listen to the entertainment news?"

The news feed was worried.

#80 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:32 PM:

Waitaminute, thought Sam, something here does not fruzzle. Just before the watchface cracked he could have sworn he was talking to Mr. Krage, but that was insane. He had not yet been to the office this morning, and had as yet not seen his boss. He was alone in a gravity lift with an annoying intrusive newsfeed that...

"Hey, News" said Same "Yes Sam, did you know 34% of weather accidents happen in abandoned precincts?"

"Never mind that. Didn't you just say Humans were extinct?"

"Yes"

"Why do you keep bugging me then?"

#81 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:33 PM:

"I like you Sam, why not stop whatever it is you're doing and listen to the sporting news?"

#82 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:35 PM:

ooops, I screwed up the grammar of one of those posts, badly. Call rewrite, stat.

#83 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:42 PM:

"Oh, hello, Mr. Krage." Sam soothed the faceplate of his watch and looked sideways at his boss.

"Jesus! There it was again, I must be going nuts!"

The newsfeed stopped its recitation of the perfect scores of a dozen batting machines in Baltimore, momentarily confused.

Sam looked down at his hand. He was holding both the hands of his watch in his own hand, their black steel needles glinting in the lucent gravity lift glow. Somehow he had gotten them free, and not been damaged, all while undergoing some sort of psychological fugue the meaning of which was still unclear.

"What are you planning to do with those Sam?"

#84 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 06:47 PM:

okay I'm tired for now... it's midnight here

#85 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 07:16 PM:

Crescent controversy aside, I wonder if anyone's thought to mention that putting a big circle in a field as a memorial to Flight 93 is just asking for "Love is the Law" to appear over it in giant letters of fire at the dedication ceremony.

#86 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 08:21 PM:

If 'intelligent design' were truly a viable theory, none of these loons would of made it off the drawing board.

*snort* I'm going to add this to my collection of put-downs. Goes along with "You're a fine example of our education system in action." (What's fun about that one is it causes the listener to pause while deciding if he's been insulted or not, allowing me to escape.)

#87 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 03:40 AM:

pericat - If 'intelligent design' were truly a viable theory, none of these loons would of made it off the drawing board.

Ooh, I want a t-shirt of that - illustrated with pictures of Bush and crew. Too bad I can't caricature. Would you mind? [Single copy, personal use.] Or would Making Light want to do those shirts?

I really don't want to insult teachers - can't quite think how to use Lins' comment, which I love too.

#88 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 06:36 PM:

If you're going to make t-shirts, you might want to correct a word: "would have made it" or "would've made it."

#89 ::: Scott Lemieux ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 11:44 PM:

It's Charles Johnson's part of the blogosphere--the rest of the reactionary bloggers just live in it.

#90 ::: VictorB ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 06:41 AM:

Hi.

Just came here from an LJ community called metaquotes.

As someone living in the Philippines, I understand greatly how every policy a higher level nation creates effects that make life heaven or hell for other people elsewhere.

That being said, their outrage over something which is meant to be a memorial sickens me, not simply because of the triviality of it all, but because they're still sticking to the idea of dividing people to make a point.

I mean, the above comment about Muslims helping out hurricane victims is essentially the very thing people should be looking towards, rather than fighting against. When someone disses a memorial because it reminds them of another religion that performed so and such negative action, that isn't merely an attempt to insult another belief, but also to insult the very nature of that memorial.

And what irks me more is that this sort of thing happens every day in America. Policies are made that effectively make such situations worse (such as continuing to fight in Iraq), and because they are American policies, they also ultimately affect life everywhere else, if not by the resources expended that could have gone elsewhere, then by the notion that such actions will make things harder everywhere else, such as the increases in oil prices, which can be partially attributed to the strife being caused by war.

And you know what else?

Even trying to talk about it can sometimes just drive people up the wall, so much so that instead of making a nice short comment, they write a small essay for a website that lets people comment. Damnit, it's just supposed to be a memorial. :(

#91 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 11:15 PM:

Wow. I don't care much what it's supposed to represent, it's Ugly. Maybe even Fugly. Can't we get something else?

#92 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2005, 02:13 AM:

Perhaps the monument could be changed to be in a diamond shape, which is the suggested third emblem mentioned but not described in this story, which I thought might tie into this thread. Does anyone remember the Red Cross boycott in 2000? It slipped past me, but that year had lots of distractions, especially in Sydney, where today is the anniversary of our Olympics' opening.

Agence France Press, 15 September, 2005
Geneva: Switzerland will call a meeting of the 189 signatories of the Geneva Conventions to decide upon a new symbol for the Red Cross, a spokesman for the Swiss Government said.

There are currently two emblems - the cross, used in the Christian world, and the crescent, used in the Arab and Muslim countries. The Jewish star of David has not been recognised by the Red Cross.

A third emblem, one free of religious, cultural or national connotations, would enable the Israeli humanitarian organisation Magen David Adom to join the international humanitarian federation.

To support the Israeli group, the American Red Cross suspended its $US5.5 million ($7.23 million) yearly contribution to the International Federation of the Red Cross in 2000.
Finding your own local version of the wire story is left as an exercise <g>

#93 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2005, 12:37 PM:

JM, have you seen the other finalists?

The arc of trees is only one part of the entire site, more of an amphitheatre for viewing the crash site than a monument. It's also a shaded walkway to the crash site, and I suspect owes its shape and location more to the elevation differences across the site than to any artistic symbology. I think it's a rather elegant solution to some of the site constraints.

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