God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, September 18, 2006

Are We Too Wimpy To Wage War?

Mark Steyn On The Wimpification Of Nine-Eleven
...there's more to the national discourse than party politics. And, whoever wins or loses, the cult of feebly tasteful passivity rolls on regardless. As part of National Review's fifth anniversary observances, James Lileks wrote the following:

"If 9/11 had really changed us, there'd be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there's a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don't. And we don't seem interested in asking why."

Ray Nagin, New Orleans' Mayor Culpa, is a buffoon but he nevertheless had a point when he scoffed at the ongoing hole in the ground in Lower Manhattan. And whatever fills it is never going to include those "stern stone eagles." The best we can hope for is that the Saudi-funded Islamic Outreach Center will only take up a third of the site. But in our hearts we know whatever memorial eventually stands on the spot will be rubbish -- tasteful rubbish, but rubbish all the same. Last year, I criticized the Flight 93 memorial, the "Crescent of Embrace," whose very title is a parodic masterpiece of note-perfect generically effete huggy-weepy blather. And in return I received a ton of protests pointing out that the families of the Flight 93 heroes had "approved" the design. All that demonstrates, I think, is how thoroughly constrained our society is within its own crescent of embrace: The cult of passivity has insinuated itself deep into our bones. Behind those "IMAGINE PEACE" stickers lies a terrible failure to imagine.

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