Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The 9/11 Decade

"There's nothing intelligent to say about a massacre." -- Kurt Vonnegut

Ain't that the truth. The proliferation of words, words, words -- to steal from Shakespeare -- eventually drench and make muddy whatever meaning they are meant to convey. 

The banality, senselessness, pure stupidity of great evil acts speak for themselves. 

So is the case with 9/11. In the years since the event that changed the world, billions of words have been written about what it meant then (tragedy, national unity), what it led to (war, divisiveness, neo-McCarthyism, etc.) and what it means now (who knows?). But who knows what any of it means?

That is why I applaud New York Magazine for it's 9/11 Encyclopedia. It takes the tragedy and breaks it down -- person by person, event by event, issue by issue, controversy by controversy -- and gives snippets about each while, at the same time, not bombarding the readers with psychologising. Instead, it's just the facts -- and it lets the readers find the meaning of 9/11 for themselves.

Kurt Vonnegut would be proud.

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